Recalling my Jewish day school years, I frequently felt shamed by my inability to thoroughly understand the content from the Book Of The Prophets or the study of Talmud. I struggled through Jewish study classes taught mostly in Hebrew. When there was a time constraint, my Hebrew teacher would skip over me because I took longer than most of the others. I accepted my disadvantage against students who were more observant, more integrated into the modern orthodox life and more kosher.(View full post.)
This school endorsed one way of practicing Judaism. I recall telling my parents: ‘We aren’t supposed to turn on lights on the Sabbath. We aren’t supposed to light candles after it’s already dark.’ I was in a continual state of confusion. No one ever explained to me that there is no right or wrong way to be Jewish. As a result, I wanted to disengage from everything and everyone Jewish. I missed out on years of connection simply due to a lack of understanding.
When I became a Hebrew School teacher after college to supplement my income, I was challenged to bring all I knew about Judaism to children who were dropped off by parents who wanted an experience for their child, they couldn’t or didn’t want to provide themselves. I saw myself in these students – disengaged, uninspired and confused.
I found creative ways to teach the subjects, infusing the ancient scripture and stories with relevant messages and personal significance. My rediscovery of Jewish pride was infectious.
I feel drawn to help children understand the concepts of the Jewish holidays more deeply. My goal with this Rosh Hashana Video For Young Families is to ignite new thinking and feelings about the beauty and meaning in Jewish tradition. It covers 25 Hebrew vocabulary words associated with the holiday, 5 songs, 5 prayers, 4 shofar calls, 3 stories, 3 self-growth messages, and 45 minutes of Jewish pride. Sneak Preview link.
No stage in our lives is more important than childhood to develop an understanding of the world and our place within it. I never felt like I fit into the Jewish world until I became an adult. Challenge yourself to stimulate your children’s natural curiosity about their Jewish world and clarify how beautifully they fit in, just the way they are.