Susan Grodsky, or Morah Shoshana, has been a beloved TBD religious school early childhood teacher for four years, and has been so within the Jewish community since she was 16 years of age. She shadowed her mother’s growing preschool as a child, learning how to run schools administratively, while also following her mother’s beliefs that children learn best through sensory experiences. This is why Susan’s students typically dig in the mud, explore TBD’s nature, and will in no time, trace letters in TBD’s sandbox.
Susan passionatley credits much of her teaching styles to her mother, who was also a teacher. Susan shadowed her mother as an elementary school teacher, learning the ropes of how to run a classroom with students of multiple abilities, talents and needs. Susan’s mother taught in the non Jewish and Jewish world, the latter being at the preschool age and the religious school at Temple Emanuel in Beverly Hills.
After being inspired by her mother to go into the field of education, Susan obtained her formal teaching credentials. Susan holds instructional credentials for early childhood and elementary aged teachings from Pacific Oaks College, as well as a Master in education from USC. This led Susan to teach many age groups within the early childhood field, starting with the youngest of San Gabriel’s infants and their parents at Temple Sinai of Glendale, to the preschoolers at Kehilat Israel in the Pacific Palisades. Susan has Jewish camp experience, has taught 1st grade in the public school system, and religious school at Mishkon Tfillo.
Susan takes pride in the growth of the early childhood program she reinvigorated at her home temple, Temple Emanuel in Burbank, before joining TBD. For four years, Susan missioned herself to work on an open door classroom, where prospective students would come, on Sundays, and engage in Jewish learning. This was to later become a new founded religious school, instigated by Susan herself. Indeed, Susan has done wonders also for our early childhood programs too, with an array of sensory play, drama shows, parent breakfasts made by our students, and more.
One of Susan’s hobbies, even more than cooking, and gardening (but not before teaching) is dancing! Her favorite of the international folk dancing she knows, is Israeli dancing! She was taught by the famous Dani Dassa at his café Danssa, and taught this method of dancing to the families of San Fransisco’s Temple Emanuel.
Susan and Gil have two grown daughters Rebekah, who is 38, who lives in Sacramento and is a law school Administrator. Melinda, who is 35, is a city employee at City Clerks office and mother of Susan’s twin granddaughters, Anahi Lily and Sedona Navit. Susan is celebrating 44 years marriage with Gilbert, who she met at UCLA Hillel raising money for Israel.
Our beloved teacher’s favorite moments in the classroom are when there is magic amongst her students. When does that happen? Well, when does it not?!