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Learning as a community

Friday, September 14, 2018

When people ask me what I love most about TanenbaumCHAT, I often say that we are one of a few Jewish educational institutions that welcome students from all walks of Jewish life.  Though not a numerous people, we Jews are often divided by affiliation, level of observance, or political beliefs.  At TanenbaumCHAT, we respect rather than disregard difference. This means that our students are exposed to multiple viewpoints and can debate belief in God, the way to observe mitzvot, the role of Israel in one’s life, or any number of issues, together as a school community.

Yesterday, our students had a unique opportunity.  For the first time, TanenbaumCHAT hosted more than 30 community rabbis, spanning the full range of denominations and geographic locations, and took part in an hour of learning with our entire student body.  Focused on the issue of bein adam l’chaveiro (mitzvot between people), each rabbi conducted a lesson emphasizing the importance of interpersonal relationships.   Furthermore, students were able to meet their own rabbi, or hear a perspective they may not have heard before, allowing them to find an approach that speaks to them, that makes sense among a multitude of approaches to which they are exposed.  

The Prophet Amos tells us (Amos 8:11)

הִנֵּ֣ה ׀ יָמִ֣ים בָּאִ֗ים נְאֻם֙ אֲדֹנָ֣י יְהוִ֔ה וְהִשְׁלַחְתִּ֥י רָעָ֖ב בָּאָ֑רֶץ לֹֽא־רָעָ֤ב לַלֶּ֙חֶם֙ וְלֹֽא־צָמָ֣א לַמַּ֔יִם כִּ֣י אִם־לִשְׁמֹ֔עַ אֵ֖ת דִּבְרֵ֥י יְהוָֽה

A time is coming—declares my Lord GOD—when I will send a famine upon the land: not a hunger for bread or a thirst for water, but for hearing the words of the LORD.

Thank you to all our Rabbinic partners who came to TanenbaumCHAT to share their knowledge and to strengthen our connections at this sacred time.  As Yom Kippur, the culmination of the Aseret yemei Teshuva, approaches, let us all do our part in building strong relationships based on kindness and on respect for differences.

Wishing that you and your families be inscribed in the Book of Life for a year of health, happiness, and peace.