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Early Childhood Center-School Year 2016-2017

"Play is the highest expression of human development."
Welcome to The One School At Temple Beth Am, Celebrating the Whole Child. We understand and respect that every child is essentially, ‘the one.’ Every child is unique. The specifics of how we nurture and grow each child are dependent entirely upon the needs of the child. This is how we celebrate each child - by engaging him or her at his or her point of need. The One School partners with every parent to ensure every child is championed and educated as an individual.

The One School is a NAEYC Accredited, Reggio Emilia Nature-inspired school, serving ages 18 months to five years. The One School offers certified teachers, a low student/teacher ratio, an emergent creative curriculum and specialty areas of study including science, art, music, foreign language and nature study. The One School’s curricula are supplemented by young family programs and parenting workshops, an infant and toddler program, Family Center, Summer Camp, after school enrichment classes and an active and instrumental Parent Teacher Organization. A commitment to contribute to the community and the world at large is also a part of the school’s social justice philosophy.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

I Challenge you to Focus on the Positives

This Rosh Hashanah, I Challenge You to Focus on the Positives

Two essential parts of preparing for Rosh Hashanah, our clean slate for the year, is asking forgiveness from anyone we wronged and making a list (mental or written) of the ways we fell short since the last time we heard the shofar. Ideally that hard work of going to friends, family, and anyone else deserving of our forgiveness happens in the weeks leading up to Rosh Hashanah. By the time Yom Kippur rolls around 10 days later, we should be ready to confess our mistakes as a community, having already considered our personal paths to a teshuva, repentance, and how we will do better this year.
 If, like me, you’re the kind of person with a high capacity for guilt, you probably find that task easy, too, since we already felt badly about it during the year. I regret contributing to any gossip. I regret listening to any gossip. I regret not helping individuals or organizations more than I could have
I find that children, perhaps through nature and nurture, also have no problem (OK, after some prodding) coming up with people deserving of apologies and ways they could have behaved better during the year.
In Rabbi Joseph Telushkin’s book “A Code of Jewish Ethics Volume I: You Shall By Holy,” he suggests that in addition to focusing on our transgressions before Rosh Hashanah, we also make a list of the good we did this year. He provides a sample prayer modeled after the Al Chet (“For the sin I committed by…”) recited on Yom Kippur. Instead of “For the sin I committed,” he starts each line with, “For the mitzvah we (or I) performed.” He ends the prayer with these encouraging words: “All these things, God, please remember and inspire us to do more acts like these in the year ahead.”
I find the “For the mitzvah I performed” exercise a great exercise for children.  We are not just focusing on mistakes, but position actions. encouraging our kids to  think of their goods deeds as well. But the power of focusing on both the mistakes and the positive actions we performed this year is about as powerful of a Rosh Hashanah preparation that you can get.
One mitzvah that is a major mitzvah for Rosh Hashanah is to hear the shofar. The shofar is our spiritual wake-up call. It would not be required every year if we were expected to have lived flawlessly.

For the mitzvah I performed I shared with my community the importance of focusing not only on our mistakes, but also positive actions for the year!

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