From the Educator
March is a busy time here at Temple Or Rishon. There is a ton of stuff going on, both with the education program and with the temple in general.
Make sure you take a moment to read about the Purim celebrations that will be happening soon! The play will be super cute, and the car- nival will be lots of fun for the kids.
With the changes in our temple administration came an expansion of my position. In addition to being the educator, I am also responsible for most of the events, communications, and calendaring that happens at TOR.
In my most recent blog post, I asked for feedback from the parents of our congregation. I’m excerpting the post below as I think it is important and the feedback of the entire congregation is huge as well. So, although this may reference classroom and lessons in particular, I’d love the feedback of other members in areas of pro- gramming as a whole.
“We are partners in this endeavor. It is only when we work together, families and temple school, that we can create positive experiences and educate our children. With that being said, I need your help. Over the next few months and years, I would like to take the time to deliberately evaluate our educational program. I would like to craft and build a curriculum that makes sense for us. Something that is in line with our purpose as Temple Or Rishon. Doing this requires the thoughtful participa- tion of teachers, parents, other members of our com- munity, the Rabbi, and myself. I hope that many of you will want to be a part of this great project.
One small way that you can participate is by simply providing feedback. I know it can be dangerous to ask for feedback – sometimes you hear things you don’t want to hear! So, I will place a couple of parameters on the feedback I request.
Second – Please be as specific as possible and provide an example not only of what you have observed, but also an example of what you think it should look like (if it is a negative item). When I receive feedback like “the lesson isn’t engaging,” I don’t necessarily know what “engaging” looks like to you. Help me to understand what it is that you are looking for.
Third – Please be open to the responses that I provide. One thing that I have learned in the past 2 years is that Jewish religious education doesn’t look like traditional public education. And it shouldn’t. We aren’t simply try- ing to stuff our kids with information and expect them to be able to immediately use it. Teaching kids to “be Jewish” takes a lot more than drilling Hebrew prayers and memorizing blessings. It is tapping into feelings and emotions. So, I ask that you be open - minded about the fact that sometimes it’s okay if things look different than you are used to.”
Ultimately, we want to make sure that everyone feels that Temple Or Rishon is a place where they are learn- ing and growing as Jewish individuals and Jewish fami- lies. As we move forward as a congregation, I hope that you will share your hopes and dreams with me. Togeth- er, we will make TOR the best that it can be.