Teacher, religious life leader, and chef extraordinaire Rabbi Lauren Levy tells us about her favorite class to teach, the class she’d like to take, and how this vegetarian makes mouth-watering brisket in this week’s 5 Questions 4.
What is your favorite class to teach?
I LOVE all of my classes! The one I don’t get to teach as often, my “Jerusalem” class, is absolutely incredible in a unique way. Since it is a 500 level class, all of the students are seniors. This class is TOTALLY devoted to our work and has made me cry on more than one occasion with their extraordinary full-class presentations! In the fall, we had an amazing midterm over dinner at my home with presentations from seven different/diverse vantage points on the summer of 2017 Temple Mount incident. I made them Jerusalem street food, which they munched on throughout the evening. We invited faculty guests and the presentations, really the students, were beyond amazing! They want to have an alumni trip for the class to Jerusalem! Let's go!
You are famous for your amazing holy day dinners. What’s your favorite dish to make and eat?
I’ve got to say that, while I’m a vegetarian and I’ve never eaten it, the students beg me to make them brisket for the Holydays (it’s a traditional fare). It’s pretty funny because they love it and I’ve never even tried it! I’ve started making them fresh challah for both Shabbat and the Holydays. YUM!
Which two people, living or dead, would you like to invite to your Harkness table for a class?
I would invite my mom and dad, who are no longer with us. They were such supportive parents and I know they would have loved and been so proud to see my “do my thing” in the classroom. They were wonderful role models in so many ways!
What Lawrenceville class would you like to take?
I would love to take a pottery class. I’ve always wanted to feel the slippery clay as it moves on the wheel through my hands and fingers on its way to formation as a vessel - a pot, a plate? I think it might feel like cooking - taking one thing in an unformed state and molding it into another, something different and unique. Maybe this would be a little like teaching?
You are a mom to three Lawrentians, mother-in-law to one, and grandmother to two future Lawrentians. What’s your best advice for anyone considering coming to this School?
My advice is to appreciate what Lawrenceville has to offer. Don’t take classes because they'll look good on a transcript for college. Take what interests you and stretch to explore and learn. You only live once so live it and love it! Faculty and staff are here to be devoted to our students. Each of my kids (and son-in-law) share that their best memories were from interactions with faculty who cared about them and went the extra yard for them and with them.
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