May 20, 2024 |


Posted on May 11, 2018

It has been an honor to learn with this amazing group of young people; Hana, Kayla, Hannah, Naomi, Leah, Max, Sam, Adam, Ben and Daniel. They are a group of ten extraordinary individuals, each on his or her own unique Jewish journey.  As a group they are very social, enthusiastic, funny, sensitive, compassionate, bright and creative thinkers.  
Our learning focused on Jewish holidays, Jewish life cycle, Tefillah and Pirkei Avot.  Two thousand years ago, the rabbis shared their ethical teachings in Pirkei Avot, Ethics of the Sages, one of 63 tractates of the Mishna.  And, while their teachings are influenced by the times in which they lived, much of what they shared continues to have meaning for us today. 
During our study of Pirkei Avot, we unpacked the traditional meanings and then worked to construct meaning for ourselves by creating short videos.  One mishna from Pirkei Avot states, “Make for yourself a teacher, acquire for yourself a friend.”  Gesherstudents worked together on their videos as friends and through the process of creating videos together or sharing their videos, they became teachers.
During their siyum, our students taught selections from Pirkei Avot. First, the creator or creators introduced his, her or their video by explaining the mishna and then they shared their videos.  These videos are varied: some are touching, others are silly or funny, and some are profoundly meaningful.  Each demonstrates our students’ creativity, thought, insights and the fun that they had learning this year.
It has been an extraordinary year and I hope to remain part of their Jewish journeys as each finds her place in the Jewish community and the Jewish world. Mazal tov!  May you go from strength to strength!