Educationally Speaking – May 2021

As Torah School winds down for the year, where do we go from here?

Randi Sher, Director of Education

It does not seem possible, but here we are heading into our last month of our Torah School year. It has been a busy and productive year, and we are now starting to see what the beginning of our post pandemic lives will look like. As many schools are reopening, we are working on our program for Torah School next year.

We are fortunate that Temple Beth El has a strong Board of Trustees and from that an involved and hard-working Reopening Committee. We have begun working with this committee to create our program structure and the best and safest way to return to our building within both the guidelines that are now in place and those that are expected to be by the time next year’s Torah School year begins.

We began our year with a drive through scavenger hunt, had a Purim CARnival, and will be ending the year with a masked, socially distanced Maccabiah at Averill Park. With the most amazing Board of Education I have ever had the privilege to work with, headed by the VP of Education Dani Paquin, we have been able to recreate the structure of our year using Zoom, deliver materials to families, support our incredible teachers, and provide a structure that works for our students and families.

We moved the Torah School registration online this year and after a few adjustments will continue registration this way. Look for information and the link for this, as well as the calendar for next year as our Torah School year is ending.

I want to thank the amazing Board of Education members Rosa Allen, Jacob Lieb, Dani Paquin, Keith Small, and Rachel Tu; the incredible teachers Jessica Barker, Hadas Nuriel, Barbara Rheingold-Gerlicki, Michelle Shahon, and Lisa Weiss; our dedicated madrichot Hannah Bazo, Hannah Brooks, Jordan Davidson, Zoe Davidson, Sarah Gill, and Sarah Takami; and our outstanding, always supportive clergy Rabbi Cassi and Cantor Ilan for all that they have done this year. It is frequently stated that it takes a village to raise a child and these people are the village that is our Torah School.

Temple Beth El is a special community and I look forward to next year and the many in person opportunities we should be able to enjoy!