Final Preparations

We are less than one week away from our first day of Religious School.  Now is the time for details, details, and more details!  Class lists, room reservations, first day programming, books and curriculum adjustments…so much last-minute stuff to do!

  Last week, our fabulous staff met and talked about their plans for this year.  A new (and very different) 3rd grade curriculum has arrived and we are delighted with it.  Etgar teachers are putting the final touches on their 6th grade “Yom Rishon at Hag-worts” program for the first day.  I have organized our new madrachim program and sent out invitations, hoping for a great response by our teen role models.  All of our teachers are learning how to blog and to use the smartboards in the classrooms.

I hope that parents will also make some preparations:  get in the habit of checking out our webpage often – our best communication is only effective if you take the time to read it!  Beginning next week, I’ll be posting a newsletter every Thursday (I’ll send a reminder).  Older newsletters will now also be available for viewing.  Check our Facebook page for pictures and videos of your children in action!  And, if you haven’t already gotten your registration forms filled out and sent back to me, please do so as soon as possible so that we have all necessary information about your child on the very first day of school.  It is very important to us so that we can make your child as comfortable as possible right away.

I’m looking forward to seeing all of “my” children this coming week!




Posted in School happenings | Leave a comment

Getting Started!

Schools are beginning, and there is a definite sense of excitement in the air!  On the way to work, I once again see yellow school buses and children wallking with their backpacks and lunchboxes.  I creep through school zones and blinking lights, wave to crossing guards and adorable children in their new school clothes.

Once I reach the JJC, it continues:  the hallways are again busy; I hear students chanting prayers and I smell Margo’s lunch cooking at noon.  Our Pre-School teachers are back, readying their classrooms with lots of fun colors and pictures as they look forward to beginning classes next week.

And soon it is our turn!  As with the other schools, my Religious School teachers have been pre-planning these past few weeks, too: joining the Day School teachers for a workshop, experimenting with their classroom blogs, requesting books and organizing their rooms.

I am excited about this year as well.  For the first time in many years, I will finally return to the classroom and teach on Wednesday afternoons!  We have also added many new students from various places and some of them are old friends from Beth Shalom.  It has been lots of fun for me to reminisce with them and to see their excitement as they tour our amazing facilities.  Speaking of which, brace yourself for a whole new look when you enter the school lobby – thanks to a very generous donor the hallways look amazing!

You’ve no doubt already heard that we will be able to use the smartboards and other 21st Century technology this year.  I am sure that the students will be thrilled at all the fun stuff we can now do in the classrooms.   Like they say: this sure isn’t our parents’ Hebrew School anymore!

The most exciting addition to our school will no doubt be our new 2nd rabbi, Rabbi Jesse Olitzky.  Although we will miss Rabbi Cohen, Rabbi Olitzky’s schedule will allow him to be able to devote a lot more time with us.  He plans to lead our Wednesday afternoon minyans and be available for classroom activities as well as for parent workshops on Sunday mornings.

Please help us to plan by registering your child(ren) before our first day  on Sept. 11.  All forms are available on this website, or you can call me.  Watch this spot for more information soon!

I can’t wait to see everybody soon!


Posted in School happenings | Leave a comment

My Summer: What a Trip!

My summer so far has been both exciting and scary.  I’ve spent a lot of time traveling with my computer on a journey into the 21st Century.

Most of you know that I am much happier as a behind-the-scenes person (for example, you will almost never see me in all of the pictures that I’ve shared – that’s because I’m the one behind the camera!).  This summer, I’ve had to put myself “out there” with Facebook (JJC Religious Schools), Twitter (@BASRS) and now this blog.  Oy, what is next?  It is very stressful to travel into the unknown with everyone watching…

But I’ve discovered a whole new world on this summer trek.  I’m suddenly connected to my Jewish heroes and to brand-new mentors.  I’ve learned amazing cutting edge methods in education that can truly revolutionize how we teach in Religious School.  I’m now linked to people, personalities, organizations and think-tanks all over the world.  I’m blown away by a new community that is so global, yet so personal.

And I can’t wait to bring all of this back home to share with you.  After all, isn’t that what teaching is all about?



Posted in 21st Century Learning | Leave a comment