From the Rabbi’s Report to the Congregation
Vassar Temple has embarked on a number of initiatives that are transforming its educational offerings from primary school to adult ed. The change was signaled from the start with a new name: The Seth A. Erlebacher Religious School. Religious School Director Joel Hoffman further instituted a Sababa Center, a one-on-one or small group learning experience for students through the Religious School morning. Post Bar/Bat Mitzvah has been reorganized into Gesher, more than doubling involvement from the previous year. Ultimately, it will connect into a community-wide advanced Judaica program, principally joining with students from Temple Beth-El.
The most dramatic change is in the groundwork that has now been laid to better integrate Hebrew with general Jewish education. The Community Hebrew School in the JCC will be replaced by a stronger and more responsive mid-week/Sunday Hebrew program at the Temple.
Adult Ed – Vassar’s Lifelong Jewish Learning – has been a constant source of creative response to the interest and needs of members of the congregation. This year’s courses have included poetry, theology, the Middle East and comparative Religion. Classes mostly well attended. Of particular note is that roughly 20% of the attendees come from outside the congregation. Vassar Temple has developed a reputation as a place for good quality and informative Jewish study.