I am honored and privileged to have been selected as the new Limmud Religious School Director and I look forward to building on the rich history, deep tradition and commitment to educational excellence that have been the hallmark of Temple Beth El’s religious school for decades. I have had the opportunity to meet quite a few parents during my tenure as the Interim Director and appreciate the feedback and creative ideas that have been shared. Parents interested in meeting with me, I welcome your calls, emails or visits if you wish to chat.
I am working very closely with the Education Committee to plan for the new school year. Together we are looking at the goals, structure and curriculum of Limmud. What follows is a sneak preview of what will be coming this fall. In September our teen program will no longer be called Koolanu. There will be just one religious school at Temple Beth El called Limmud for grades K-12. Work is underway to create a new curriculum for our teens that is meaningful, engaging and educational. We know that many of our teens enjoy opportunity to volunteer in the younger classrooms. We are currently developing a Madrich/a In Training (M.I.T.) Program for these teens. Applications for this exciting program along with information about required training will be available shortly.
It is very quiet in the hallways of Limmud this summer and we are missing the smiles, laughter and ruach that our students share during the school year. While your children are enjoying some much needed relaxation, family vacations, time with friends and camp, we are busy preparing for the fall. Be sure to mark your calendars as our first day of classes will be on Wednesday September 12. We will celebrate the start of the school year with a school-wide picnic following Limmud on Sunday, September 16th. If you have not yet registered your child(ren) for the fall you can access the registration form here.
Temple Beth El remains committed to educational excellence and we are actively recruiting and hiring exceptional madrichim (leaders/teachers) to join our Limmud staff. There will surely be familiar faces in the halls of Limmud when school resumes along with some new ones. Professional development for our staff will be an area of focus throughout the school year as we work collaboratively to continuously build our shared knowledge and skills. We will participate in both community-wide training for Jewish educators, as well as offer Limmud specific ongoing learning programs.
A school is only as good as the partnerships that are established across staff, parents and students. Thus, improved communication with parents and greater opportunities for family engagement will be a priority in the coming school year. Specifically, we will host a Meet the Teacher Night in October, identify a room parent for each class, offer parent-teacher conferences and schedule class specific family programs and services throughout the academic year. Stay tuned for more details.
Learning the Hebrew language is a cornerstone of Limmud and we will be putting a greater emphasis on Hebrew instruction and differentiation this year. In September students will be assessed for their Hebrew reading, writing and comprehension and will receive appropriate differentiated instruction. This will provide opportunities for us to challenge our students who have higher than grade level Hebrew capability and to better support those who need extra help.
We are looking forward to Hazzan Levin’s arrival in July and hope that you will join us in welcoming him and his family at the outdoor Friday Night Service and barbecue dinner on Friday, July 13th and/or at Shabbat services on Saturday July 14th. As we look ahead to August we invite you and your family to join us for S’more’s and Havdallah outside. I hope to see you at services this summer. In the meantime, whether you are travelling far or enjoying a staycation in Rochester, I wish you and your family a wonderful summer.