Appreciating Our Teachers

Rabbi's Message - May 4, 2021

Rabbi Tina Sobo

This first week of May is recognized as Teacher Appreciation Week and it is an honor to take some time right now to reflect on how grateful I am for this year’s teaching team in our religious school.  When we switched to virtual learning last year, I never expected to still be primarily on Zoom over a year later.  Our teachers committed to teaching, knowing that this year was going to be a very unique year.  All of them have stepped up to the challenge (and then some) throughout the year, engaging with our students, coming up with new tactics to educate, and planning in ways we haven’t asked previously.  This year, we’ve gathered in little squares on Zoom, we’ve waved through car windows at material pick-ups, we picnicked in the parking lot for Passover, and we’ll do it again for the last day.  You’ll hear more about all of our amazing educators during Friday night’s Shabbat service as we officially recognize them – and I hope you will join us.

One of my favorite statements from Pirkei Avot, teaches that “the one who is wise is one who learns from everyone,” and it is complemented by Rabbi Chanina’s teaching (Taanit 7a), “I have learned much from my teachers and even more from my friends, but from my students, I have learned more than from all of them.”  Whether you spend time each week in a classroom or not – we are all teachers and we are all students, and we have all learned something from or in unusual places this year. 

I encourage you this week to take a bit of time to think about who your teachers have been.  How will you show your appreciation for them?

We Thank You, Teachers

A Message from Rabbi Sobo

May 19, 2020

On Sunday, May 17, we completed our religious school year.  It was a year that brought ingenuity and creativity to its finest.  While for our classroom teachers and most of the madrichim (teen aids), this last day was a ‘l’hitraot’ (see you later), I would be remiss to not recognize the incredible service of our specialist team who brought the best of themselves every week.  We will miss you next year:

Jennifer Mollenhauer has taught Jewish and Israeli dance, along with the history of its development for 15 years at Temple, from basic movement and step patterns with our younger students, to more detailed steps with our older students.  She has been an integral part of the education for an entire generation of Temple Israel students.  Dance has been a part of her life for a long time, with 12 years of ballet and over 18 years of belly dance experience.  She is the founder and leader of the Shimmy Cats, a local Middle Eastern Belly Dance troupe that performs at festivals and special events.  

Rachel Evans, after 7 years of teaching, and most recently as our Art specialist, will also being stepping down.  She has brought creativity and passion to our Hebrew students, younger grades, and into art over the years.  We hope she enjoys spending her Sunday mornings with her precious newborn son and bonding as a family.

Dakota Saul has taught middle school and music over the last 4 years at Temple, after many years as a student and was part of the team of madrichim, bringing his love for Judaism and music to our school.  He lives in Columbus and we are grateful for the years that he commuted to remain with our school here in Dayton.

Newer to the scene, but none-the-less will be missed, Jese Shell taught 3rd/4th grade last year and debuted our cooking rotation this year, with a special focus on non-Ashkenazic foods.  Much of North American Judaism is centered around Ashkenazic (Eastern European Jewish origins), and Jese helped bring a broader view of our history, culture, and foods to our students.

It is with deep gratitude for their service to the school and with sadness that we say goodbye to our team of specialists, and wish them all well wherever their journey takes them.

Teacher Appreciation

Together We Thank Our Teachers

On Friday, May 1, we honored our teachers and madrichim for the amazing role they have played in shaping the Jewish identities of our youth.  This year has proven even harder than others with the sudden disruption from the COVID-19 outbreak.  We are forever thankful for their continued creativity to engage our students in learning.  Enjoy a short video from Rabbi Tina Sobo with musical guest, Grant Halasz, as they thank and honor our educators.  

A Message from the Rabbi

With Gratitude and Appreciation

April 28, 2020
For the past few weeks, we have included a “Look for the Helpers” section in our TIDBITS email newsletter. As we near the end of the school year, we turn our appreciation this week towards our teachers and madrichim, who have dedicated themselves to creating fun and memorable lessons all year. Our teachers haven’t stopped developing creative ways for our children to continue their learning online. It has been tough on all of us – parents, teachers and students of all ages. While parents and teachers miss daily routines and adult interaction, our children miss their friends and are anxious about a dangerous virus they can’t even see. How lucky we are to have such a dedicated group of educators to serve as the glue keeping us together during these tenuous times. Their efforts have brought a sense of normalcy and intrigue into our lives. At a time of many questions, our Jewish educators remind us of eternal truths and sacred beliefs, drawing us closer to God and to one another. We are blessed by all that they do and all that they are. 
Be sure to check out our Shabbat TIDBITS on Friday, May 1 when we will shower our appreciation on teachers in music and prayer.

We can’t wait for Religious School to begin!

We can’t wait for Religious School to begin!

Religious School Staff 2015-2016

Our 2015-2016 Religious School Staff is preparing for the new year!  Classes begin on September 27, 2015 at 5 p.m. with Judaic and Hebrew classes, dinner, and a fun celebration of Sukkot.  Please RSVP for dinner by Wednesday, September 23rd to the Temple office.  For more information about our Religious School, please contact Molly Blumer at