Community Blog Fostering a Love of Judaism
This desire to give her children extraordinary religious school experiences, like what she had growing up in the congregation where she became a bat mitzvah and was confirmed, is what led Lisa Morlitz, MJEd’17 on the path to the Schoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education. Let’s talk about two numbers:
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Lisa’s path to Hebrew College started as a parent volunteer and lay leader at Congregation Gates of Heaven in Schenectady, NY. She became interested in teaching after volunteering in her oldest daughter’s religious school classroom. Lisa’s interest in Jewish education continued to bloom when she co-chaired her synagogue’s Lifelong Learning Committee and worked with educators and families to create new and engaging programs.
Lisa’s reputation quickly grew as her excitement for Jewish Education shined through everything she did in the synagogue and religious school. Lisa was then asked to teach the 3 and 4-year-old (Gan) classroom. But she didn’t have any formal teacher training, and Lisa recognized that to give all of the children an extraordinary religious school experience, she needed to go back to school too.
Lisa explained her challenge: “Before I went back to graduate school, I didn’t realize how little I really knew about Judaism. Thanks to my education at Hebrew College, I’ve completely changed how and what I teach. For example, I used to teach children that a mitzvah is a good deed. Now, I teach children that a mitzvah is one of God’s commandments that we learn about in the Torah. Another example are the resources I use to teach the children. I used to rely on picture books to tell the stories of creation and Noah’s ark. Now, I re-tell the story of creation and Noah’s Ark from the Torah! It is exhilarating at the end of each day to hear my students share something they learned in religious school. I will never get tired of hearing them describe the different types of fish and sea monsters God created or how special rainbows are!”
Matthew Cutler, her rabbi, gushes, “Lisa’s leadership found a new voice as she entered the world of Jewish education. Her creativity and intuition, paired with her charisma and dedication was nurtured through her work at Hebrew College. As a result, our community has benefited—there is an aura of excitement and a sense of empowerment. Lisa is a role model, a teacher, a guide and champion for Jewish family living!”
This is how Hebrew College is educating teachers who foster a love of Judaism, to show up at synagogue and get involved. Hebrew College is making a difference.
Together, we can continue to make that difference with one number: One. It takes just one gift to make a difference—yours. If you have already given thank you! If not, please give generously to the Hebrew College Annual Campaign.*
A SPECIAL BONUS FOR HANUKKAH Much as children delight when the Hanukkah dreidel lands on “gimmel” and they win the whole pot, we have a special bonus for Hanukkah. From December 12-20 your gift can be tripled through a generous donor’s $100,000 match. Your support can have triple the impact right now—enabling Hebrew College to continue to nurture and energize our Jewish communities.
Todah raba. Thank you!
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