17 April 2007

A brief aside...Those who know me in the "real world" know that I have not been blogging for a while because my husband and I have left "galut", what we affectionately call our charedi neighborhood in which we lived for eight years. Someone said that we should have known where we were moving at the time, but not realizing my husband's dream to own a house that we could afford (at the time) superceded living in that neighborhood. At the same time, I know another couple who has settled there in the past year and feel that they have truly found a home. We are making a sacrifice in our move, having sold our house for slightly less than we paid for it in 1999, but even CYP (the financial maven) agreed that happiness is not something we can put a price on. Our house will close at the end of the month, i'y'h, so my life should uncomplicate a tad so that I can return to more blogging.

Back to the intended topic...by trade, I am a teacher. For the past three years, our school has been in a "partnership" with a grass-roots Reform congregation. In exchange for using our school building as their homebase, the families are to enroll their children in our religious school program. The obvious exception includes those who chose the day school route. Seems like a fair arrangement, yes? Well, from day one, they have used the word "partnership" to imply control of our curriculum.

For the record, I teach at a "community" school, meaning that we do not have any official hashkafah. My students' families range from completely secular, with some who are from intermarried families, Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and two who belong to an Orthodox synagogue. To many, teaching these students may seem like a daunting task. However, my theme all these years has been to focus on what all of us have in common as Jews and discuss our differences as "options".

Officially, this year, I am out of the loop with them because the president (whose child would have been a student of mine) petitioned to allow their congregation to use our teachers and classroom space to give them a completely separate program. The reason cited was that I'm "too Orthodox" to teach their children. By the way, I teach modern Hebrew, which the last time I checked, was universal. [Ironically, the teacher they requested is also frum, perhaps with less tolerance towards their lifestyle based on conversations she and I have had about the class.] Their fear has been that I would use the class as a soapbox for expousing my "beliefs" that everyone needs to be frum and I would proselytize to them. [This accuasation was thrown about without their knowledge that both my husband and I are ba'alei teshuvah and have many non-religious friends and family that have never felt that we force an observant lifestyle on them.] With a new director coming in, I am thankful that I am not their teacher. Any complaints from them are not based on me, at least.

This week I have to meet with my new boss to assure him that my personal life does not affect my abilities to be a professional Jewish educator. As we all know, who we are and how we think does seep into our professional lives. On that I'll keep you posted. Since I am feeling quite productive, I'll be posting twice today.

1 comment:

  1. thetwinsmommy26/4/07 12:39

    I'm sorry you don't live here anymore but I'm glad you're happy, that's what's important. So funny that you call this neighborhood "charedi" though. Though we are among the more left wingy folks in the neighborhood, all of our friends know we have and watch television-- they know we both work for a living and Adam has no plans to learn full time and live off others--- and there is no judgement--- everyone we've met so far seems to be ok with our left wingy choices and respects our decisions as we respect theirs. Come back and visit the "chood". Our mutual buddies over in your new neighborhood don't make it over here nearly enough. :) Enjoy UH!

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