Remembering Morah Kathy

Religious School Blog

Our TBA community recently lost Kathy Decker, an active congregant known to many for her various roles around the Temple. In our Religious School, it would be difficult to find a child who has not tasted her challah at least once, at a service or event here at TBA. But Kathy was also Morah Kathy – a teacher currently leading an adult Hebrew Reading Crash Course, who came in to run special events such as Israel Spa Day or Challah baking classes from time to time, and who had taught younger students as a regular teacher in our Religious School for a number of years as well.

While most of our current Religious School students are just a little too young to remember Morah Kathy as a regular classroom teacher, many of our madrichim(teen aides) fondly remember her from the classroom. 

Erica I. (Mercaz) remembers Morah Kathy as her favorite Hebrew School teacher. “She’s the reason I liked coming to Hebrew School” in second and third grade, Erica recalls.  “Morah Kathy got everything, she would make everything fun.” Erica remembers purchasing a Hebrew to English dictionary because Morah Kathy recommended it, and notes that their relationship did not end after their time together in the classroom. Erica still ran up and hugged her every time she saw her at Temple, which was often.  “She was just such a nice person, “Erica says. “You could pick her voice out of the choir and it just made everyone so happy.”

Steven T. (Mercaz), who had Kathy as a morah three different years, also cherished their relationship long after she was his classroom teacher. She would email him photos of special challah that she thought he would enjoy, including one of a colorful American flag.

Andrea J. (Aleph) recalls: “I knew her as Morah Kathy. A great teacher, role model, and overall great woman. Maybe it’s because I always saw her smiling. Someone so happy and always helping, I loved being around her. My fondest memories of her consist of the extravagant “Israel Day” activities she put together. Every room in the Temple was filled with beautiful products and stations based on and from Israel. On my bat mitzvah, I was a nervous wreck. She came and pulled me aside and showed me something. She told me, “I wanted to do something special for you,” and she lifted, yes, a challah cover. She had made a Giant “A” with chocolate chips and glaze, just the way she knew I loved. The way she lived and decided to see the world was extraordinary. Always positive, lively and most importantly, she had a beautiful open heart, full of love for everyone she cared for. I’m glad because I knew her and grateful for an inspiration like her to be around.”

We are all feeling the loss of Morah Kathy in some way, but we were blessed to her in our lives, and she leaves a loving legacy of service and caring in our school and our greater community. Morah Kathy, you are missed.