Rabbi David Bluman is a native of Vancouver, BC. As a youth he attended Kerrisdale Elementary and Point Grey Secondary, was active in USY and regularly attended Shabbat services at Congregation Beth Israel. He graduated with a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of British Columbia.
During his undergraduate studies he traveled to Israel to study at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem where he met his wife, Olga. After university, Rabbi Bluman studied at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem and in May 2009 he received Rabbinic Ordination from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, CA. He began his rabbinate at Kadima Day School in West Hills, CA, where he served as the School Rabbi and taught Grades 5 – 8.
Rabbi Bluman has experience working in a variety of educational settings including Los Angeles Hebrew High School, Adat Ari El Religious School and Camp Solomon Schechter in Olympia, WA. Rabbi Bluman is currently the Director of Youth Engagement at Congregation Beth Israel. He is in charge of the Hebrew School, USY, Chai School, T’nT and the young adults program. In his leisure time he enjoys spending time with his friends and family, playing with his daughter, Shoshana, watching movies and playing Monopoly.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Kim Fisher moved to Canada with her family while she was in elementary school. Raised in North Vancouver, Mrs. Fisher loves being outdoors and has spent many hours running and biking the North Shore trails. A former triathlete (she completed the Ironman triathlon more than once), Mrs. Fisher enjoys running marathons, doing the Grouse Grind, biking with her family, camping, and pursuing most other outdoor activities. When she does pause for a break, Mrs. Fisher voraciously reads from the stack of books piled next to her bed — all while enjoying a nice cup of tea.
Mrs. Fisher holds a Bachelor of Human Kinetics (Exercise Science), a Bachelor of Education, and a Master of Education, all from UBC. Mrs. Fisher has taught in the North Vancouver, West Vancouver, and Coquitlam School districts and actually loves teaching the middle school years (Grades 6-8).The wife of a former VTT grad and mother of two active kids (who are both VTT students), Mrs. Fisher is excited to share her passion for teaching and learning at Talmud Torah.
He may be a humanities teacher, but Ryan Gluckman is anything but one-dimensional. Nature lover, outdoors enthusiast, world traveler, sports and news junky, recreational tennis player and avid cyclist are just some of the terms ascribed to him. Upon graduating from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Arts, Moreh Rafa spent many years nurturing all these passions, most notable of which was developing a long-term relationship with Kibbutz Lotan in Israel where he engaged in a myriad of creative ecology pursuits (e.g., organic gardening, alternative energy, mud domes, etc.).
In 2013, he went back to school to earn his teaching credential at SFU.
Moreh Rafa, a graduate of Edmonton Talmud Torah, fondly recalls his Jewish day school experience, and the lifelong friends he made there. He also spent many years involved in Jewish youth groups and summer camps.
Moreh Rafa is an unabashed Oilers fan despite their decade-long playoff drought.
He is also a proud father to a three-year old son, Elijah. His goal for last year was to bike regularly up either Granville or Oak Streets in time for class and without breaking too much of a sweat! Ask him how he did.
Last year, Ashley Maronik moved to Vancouver and is happy to be continuing to contribute to the VTT community for a second year.
Ashley was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario where she completed her educational degrees with a specialization in Aboriginal Studies and teaching students with special needs. Right after university, Ashley moved to Calgary where she spent nine years teaching full-time. Her various teaching roles have included grades 5-9 where she has been a generalist and humanities teacher. Ashley creates an inclusive classroom environment where students are encouraged to think creatively and critically.
When Ashley isn’t teaching you’ll see this creative being either painting, drawing, photographing urban life portraits, and exploring Vancouver’s outdoor west coast lifestyle.
Born and raised in Vancouver and a graduate of Southlands Elementary and Crofton House School, Meghan Schouten holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees (in physical & health education and science) from Queen’s University. In 2009, she moved to Queensland, Australia, to earn a graduate diploma in education. Ms. Schouten opted to teach in Australia due to its progressive ideas on 21st century learning. She then spent the following year putting theory into practice at an Australian public school.
As VTT’s Humanities/Tikkun Olam specialist for the intermediate grades, Ms. Schouten loves to create a dynamic learning environment focused on student-directed learning.
A competitive field hockey player, Ms. Schouten played for Queen’s varsity team and continues to play in a community league. She also skis, snowboards, swims, bikes, bakes, coaches and makes jewellery.
Ms. Schouten recently completed a Master’s degree in Education at UBC. Her focus has been on curriculum and leadership in an effort to continually improve her practice. Over the summer, she also got married–much to the delight and excitement of her adoring students!
Ms. Schouten is the Department Head for the intermediate grades.