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Yom Sheini, 4 Adar 5778
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18 December 2015

Religious School is Amazing!

By Abra Lee, Religious School Director

We’ve been having a blast as we’ve watched our learning theme for the year play out.  The theme this year is Amazement. Through creative lesson planning, engaging new programs, and informal experiences for students and their families, our goal is to inspire the sense of amazement within our learners.  We aim to nurture within each student the ability to notice moments of “wow” and to appreciate those moments with an attitude of gratitude.  For example, each week, during Learner’s Minyan, 4th and 5th grade students are invited to share a “wow” moment, something special that happened for which they are thankful.  And, each week, I am reminded how fortunate I am to work with these incredible children, who do indeed notice the most amazing moments. Of course, each week one student is thankful for a sports victory or a new game they received and are eager to conquer.  And every week, at least one student shares that he or she is thankful for family, for friends and the many great blessing we enjoy every day.

The word amazing is defined as causing great surprise or wonder. Shouldn’t Torah education be AMAZING? It’s so much fun to watch the look of surprise on a child’s face when she learns a new fact or when he hears a story from our tradition that reminds him of something that he has experienced in his own life.  It’s even more fun to watch the wonder as they consider a new idea and make connections between prior knowledge and new learning. That little light bulb that you can almost see pop up above her head… that’s AMAZING.

How we make ancient Jewish ritual and practice relevant for today’s learners can make all the difference in a child’s development of his own Jewish identity.  Learners in 2015 are different and therefore our approach to learning in 2015 must be different.  With each program and each lesson, we challenge ourselves and our entire faculty team to inspire “wow” and to nurture the spirit.

I’d like to know… What makes you say, “Wow?”

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