HAYIDION The Prizmah Journal

From the Desk of Arnee Winshall, RAVSAK Chair

by Arnee Winshall Issue: Teaching Tanakh

As we approach Shavuot, we cannot help but think about the giving and receiving of the Ten Commandments and how these key tenets have been at the core of what it means to be Jewish, to be a good human being, to develop awe and respect for God and God’s creation, and to respect and care for each other. We think about the significance of relationships between God and humankind and between people. What are the obligations and qualities that ensure these relationships will be strong, nurturing and infused with moral compass?

At a time when the prevalence of bullying demonstrates a demise in our treatment of each other, strengthening the study of Tanakh—our guiding light—is all the more important. How do our schools enable students to grapple with the Torah’s teachings on how we lead our lives and how we view others, so that they are inspired to fulfill the blessings and responsibilities that come with being created in the image of God? God reminds us that we must address the mundane as well as the sublime, and that we must view our work in this world through a lens of how it continues to repair the world.

The focus over the past year or so of the board of RAVSAK has been an example of this for me. We have been devoting our time, energy, thinking and financial support to developing a business plan for RAVSAK, keeping in mind what drives this work and what is at stake, that RAVSAK’s existence is to ensure that our day schools will continue to thrive and provide the educational context in which our children and all stakeholders are impacted and guided by these teachings. Our client is the Jewish future.

We know that with your involvement and support we will continue to make a significant impact as we focus on building the field of Jewish community day schools, developing strong Jewish leaders, amplifying Judaic program excellence, and galvanizing appreciation and support for day schools. Over the coming months, as we roll out the plans, share them with all of you and solicit your involvement to ensure their success, we will keep in mind what the work of RAVSAK is: to ensure that the Jewish learning in our schools is strong, that it informs how our children live their lives, and that it sets them on a path of lifelong learning.

This motivates us to advocate for and invest in day schools. It is an investment in our children, and our children are our future.


Arnee Winshall is chair of

RAVSAK’s Board of Directors and founding chair of JCDS, Boston's Jewish Community Day School. Arnee can be reached at arnee@ravsak.org.

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Teaching Tanakh

Tanakh (the Jewish Bible, Prophets and Writings) is the cornerstone of Jewish tradition; but how do we take our most ancient text and make it come alive for contemporary Jews? Read how educators deploy an array of methodologies and pedagogies to unlock the treasures of the Tanakh for today’s students.

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