Ask former students about memories Magen Avos and the most popular answer, after ” Color War” will be the yearly melave malka / kumzits with Menahelet Simon playing guitar and telling stories by the flickering candle lights. Mrs. Devorah Simon believes that the way to be teach children is to inspire them, through personal example, genuine caring, abiding enthusiasm, challenging and relevant lessons and through music. Even the recess bells are excerpts from songs that change monthly according to the Jewish calendar!
Mrs. Simon has worked in education for thirty years, beginning in Bais Yaakov of Queens, then Yeshiva Academy of Queens, TAG and Beth Tefilla of Baltimore. She also coordinated the Kew Gardens Bnos Chapter, was very active in JEP programs for unaffiliated Jewish children and worked in Camps Sternberg, Bnos Yehudah and Chedvah. Upon moving to Israel in 1989, she ran a preschool program, English studies after school programs and taught post high school students in Bnos Chayil Seminary.
When Rabbi Simon founded Magen Avos Yeshiva and Bais Yaakov soon after their move to Beit Shemesh in 1996, Mrs. Simon took over the running of the Bais Yaakov, infusing the staff and students with the Bais Yaakov spirit upon which she had been nurtured and building a school with a high academic standard that simultaneously provides an environment that encourages social and emotional growth in the students. She has since had much nachas from the beautiful graduates the school has produced, including the several who are now successful teachers on her staff.
Mrs Simon (nee Ochs) was born and raised in Kew Gardens, New York. She attended Bais Yaakov of Queens, earned a teaching degree in Breuer’s Seminary in Washington Heights, a BA in Psychology in Queens College and studied School Psychology and Testing in the Masters program.
Mrs. Simon attributes much of the success of the derech of the girls’ school to the wonderful role models that she had in Rabbi Moshe Newman and Mrs. Zehava Somerstein as a student and teacher in Bais Yaakov of Queens.