This Sunday is teacher appreciation at Etz Chaim. Each year the school committee prepares a delicious breakfast for our teachers. The children in the primary grades all make cards for their teachers and we do our best to make them feel appreciated. These amazing teachers volunteer their time every Sunday morning to come and teach the children of our religious school. There is no other school in the country with a school our size that has a volunteer Judaica staff. People around the country constantly ask me how I do it. I explain that it is the culture of our congregation and it is a wonderful culture.
The buzz word among Jewish professionals today is Relational Judaism. The “new” trend is to try and figure out how to build relationships within the synagogue. There is a wonderful article by Ron Wolfson in Reform Judaism recently which can be found at here.
I feel so fortunate to be a part of a synagogue that already is doing so many of the things listed in this article. We work hard to find ways for all of our congregants to be involved if they choose to do so. The school is just one example but the school needs and uses more volunteers than any branch of the synagogue.
I encourage you, if you are not already involved in one of our wide range of activities, to become involved. If you are interested in helping out in the school next year, please let me know.
This past Sunday a teacher told me that her daughter who just graduated from college said that the nicest adults she has ever met are people she met here at Etz Chaim. I took that as a wonderful compliment to all of our teachers who obviously had a big impact on her as she grew up. A big public thank you to all of our teachers. If you see any of them in the upcoming week or weeks, make sure you stop them and let them know how much you appreciate what they do for us at Etz Chaim. This includes all of the amazing teens that are here every week to help out too. They always are my shining stars!