Staff Profile: Jennifer Kaplan

Staff Profile: Jennifer Kaplan
Azriella Friedman

One of our veteran teachers, Jennifer Kaplan, has been a member of the Hausner community for 23 years. But if she was not a teacher she would be writing children's books! Read more to learn about an exciting world trip she is planning with her husband. 

1. How long have you lived in the Bay Area, where did you come from and what brought you here?

I grew up on the East Coast in the seaport town of Marblehead, Massachusetts. Thirty-three years ago I arrived in Palo Alto to visit friends and was so amazed by the beauty of Northern California that I stayed.

2. What is your role at Hausner and how long have you been here?

I came to Hausner as a parent 23 years ago when my husband and I chose Hausner as the school for our son, Zach. I was so happy with the Hausner community that two years later, when my daughter entered Kindergarten, I joined the staff as an Assistant Teacher in First Grade. Over the past 21 years, I have worked as an Assistant in 1st, 4th, and presently 2nd grade. I even spent one year teaching Kindergarten Jewish Studies.  

3.  What is the highlight of your work week?

My interactions with the students are by far the highlights of every day, as are the collaborations with the teachers on our wonderful staff. I especially love the reader's and writer's workshop and singing with all the students in our prayer services with Atara.

4. What do you do when you're not at work?

When I'm not at work I enjoy trail running in the hills, hiking, traveling, gardening, and cheering on the Warriors and 49er's with my husband. In January, my husband and I are heading out on a World Cruise on the Queen Mary 2 that we have postponed for two years because of Covid.

5. What do you think you would do if you weren't a teacher?

I would love to write children's books. I am always jotting down ideas for stories that come to me.

6. Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

I grew up on an island that is connected to the mainland by a long causeway. We were on the water, sailing, and boating all the time, and as a young child, I often took my boat across the harbor and then walked to school. My next-door neighbor, Ted Hood, won the America's Cup, and his daughter and I sailed and raced together growing up. 

7. What is your favorite Hebrew word and/or Jewish Holiday?

One of my favorite Hebrew/Yiddish words is mensch. What could be better than a person who acts with honor, integrity, kindness, and consideration for others? We have a lot of mensches at Hausner!

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