by Rabbi David Z. Vaisberg
With the fall approaching, we’re having a lot of conversations with parents about signing their children up for religious school in the Jewish Learning Program here at Temple B’nai Abraham.
I recently heard of one such conversation between Melissa (our director of congregational learning) and one of our parents. The parent mentioned that their child has an individual learning plan to meet their particular needs at the public school, and this parent wanted to know whether we could accommodate the child. Melissa responded (as we do in these situations) that, of course, we will do whatever we can to ensure that the child has the best learning experience possible here that meets their own set of needs. As part of this, we will be in regular communication.
Many of these conversations happen, but I heard about this particular one because the parent responded emotionally, so grateful for Melissa’s personal approach, saying, “if only the public schools offered this level of attention.”
In Judaism, each human being has value, and each human being has their own path. To join together, as a community, for learning, for prayer, or anything else, we must learn about and accommodate for each person’s particular path. It’s in reaching out to each person, one by one, forming those connections, and following up, that we can ultimately rise up together.
Community isn’t in conforming, it’s in caring, it’s in presence, it’s in connection.