Recently, Sarah Alevsky was honored with the Ckids Educator of the Year Award. The following is her speech upon accepting the award:
Thank you Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, Rabbi Zalman and Mrs. Mushky Lowenthal for this tremendous honor.
On behalf of all the Hebrew School directors that spend countless hours of their time, give of their dedication and love, and care about every child in their Hebrew school, I thank you. I represent an incredible force of good and commitment that is changing the Jewish landscape.
I also want to acknowledge our team of shluchim that together with my husband Rabbi Chayim Alevsky we are privileged to be a part of at Chabad of the West Side, led by Rabbi Shlomo and Rivky Kugel.
Chabad Hebrew Schools everywhere have benefitted immeasurably from the hard work, creativity and dedication of CKids. As part of the legendary Merkos Suite 302, Ckid’s goal was to give Chabad Hebrew Schools and camps the tools they will need to make their programs even better. From designing curriculum to organizing retreats where we dive deep into the work we do to this amazing JewQ Championship, Ckids has transformed every area of education that we engage in with school-age children.
Learn it, Live it, Love it is a frequent motto of Chabad Hebrew Schools and it captures our global mission and purpose beautifully. Our goal as educators is to teach our children about their Jewish heritage and traditions and beliefs in ways that lead them to both love and live their Judaism. Jew Q is a fantastic way of promoting Jewish literacy, making it fun and also asking the children to adopt some of these practices in their daily lives.
People often ask what’s the secret of Chabad Hebrew Schools? What makes them so magical that our kids love coming and spending time with their teachers and friends? One is that the teachers express a personal love and excitement of Judaism which inspires the students to love being Jewish, and the other one is that the children are loved and appreciated for who they are and are seen as an important part of a community. Celebrating the importance of community and being part of something that is larger than ourselves, and simultaneously, that we all matter as individuals is a key teaching of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson and one that will help grow committed, confident adults.
Just this week, in my 4th-5th grade class, we learned how Moshe told the Jewish people the book of Devarim over a span of 30 days. The speeches of Devarim are a goodbye letter and a living will to the Jewish people as they forge new lives in Israel. I asked the children to record a video letter to their children about what they want them to know about Judaism and why it’s important, and their responses were moving and deep. When kids think about how they are the link in the chain to the past and to the future of the Jewish people, we know that we are on the right path.
May all our students be at the forefront to lead us into the final redemption with Moshiach, speedily in our days. Amen.