by Jacob Shubert, Adath Israel

I have learned so much about life and myself throughout my journey as a TAP Teen. By working with kids with learning difficulties in a place I never thought I would return to, I grew a lot as a person. One of my students proved to have a lot more difficulty focusing on his work, and often disrupted class. However, about a month ago, I learned that while it doesn’t always seem like it, he has a very strong connection to Judaism. I work with the 3rd grade, so it pleasantly surprised me when he asked me to start working on his bar mitzvah stuff with him. Because this seemed like the only way to get him to participate in class, I brought him outside and we got started. He was so incredibly concentrated and dedicated to it. Anytime there was a new activity and I asked if he wanted to do it, he said he didn’t want to do anything until he got the reading perfect, and by the end of the day he did. This strengthened my connection to Judaism because of the impact it had on the student. My experience as a TAP teen taught me so much I never thought I could learn, and it was something that I’m very glad I did.