January 2022

Creating Sacred Space

Shira Hecht-Koller
Director of Education
929 English New York, NY
Shira Hecht-Koller, is an educator, attorney and writer. She is currently Director of Education for 929 English, an educational start-up and global platform for the study of Tanakh. She brings with her over fifteen years of experience teaching Jewish Studies and designing interdisciplinary curricula in the classroom and immersive learning environments, following her practice of corporate law. She teaches, writes and speaks on topics of Bible, Jewish law, family life and creativity. Her photography illustrates The Jewish Journey Haggadah and she is at work on a children’s book with artist Hanoch Piven. She is also an avid tennis fan and loves hiking and exploring the world with her husband Aaron and children Dalya, Shachar, Amitai and Aiden.
When we plan our educational spaces with deliberation and intention we can make room for the sacred.

Creating sacred space refers to deliberately defining, giving express purpose to, and sanctifying space through restriction/limitation. After having spent many years teaching in a variety of different settings—both formal and informal—and after more than 20 years of building a home as a laboratory for my family’s growth and education, I am prompted to step back and reflect on the principles that underlie the spaces we design and the practices they inform. We construct spaces all the time. How deliberate are we about their purpose? Do we infuse them with sanctity? If so, are we conscious of how we might preserve that sanctity? Offering educators and parents alike a practical toolkit, a set of practices, and questions for reflection offers me the chance to be an architect for the sacred spaces constructed by others.

Shira Hecht Koller.mp3