September 7th, 2006


Hebrew School woes and wonders

My books came in for Sunday School. We teach our students script (cursive), so when the workbooks came in with block examples, Sheri (a fellow teacher) and I were talking about it. Andi, the Religion School Director, had a question, "What's the difference?" Um... yeah. She wasn't saying, "why can't you just use these books, since we already ordered them," she was saying, "what is the actual difference between writing in block and writing in script?" Crikey. Apparently the lady knows no Hebrew at all. She spends her class time in the office talking to a parent who is a friend of hers. She doesn't discipline, she doesn't do anything. She didn't order the books, she didn't make the religion school calendar, and she's just really really not fit for the job. When Dena was Religion School Director, she did so much more. I know, because I helped. We made the calendar, we ordered the books, we did the calligraphy for certificates, we collected and counted tzedakah, we set up report cards, she met with parents. In other words, she actually ran the religion school. Andi does absolutely none of those things. Her position is a paid one. My mother is the Education VP. She and her co-VP do everything that the Director position is supposed to do. Ugh. Generally we don't fire people because we don't want to alienate anyone at the synagogue. We've lost many members over the past ten years (bad choices in Rabbis), so they're trying to do as much as they can to keep the membership up. Andi & family only joined a couple years ago (they came over from Temple Israel, the reform synagogue). Next year I will do everything in my power to make sure that woman isn't Director anymore. This is ridiculous. Maybe I'll go to the next board meeting and bring it up. Clearly defined responsibilities would be good. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that things wouldn't get done if they were her responsibility. Sometimes maybe it's just easiest to suck it up and do everything yourself.

My class is fine. My mother couldn't be there last night, so Deb took over her class. She only had one kid, so we combined our classes (who are one year apart) and played Jeopardy. We're working on reviewing colors, numbers, blessings, prayers, and hope to have a "conversational Hebrew" catergory soon... as soon as I can find someone to translate some phrases for me. I figure that on Sundays, I'll do workbook stuff. We'll go over the vocabulary, read the Hebrew story, translate it, and answer the questions in the workbook. Wednesdays, I'll make new vocabulary cards for what we read Sunday, and I'll incorporate them into the Jeopardy game.

Andi's kid, Clay, is in my class. I asked Deborah to go get snack for the kids from the kitchen (which, okay, you're not REALLY supposed to do, but whatever), and Clay was like, "I'll tell my mom it's okay, and my mom's the boss." Yeah, whatever. First of all, OUR mom is YOUR boss. Second of all, Deborah has more say and more credibility in this synagogue than your mom ever will. Argh. (Deb got the snack and there were no problems. Andi was busy in the office talking to Sarah, her friend, and probably didn't even notice).

We're doing something really great in Hebrew School now. At 6:30, before class starts, everyone does the Minchah service. Not only does it familiarize the kids with the [super short] service (all of which is included in many other services as well), but it's just nice to see everyone praying together. The second half of the year we'll have the Maariv service, at the end of class. I'm really glad that we started this program.