Eyes on Education


As Founding Father Benjamin Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” The subjects of Connor Graham’s cover story this week, Dr. Eyal Bor and Dr. Hana Bor, are living proof of this.

Eyal, director of education at Beth El Congregation, and Hana, a professor at Towson University and director of the school’s master’s in Leadership in Jewish Education and Communal Service, are a Jewish education power couple. Their work has arguably touched thousands, from Beth El’s Hebrew school students to undergrad and graduate students who have studied in Hana’s programs.

As the world has changed, so too has education, and the Bors have moved their programs forward in the process. Recognizing the geographic dispersal of the Jewish community, Eyal led Beth El to open religious schools in areas such as Federal Hill, Hunt Valley, Ellicott City and Roland Park. And if you ask 23-year-old religious school teacher Holly Tiedeman, the material she learned as a student at Beth El is different than what she is teaching now, and Eyal has been responsible for much of that innovation and change.

Hana, who founded the first religious school at Temple Isaiah in Howard County, was the first Towson University professor to take students to Israel. She’s also been thinking outside the box, traveling to Eastern European countries to research what happened to families and communities during the Holocaust — information that will be used in new courses for Holocaust educators.

As Larry Ziffer, former CEO of the Macks Center for Jewish Education, put it, “[The Bors] do everything they can to hold up to the highest possible standards for Jewish education.”

Meanwhile, in our Arts & Life section, you can read about the American Visionary Art Museum’s new parenting exhibit, which opened last weekend. “Parenting: An Art Without a Manual” features a number of Jewish artists. Pikesville resident Betty Grodnitzsky’s late daughter and her animal friends are featured in a photo collage; New York-based sculptor and sewing artist Wendy Brackman, who grew up attending a historic Reform temple in Brooklyn, offers a quilting project; and Polish-born, California-based photographer Leon Borensztien, whose family fled anti-Semitism to Israel, displays photos of his daughter born with severe disabilities. AVAM founder and director Rebecca Alban Hoffberger spoke with the JT about why the exhibit is of particular interest to Jewish visitors.

With the election fast approaching, Susan C. Ingram previews the Baltimore County District 2 Council race. Democrat Izzy Patoka and Republican Michael Lee will face off for the seat vacated by Vicki Almond on Nov. 6.

Happy reading!


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