May 20, 2024 |

Shanah tovah- and hi!

Posted on September 16, 2015

Shanah Tovah!

I wanted to take this chance with the start of the New Year to introduce myself.
My name is Josh Satok, and I’ll be teaching Hebrew and Synagogue Skills (and I’m sure a lot more fun things!) for Kitah Vav (Grade 6).
I’m new to the Boston area- I’m originally from Toronto, Canada, and  I just moved down less than a month ago to start graduate school at Brandeis, where I’m in the Hornstein program, getting an MA in Jewish Professional Leadership and an MBA focused on non-profit management.

Before coming to Boston, I spent this past summer working as the Program Director at Camp Ramah in Canada (I’m from Toronto, so it’s close to home), after spending the previous six summers working at Camp Kadimah, another Jewish camp in Nova Scotia, Canada, working with campers ranging in age from 6 to 16, including as a section head for 9-11 year olds for two summers and the Program Director for 2 summers. I spent this past year in Greensboro, North Carolina, working at the American Hebrew Academy, a Jewish boarding school, where not only did I teach Synagogue Skills (and it was called Synagogue Skills there too!), but I also lived in a house with 10th and 11th graders, responsible for them, and worked on programming, Jewish life, admissions, coached the cross country team, and a whole lot of other stuff.

Coming off basically a year and half straight of being in 24/7 environments working with kids, I’m really excited to have the opportunity to work with the sixth graders and still have a chance to teach and work with kids in my life here in Boston. I’ve had the chance to teach not just at AHA, but also at the Yale Hillel Children’s School (where I went to undergrad), and at the Montessori Jewish Day School in Toronto, and am looking forward to being able to bring what I’ve learned from all these different environments to Temple Israel.

I can’t wait to meet everyone on Sunday. If you have any questions at all for me, please get in touch at at anytime. And keep reading the blog for updates all year long!

PS. One request for you to pass along to your kids before Sunday. I’d like to take some time in our first class for everyone to share what I’d call their “Jewish journey”- where they come from, what they’ve done before at school, what holidays they like, what their favourite Hebrew word is, what about prayers they like or dislike and how they’ve gotten to that point. So if you can ask them to think about that for a little bit, maybe even try to talk about it a little with you before Sunday, we’ll all take 5 minutes max to share our journeys with each other. I’ve done this with a group of graduate students for this fellowship I’m a part of , did it with a group of high schoolers and college kids at camp this summer, and both times it was really powerful getting to learn more about each other to help become a supportive group, so I’d really love to try it with our group of sixth graders. It also gives everyone an open, supportive environment to try speaking in public and becoming comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings with everyone else in the class. It’s in no way meant to make anyone uncomfortable, and anyone who doesn’t want to doesn’t have to, but I think it’ll just be a really nice way for us to start our year off together.

Thanks, shanah tovah, and see you soon!

Josh Satok