Yad b’Yad Jewish Learning and Living — Hand in Hand Through the Jewish Year

Posted on September 5, 2018 by Sarah Gluck and Lisa Friedman

Soon we will gather as a community to begin another year of journeying together through the Jewish year, experiencing anew the beauty of Judaism and the joys of Jewish living. The sages of our tradition, so well attuned to the needs of our people, helped make the practical observance of Judaism accessible to all, at every age and in every stage of life.

On Sunday, October 7, our new religious school year will begin. How wonderful it will be to welcome eager young faces back to school and feel the positive energy and excitement all around the temple. After a quiet summer of making sure everything is ready for the new program year, the building will once again buzz with activity. What a joy it will be to see our students come back to temple for another year of Jewish learning and growing!

It will also be a delight to greet our continuing adult learners and to extend a warm and encouraging welcome to those who are new to adult education. Jewish learning is a lifelong pursuit. An ambitious adult education program, Jewish LIFE (Learning Is for Everyone), is available to everyone at Temple Beth-El and in our larger federated community, presenting a full line-up of classes, lectures, book talks, films, Israeli dancing, and special events at TBE and elsewhere. As always, information will be on a table in the temple lobby during the Holy Days. Please take a look and sign up to experience the joy of making meaningful connections with our tradition, our people, and one another.

It is always a special pleasure at the beginning of the year to welcome our teachers, student madrichim, and support staff. Our school is blessed with an exceptional faculty. Many of our teachers have been with us for years. A few are new to our school. Several of our young teachers grew up at Temple Beth-El. Their Jewish commitment and love for their home synagogue have led them back to the Religious School while they are in the area developing their fulltime professional interests. Please make sure to introduce yourself or reconnect with them when you see them.

Our wonderful Religious School secretary, Ivy Anglin, is always ready to answer a question or help you with what you need during daytime hours and during Hebrew School on Monday and Wednesday.

No mention of the new school year would be complete without acknowledging the exceptional volunteers who comprise the Religious School Committee, led by its devoted and hard-working chair, Sharon Wolff. These wonderful people work with us throughout the year to help make the Religious School the best it can be. We cannot thank them enough.

At Temple Beth-El everyone works together to help bring Judaism to life for all the members of our community. We are each other’s most important teachers and role models. Listening well to one other and acting with kindness and compassion deepens and enriches our encounters and helps us develop meaningful relationships.

Parents, we invite you to stop in before or after class whenever school is in session to meet your children’s classroom teachers and develop a relationship with them. Open communication between home and school is essential to your children’s success.

And to everyone in the community, whether or not you have children or grandchildren in the Religious School, we encourage you to set aside time for your own study, talk with your family and friends about what you are learning, and make Jewish living a significant part of your own life. We look forward to taking another joyous and rewarding journey, hand in hand, through the Jewish year with you.

Wishing you and those you love a happy and healthy New Year.


Sarah Gluck and Lisa Friedman

Originally published in the September-October 2018 issue of the Shofar. For more issues of the Shofar, visit the Shofar archives.