Daneil Topaz. Photo by Hadas Parush Flash 90. 

Daniel Topaz: “Revivim Was One of the Best Decisions of My Life”

Daniel Topaz never considered pursuing a career in education when he matriculated at the Hebrew University as a first-year student. He chose to study economics and foreign relations instead, but found himself questioning how these studies would help him to play a role in improving Israeli society. By chance, he came upon a flyer for Revivim, subsequently switched his major, and never looked back.

Today he is a Revivim graduate and the Deputy Executive Director for the TALI network of schools with responsibility for 50 schools in Israel’s southern region. TALI is the Hebrew acronym for “enriched Jewish learning.” The schools are a unique part of the Israeli state school system but encourage respect for every level of observance while emphasizing Jewish traditions and values within a pluralistic context.

“I had never thought that I would be a teacher,” Topaz said. “But Revivim was one of the best decisions of my life. The program doesn’t just educate you to be a teacher; it turns you into a teacher with a vision.”

Revivim is engaging in the most important missions of our generation, he explained, noting that he believes the program is defining and preserving Jewish identity for the next generation.

After graduating from Revivim, Topaz taught Jewish Philosophy and Bible Studies to students at Jerusalem’s prestigious Leyada High School, and was soon after promoted to be principal of a high school in southern Israel.

“There is nothing more gratifying than when a former pupil seeks me out to tell me that they have decided to invest in their Jewish identity after high school by pursing further studies in college or university,” he said.