ShalomLearning in My House

ShalomLearning in My House

Not only am I the Chief Operating Officer at ShalomLearning, I am also the parent of a 4th grade ShalomLearning student, which think it has helped be better in both of these roles.

Being very familiar with our content I definitely have an advantage when my son asks me questions at the dinner table Sunday night. “Oh, you want to talk about how people can see two different things in the same picture?

Sure, I know exactly why you’re bringing that up and how it relates to this month’s value of B’tzelem Elohim (honoring the image of God in ourselves) because I also thought that was a cool part of the curriculum.” Ok, that’s not exactly what I say, but you get the idea.

And on the rare occasion (he’s a bit of a thinker and a talker) he doesn’t bring it up, I have some topics up my sleeve to get him chatting more about what they discussed in class that morning. And let’s face it, my husband and younger child are also benefiting. Not only because they get to hear this highly stimulating conversation about why people might see the same thing differently, and how we should always look for the best in others since we are all made in God’s image (B’tzelem Elohim), we all start to actually practice these values.

So when the cup gets knocked over, and the 5-year old complains because we are “having chicken again,” I use my gevurah (using one’s inner and outer strength) to keep my cool just a little bit longer so I can remember we are B’tzelem Elohim, and if I do lose it, I can do teshuvah (taking responsibility for my actions) and get it right the next time.

So, yes, my knowledge of the curriculum gives me an edge over most Hebrew school parents, but it doesn’t solve everything. I still have many of the same issues – especially that over-scheduled life one. We are constantly multi-tasking/dropping balls.

This means I’ve forgotten about class until 5 minutes after it started (luckily the computer is just seconds away), each week I am searching for a time my son can login to do the homework, and I hear the groans from my kid when the lesson may have “missed the mark” (to borrow a term from teshuvah) and didn’t resonate with him.

When these things happen, it’s both terrible and terrific because as a member of the ShalomLearning team, I can think about how we make it better. I love hearing from all of our families and educators about all the little and not-so-little things we can do to improve our programming.

This past year alone we added a 7th grade curriculum, an online only Hebrew program, made updates to our 3rd-6th curriculum, and upgraded our learning management system to make it easier for students and teachers to find and complete assignments. There is so much more to come including a second grade curriculum and new approaches to learning Hebrew and the prayers.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with your ideas. You never know how it could grow and help so many others.

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About Debi Himelfarb

Debi is a PMP certified business professional with expertise in identifying, creating, and building client relations. Prior to joining ShalomLearning, she was a proven leader for nearly a decade at Blackboard, the software company that pioneered the creation of web based eLearning software platforms powering networked learning environments. Her responsibilities included overseeing technical support teams and creating new client programs. A graduate of Rutgers College, Debi studied for a year at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Debi, her husband, and two sons live in Rockville, Maryland.