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Changing of the guard at the board of education

  • RabbiRickySeeff
The South African Board of Jewish Education (SABJE) is restructuring its executive body, appointing the principal of King David Victory Park (KDVP) Primary, Rabbi Ricky Seeff, as general director to replace Rabbi Craig Kacev.
by JORDAN MOSHE | Jun 20, 2019

The SABJE announced the appointment last week. Seeff has been principal of Victory Park Primary for six years. Kacev has been general director of the SABJE for the past sixteen years.

Kacev will be re-deployed in a new position on the executive from January 2020, overseeing the implementation of strategic initiatives aimed at developing the King David school network.

The decision is in line with the SABJE’s vision and goals, says SABJE chairperson Eli Atie. “The Board’s responsibility is long-term succession planning for the organisation, and the delivery of key objectives at King David schools,” he says. “Over the past ten years, we’ve made significant investment in the infrastructure and educational offerings of our schools, including the establishment of King David Ariel remedial school, and teacher development.”

Atie says these initiatives include continuous curriculum advancement, and the development of skills relevant to today’s workplace. In addition, they bolster the Jewish and Zionist ethos of King David schools.

To leverage off its investments, the board felt it necessary to appoint someone to drive appropriate strategic initiatives. “There is nobody better than Rabbi Kacev to drive them,” says Atie.

Under Kacev’s leadership, SABJE schools have grown steadily, maintaining academic standards across the board. The SABJE has expanded its footprint, most recently by opening King David Ariel, the first local Jewish remedial school, which is in its second year of operation.

“Rabbi Seeff has been a superstar in his role at Victory Park for some time, and was identified as a long-term player suitable for a broader role,” says Atie. “This was an opportunity to take him into the broader environment of all 11 schools.”

Seeff matriculated from King David Linksfield High School, after which he completed a degree in engineering and received his rabbinic ordination. Prior to his appointment as principal, he taught in the King David high schools, and was the board’s director of Jewish Life before becoming the head of Victory Park Primary. Seeff is now completing his masters in Education through Yeshiva University.

Kacev says he has been working closely with Seeff for some time to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities. “Rabbi Seeff has achieved great things,” he says. “The change is fitting in light of his own personal growth in the SABJE system, both as student and educator.”

Kacev says his new position has no title as such, and stresses that it is neither a promotion nor a demotion. “The 3 300 students in our care are foremost, not titles,” he says. “The schools in our network are the core of the Jewish community which surrounds them, and need to be developed constantly.”

With Seeff’s change of position, the search has begun for a new principal for KDVP primary school.

Atie says the search could take between two to three months. “Rabbi Seeff remains in the school environment, and will assist in the recruitment of a replacement,” he says. “We will keep people up to date. These are big shoes to fill, but we are confident that we will find the right fit.”

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