Heather Welkes, principal
While it is quite the weird world we are living in right now, one thing is constant - the world of religious school moves on.
This year, my opening day assembly certainly felt strange. Yes, I still had our synagogue leadership welcome everyone. Yes, I still sang the shehecheyanu with my ukulele to celebrate our first day and our new students. And yes, there was still a buzz in the air. But the buzz in the air was not in the air in front of our beautiful ark in our massive sanctuary - it was the buzz in the air in my home office.
This year certainly presented its share of challenges. In all of my years of education, nothing prepared me for teaching in the time of a pandemic.
In the spring of 2020, we closed our doors to our building and education was moved to the dining room table. We had no time to think; we just had to do. Now, with a whole summer behind us, we were given the opportunity to be proactive, not reactive, and our program is just as strong as ever. We still have Israeli dancing and tefillah and community, but we also have technology and innovation. We have supplemental online activities and engaging ways to bring Judaism to life through a screen. We have educators who have spent countless hours modifying their curriculum to adapt it to virtual learning. Finally, we have parents who put their faith in us, allowing us to educate their children in a safe manner.
I do not know when we will be able to meet with our students in person, but for now, I know that we are still here for the kids, and we haven't skipped a beat.