By Mrs. Chaya Tendler, Chumash Teacher
As the day winds down in Jerusalem, it's just starting in Seattle! 6:30 pm Israel-time, finds me sitting down to greet my Derech Emunah students for their first-period class, which begins for them at 8:30 am in Seattle. Somehow, although the distance is enormous, it seems that words of Torah can connect hearts and minds over many miles.
Many times I am asked how remote learning works. People wonder if it's possible to successfully teach high school girls when you aren't in the classroom physically. I always answer that it’s not a problem because of the caliber of Derech Emunah students. They are respectful, eager to learn, and motivated to make the most of the remote learning experience.
Therefore, we have the opportunity to broaden horizons and share experiences from half-way around the world. I enjoy, keeping my students updated on the city that is the heart of the Jewish nation, Jerusalem. (It also has unexpected perks--such as my ability to pray for them at Rachel's Tomb when we are learning about Rachel in class!)
I find it especially invigorating to meet my students when they come to Israel, either for seminary or for a short trip. At that point, we already feel as though we've known each other for a while, as our connection through learning Torah together has traversed the globe.
The girls know they aren't just learning Torah in a small school in Seattle, but they are part of the global Jewish nation. And what a privilege that is! All the benefits of remote learning aside, I'm looking forward to spending time with my wonderful students in person when I visit Seattle for a Shabbaton in a few weeks.
Below: Derech Emunah students in Mrs. Chaya Tendler's class.