RABBI J. SHELLEY APPLBAUM, Z
Deborah Pechet came to Moriah 28 years ago as a first grade reading specialist, and has now been a teacher in Moriah’s Gesher Yehuda program for 22 years. She received her undergraduate degree from Yeshiva University, a master’s degree in special education from Columbia University and holds a Learning Disabilities Teacher Consultant (LDTC) license. Deborah lives in Bergenfield with her husband Dwayne. Her children Aryeh (Moriah ’10) and Amira (Moriah ’11) graduated from Moriah. Amira and her husband Dani Gruen live in Israel and have given her a new name “Grandma” to Shmuel.
Moriah is an extremely special place to Deborah that represents her ideals as both an educator and a parent. Moriah's educational values are ones that are dear to her heart. Working in the Gesher Yehuda program as a former Moriah parent has enabled Deborah to relate to her students and their parents in a very personal way, and has given her the opportunity to deliver to her students a highly individualized, tailor made educational program as her own children had the benefit of receiving at Moriah.
The Gesher Yehuda program is an all-encompassing inclusion model that helps each child reach his or her individual potential within the nurturing and academically rigorous environment of The Moriah School. One of the most meaningful rewards for her is watching her students blossom over the years that she works with them, and seeing the progress and growth that they are able to achieve. The students can be as young as first graders learning their short vowels or as old as fifth graders learning to multiply. Watching their faces light up when they realize that they “own it” is inspiring and makes Deborah truly appreciate the joy of teaching. Working as a teacher at Moriah has also brought Deborah a wonderful group of friends and colleagues of all ages. Her Moriah family has celebrated smachot with together and has been there for support during difficult times, as well. This sharing of individual and school-wide milestones is only part of what makes Moriah a family.
The best nachas a teacher gets is when her former students come to visit and share updates on their education, careers and personal lives. Deborah’s concern for her students and the pride she takes in their accomplishments do not end when they graduate. Her involvement with Moriah students continues far beyond their Moriah years. Being a teacher is not a job for her; it is who she is and what she believes in, and she does it with incredible pride and joy.