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October 05, 1990 - Image 102

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-10-05

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

EDUCATION'

FE \BY-SrEIN

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Headmaster

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Continued from preceding page

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102

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5, 1990

(Mid Eleven Center)

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involved in the Jewish Wel-
fare Federation, Jewish
Community Council, Zionist
organizations and other
groups, are asked to speak to
students.
But Hillel, which is part of
the Solomon Schechter
school chain, has not
forgotten its Conservative
roots.
"We are enriched at Hillel
by the close relationship
with the Conservative com-
munity," he said.
Rabbi Pachter, Rabbi Ger-
shon and Rabbi David
Nelson of Congregation Beth
Shalom have all taught
classes at Hillel. In return,
Dr. Smiley has taught a high
school course at Shaarey
Zedek.
"It's allowed us to em-
phasize the importance of
the synagogue," Dr. Smiley
said. "Without the concept of
family, synagogue and
school, Jewish education
can't take a step forward.
Only with the three
elements working together
we can have a significant im-
provement."
As Hillel programs con-
tinue to improve, Dr. Smiley
sees a continuity in the
school which attracts a se-
cond generation of students.
"It says something when a
parent wants to send their
children to the same school
they went to," he said. "It's
a strong validation of our
success."
Another sign of success is
the climbing enroll_ment fig-
ure. School opened with 555
students this September,
compared with 533 pupils
last year.
Yet, while growth is a good
sign, it is one of the
challenges Dr. Smiley faces.
"Right now, the school is
at maximum capacity," he
said. "The board is consider-
ing different options for next
year."
Not only worried about the
lack of classroom space, Dr.
Smiley doesn't want the feel-
ing of a close-knit Hillel
family to disappear.
"One of the challenges is
long term growth," he said.
"We need to know how to
maintain quality programs
and keep the family feel-
ing."
Hillel is also facing an in-
flux of Soviet Jews. There
are nine Soviet Jews, from
both this wave and the last
wave in the 1970s, who are
enrolled in the school.
"What's happening is
almost the fulfillment of a
dream," Dr. Smiley said.
"Hillel has been advocating
the freedom of Soviet Jews
since the mid-1970s."

Because the school was
still educating people from
the first wave and has a
handful of Israelis who come
to the school, its English as a
Second Language class was
still intact, he said. So when
more Soviet Jews began
coming to the school last
year, Hillel expanded the
quantity of services offered.
While Dr. Smiley is con-
cerned with the major issues
facing Hillel, he still attends
to the smaller ad-
ministrative details such as
scheduling times when
students can be in the
sukkah or calling a local
bookstore about a school
Torah which needs repair.
Looking around Detroit,
he is pleased with the
leadership role Hillel has
taken in the revival of the
importance of Jewish edu-
cation, he said.
"The biggest challenge is
personnel, attracting more
and more youth who are
prepared to see Jewish edu-
cation as a meaningful pro-
fession." Ell

Hebrew Reading
Course Offered

Congregation Shaarey Ze-
dek is pleased to announce
Operation Aleph Bet, an op-
portunity to learn Hebrew
and chant the Shabbat mor-
ning service.
Aleph Bet I, beginners
level, will be taught by Henry
Auslander, teacher and
member of Congregation
Shaarey Zedek. The first class
will begin at 11 a.m. Oct. 14.
The course is designed for
those with little or no Hebrew
experience.
Aleph Bet II, taught by
Michael Wolf, will emphasize
the reading and chanting of
prayers for the Shabbat mor-
ning service and begins at
7:30 p.m., Oct. 16. Michael
Wolf is the new assistant
director of education and
youth at Shaarey Zedek.
For information, call
Thelma Kahn at 357-5544.

Temple Offers
Judaism Course

Introduction to Judaism, a
seminar for prospective con-
verts and for Jews seeking a
better understanding of their
heritage, is being offered at
Temple Beth El. Led by Rab-
bi Julian Cook, the class will
meet Monday evenings at 8
p. m.
Classes began Sept. 24, but
openings still exist. Couples
are encouraged to take the
seminar together. For
registration, call the
Religious School office,
851-1100.

.

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