by Jake Gaev, Beth Sholom

Being a TAP member has been really important to me these past few months.  I have enjoyed working with the kids from Beth Sholom.  Every Sunday I am in a classroom full of kids high energy and wanting to learn all about Judaism.  We play games and the kids really enjoy each other.  Sometimes I wonder, was I like that in the Hebrew school classroom?  This opportunity has allowed me to reminisce about my Hebrew school days.  Gosh, it is so hard for the teachers and the kids.  The kids come to school with so much energy.  Energy to learn and energy to have fun.  The teachers try really hard.  They try and make learning fun!  The teachers realize that in order to learn, sometimes sitting in a classroom can be boring.  So the teachers help the kids learn by introducing them to new games.  This allows the kids to interact and they do not have to sit in their seat. Gosh, I remember those days.  Sitting in my seat was so hard for me, especially after a long day at school.

The most important ingredient are the kids.  When I go to Beth Sholom I observe the kids interacting with each other and having fun.  This is important because this helps the kids make friends who are Jewish and have fun at the same time.  Beth Shalom is a place to learn, but it is also a place to have fun and make friends.  One on my closest friend has been from Beth Shalom.  I hope the kids in my classroom have the same experience as myself.  To this day, we still talk, laugh and share life experiences.  It was hard because we go to different schools.  Beth Shalom became the common ground for both of us.  It was a place to us to meet, catch up with each other, and enjoy each other.  I hope Beth Shalom becomes that for all the kids I am with.