Thinking outside the box has been the ongoing “mantra” for all educators. We at the B’Yachad Religious School felt that” Bringing Jewish Education to Life” would be a perfect theme for our virtual school year. Bringing students and parents together and bringing what we learned in class to our families utilizing programs and projects that not only emphasized family participation, but also encouraged our families to share together. As part of our ongoing curriculum, we planned a few family programs that not only brought together our families, but also brought in some congregants as facilitators of some of the programs. A few of the programs included a Family Challah Bake, a Hamantaschen bake and a family Tu B’Shevat art project where each family presented their version of the four seasons in a shadow box made specially for our program. These experiences were truly memorable and enjoyable by all the families that participated.
Orly Jacobs, Education Director at Adler and Angrist B’Yachad Religious School.
I am honored to be part of the teaching staff at B’Yachad, a collaboration between Temple Beth Tikvah and Temple Torat Emet, under the leadership of Orly Jacobs. My students consist of fourth graders to high school seniors, where we study prayer interpretation (4), weekly Torah Parsha (5-6) and the establishment of a lifelong Jewish identity consisting of spiritual and cultural activities (High School).
The students have responded magnificently to our virtual classroom and have engaged in remarkable discussions that are thought provoking, and educational, leaving an impact. It is all under the banner of bringing Jewish education to life. I truly feel that Zoom has allowed them to open more as attendance is very strong and, in many cases, it is hard to end the session in one hour. I also find that we can get more into an hour than live classroom instruction. The interesting part about it is that we are not dealing with decorum or behavior issues at all! – Andy Greenberg
I have learned that my students are resilient; they have adapted quickly. I was not an “online educator,” so I had to learn from people who were. Those who taught us deserve so much respect and credit for helping us learn to teach – Yasher Koach. I did not have to be the best, just do my best. It can be frustrating and rewarding at the same time. I learned to adapt and teach in “crazy” situations. We had pets visit us at times. We embraced challenges and made them teaching moments. We are all in this B’Yachad. As we move from pandemic teaching, we learn, and we continue to support each other and “teach our children” – Howard Zimmerman