Here are some great programs that you can recommend to your Synagogue, Day School or Early Childhood Center! Fees vary with amount of planning and involvement required for carrying out the program. For synagogues and schools outside the Chicago area, I can design the program and help carry it out, or I can arrange a long weekend visit during which I can present a D’var Torah about “Teaching Jewish Values Through Literature” at Shabbat services; a Family Education, Adult Education, and/or Teacher Workshop on Sunday morning; and do some “Story Lady Visits” in the Early Childhood Center or Day School on Monday:
“Pages and Pajamas” – Invite everyone to come, dressed in pajamas, to a family reading night. The evening will include storytelling, book and music suggestions, crafts and other activities to encourage regular use of the synagogue or school library and a love of reading. I will provide an annotated bibliography to help parents select books to initiate discussions about the Jewish values they wish to pass on to their children. What fun it is to come to school in the evening, dressed in p.j.’s! This program works especially well on Saturday evening when it begins with the beauty of Havdalah. It can be designed for any number of families. Recommended for families with children ages 3-8.
“Story Lady Visits” – Children love a special visitor to read to them. Invite me to your synagogue/center to share stories with the classes on whatever the teaching theme is for the day. I’ll choose appropriate picture books and/or non-fiction selections on any subject and combine them with music, finger plays, rhymes, flannel board stories, movement activities, and a fun art project. I’ll even come in costume – can you imagine how delighted preschoolers will be to hear stories from Mrs. Maccabee or Queen Esther?
“B’Tzelem Elohim–In the Image of God” – A Family Education Day using the Torah and children’s literature to explore God’s attributes and to learn how we can act in God’s image. The program will include activities, Torah text selections and children’s books to involve families in “God Talk” and help them discuss together how they can be “God-like.” The program could include a guest scholar and can be designed for any number of families with children of any age.
“Read and Repair the World!” – A Family Education program that combines “Tikkun Olam – Repairing the World” with children’s literature. I will supply an annotated bibliography for teaching Jewish values through literature. Children and adults will read at home prior to the program to gather ideas about helping others. A social service agency/organization will be selected and families will be asked to collect donations for it. On the day of the program, families will organize and count their donations, engage in activities to share ideas they gained from their reading, and then visit the selected organization to deliver the donations and help with the agency’s work.