* * * * * *
Dear Beth Joshua Congregation,
I am excited to be writing you as the new Youth Director. I have been busy planning the new fall programming and putting into place an excellent team of leaders.
New Shabbat morning programs will begin Saturday August 29th. There will be 4 separate children’s groups (where there are now only 2). I aim to enliven tefilah and make the parsha come alive for the participants, through highly interactive programming. Each group will also include a nutritious snack and some recreation time. A new Youth Leadership Program will train children ages 11 and up to assist with Shabbat morning groups. Monthly Sunday programs will include programming for ages 6+ in addition to the already popular family minyanim.
Our youth are growing every day (not just in height!) as new families move in. I want our children to know that nurturing and connecting with them is the responsibility (and joy) of our whole community. As such, many of the groups will have regular rotating teachers and youth leaders. This shows the children that there are many role models in our shul, with many ways to be excited about and involved in yiddishkeit.
I am led to this position through a winding career path. As a former geriatric social worker, I facilitated support groups, planned social and educational programs, and even directed a summer camp for senior citizens. A graduate degree in Jewish Studies, and my love for singing Jewish music, led me to be the Tot Shabbat leader at my former congregation in Riverdale. I held this position for 5 years, eventually tripling the attendance, and training many other Tot Shabbat leaders nationwide. A couple of Jewish educator gigs, and homeschooling our children have also provided me with more opportunities to make Judaism relevant for children, in a very experiential way. I look forward to applying all of this experience to the Youth Director position.