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Jessie Mallor: Building the Jewish Future

For teacher Jessie Mallor, working as a Jewish educator at Milken is more than just a job. “I had an epiphany – like a voice from heaven was calling me to this profession,” she says.
“I believe teachers are caretakers in the garden of HaShem [God], and all of us have a
responsibility to make ourselves pillars of the house of Israel.”

It’s a responsibility Mallor takes seriously. Through her classes in Introduction to Jewish
Thought, she inspires students with her passion to create meaningful Jewish experiences for
them, and she enables them to gain a nuanced understanding of what makes Jewish learning so unique. “Judaism is both deeply spiritual and deeply practical,” she says. “I love that about our tradition: There’s such a focus on elevating human dignity and making sure everybody feels they have a sense of worth. By reaffirming this and passing it down to subsequent generations, we move closer to creating a truly just society.”

From Mallor’s perspective, advancing justice requires equipping students with the tools they will
need to make meaningful strides in their chosen fields of endeavor. “My colleagues and I are
helping develop future rabbis, teachers, lawyers and other leaders – the next generation of people who will shape the Jewish future,” she says. “By the time they leave Milken, I hope they have learned how love and pride in their people can become a catalyst for action.”

Through courses like Introduction to Jewish Thought, Mallor says, Milken gives students an
invaluable opportunity to discover where they fit into their community and how they can wield
their influence as a positive force for change. “There are a lot of adults out there who have never had a moment to sit and think about this stuff, but it’s so important to do it,” she points out.
“Where we stand on these big issues informs the way we interact with everyone around us and
also empowers us to make choices about the right path to take.”

As Mallor sees it, just as a Milken education is a blessing for its students, so, too, being part of
the Milken family is a privilege for its teachers. “This is a place that models warm, loving Jewish
community,” she says. “It’s wonderful to be somewhere so supportive and affirming – where
every stakeholder has a strong voice and a dedication to doing good.”
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At Milken Community School, we think education is more than what you know. Our School, founded on Jewish values, is about who our children can become and how they can help others become who they might be. Because the world our children will create tomorrow is born in the School we build today, our mission is to educate our children so they can surpass us.