Monday, March 18, 2013

I love Jewish History!

David Alon, just one of many Jewish History teachers on EIE
I have had the pleasure of sitting in David Alon's Jewish history class in EIE at Tzuba for the past two days.  As David told the class of 22 students that due to scheduling he was spending two days on the Middle Ages from the Golden Age of Spain, including the poet Yehuda HaLevi, Shmuel Nagid and the physician philosopher Rabbi Moses Ben Maimon or the Rambam.  I forgot how much I love to sit in class and learn.  The  students did a great job of taking notes, paying attention and participating in a good discussion.

Just a few of the chevre from EIE
David's first question for discussion was David Ben Gurion's radical quote "the history of Israel stops at 70 CE and begins again in l948"  The students quickly grasped that if this were really true we would not be studying any of the Rabbinic Judaism which is of course a part of their curriculum.
 David incorporated songs from these  great poets which are still sung today by different popular Israeli artists.  Some of the Piyutim, liturgical poems, that you might be familiar with include: L'cha Dodi and Adom Olam.
Jewish history is a 3 hour class every day and tomorrow we go to the Israel Museum and learn as we walk through the museum together.

This is my second child on EIE and I believe as a Jewish educator that this experience is so important  for them.  Yesterday as they discussed Halacha, Jewish law and what it means to follow Jewish law I had the chance to tell them as Reform Jews they need to know Halacha so they can decide for themselves what to do and what to follow.  I looked at them and told them they are future Jewish leaders from each of the communities from which they are a part back in North America.

Baruch Kraus at work preparing for a lecture on Franz Rosenzweig  

Special Todah Rabah to Baruch Kraus, who is the head of EIE.  I hope to post more pictures of the other hard working faculty who make sure that all students are learning and loving to  live in Israel!

I love spending time with my son, Ethan meeting his friends and seeing the community that exists on EIE.  I am proud to see this high level of education for our Reform Jewish high school students and I look forward to seeing where these students will be in 10 years.  I will  I hope to call some of them colleagues, so here is to the HUC Classes of Mid 2020's.