Grade(s) Taught / Class Focus:  I teach 5th grade Hebrew and Sunday Culture classes at TBC.  Our Hebrew curriculum takes our children into the world of prayer. They are introduced to prayers and blessings such as V'ahavtah, Sh'ma, Yotzer Or, and Mikamocha as well as appropriate blessings, and vocabulary for holidays and food.  It's important for our children to develop an understanding of what prayers mean and how they connect all of us to our Jewish community.  With that in mind we seek to integrate concepts and vocabulary from our Hebrew class into our Sunday class.

Our 5th grade Sunday class offers an opportunity to heighten our children's awareness of their Jewish community.  When we use the word Israel it can suggest a number of things.  Initially we see it as meaning "struggling with God."   We also associate the name Israel with the State, and the land, as well as a name for the Jewish people. The children will begin to realize the word Israel is also used for our Jewish community; it also describes our responsibilities toward one another. We will be using a Kid's Mensch handbook to help illustrate this.  What does it mean to be a mensch?  Why is making good choices an important Jewish value?  What are some good choices and how can we help our community thrive?  We will use texts that cover topics such as derech eretz (proper behavior), gemilut hasadim (performance of kind deeds), Pikuah Nefesh (saving a life), Yerusalayim, and of course holidays.  The children will be introduced to their biblical ancestors when we act out the weekly parsha using Sedra Scenes, and the Explorer's Bible. Although texts are a component of our class work, a significant portion of our class revolves around group discussion. We want our children to feel comfortable expressing their feelings and thoughts about what we cover.

Teaching Background:  I have been teaching at TBC for 18 years.  I have a M. Ed degree and have worked for the Ridgefield Board of Education as well as other area religious schools.

Reason I Became a TBC Teacher:  I enjoy working with children.  Acquaintances told me how nice it was at TBC; and they were right!  I substituted for a year, and then became a member of the staff.

Teaching Notes:  I feel very connected and privileged to be part of our Jewish heritage. The opportunity to help our children connect "Jewishly" is extremely gratifying.   I want to leave our children feeling proud that they are links in an astoundingly great chain.  They are part of a people who literally transformed the world through ethical concepts and the gift of monotheism.  We strive to live our lives each day in the pursuit of making the world a better place for everyone.

When I see children, at TBC, recognize other students who go to the same public or private school or who live in their town. There is a moment of "wow...You're Jewish too"? Something is forged in that moment that's very touching.  Using our bible skits is fun!  It always amazes me how the children get into the characters they portray.  The children always enjoy the Purim events and Pesach Seders. Those bring back some great memories!

Torah Commentary

Ten Minutes of Torah