There are many things I love about Judaism. One of them is the premium Jews place on education. The Talmud states it is a parent’s responsibility to see that children are raised and educated in Judaism. I’ve drawn on a lot of resources to live up to my responsibility. My husband and I have been very fortunate with family, friends, and in the clergy, preschool, and religious school here at Ezra Habonim, the Niles Township Jewish Congregation. When our oldest child began preschool here, he was training the trainer at home, as I was not raised Jewish. He came home with his Shabbat box, and I made challah and bought candles for his homemade candlesticks. When he came home with his homemade Havdalah set, we began bidding farewell to the Sabbath bride. The teaching and learning has not stopped. Last year, he became a bar mitzvah.
Last week, I was thrilled to learn our director of education, Josh Morrel, was just named one of the young Jewish movers and shakers in Chicago from JUF Chicago’s Young Leadership Division and Oy!Chicago with the sixth annual Double Chai in the Chi: 36 Under 36. In addition to teaching and directing our school, Josh teaches modern Hebrew at Glenbrook North High School and serves as the co-faculty sponsor for Glenbrook North's World Language Department Honor Society. Josh also represents Illinois Hebrew teachers on the Illinois Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, for which he serves on the executive board and as a volunteer coordinator. Professionally accomplished in many ways, the gem of Josh is the way his love and enthusiasm for Judaism springs forth as he shares its joy and beauty with his students.
We are fortunate to have Josh directing our school and are blessed with an enormously talented and dedicated team of teachers, staff, and clergy. For me, they help make the parental responsibility possible in a wonderfully enriching way. For you, they will make it joyous, fulfilling, and fun for your family.
Amy Claver is the chair of the Religious Education committee at Ezra Habonim, the Niles Township Jewish Congregation and the mother of two students.