My name is Jude Kassar, and I am the Interim Education Director for this year at Shaarie Torah. I already know many of you from religious school, where my kids are going into 3rd and 5th grade. I am very excited for the upcoming year. Rabbi Rose and I have already been hard at work shaping up the program for the year to come. I wanted to share a few details with you here.
K-5th grade: Shabbat School
As you know this year our K-5th grade Religious School will meet weekly on Shabbat instead of on Sunday. As Rabbi has shared with you, we think that this change will create new opportunities for kids not only to learn but also to connect to Shabbat in a meaningful way and to experience Jewish community in a new and deeper way.
While Shabbat will change some aspects of what happens in the classroom, what will not change is the shul’s commitment to teaching kids about the Jewish tradition, helping them explore Jewish identity and values, and making sure that they have fun while they learn. Kids will still spend some time with the Rabbi, will still have a classroom teacher for more formal learning but will also have opportunities for learning through movement and creative expression. Finally, we will incorporate some of the regular Shabbat morning service into our curriculum as well as our Hebrew studies and Jewish learning both in and out of the classroom.
We think we have a wonderful year of learning and sharing as a community together.
6th-12th grade: Wednesday Night School
With our older students we will continue the Shaarie Torah tradition of gathering on Wednesday nights for a meal together followed by learning and discussion. As in the past the curriculum will be a combination of discussion of current events through a Jewish lens, learning some traditional Jewish concepts and values, periodic engagement in the broader community and, of course, a lot of socializing and fun.
As Interim Education Director my focus will be on shaping a successful and meaningful year of Jewish learning for the kids in our community. Along with Rabbi Rose I want to build on the wonderful traditions of our shul but also to keep an eye out for new opportunities. I want to develop a program that can plant the seeds of success that can grow into the future at Shaarie Torah.
I welcome your ideas, comments, contributions and participation. Please feel free to contact me and share.
Please register for the youth programming using the links below. I look forward to seeing you all in the Fall.
(All the best),