by Eitan Monson, Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El

In the last few months we have felt in the Jewish community a new sense of togetherness. It is at these times that our roles working with kids at Hebrew schools are of a greater importance than ever. I have made it a point to show the kids I work with how to embrace Hebrew and Jewish topics and be proud of who they are. With TAP I have learned many new techniques for working with kids. For example, during Parashat Noah I was tasked with explaining the story to a group of third graders. As I had previously learned in TAP I created a fun interactive experience for the kids that covered the story of Noah and the many messages found within the story. By engaging these students with topics from the Torah as well as learning to read in Hebrew it encouraged Jewish belief and the idea of Jewish community.

With many groups, if we needed a break from reading from the siddur we would begin to learn fun Jewish songs such as Ivdu Et Hashem or Mi Sheh Nichnas. The students then would have fun with the songs such as stomping their feet to the beat, clapping their hands, or even just belting out the songs in the hallways. It is these ways that we can make Hebrew School students proud of their religion as well as encouraging participation in the Jewish community throughout their future. TAP has provided me with the skills and techniques for working with all students and has given me the greatest opportunity in the world which is making Jewish kids proud of who they are.