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10 Things You’ll Find in Mr. Sigal’s New Office

Meet Mr. Ofier Sigal, the new General Studies Principal of North Shore Hebrew Academy. Mr. Sigal started out as a science teacher in the Bronx and Manhattan; worked as the assistant principal of the Solomon Schechter School of Queens; and most recently served as the director of operations for two charter schools in the Bronx. He’s passionate about science, reading, and giving students a premier educational experience. Mr. Sigal is also a world traveler, who values family, appreciates office hacks that make his work smoother, and always roots for the underdog. He welcomed us into his new office to share ten inspiring, utilitarian, and cheerful items that are essential parts of his work space.

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1. Return of the Jedi Poster

“I’m a big Star Wars geek, and this movie has always resonated with me. In Return of the Jedi, the Jedi must come back to beat the empire – or else the good guys will be wiped off of the galaxy.  I love seeing the underdog win.”

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2. Photo of my daughter and me at the beach

 
“On a trip to Florida to visit my parents, my daughter, Tali, and I took a walk on the beach. In this shot, she’s two years old, holding my hand, and looking up at me. I love that my wife captured this endearing moment.”

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3. Catcher in the Rye

 
“I re-read my copy from ninth grade at least once every other year.  Holden, the narrator, is a kid who is going through a crisis and trying to handle it on his own. Then he realizes that he’s in over his head and needs to ask for help.  His voice is so real and his story is very relatable.”

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4. Pearl Jam Music

 
“I am a huge Pearl Jam fan, and have seen them perform 28 times. I love the whole “Grunge” movement from the early 1990s, including Nirvana and Soundgarden. I listen to music while I work, and seeing live concerts, big or small, is one of my greatest thrills.”

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5. Portrait by my Son

 
“When my son, Rami, was in the first grade, he drew a picture of me, wearing a blue shirt – which I almost always wear – with a tie and wrote, ‘I love you.’ My wife framed it for Father’s Day, and ever since, I’ve hung it in my office.”

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6. African Mask

 
“While working as the Director of Operations at the New Visions Charter High School for the Humanities, I helped raise $60,000 for a student trip to Senegal. The students were all African American and wanted to explore their roots. Because the trip took place during Pesach, I wasn’t able to attend but the students returned with a carved wooden African mask for me. It reminds me of our hard work, and the incredible stories the students shared with me.”

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7. Volcanic Rocks from around the World

 
“While I was working as a science teacher, I received a grant to compare the volcanic rocks of the Galapagos Islands to those in Hawaii. The research involved sitting on a beautiful beach for three weeks with my wife. It’s incredible to see the earth in its natural state – to witness a volcano erupting, the cauldron bubbling, and the lava flowing. I also have volcanic rocks from Iceland and Ecuador.”

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8. Where the Wild Things Are

 
“When I arrived in the United States at age five, my parents and I could not read any English.  A teacher gave me a copy of Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, and thanks to the detailed pictures, I understood the simple but complex story. It became my favorite book of all time. When I met Mr. Sendak and told him my personal story, he said that it made him happy that he helped an immigrant boy enjoy books. He signed my copy of Where the Wild Things Are, which inspired my love of collecting first-edition autographed picture books.”

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9. Krav Maga Team Photo

 
“About a year ago, I started Legion, an organization that brings together 60 men and women in New York to become trained Krav Maga fighters. Through the Israeli hand-to-hand martial arts course, we learn how to defend ourselves, our families and our communities, against physical attacks, and how to subdue our attackers.”

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10. Standing Desk 

 
“This is a desk that sits atop my regular desk, and lets me go from sitting to standing – and still working – within 30 seconds. Being on my feet and physically active gets the blood flowing and helps me think better.”