Education “Town Hall” Meeting

We invite all of you to a special “Town Hall” meeting beginning at 1:30 pm and preceded by a meet and greet at 1:00 pm on Sunday, January 16, 2011 to re-imagine and strengthen the Jewish learning of Beth Jacob’s young people. Childcare will be available.

Beth Jacob created a Youth Education Team earlier this year to better understand what we value about our shul, study current practices and to discern potential areas for improvement. Many of you participated in focus groups for parents and high school students. Many more of you took our survey earlier this year. We are grateful to you all for your thoughtful responses.

The Youth Education Team is now moving into the next phase of our work, as Beth Jacob addresses the concerns and opportunities you expressed in the recent survey. These discussions are particularly timely in the wake of recent changes in where St. Paul area Jewish children are learning.

The Beth Jacob Board of Directors and the Youth Education Team have recently agreed that Beth Jacob should keep the following principles in mind as we pursue avenues for improvement:

1. Community. Beth Jacob has always been a supporter of communal education for afternoon education. We prefer to work collaboratively with the community.

2. Curriculum. Beth Jacob must be able to participate in defining define, monitoring and supporting a clear and wholistic Jewish learning curriculum and objectives for our children at and beyond shul. Our active encouragement of involvement with other Jewish learning institutions depends upon their ability to collaborate with us.

Other key principles include Accountability, tracking students’ learning progress and getting them extra help if needed, and Cost, to ensure our families are treated equitably compared to other shuls.

Please join us to learn more, share your ideas and concerns, and help shape the future of Jewish youth learning. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any of us.

Jon Bacal, Tammy Sadoff, Lisa Walker, Susan Cobin, David Itzkowitz, Lydia Schultz, Earl Schwartz, Lori Fink, Rabbi Lynn Liberman

Beth Jacob Youth Education Team