Why A Hebrew School Blog?

Photo of SAJ Hebrew School Director, Gidon Isaacs

I want to welcome all of you back from your vacation with exciting news for the Hebrew School community. With this first writing of the new year we will be launching our Hebrew School blog. I have wanted to establish this blog for some time and now, in doing so, I want to lay out its value by answering the question, “why a Hebrew School blog?”
A blog is a contemporary way to build real community in virtual space. Since I began writing these weekly musings I have gotten regular responses from parents, sharing their own thoughts and comments on what I had written. Each time I have gotten them I have thought how wonderful it would be for the rest of you to be able to see these thoughtful responses and insightful comments. I further thought that sort of sharing could lead to a terrific online dialogue between parents. A blog will allow you to do just that, you will be able to write about what resonated with you about a particular posting, add your own reflections and musings on the topic and hear from others, building community along the way.
As you know we are constantly working to improve our communication so that it meets your needs. This includes our thinking about the best format and the best forum for doing so. In recognition of how you, today’s parents, get information and engage with the world of ideas, we felt that this format would be a useful avenue for sharing thought provoking material and giving you fodder for meaningful conversations, online and off.
By getting you thinking and talking about the subjects addressed in this blog you will not only bolster your own spiritual journey, but you will ultimately be strengthening your children’s Jewish education. By modeling engagement with Jewish ideas and Jewish subjects you demonstrate the value of engagement with Jewish life. This is the same sort of modeling you do for your children when you come to SAJ for services, celebrations, or other sort of programming. It is less immersive, but it is no less important.
I have heard from some of you that you have forwarded some of these newsletters along to friends, which is extremely gratifying. By having a blog, we will be better able to share these ideas, allowing us to invite others into the conversation. We will be able to give a taste of who we are and what we are about to those who are not currently part of our community. In this way we will be able to invite many more people into an ongoing conversation about Jewish education, indeed Jewish life, in our times.
When you do respond to a posting you will notice that your comments will not immediately appear on the blog. Comments will not be immediately posted in order to ensure that they are relevant and productive additions to the conversation. In this spirit we request that you keep comments to the topic of the post to which you are responding. This is not meant to be a forum for commenting on the Hebrew School itself. As always my door, phone, and inbox are always “open” for just such feedback so we ask you to please use this blog as kind of “town square” for the sharing of ideas.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts, sharing my own, and building the SAJ community with you!
--Gidon Isaacs

2 Comments

social media

I love the idea of using blogging and other forms of social media as a Jewish Educator! I have heard some people say that they feel it's not safe or excludes people who do not use these tools. I strongly disagree - I feel like using blogs, Facebook, and Twitter are all ways of casting our nets out wider! These tools allow us to reach many people whom we otherwise would not have the pleasure of communicating with! Didn't I read somewhere that the Talmud says we should not separate ourselves from our community? I feel compelled to reach out using these forms of communication that are clearly so commonplace to the younger generations of Jews... Just my non-rabbinical two cents. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

Necessary

I think its a great idea to launch a Hebrew School blog. It allows parents and family to constantly be updated on all related happenings and it gives them a chance to participate and give feedback. I think it is very important to moderate comments though, as mentioned. I wish my Hebrew school had a blog growing up - could have saved trees instead of sending all the flyers and newsletters. Great job...keep it up! :)

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