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"Who is Teaching My Child/Grandchild?"

11/09/2021 09:03:21 AM


Chevre  (Friends,

We are in b'nai mitzvah season and it is a joy to share such happy moments with our Adath Shalom families and their friends and families. A lot of preparation goes into becoming a confident, capable bar or bat mitzvah, who is ready to share what they've learned, with their family and congregation. The learning starts very early. Earlier than many might think. And, it can be supported, or diluted, as the child turns 5, 6, 7, or 8 years old. 

While your child or grandchild may be attending religious school, that is not the only place where learning occurs. Learning Jewish values, Jewish rituals, Jewish liturgy (the prayers and blessings during a service) occurs every single day, under the care and guidance of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

This is my annual message to the parents of our fifth-grade students. You are your child's teachers, through what you do and what you don't do,. If your child likes tennis or baseball or basketball, you probably attend their games from time to time, and perhaps you go to semi-pro or college or professional games with them, to support that connection. The same applies with music or theater, or visual arts. If you have not been attending Friday night services, or Shabbat morning services, perhaps you can start making it a priority to do so. If you have not been reciting the Friday night blessings over the Shabbat candles, reciting kiddush over wine or grape juice, or (to mark the holiness of Shabbat) performing the ritual washing of hands (al netilat yadayim), and reciting Motzi (over the challah), it all only takes about five minutes. The message lasts a lifetime. We are Jews. We welcome Shabbat on Friday night. We pray and give thanks to G-d every day, every night, and we gather in community.

If you are gathering together for other events, consider gathering to welcome Shabbat. If you aren't coming to the synagogue for Friday night services, consider reciting the blessings and observing the mitzvot of welcoming Shabbat on Friday night, and maybe Zooming in to watch the Friday night services. Grandparents can gather together with grandchildren virtually, or in person, and the teaching can be in real time.

If you don't yet know the basic blessings yourself, it's never too early or too late to learn.

What are you teaching your children/grandchildren?


Wed, May 25 2022 24 Iyyar 5782