There are so many new things this time of year. The school year begins, the kids are in new grades with new teachers, new classmates and new experiences. Rosh Hashana, our New Year, gives us pause to reflect on the past and jump into the new.
On the one hand, as a parent of three school-age children and a baby, the beginning of the year causes me some anxiety… do we have the right school supplies, shoes that fit, clothing that is deemed fashionable (by my kids), can we get back into a routine, do I really have to make lunches and pack backpacks and how challenging will getting up and ready for work and getting the kids out the door be?!
On the other hand, as an educator, I relish the new opportunities to create, engage and inspire our students and teachers. Every new school year we receive a gift to begin again – to start something new, look at something we learned in the past and explore it through a different lens. The newness and freshness of the new year is exuberating and exhilarating in Jewish education. I know I have reflected on this before, beginning the School year at the same time as the Yamim Noraim (Days of Awe) is truly special, we can juxtapose and examine the Holidays with the new beginning of the school year.
At the JLC we have so many new things I can’t wait to share with all of our students, families and the greater Shomrei community. For starters, we have a fabulous staff with new teachers in the K-2 class and 3-5th grade class, a new Hebrew teacher, a new music teacher and Rishon. This year’s teaching staff will work together collaboratively throughout the year as we embark on different ways to educate our students in a way where they don’t just learn about a topic; rather they experience it through all of their senses. We will supplement the current Hebrew Program that focuses on prayer with Hebrew Through Movement a method of teaching modern Hebrew where our students get up out of their seats and are constantly moving. We also will have monthly family programming on Sundays to engage all learners in the family unit, exploring holidays, Jewish Culture, art and music together. One Sunday a month, all JLC students will come together and participate in activities related to the value of the month and create a group art installation.
With so many new programs and parts ahead of us, I look forward to a fabulous new school year and Jewish Year!