The Tartak Learning Center is an educational resource center designed to support the Jewish educator. We offer lesson-planning ideas and curricular materials to Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion students, alumni, and Jewish professionals. The Tartak Learning Center is located in the Mercaz on the ground floor of the Los Angeles campus and is maintained by the Rhea Hirsch School of Education (RHSOE.)
The Tartak Learning Center was opened by the RHSOE in 1979 after the receipt of a generous gift from Shirley Tartak and the estate of her husband Paul. It served as a resource center where HUC-JIR students compiled lesson plans and materials for religious schools and informal education settings (e.g. camps and youth groups.) Throughout its years the Tartak Learning Center has expanded into a resource center for all students at HUC-JIR, principals and teachers in religious schools and day schools, adult educators, camp directors and counselors, communal service professionals, rabbis, and cantors.
Shirley Tartak's ongoing generosity sustained the Tartak Learning Center since its inception, most recently by providing funding for its directorship. It is with deep sadness that we acknowledge her death in January, 2013.
Today the Tartak Learning Center houses a collection of nearly 5,000 items, including books, curricula (published and student-written,) videos, music, and games.
Tartak Learning Center Historical Highlights
Current Staff Director: Lynn D. Flanzbaum Lynn is a 2005 graduate of the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at the Jack H. Skirball campus of HUC-JIR in Los Angeles, where she earned a Master of Arts degree in Jewish Education. As the director of the Tartak Learning Center she consults with students, alumni, and Jewish professionals on lesson planning, classroom management, program design and content, and curriculum development and implementation. Her responsibilities also include leading interactive programs on a variety of Jewish education topics and working to maintain this website.
As a lay leader at Temple Beth-El in Providence, RI, Lynn was an active teacher and learner within their Adult Enrichment program. She attended the URJ Summer Kallah nine times, where she got a preliminary taste of studying with HUC faculty members. The experience was instrumental in her eventual decision to pursue a career in Jewish education.
In 1980, Lynn received her bachelor's degree in Near Eastern Judaic Studies from Brandeis University. In 1987, Lynn earned a Master's degree in Business Administration from Northeastern University. She served as a Trust Operations Manager at a large New England bank for 10 years before her position was eliminated in 2000 after the bank was acquired.
Lynn returned to school and began the Year in Israel program at HUC-JIR Jerusalem in 2002. During her two years as a student at HUC-JIR Los Angeles, Lynn served as education intern at Temple Israel of Hollywood, and as family education and Hebrew tutoring coordinator at Temple Beth Sholom in Santa Ana. Upon her graduation from HUC-JIR, she received the Shirley M. Stahl Prize in Jewish Education.
Student Intern: Sharon Graetz Sharon Graetz is a third-year Joint Masters student at HUC-JIR in Los Angeles, studying Jewish Education and Jewish Non-Profit Management. She returned to California last year after several enriching years of living in Jerusalem; where, in addition to completing her year-in-Israel with HUC, she also developed a passion for studying Jewish texts at the Pardes Institute. Over the past few years, Sharon has embraced a wide array of leadership positions within the Jewish community, including teaching at various religious schools, working with teens in NFTY in Israel, and interning as a program specialist at Westside Jewish Community Center. In addition to interning at the Tartak Learning Center, Sharon is also an administrative intern at Temple Isaiah, Los Angeles, as well as an iCenter fellow, exploring innovative and engaging ways of approaching Israel education. Sharon is looking forward to graduation in May 2014, and a long, and hopefully illustrious, career in Jewish education. Sharon grew up in Walnut Creek, California. She received her BA in Latin American History from the University of California in Davis in 2008. Sharon lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Adam.