In our Senior Schmooze class we have created an intimate group as we bring the Midrasha experience full circle. Each class begins with the "basket'o'phones" so that our time together is undisturbed. Aside from sharing the latest regarding College applications, essays, and acceptances, the Seniors are reflective on what decisions they have made and opportunities they have had that has brought them to where they are right now. We talked about what we thought Judaism might look like in general, in the next five or ten years and which words of Pirket Avot [Teaching of our Ancestors] speak the most to us and why. Most importantly, we indulged in the Jewish concept of “brachot” (blessings and appreciation) and the variety of different ways that Jewish tradition shows appreciation and marks it as we worked to apply those practices to our own lives. In thinking towards the future we've explored important things to consider regarding health, self care, and access to physical and mental health care once one leaves home. We've also explored the importance of knowing one's parents preferences if something were to happen to their health. Some of the lighter conversations have been in reminiscing the "good 'ole days" of 8th - 9th grade and what has changed since and sharing Midrasha "first" moments while articulating recommendations for incoming 8th graders to the Midrasha program.
One highlight from our class that truly exemplifies the growth and steps towards maturity that these young people have made during their years at Midrasha happened back in February. We were having a discussion about our relationship with our parents and thinking about whether the relationship would change, & if so, how might it change, as they go off to college. One student expressed their deepest appreciation for their parents while exclaiming, "I have the best parents in the world!" This was particularly wonderful to hear since I have known this young person for many years and they hadn't always showered words of admiration upon them. The same student continued to say, "people used to tell me how great my parents were but I didn't believe them; I was really mean to them." I never tire of seeing a young person grow from their child mentality into a young adult. I am in such awe and appreciation of my students everyday!
Contact Midrasha Co-Directors Mark Deutsch and Debra Marx at (510)501-6692