Dear Temple Israel Families,
“There are an infinite number of ways to learn that may surprise a person. I learn from animals, I learn from small children, I learn from hurt, I learn from joy. All the world is a school, if only I will let myself be taught.”
This beautiful quote by Rabbi Chaim Stern reminds us that each interaction we have in this life has the potential to teach us great things about ourselves, our world, and our Judaism. Educators and schools endlessly surround us—the key is to seek out those multi-vocal guides and to celebrate their unique and distinct wisdom that can help shape who we can become in this world.
This past academic year, our youngest congregants, our children, traversed an innovative and unfamiliar journey full of exciting changes and unique pathways at Temple Israel. During Sunday School, our clergy team pioneered a distinct component by engaging our kids in meaningful discussions about middot (Jewish values) and through spirited liturgy with shira (Jewish music).
Tuesday afternoon Hebrew School—a massive shift in culture, afforded our students with dedicated weekly sessions devoted solely to the acquisition of the Hebrew Language in fun and interactive ways.
“Yom Kef” (Day of Fun) successfully gathered monthly on Shabbat to connect and encourage families to strengthen our Jewish youth community through experiential and hands-on activities with an intergenerational approach.
Throughout all of these changes, I don’t believe anyone could have predicted the most radical innovation that faced our school, the shift to digital learning that we navigated from March-June. But as a community, we rose to the occasion and our students did as well. With continued Sunday and Hebrew School as well as the addition of a weekly “Parents Brunch and Learn,” Temple Israel has moved into this new normal with enthusiasm, improvement, and the intention to thrive.
Looking forward to Fall, I hope you will join me in continuing our support for growing and strengthen our TI youth community. Just as this letter began, we must remind our kids (and ourselves) that learning can happen all around us when we are present and mindful of the teachers and lessons that surround our lives daily. Let us each go forward and teach! L’Shalom (In peace),
Rabbi Amy L. Morrison