Five years ago in 2013, at the end of June I found out there was the principal job position open at
TOLOLS. At that point in my career, having spent 25 years in both Jewish and secular education
at various grade levels, I was ready to take on a larger position. I had dreamed of being an
educator at a religious school, working with teachers, students, families, and other educators in
our community.

My wish came true, as one thing led to another, by mid-August I was hired as the principal of
Torah Lishmah Community. I remember telling someone close to me that I had so many new
people to meet and to get to know, and it was a bit overwhelming at first. Well, all of you made it
so easy. I was welcomed to TOLOLS with warm, encouraging, helpful and open arms. This
came from our families, our teachers, the professional staff at the Tree, and our children at the
school. Luckily, I only had one new teacher to hire as we started a new program called the Mini
Mensches. At our first staff meeting,...

On May 22 we held our annual “Graduation Plus” dinner. We do this at the end of each school year to recognize our graduates, madrichim, CDS Minyan Makers and committed volunteers that make these programs happen.  

This year, like other years, we had some very special and committed seventh grade graduates. As I reflected on the five years I’ve known them, what they’ve accomplished at the Tree and in their communities, I realized their accomplishments are worth sharing.

In 2018 attending a religious school is most often a decision from the family. In years past, when I was growing up, it was basically “a given.” Everyone went to religious school (if not at a Jewish Day school), our buildings were packed and it was just what Jewish kids did. Our youth and families today are living in a different reality. For many of our families it is indeed “a given” that their children will attend a religious school through seventh grade. In 2018 some families choose to send their children and some do not...

I have just returned from Israel! My last trip was in 1996, when I went to an educator’s conference and spent time visiting friends and relatives. Then we started having our family, and things got busy with being a mom, working and establishing our life in Pittsburgh. I have been yearning to go back for years and finally found the perfect opportunity.

I participated in the Partnership 2gether Volunteers Mission of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. I also knew I would want to spend time with friends and relatives and therefore went three days before the mission and stayed for the Shabbat afterwards.

The mission was an incredible opportunity to travel with a diverse group of Pittsburghers (ages 50 - 87 from all parts of our city), and contribute to our partner region - Karmiel/Misgav. We learned about many of the projects funded by our Federation. We went to the Children’s Village where we met families who take in 10 foster children and raise them. We visited Krembo Wings, a you...

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