The Hebrew school at MHJC center really gave Katherine a solid formal education in the structure and understanding of Judaism. More importantly, she has a sense of pride and respect for her heritage and a moral compass that is reflective in her self-perception as a Jew.
We joined MHJC when our daughter Katherine was 11 years old. Previously, we belonged to a synagogue that did not give her any substantial Jewish education. So her real Hebrew education started when she was in 6th grade. At this point, she had a marginal understanding of the Hebrew alphabet and a vocabulary of less than 10 words.
Our first step was a meeting with Ruth Kravit, the director of MHJC’s Hebrew school. We lamented to her our regrets. Our regret at not giving her a stronger base sooner and our worries that it might be too late to foster in her an appreciation for Judaism.
Ruth recommended a series of one-on-one meetings with Katherine in order to get a true assessment of our daughter’s skill level and potential. After just one meeting most of our fears were put to rest. Ruth assured us that she could work with her and bring her up to speed with the rest of kids her own age.
Katherine started Hebrew school and acclimated to MHJC very quickly. Her two teachers, Ms. Fortuna and Mr. Birenbaum, worked closely with Katherine, supported her efforts and gave us constructive feedback. In addition to Hebrew school, we attended Shabbat services as a family.
When it came time for Katherine to have her bat mitzvah, Rabbi Schuman worked closely with her and played a crucial role in preparing her for the big day. Ms. Kravit and the other teachers at MHJC were present to share in the blessed event.