Alisa Rosen Preil spends most of her time in TK and Kindergarten, but has worked with children in the JCC/Hausner community for many years. Read more to learn about her favorite Hebrew word and its surprising connection to her daughter’s name.
1. How long have you lived in the Bay Area, where did you come from and what brought you here?
It may be trite to say, but I came to a ”fork in the road” and moving to California was the path I chose.
I’ll answer the other two questions in one. I have lived in California almost as long as I lived in Massachusetts. I find this rather daunting. Especially since I left my heart in Boston and now all my children are Californians. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…
2. What is your role at Hausner and how long have you been here?
I'm pleased to say that I am in my second year at Hausner. Last year, I spent half my time in TK and the other half in 4th grade, quite the juxtaposition. This year, I am Irit’s Assistant in Jewish Studies and Hebrew TK & K
3. What is the highlight of your working week?
Unquestionably Kabbalat Shabbat with the TK & K children and their families on Friday mornings. It exudes the power of community.
4. What do you do when you're not at work?
I spend my afternoons with 3 awesome children. Being with them saved me from the monotony of COVID quarantine and gave me more people to love. I’m kvelling.
5. What do you think you would do if you weren't a teacher?
Teaching is practically the perfect convergence of everything I enjoy doing.
That being said, I’d move to Cape Cod and become a life coach. Everyone should feel good about themselves, validated, and have the courage to be authentic.
I would spend my off-time traveling to visit my children and friends.
6. Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
Once upon a time, I was a Group Leader for Weight Watchers.
7. What is your favorite Hebrew word?
Sababa. My daughter’s name is Zahava. Sababa is one of the many pet names I had for her. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Sababa was an Israeli expression. I asked her if she knew that (she did). Now that I know, it always brings a smile to my face when I hear it. It turned out to be an amazing coincidence - Sababa. Also, Tikkun Olam - Repair the world. What could be more relevant?