TDSP Appoints Rabbi Aryeh Cohen to be Head of School

TDSP had some exciting news this week. The Board of Directors announced that Rabbi Aryeh Cohen, of Detroit, Michigan, has accepted TDSP’s offer to be the new Head of School.

Rabbi Cohen will start in July 2023.

Rabbi Cohen is currently the Menahel of the Boys Division of Yeshiva Bais Yehuda in Detroit, a school of over 1300 students. He has worked in Chinuch, both as a principal and a Rebbe, for over 30 years. He is known as a sagacious and caring administrator and a “very beloved person” in the Detroit community.

 Rabbi Cohen was offered the position after a nationwide search to find the right Head of School for TDSP.

In November 2022, after Rabbi Field announced that he was stepping down as Head of School, the Board of Directors appointed a Search Committee to find a new Head of School.

Headed by Mr. Eliyahu Ickovic, the Committee comprised of Morah Nechama Ungar, Morah Hadassah Mandel, Rabbi Yonah Roth, and Mrs. Gaby Friedman. The members of the Committee established a candidate profile of the qualities and characteristics that would suit TDSP’s operations as well as a scorecard to use to review the applicants. Additionally, they reached out to organizations and people all over the United States to find suitable candidates. The Committee reviewed many resumes and conducted Zoom interviews with several candidates, and bought out a number of candidates to Phoenix to interview in person.

After coming to Phoenix with his wife, Rebbetzin Sara Tova Cohen, and meeting and impressing staff members, TDSP families, as well as community Rabbis, Rabbi Cohen emerged as the clear frontrunner of all the candidates.

The TDSP Board of Directors unanimously voted to offer Rabbi Cohen the position.

“His passion for education and his sincerity are the qualities that we think make him the right person for the position, said Mr. Ickovic.

Rabbi Cohen was in Phoenix this week to begin transition planning with Rabbi Field, and to attend a welcome dinner hosted by the Board.

At the dinner, Rabbi Cohen spoke about Parshas Hachodesh, which is this week’s additional Parsha.

“This is the first mitzvah that Klal Yisroel were given,” said Rabbi Cohen. “We, as a nation, were given a unique ability to control the time to be Mechadesh and make things new. The concept of not getting stuck in the same old…is a power given to Bnai Yisroel. But what that means is, we take everything that was done in the past, and we build on that. We have the ability to create, but it has to be based on what came before.”

Rabbi Cohen explained that when Bnai Yisroel left Mitzrayim, they told Pharoah, “Binareinu uBizkeineinu Neilech.” These words are typically translated as “We will go out with our youth and our elders.”

Rabbi Cohen described a deeper meaning of the posuk:

“Our way of life is looking at our elders, learning and taking guidance from our elders, but focusing on our youth, on the future….  The Chodosh (newness) that we are looking to build (at TDSP) is based on the tremendous foundation that has been here, and that has been done so amazingly.”

Rabbi Cohen will IYH be visiting Phoenix several times over the next few months before he moves with his family in July. He will be working closely on transition planning with Rabbi Field and Rabbi Yehoshua Levy of Torah Umesorah.

 A community-wide event for parents to meet Rabbi Cohen is being planned for after Pesach. We hope you will all be able to attend and get to know Rabbi Cohen a little better.

Mazel Tov Rabbi Cohen on this new position. We are so excited to have you join TDSP!