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Youth Education


A message from Rabbi Rachel Marks, Associate Rabbi, Director of Congregational Learning

July 2020
Av 5780

Dear Congregation Shalom Families,
I am writing to provide you with some critical information about our congregation’s educational programs for the coming school year.

When thinking through the decision of whether or not we could start our programs “in person”, we first considered the health and safety of our community.  We also considered the ikar, the essence of the Religious/Hebrew School experiences.  Though the content that we teach is important, the ikar, the essence of the experience is in the feeling of connectedness and belonging that we get when we sing and pray together in the sanctuary, when our children laugh together in the hallways, and when we stretch our minds and our hearts as we strive to become more in tune with our sacred heritage.  

Therefore, we have made the decision to offer virtual education to our learners of all ages come fall, and will continue with virtual education until the circumstances are such that we feel it is physically safe, and also conducive to our goals to return to our building.

The situation in which we find ourselves is challenging.  I know that for many of your children, the experience of Religious and/or Hebrew School on Zoom was challenging, to say the least.  It was challenging on our end too.  

Our team has spent the better part of the summer reimagining our programs and planning innovate and engaging educational opportunities that are designed specially with Zoom learning in mind.  Many of our teachers, who prior to this experience never considered themselves to be “tech savvy,” have spent much of their free time engaged in professional development in order to learn the skills necessary to teach your children in an engaging and effective manner online.

I encourage you to please visit the "Religious and Hebrew School" tab, there you'll find the details about the content and format for each grade for both Religious and Hebrew School in the coming year.  You'll notice that we've made some pretty significant adjustments.

It is our sincere hope that you’ll choose us, once again, to partner with you in transmitting our sacred tradition to your precious children.

All that being said, please do reach out to me with questions or concerns.  We are here to enhance the Jewish life of your children and your family.  We hope the programs we’ve outlined will serve that purpose during the course of this ongoing pandemic.

I’m looking forward to “seeing you” again this fall.

Kol Tuv,
Rabbi Rachel

Mon, August 2 2021 24 Av 5781