|Providence hosts educators for Torah Umesorah program|
|By Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman|
|Friday, 25 November 2011 00:00|
| Nov. 4 – 6 weekend action-packed |
PROVIDENCE – More than 75 educators from across New England traveled to Providence, for Torah Umesorah’s Shabbat of Chinuch for the Nov. 4-6 weekend. Torah Umesorah, the National Association of Jewish Day Schools (Umesorah), is an international organization representing hundreds of North American day schools.
Rabbi Chaim Wein, Umesorah’s director of special services; Shammai and Miriam Esther Weiner; and Tzippy Scheinerman and I chaired the weekend program. The Philadelphia Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Harav Shmuel Kamenetsky joined New England Rabbinical College students for shaharit (morning services). Then, Providence Hebrew Day School (PHDS) students welcomed Rabbi Kamenetsky with songs and greetings.
On Friday night, New England Rabbinical College Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Eliezer Gibber addressed some 150 people at Congregation Sha’arei Tefilla.
His sermon focused on the concept – expressed in Parashat Lekh -l’kha – that the Jewish people are as numerous as the stars. Stars are light-years away from Earth; and the starlight still shines from a star that no longer exists. Stars, like good teachers, leave bright light for years to come – when teachers invest energies into students, students’ accomplishments shine brightly even many years later.
Rabbi Dovid Nojowitz, director of Umesorah; Rabbi Kamenetsky; Rabbi Baruch Hilsenrath, dean of the Magen David Yeshiva in New York; Rabbi Yosef Lipson of the New England Rabbinical College; Chaya Newman of Umesorah; Rabbi Shmuel Ochs, principal of Torah Academy in Boston; Rabbi Tzvi Levin, principal of Bais Yaakov in Boston; Rabbi Baruch Levine, assistant principal of Yeshiva Ketana of Waterbury, Mass., and I addressed community members throughout the weekend.
On Saturday night, at a sold-out community melave malke (a festive dinner at the conclusion of Shabbat), Rabbi Nojowitz encouraged parents to learn with their children and maintain regular contact with the school; they should never denigrate a teacher or school, especially around children.
On Sunday morning, Dr. David Pelcovitz, noted psychologist in the New York area and professor at the Azrieli Graduate School, spoke at a professional seminar for educators. Asking why our attention for and respect for one another has waned, he noted new research: When we are actively engaged in conversations, our motor neurons help us to be more thoughtful and respectful; but when we look at computer screens or text someone, motor neurons reduce our feelings of empathy. Pelcovitz shared practical skills for teachers’ communications with parents and students.
To learn more about Umesorah’s programs, call 212-227-1000.
To learn more about PHDS, call 331-5327, ext. 21.