This year Temple Israel has been placing a renewed emphasis on education, and not just for its children. Yes, the children attend Religious School while older students attend the new Temple Teen Night, but there are also many opportunities for adults to continue their Jewish education as well. Along with Wednesday evening Adult Education classes and Thursday morning Adult Study with the Clergy, Temple Israel is now offering an opportunity for parents of Religious School students with Family Days
“We are experimenting with making Sunday morning an opportunity for families to come together in a Jewish way,” Rabbi Brown said.
Family Day begins when parents drop their children off for Religious School. Instead of leaving, parents are encouraged to stay at Temple Israel, have breakfast and participate in a discussion session with Rabbi Brown from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. in the Milder Center.
“We want to have programming for adults centered around Jewish family growth,” Rabbi Brown said. “We want this to be an opportunity to strengthen the meaning of Jewish life for families.”
Following the meeting with Rabbi Brown, Stacie Brodkey and Danielle Gordman, who have been planning the Family Days with the rabbi, will talk with the parents about that day’s activity, so that parents can assist the children when they join the group at 11:15 a.m. The activities will vary, from learning about different aspects of Jewish culture to cooking Jewish foods, like matzo ball soup.
“Culture and tradition are important,” Stacie Brodkey said. “We both like to cook, and our Jewish identities are very important to us. We want to teach about Jewish life, and cooking is part of what makes a Jewish home.”
A different grade will participate in each Family Day, which will be held the Sunday prior to a First Friday, so that the children can use what they learned on Sunday during the Shabbat meal.
“We’ve had one Family Day so far, before the October First Friday,” Rabbi Brown said. “We had a great turnout from our 5th and 6th grade parents. It was great to see them on First Friday, the parents and their kids, and for the kids to have a part in the meal.”
The next Family Day is scheduled for January 27, prior to the February First Friday service and meal on February 1, with Grade 3 parents being asked to stick around after getting their children off to class.
“The goal is to bring the parents in the community together so they can get to know each other better, and to know the clergy better, and to have fun with their kids,” Rabbi Brown said. “We think this is a wonderful opportunity for parents to see their kids in action on Sunday mornings.”