by Nechama Retting and Tobey Greenberg
Jewish customs, traditions, and knowledge always have been passed on from generation to generation, Dor L’Dor. In our hectic society, however, less and less of our traditions are being passed down and fewer rituals are being observed. Those customs that once had so much meaning to us seem to have fallen by the wayside and have little or no meaning for some of our younger generations. How can we as Jewish educators change this path?
We can begin in the Early Childhood classrooms by creating a multitude of opportunities to create connections to Torah, to Israel, and to Judaism and also extending those connections to our families at home. In our busy world today, parents don’t always have the time, or often the knowledge, to teach and share our traditions with our younger generations. In some instances, the children are teaching their parents what they have learned in their Gan, which is the reverse of what our grandparents did. We need to create a bridge between school and home, not only educating the children, but also their families.