‘The essential connective thread’

With Pesach, the overcast skies and the cool, damp temperatures of early Spring behind us, we are inclined to broad smiles and happy sighs by the blue skies and warmer temperatures of deep, mid-Spring. The looming summer means we are in the home stretch of school year 2021-2022. Even before classes are dismissed for this year, we believe it is not too early for families to think about school for next year.

In that vein, and for that purpose we call attention to an article written last month by Rabbi Mitchel Malkus, head of school at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School of Greater Washington D.C. entitled, Sense of Belonging.

Rabbi Malkus’ aim is to explain why learning Hebrew is so important for a Jewish education. For families whose children already attend Jewish schools, the rabbi’s insights will reinforce their current educational decisions and further confirm the wisdom of those decisions. For families considering intensive Jewish education for the first time, Rabbi Malkus’ observations and conclusions may prove helpful and persuasive.

Rabbi Malkus’ describes Hebrew as “the essential connective thread to Jewish civilization, Jewish peoplehood, Israel and its people and to most Jewish literature.” His concluding statement is forceful and eloquent. “There are very compelling educational reasons for teaching Hebrew that relate to 21st century learning skills and brain research, but at the end of the day, Hebrew alone holds the potential to cement the union between Jews around the world with each other and our heritage, no matter our geography or our religious outlook. Hebrew enables students to be part of our over 4,000 year history as a Jewish people.”

Fostering feelings of peoplehood and a sense of belonging to the Jewish people is one of the key life-sustaining results of Jewish education. GAJE therefore agrees with Rabbi Markus’ opinion. We commend his article to our readers.  It can be found at:

ejewishphilanthropy.com/the-critical-role-hebrew-language-learning-plays-in-identity-development/

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As readers of this weekly update know, GAJE has launched an application to try to bring fairness and equity to the Government of Ontario’s education funding. If you wish to contribute to the funding of GAJE’s lawsuit, please click here.

For further information, please contact Israel Mida at: imida1818@gmail.com

Charitable receipts for donations for income tax purposes will be issued by Mizrachi Canada. Your donations will be used for the sole purpose of underwriting the costs of the lawsuit.

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Shabbat shalom

Grassroots for Affordable Jewish Education (GAJE),

May 13, 2022

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