Pilot ‘Yerusha’ program seeks new level
of engagement for kids and their parents.
On an unseasonably hot Sunday afternoon in May, Karen and David Nathan are in their Princeton, N.J., backyard with their two children and four other families.
But instead of barbecuing or chatting, the parents are watching as the kids, ranging in age from 5 to 14, prepare to act out a story from the Talmud.
Justus Baird, a soft-spoken entrepreneur-turned-rabbi, passes out the short scripts and divides up the parts — which include Elijah the Prophet, God and Old Man with Two Myrtle Branches — among the 11 children.
For the second time in a month I found myself covering a program the other night on increasing inclusion for children with special needs in Jewish schools. Part of the reason this isn't a coincidence is that some of the same people were involved in the planning. But anecdotally, there also seems to be greater consciousness and emphasis on addressing the burdens of such families in the observant Jewish community, who face all the same pressures of affiliated life, and then some.
$33 million grant for teacher recruiting and training.
Spurred by a major grant from one of the largest Jewish foundations, the rabbinical seminaries of three major synagogue movements are forging a groundbreaking partnership to train Jewish educators.
The Jim Joseph Foundation announced Monday that it was giving a combined $33 million to the Reform movement’s Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute for Religion, the Modern Orthodox Yeshiva University and the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
I’ve been a very bad blogger recently (a whole week without posting), but a very good Jew: in the past 10 days, I’ve gone to services at three congregations, and attended a Storahtelling event. Plus, this Saturday morning I’ll be in shul (a fourth one!) yet again, for my niece’s bat mitzvah.
Those who pray three times a day, or are at least weekly shul-goers, may laugh at such modest accomplishments. Indeed, I’m sure someone will send me a nasty e-mail or post a comment saying this (along with being intermarried) is further evidence of my moral laxity. Nonetheless, for me, four synagogues in two weeks — not during the High Holidays — is something of a record.