Rachel Werba, who taught first grade at Yavneh Hebrew Academy for nearly 30 years and substituted at the school for many years, died March 27 at the age of 86. Yavneh is an Orthodox day school in Hancock Park.
On Facebook and e-mail, former students (including this reporter) remembered Werba’s passion for teaching and her love for her students. They recalled her annual Chanukah play, the party where students received their first prayer book, and her system of teaching the aleph bet with M&Ms as rewards.
Werba was born in Poland in 1924 and moved to Israel as a young child. She began her teaching career in Israel, where she married and had three children, Moshe, Orli and Jacob. She continued teaching when the family moved to Mexico in 1960 and then Los Angeles in 1963.
Werba’s daughter, Orli Walch, and granddaughter, Jessica Walch, both became teachers.
Werba is survived by her three children and seven grandchildren.