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Power of Moments

Have you ever thought about memories – why we remember the things that we do? Have you ever had a moment-by-moment experience, maybe on a vacation or while spending time with friends or family, that may have been mixed or even negative, but in retrospect you remember it fondly?

Our religious school teachers are currently reading one of my favorite books, The Power of Moments, by Chip and Dan Heath. If you are curious, you can learn a bit more about it by watching a short video HERE. Each month throughout the school year, our faculty will be gathering to discuss the book and how we can use its wisdom to help build memorable moments for our ECRS students while they are here with us on Sunday mornings.

So far, we have discussed how experiences involving elements of elevation, pride, insight and/or connection are the ones that we are most likely to remember. Ever find yourself taking out your cellphone to take a photo? Most likely it is one of those elements at play, making you want to capture and hold on to that moment in time.

Of course, memory is an incredibly important Jewish value. The value of lizkor (to remember) is linked to many of our traditions. We are commanded in the Torah to shamor v’zachor Shabbat (remember and keep Shabbat). Some of our most important holidays include a yizkor, or memorial, service. As Jews, we have a long tradition which involves constantly remembering. We remember and retell our stories annually in our homes at Passover seders and through elaborate or creatively themed Purim schpiels. We spend a lot of time calling upon our memories.

What a gift it would be to intentionally engineer moments in our days, weeks, months, and years at ECRS that our students will remember throughout their lives! And what a gift to have the time with our faculty to think deeply about how we can do this together. I am so grateful for all of the opportunities that Emanuel provides for us to be creative and to collaborate to continually improve experiences. Of course, I invite and welcome each of your ideas as well. We are a special community that is rich with memory and tradition. My door is always open for you to share yours.


Mandy Herlich, RJE

Director of Religious School


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