As I write this letter of introduction a Jewish folk story comes to mind. Once, a prominent scientist found himself at the beginning of summer break tasked with watching his young son for a week until camp started. Unable to stop his important research, he brought his work home and sat down to figure out how he could continue his experiments while keeping his son busy at the same time. Knowing his child’s passion for puzzles he decided to design the most difficult puzzle possible. With his son watching intently, he searched old magazines for the perfect picture. Finally he found a beautiful map of the world. He carefully tore out the page and proceeded to cut it into a challenging puzzle of many pieces. Handing the now fragmented picture of the world to his anxiously waiting son he thought that surely he had solved his problem. Surprisingly, after only a few hours, his son returned to his father’s office proudly presenting the completed puzzle. The father could not believe his eyes. How had his son managed to put a map of the world together without any knowledge of geography?
Dumbfounded he asked his child to explain. “Father, I realized that I could not put together the world. It is too big and difficult and it was broken into many pieces. But, when I saw you tearing out the page from the magazine I noticed there was a picture of a person on the other side. I know what a person looks like and I love puzzles, so all it took was care and patience and I was able to piece the whole world together by just looking at the person on the other side.”
This is a story of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world.) Tikkun Olam is an important Jewish concept that has been handed down for generations. There are many different ways in which to repair the world. When we focus on each child as an individual, passing down our heritage and values, we are working towards Tikkun Olam. By impacting one child/one person at a time, we can help repair the world. This has been my educational philosophy for the past 25 years as a Judaics and Hebrew educator of both children and adults.
For this reason, I am thrilled to join the Adat Shalom kehilah (community) as your Educational Director. Together with our group of dedicated educators we will nurture your child’s Jewish identity and love for learning with care and patience. I look forward to meeting you all.