July 29, 2020
Dear Religious School Families,
July has moved quickly! Your teachers and I have spent the month learning at the NewCAJE Conference – a Conference on Alternatives in Jewish Education. Never before have technological alternatives been explored at such depth! In fact, the whole conference was done via Zoom, with the presenters modeling various platforms and giving instructions and insight on how to use these platforms. We also talked about social and emotional learning while attending school virtually.
I have spoken with many of you during this time to gauge how you and your families are doing, and to learn about your hopes for our religious school in the coming year.
Overwhelmingly, parents have told me that we must start the year virtually. The Covid19 numbers are just too high right now in our community and our health and safety must come first.
I agree! And our teachers agree and are all on board to make our virtual, religious school learning experience valuable and successful for your children. We will of course, continue to evaluate the virus situation and if we can return to our classrooms at CBI, we will!
The teachers and I will be meeting the first week in August to plan our schedule and fine tune our curriculum for virtual learning. Our focus will remain on Hebrew, Prayer, History, Jewish Values, Torah, and Holidays. We will do our very best to maintain our high standards of learning as well as providing your children with a safe sacred space for personal expression and religious exploration.
We will be having an opening day event at CBI on Sunday, September 13, by class, with masks and physical distancing, for you to pick up materials and meet your teachers.
Most importantly, please register your child for school today so that we can appropriately plan and buy the material we need to start the year. Here is the link for our on-line registration form: https://www.cbi18.org/education/religious-school (scroll down to the bottom).
More information will be coming including an updated calendar, all of the zoom links, and more. I look forward to sharing this extraordinary year with you!
Rabbi Robin Foonberg
Celebrating the End of our School Year!
May 14, 2020
As we enter our final week of Religious School for the year, none of us could have imagined it would end this way. This also marks the end of my 25th year in Jewish education – a momentous milestone ending with the biggest challenge I have had to face in my career.
Since mid-March, our teachers have stepped up, from home, to continue our education program. I am very proud of them! We have continued our Hebrew learning, studied about Passover, and talked about our Jewish values. We have done some art programs and of course, we have provided a prayer experience every Sunday with Carl and me.
We do not know what next year will bring, but we will rise to the challenge to continue our outstanding program. We have learned a great deal and we will continue to learn throughout the summer.
Many of our students have expressed their desire to be back at CBI and in their classrooms. That is my wish too! But if it cannot happen, we will provide outstanding virtual learning experiences.
I also wish to thank the teens who served as madrichim this year. There will be a place for you next year as well and we will work together over the summer to make that happen.
On Sunday, May 17, at noon, we will gather for a virtual zoom end-of-year assembly. We will honor our teachers and madrichim, we will sing, and we will celebrate another year of Jewish learning. Please join us!
Planning for the Future of Religious School
April 28, 2020
As we now find ourselves now in week #7 of our “Stay at Home” orders, I know many people are wondering how much longer? When will life return to normal?
In terms of our Religious School, we have just a few more weeks of classes (last day is Sunday, May 17) and then we will take some time off to refresh.
But our lives may not seem “normal” for a while.
I have already begun planning for our next school year as if we are returning to CBI and our beautiful classrooms. Over the summer, I will also be working on our contingency plan in case we are unable to return. We have learned a great deal in the past seven weeks about virtual school and already I know some things I want to do better in the Fall. And I am open to your suggestions! Please email me over the summer and let me know your ideas.
Meanwhile, we will experiment this Sunday, May 3, with tefillah via ZOOM! Carl and I want to SEE the children so we hope you will all join us at 10am.
Virtual Religious School zoom classes are ongoing – but there is NO school on Sunday, May 10, for Mother’s Day.
Most importantly, stay home, stay well, and please, stay in touch!
With love and gratitude for your continued support,
Rabbi Robin Foonberg
April 23, 2020
Dear CBI Families,
We emerge from slavery to find ourselves still dealing with the responsibilities of freedom. Freedom is taking care of each other and our world, our organizations, our students, our families and friends. I am grateful to celebrate my freedom by staying home, working from home, and virtually connecting to all of you!
Our teachers continue to offer virtual learning for our religious school children. The attendance has been great! But we all agree – we hope to be in our classrooms this Fall.
However, we also understand that it might not be possible. I want to assure you that if we must continue to teach from a distance, we are learning from our current situation so that we can create an even better virtual program in the Fall.
Until then, we will enjoy our last weeks of this school year!
Thank you to our outstanding faculty for all your efforts to connect with your students.
Thank you parents for your patience and support.
Please stay safe and healthy,
Rabbi Robin Foonberg
CBI Religious School ZOOMS!
April 6, 2020
During these unprecedented times, CBI has stepped up to the virtual plate for our students!
Our faculty members learned how to use Zoom and created virtual classrooms for our religious school students, from Kindergarten through 7th grade! We have done art classes, tefillah, a special musical event with Sam Glaser, history studies, Passover lessons, and Hebrew reading practice. We have had classes every afternoon during the week and on Sundays. Some have also engaged in private tutoring and our b’nai mitzvah students continue to prepare for their special day.
Carl Cedar and I have been livestreaming our Sunday morning tefillah so that the children can continue to learn their prayers and sing with us.
It has been a joy to see our students online while we all maintain our physical distance. While it is certainly not our preference, we are blessed to have and use technology for our sacred learning space. It is likely we will not return to school this year, but I am already planning for next year! Projects that were missed will be made up, field trips will be rescheduled, and our Sam Glaser concert will happen!
Thank you to our teachers – Karen, Sheri B., Shera, Helene, Sheri G., Jean, Mindy, Marina, Carl, and Rabbi Spitz for being there for the kids!
Thank you to all our parents and students for your patience and support while we learn about Zoom and for your participation!
I wish you all a zissen Pesach, a sweet Pesach – one that we will remember always!
Rabbi Robin Foonberg, Director of Education