There comes a point in a business or a not-for-profit, once countless hours and constant effort has been invested, sufficient mistakes have been made, plenty of lessons have been learnt, meaningful growth has occurred, and better systems have been put in place, that they can say that they have reached a new, better, 2.0 level. I am so incredibly proud to say that this is where Zehud is now at!
As you know, Zehud is a labour of love for me because I began Zehud so that I could provide high-quality online Ivrit and Jewish education for my children. Since then, I – along with our fantastic team of teachers – have invested countless hours and effort to provide the best quality, cost-effective, online learning experience for Jewish children in Europe.
Have I made mistakes? Of course! Have plenty of lessons been learnt? Certainly! Has meaningful growth occurred? Definitely! And have we put better systems in place? Absolutely! Doing is creating.https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.469.0_en.html#goog_1527356141
Like my first child who just celebrated his bar mitzvah from whom I’ve learnt so much about parenting, I’ve learnt so much from the past few years of growing Zehud. But just like a bar mitzvah reflects reaching a new age, stage and responsibility, so too, Zehud has reached a new age and stage, and with this, it has an even greater responsibility to provide low-cost high-quality online education for Jewish children in Europe.
In recent weeks Zehud ran its first online fundraising campaign, and with the money that we raised, we are looking forward to providing even more learning opportunities to even more children.
So as we are coming to the end of the school year, Zehud is looking onwards and upwards, and given this, I just want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have personally, emotionally and financially helped us reach this point. And of course, if you are the parent of Jewish children in Europe, or if you know Jewish parents who are looking for effective online learning solutions for their children, we are open for September registration please visit https://school.zehud.com/ or contact me directly.ABOUT THE AUTHORTal lives in Venice, Italy, in an antique Jewish Orthodox community that enjoys over 500 years of colorful history. She has fallen hopelessly in love with Jewish Europe and runs The Zehud Jewish Online School & Foundation for Jewish Life in Europe. Most communities today don’t have a Jewish School, by virtually uniting smaller groups to create a critical mass, we have connected it with high quality Jewish education . Passionate about promoting sites of Jewish interest and Jewish personalities , Tal especially enjoys social encounters and hosts locals and internationals for eclectic Shabbat dinners. She has taken her management skills and applied them to various multicultural challenges, family life and even parenting. Tal believes in the power of the WE.RELATED TOPICS
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Jewish Europe needs home-grown Jewish leadership
MAY 24, 2021, 1:57 PM
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For Jewish Europe to have Jewish continuity, we need to provide it with stable and continuous Jewish leadership.
The problem, however, is that most of the institutions in Jewish Europe are staffed by shlichim (emissaries) who – though wonderful men and women who choose to come to Europe from Israel or elsewhere for a few years as teachers, youth leaders, community workers, Rabbis and Rebbetzens – are ultimately individuals whose roots are not from Europe, and individuals who don’t see their future in Europe.
Just like a soccer team that is constantly changing their manager which means that the soccer team never quite finds their focus, when European Jewish communities fail to secure long-term communal leadership, they struggle to map out their continuity.
Of course, there are exceptions, and there are a number of fabulous men and women who have made their choice to stay in Europe. Still, they are the few, not the many, and when shlichim do come to Europe, by the time they truly understand the needs and culture of the location where they are based, it is not long before they are flying home.
Beyond this, there are not an insignificant number of communities in Europe whose Rabbis are so part-time that they spend only some Shabbatot and Chagim with their community and much of their time in Israel or elsewhere. They don’t want to uproot their families. But like so many of the examples I have mentioned, and notwithstanding the long history of Jewish Europe, many of us feel that our community is merely a temporary abode for many of the leaders and educators who service our community.
Given this, for Jewish Europe to have Jewish continuity, we need to provide it with stable and continuous Jewish leadership. We need to grow educators for Jewish Europe. Youth leaders and Community leaders for Jewish Europe. And Rabbis and Rebbetzen’s for Jewish Europe. We need our scholars who understand our needs. And our own leaders who understand our culture. For Jewish Europe to find its focus, it needs more stable, home grown communal leadership. And for this to occur, it must begin from within.
But to do so, we need to incentivize and support the Jewish youth of Europe for the sake of our future. They must be educated so they are qualified for these roles. They must be given respectable salaries to justify their staying in Europe. And they deserve to be respected as leaders beyond Europe – especially since their work portfolio is generally far deeper and far broader than their counterparts in the US, the UK or Israel.
Ultimately, while Jewish Europe appreciates all our shlichim, the time has come to invest in, and to prioritize some more home grown talent – for the sake of our future.