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January 19, 1990 - Image 88

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-01-19

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I EDUCATION

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2002. "We feel she will start
out on the right foot with her
Jewish education. She cannot
stop talking about his moose
slippers and all the funny
things he wears and does."
While humor plays an im-
portant role, Rabbi Chuck's
approach respects the
children. He tries to make
each one feel a sense of impor-
tance as an individual. "You
try to make the whole school
community feel important
and special, and within that
you try to make each grade
feel special, and in that, each
individual feel special.
"It's difficult, because we
have so many kids. I work off
my relationships with the
kids, and so I like to get to
know all of them and it's a big
challenge."
Shaarey Zedek has 90
students from Oak Park,
Southfield and Birmingham
who attend Monday and
Wednesday classes at the
synagogue. The West Bloom-
field branch at Orchard Lake
Middle School accommodates
260 students from the Farm-
ington Hills and West Bloom-
field areas on Tuesday and
Thursday. There are 95 high
school students, with all
classes on Sunday at the
synagogue.
Rabbi Chuck's respect for
the students extends to
handling problems. "I see
myself as a rabbi for the kids.
I want to be approachable and
a positive role model," he
said.
"I believe in dealing with
the kids. If a parent calls, I
tell them to send the kid in
and we'll take it from there.
It's a matter of setting expec-
tations high and putting the
burden on the kids. Everyone
should really have a stake in
the program. The kids should
feel a sense of purpose, that
they have a responsiblity to
the Shaarey Zedek communi-
ty and to the greater Jewish
community. And the teachers
should feel that they have a

stake in the program and an
input into what's going on.
And the parents as well. If
everyone feels a part of it, it
will make it a much more suc-
cessful program."
While most children dread
being sent to a principal's of-
fice, kids at Shaarey Zedek
clamor for Rabbi Chuck's
time. There is a "Break Club"
which hangs out in his office
to play with the seven dwarfs,
Mickey, Minnie and other
toys. Two 5th graders who
were running through the
halls one day were gruffly
called into his office. They
walked in fearing a repri-
mand, but he thrust two
donut holes at them instead.
His "assistant," Mar Milon
(Mr. Dictionary), swoops down
on classes, sometimes jump-
ing through a window with
his Snoopy towel cape as he
introduces a new Hebrew
word to students.

Teacher Geri Levit says
, that Rabbi Chuck is a lot of
fun to work for. "He is mak-
ing school fun without turn-
ing it into a circus," she said.
The 34-year old rabbi holds
a master's degree in public
policy and management from
Carnegie-Mellon Institute
and he graduated from the
Jewish Theological Seminary.
He was elected to two terms
as a district committman in
Pittsburgh. He is on the
boards of numerous civic and
Jewish organizations and has
won honors from the Jewish
Theological Seminary,
Carnegie-Mellon University,
United Synagogue Youth and
the Pennsylvania State
Senate.

Rabbi Chuck is trying to
make Jewish education part
of children's life experience.
"Kids are already starting to
go home from Hebrew school
with smiles on their faces. I
want them to be able to look
back on their Jewish educa-
tion experience with smiles
on their faces." ❑

Rabbi Dreamin'

featuring
STUART ROGOFF

3 58-5744
If it's a Classy Affair
CLASS ACT is there!

Rappin' Rabbi

Continued from preceding page

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(Keego Harbor Area)

Continued from preceding page
you can sit in on classes
tonight.
Six p.m., there goes the bell.
Bye guys, see you on Wednes-
day. What? Your parents
aren't coming until 6:30.
Sure, feel free to just hang out
for awhile. Oh, you want to
work on the tzedakah project
— Let's go!
It's 6:30 and I'm sitting
alone in my office. There is a
knock on the door. Come on
in, Rob (our hard working
USY adviser). Did you ask
Tobye if she has the list for
this week's oneg Shabbat?

Yes, I think 75 kids is a lot!
Oh, that doesn't include the
8th and 9th grades. Well,
yeah, we can find room. All 75
said they would be here Shab-
bat morning for our Pray and
Play — that's just great!
Hi, honey, sorry I'm home
so late, but I ran into the
Mishpacha family in the
parking lot. Greg said we
were supposed to be
vegetarians, based upon
God's instructions to Adam
and Eve in Bereshit. Sarah
agreed but argued that based
upon the story of Noah, we

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