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12-Year-Old Carly Reflects on Her Religious School Experience in The Coalition


Carly, a 12-year-old girl from Westchester, wrote a letter about her religious school experience at Community Synagogue of Rye and working with her Coalition Educator, Hilary Schumer. Hear her thoughts in this video and read her letter.

Dear Rick and Laurie,

Earlier today, my mother informed me that due to the lack of students participating in Chavarah this year it might come to an end. I really think this would be a very big mistake because chavarah has really shaped mine, and I know the other students in my group, Jewish life and identity. I have learned more than I ever imagined when I first started participating Three years ago. Not only have I learned a lot about Judaism, but I have learned a lot about life. When I was in a classroom setting at the Hebrew school I found some of the things we learned were not going to help us in life, but simply let us get through our Bat/Bar Mitzvahs. Chavarah has made me look at my bat mitzvah year in a different way. It is not the end of my Jewish education, but the begging of my Jewish life and deciding who I want to be as a Jewish person. I have been inspired to help others more and am doing my mitzvah project at a place I once visited with my chavarah group, the sharing shelf. Each week I learn a life lesson that I will take with me forever. Every now and then something happens that reminds me of a lesson at chavarah and I know exactly what to do. It also has been a lot of fun, too.  We have visited many museums, learned from guests, went to a safartic temple to learn about different types of Jews, learned about working together, and did many other meaningful yet fun activities. I think because it is fun it will make people want to stay connected to the temple as they grow older. Chavarah has also taught me a lot about working with new people and our group has created a very special bond. Our teacher this year, Hilary, has really connected with us and we have had a great few weeks. I have to say that I now look forward to going every Tuesday. Our group has had ups and down, but we have begun to really connect and create a very special friendship. It would be such a shame to lose this great program that has provided students with valuable lessons.

Sincerely, Carly


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