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o an outsider, the partici- lead the group that is scheduled need more information' is hard
pants in the Jewish Edu- to meet one more time this school to do."
Last week in a classroom at
cators Learning Minyan on season.
"After the retreat, one of the Congregation Shaarey Zedek,
Feb. 21 may have looked a
little strange, wiggling and pump- participants said, 'It would be re- a smaller group of teachers
ing their arms as they stood in ally nice to continue meeting,"' studied the Sh'ma and prayers
Ms. Locke said. "We also thought said in the morning and the
a circle facing each other.
But to the group members, it would be nice to include every- evening. The group also studied
reciting the Sh'ma in American one. So, we opened it up to all the differences between Reform
sign language was just
part of the learning ex-
perience on the subject
"I never thought I'd
be doing this," Temple
Emanu-El teacher Judy
Hudspeth said of the
guage gestures. "But the
funny thing is, I feel re-
ally comfortable here
So did other members
of the group, many of
whom returned for the
second time to study
prayers and the differ-
ences between the Re-
form and Conservative
traditions regarding the
The minyan, a three- Nira Lev, Elissa Berg and Shawn Locke sing at the minyan.
part workshop offered to
tradition and Conservative prac-
teachers as a part of the Agency teachers."
for Jewish Education's NIRIM
Rabbi Aaron Bergman of Con-
professional enrichment pro- Temple Israel at the first meet-
Beth Abraham Hillel
gram, may be the first of its kind
dah, to hear Rabbi Joshua Moses also gave a discourse about
in the country.
"It seems like such an obvious Bennett's discourse on the the Sh'ma which included some
kind of thing to offer educators, prayers and to participate in an history of the prayer.
"-We try to address a number
but it is not," said Shawn Locke,
of issues we know the teachers
director of school services for the
deal with," Ms. Berg said. "One
Agency for Jewish Education.
is the differences of prayer in the
The idea for the learning
Reform and Conservative tradi-
minyan came to Elissa Berg,
tions. There are a lot of teachers
out there who are Conservative
and teach in the Reform schools
and Reform teachers who teach
at Conservative schools."
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Shawn Locke and Raquel Pomer-
antz Gershon after the Jewish
Educators Retreat held at
the Butzel Conference Center
early last year. The three now
"We want to make people more
comfortable with what they are
teaching," she added.
Raquel Pomerantz Gershon teaches
Although the goal is to instruct
the Sh'ma in sign language.
the teachers on different aspects
of prayer, the leaders hope the
teachers walk away with some-
Jeannette Tilchin asks the leaders a
"It is not just skills we are look-
ing for," Ms. Locke said. "It is per-
sonal growth as well."
evening prayer service.
The group plans to meet again
"Not too many professionals
are willing to say, 'I am not real with Rabbi Elliot Pachter 7-9
sure about something I teach p.m. Tuesday, April 4, at Con-
about,"' Ms. Berg said. "To say, 'I gregation B'nai Moshe. I]