Yocheved Sidof

Brooklyn, NYC

Bridge-builder. Community-activist. Dreamer-and-doer. Yocheved Sidof has been enamored with the question “what makes people tick?” since her eleven-year-old self discovered an Introduction to Psychology textbook in her grandparents home. Born in a snowy Midwestern town to Iranian immigrants, Yocheved was the only person of Middle Eastern descent in the insular, Hasidic Jewish school she attended. In her formative years, she learnt to straddle multiple identities-- simultaneously wearing ‘Insider’ and ‘Outsider’ personas throughout her younger years, boarding school and university in the Big Apple. After graduating magna cum laude, Yocheved followed her passions to a doctorate program in Clinical Psychology. Following a year of classes, research, and clinical work she felt unsettled-- where is my creative voice in all this? Yocheved jumped off the more-predictable path of academia and embraced the arts of photography, filmmaking and experiential education, advocating for self-actualization of fellow “underdogs” through increased education and creativity. In 2010, compelled to challenge normative models and create a school for her eldest child, Yocheved founded Lamplighters Yeshivah, a ground-breaking Montessori school where she’s currently CEO. Under her leadership, Lamplighters grew from a hopeful endeavour to a fast-growing movement in education reform, proving a progressive, research-based model can flourish in a change-averse community-- that each child can develop into a whole individual. Lamplighters is a "lab school", consisting of preschool and elementary programs, as well as a high school prototype and teacher training arm. Lamplighters combines religious education, Montessori methodology, behavioral science and radical transparency (through its unique "Visible Classroom" program) to fully customize the learning environment for each child, while providing a replicable model that can be used by teachers and learners from all kinds of religious and ethnic backgrounds. Yocheved and her team train, consult, and provide curricula for diverse schools, with a focus on religious and ethnic communities facing similar challenges of insularity and adaptive change. She is a sought-out writer, speaker and facilitator on the intersection of innovation and tradition, helping to shed light on issues related to child development and women's roles that are vital and often ignored in communities resisting change. Yocheved, wife and mother of five, was selected as a Wexner Field Fellow in 2017 and one of The Jewish Week’s 36 Under 36 of 2014 for her pioneering mission and achievement in social entrepreneurship. Most recently, she was awarded the Preston Award for her exceptional body of work in Seth Godin’s altMBA. She’s still enamored with the same questions that propelled her throughout her journey - though now, she’s voicing her questions aloud, a rally cry for fellow rabble-rousers, empowered to illuminate the world. Yocheved is a regular contributor to hevria.com

Subjects of expertise:

Education Reform 

Hassidut

Women’s Leadership

Experiential Education

Relationships/Sexuality

Target audience is teens and up

Sample teaching:

Video

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