Where does “doing Jewish” happen in your family? Within the realm of Jewish education, whether it be in a day school or a supplemental school, I have seen the pendulum swing from only “cognitive learning” Judaism to “feel good” Judaism. That pendulum has swung back and forth over the years; however, the underlying theme has always been to instill the love of being Jewish!
At Temple Solel, we want our students to love being Jewish. The foundation on which the love of Judaism is built has to come with Jewish knowledge. The knowledge has to be taught, so that as Reform Jews, we can make intelligent choices as to what our practices will look like. Why do we do what we do! Do we have special meals around the New Year, build a Sukkah, dance with the Torah, study Torah, celebrate Hanukkah, listen to the Megillah, have a Seder, celebrate a Brit, a Brit Bat or a B’nai Mitzvah? Do we take the time to celebrate Shabbat; light the candles, drink wine/grape juice, and share challah? What are your wonderful family practices and do you share with your children the stories behind each celebration? The more you can share your Jewish journey with your children, the more the family will feel connected to their Jewish history, and the more your children will want to establish the pathway to their own Jewish journey. “Doing Jewish” happens in the Temple to be sure, “doing Jewish” in the home can be a strong influence on the Jewish identity of your child.
Over the summer, I will be meeting with our faculty, building the curriculum and establishing new, fun and interactive opportunities for our students. As of now, I have not set a date for a Temple Solel religious school retreat as I am waiting to see how the summer camps “come back.”
The high school youth groups from all of the Reform Temples are meeting to plan and work together on NFTY events plus special activities for our high school students; each Temple planning one event. This is an exciting new venture for all of us and we look forward with excitement to bringing our teens together.
If you had a student in grades 1-6, please return the textbooks given to them last year. We will be ordering soon for the new school year and want to have an accurate count of what we need.
Have a safe summer! Make each Shabbat a sweet one.
Director of Raker Religious School