NYHS welcomes Rabbi and Mrs. Hason


Rabbi and Mrs. Hason with their three kids

This past summer, Rabbi Tzuri and Mrs. Hannah Hason, along with their three children, moved to Seattle to become full-time Judaics faculty at NYHS. 

Rabbi Hason is currently the director of student activities, Talmud teacher, and Torat chaim teacher, and Mrs. Hason is the Tanach and tefilat nashim teacher. The Hasons both say that they feel the year is going well, and they are excited about all the student activities they have planned. 

The family settled in Seward Park for several reasons, including the tight-knit, family-like community, the proximity of their childrens’ friends and the small size. They were also happy to immediately be welcomed into the community. Mrs. Hason explained that for the first two weeks after they had arrived, they didn’t have to cook any meals, which she was very grateful for.

Rabbi Hason did not grow up observant and Mrs. Hason grew up reform and through their curiosity and willingness to learn more about Judaism, and after traveling and having many life-changing experiences, they both started to become more religious. Now, they are Orthodox Zionists. 

Before moving to Seattle, the Hason family was living in Sunnyvale, CA, where they were both teachers in their local Jewish middle school. “We liked it but just didn’t think it would work out there, and the job here was better,” said Rabbi Hason. He also explained that at their previous school, they were observing that the people in their shul community were gradually moving away, and they didn’t want that kind of community for their family. Here, they mostly attend Sephardic Bikur Cholim, while sometimes attending Bikur Cholim Machzikay Hadath. They love the communities and are very happy that they are in growing and thriving congregations. 

When asked what struck him about the Hasons, NYHS Head of School Jason Feld explained that, “they are Modern Orthodox religious Zionists, which is very important to us. Their willingness and eagerness to form relationships with students… [is] something we pay very close attention to.” 

“During my interview, Mr. Feld said we’re small, but we’re excellent, and we expect excellence and we want excellent teachers and we have excellent kids, and that that struck me,” said Mrs. Hason. “I want to be part of that. I want to be part of this type of culture.” 

Having full-time Jewish teachers was essential for the school. “From everything from teaching to student activities to tefillah to student life to advisory, having enough Jewish faculty to meet the needs of our students is a top priority,” said Rachel Rosenfeld, vice president of the NYHS board. Additionally, students at NYHS are fortunate to once again have full-time Jewish teachers who are not solely involved with academics, but also with student activities. “I think it’s great, the more Jewish educators we have the better, said senior Emma Almo. “Not only are they great educators but they also make the school a more fun environment.” 

The Hasons are passionate about their involvement in the school, especially since NYHS hasn’t had very many husband-wife full-time Judaics teachers. Although last year NYHS had Rabbi and Mrs. Rothstein as a full-time Judaics teaching couple, Mrs. Rothstein moved to another position at SHA this school year. The Hasons are excited to bring their involvement into the school in all areas. They hope to, “make sure Judaism is engraved in everything [and] that it becomes part of the school culture all the time no matter what we’re doing,” said Mrs. Hason. They also hope that students will feel open with them and be excited to share their experiences, journeys, struggles and successes. 

Feld explained that it is important to him that the students have both in the classroom and out-of-classroom experiences, and is excited that within the first three weeks, they have had a full day hike for the freshmen, a two-day camping and hiking masa (trip) for the seniors and a school-wide challah bake. “I’m encouraged that it doesn’t feel like they’ve only been here for a few weeks,” he said. “I kind of feel like I’ve known the Hasons for a few years, and that’s a credit to who they are as educators.”