Religious School News: A Bittersweet Conclusion
The school year is almost over. Our last Sunday will be May 19th. Part of me feels that we have barely begun, but when I look at what these children have accomplished this year, I know that it could not have happened overnight. They have all made strides in Hebrew and history. They’ve stretched their minds around a lot of ethical dilemmas. They’ve learned a lot of Torah. I’m proud of them.
As the year draws to a close, we must say some goodbyes. We have a confirmand, Melissa Pielet, who will be graduating from our Hebrew high school. Of course, we will still see her around the Temple, but we will miss her presence in class. We are losing a wonderful teacher’s assistant, Tovah Raymond, who is on her way to college in Arizona this fall. Tovah has been a mainstay since the day I came to this congregation. She has provided us with tutoring, assessment, clerical help, kitchen expertise, a fountain of ideas and a well of insight. She’s been a friend to every student here and we’ll all miss her mightily. Perhaps the most difficult farewell of all will be given to Andrea Kowalski. Andrea has done a brilliant job with our seventh graders this year after spending more than a decade in our preschool turning our kids on to the joys of a Jewish life. She has shown herself to be a master teacher in so many ways that it is impossible to list them here. We wish her well as she moves on to the next chapter of her life, and hope she’ll grace us with her presence as a substitute once in a while.
This ending arrives at a festival of new beginnings: Shavuot. The holiday commemorates the giving of the Law at Mt. Sinai and the rebirth of the land as it yields its first fruits. We read the story of Ruth, whose faith and loyalty raised her up and showed us that the Children of Israel did not corner the market on righteousness. Born a Moabite, Ruth embraced a new people and eventually became the great grandmother of King David. She reminds us that everyone we meet was created b’tselem Elohim, in the image of G-d. Every human being has the potential for greatness. I see it in my students, in our teachers, in everyone whose goodness shines through this congregation. May we all see that spark in each other and enjoy a summer of happiness and peace.
Kitty Hall, Principal
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