Interviewing Ms. Illana Wilner: Tanakh and Talmud

DN: Where did you grow up work before Ramaz? 


Ms. Wilner: I grew up in New Rochelle and was part of the first graduating class at SAR. I attended YU Stern, majoring in English and Judaic studies, and was Student Council Vice President. I went on to teach Judaic studies at SAR for two years. I later moved to LA and became the director of student activities at Shalhevet, a Jewish Girls’ high school.I came back from LA and worked in YU admissions. It was very cool to be part of the college admissions process. I worked with students at a pivotal time in their lives, allowing me to see the core of their identities and personalities. I formed great relationships with Stern and YU students.


DN: What subjects/courses are you teaching at school?


I teach 9th-grade Talmud, 10th-grade JLT, 11th-grade Tanach, and two senior electives. One of them is “Campus life and Halacha,” which comprises Halachic issues that may come about in college or dorms. The other elective is “Woman and Halacha,” which explores Jewish legal laws. 


DN: What do you love about working at Ramaz? What inspires you to be a teacher? 


I look forward to seeing my students and their perspectives on Jewish sources. I try to have as much participation as possible in my classes. My courses’ material primarily consists of sources that allow students to form conclusions on how halacha connects to their lives. The knowledge we learn is only meaningful and will stick with us if we can connect to it.