This is a true homecoming story! Meet Azriella Friedman, a Kindergarten teacher, working in the very same classroom she once sat in as a student 18 years ago! From a childhood immersed in this vibrant community to pursuing studies in psychology and family studies, Azriella's journey has come full circle. Witness her passion for Jewish Studies, her students, and the incredible "Nachat" she experiences daily with her students.
1. How long have you lived in the Bay Area, where did you come from and what brought you here?
I have lived in the Bay Area for almost my entire life! I was born in Los Angeles, moved up north when I was 3 years old, lived in Arizona during college, and came back to the Bay Area after college.
2. What is your role at Hausner and how long have you been here?
I have been working at Hausner for 2 years as a Kindergarten teacher, but have been a part of the Hausner community for much longer. I also help post on Hausner's social media (Instagram, Facebook, and the Hausner blog)!
3. What is the highlight of your working week?
The highlight of my work week is when I see my students immersed in the Jewish Studies curriculum. I love to see young students feel excited about their culture and religion and hear them sing songs and prayers that are so meaningful and deeply rooted in our culture.
4. What do you do when you're not at work?
When I am not at work I am usually studying, as I am graduating from my credential program in July (yay)! I am in the DeLeT program at Hebrew Union College. If I am not studying, you can find me at the beach or playing pickleball.
5. What do you think you would do if you weren't a teacher?
This is actually quite funny because I never imagined I would be a teacher. In college (not so long ago) I studied psychology, family studies, and human development (FSHD). In 2021 I accepted a position in a graduate program in San Diego to become a Marriage and Family Therapist. My entire college career was spent studying to become a mental health therapist/researcher, as I am fascinated by the field of mental health and psychology. One month before I was supposed to leave for San Diego, I found myself at Hausner in a temporary position that somehow became 2 years (and counting)!
So if I was not a teacher, I would be a mental health counselor obtaining my Ph.D. to teach at a university.
6. Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
The Kindergarten classroom that I currently teach in, is the same Kindergarten classroom that I was in when I was in Kindergarten 18 years ago! I attended Hausner from Kindergarten through 6th grade, and it is wonderful being able to return to this community in a new role!
7. What is your favorite Hebrew word/Jewish Holiday?
My favorite Hebrew word is typically said in Yiddish as "Nachas" but comes from the Hebrew "Nachat". This word is often used to describe a feeling of gratification, but it is difficult to describe the meaning of "Nachat" because it is simply a feeling you experience when you are bursting with pride, joy, and excitement. My students give me the feeling of "Nachat" every day.