Posted on October 27, 2012 by Aliza Geller
Originally posted on http://pomegranatesandpapercranes.blogspot.co.il/:
During orientation for the program I am in at Pardes (part of the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators), we were challenged to set goals for ourselves for the year. I was a bit apprehensive about doing this at first, and put it off until now for the following reasons. The first month at Pardes was a rush of orientation, meeting new people, and holidays, with only a little bit of time left to get used to the rhythm of learning at Pardes. I wanted to see what I was in for in my classes, before I set goals for myself. This second month has been entirely focused on getting used to the rhythm of learning at Pardes, which was a bit overwhelming at times.
On Friday afternoon, I set my goals while walking from the Nahalat Shiv’a area back to my Apartment (about 40 minutes). I want to tell you my goals, especially everyone learning at Pardes, because I see an opportunity for all of us to support each other in reaching our goals for the year.
There are a couple of categories that I needed to establish before I could articulate my goals. They broke down into the categories of academic, professional and personal.
There is definitely overlap. For example, Hebrew and leading services are both professional and personal.
I will finish what is assigned for Chavruta (work you do with a partner) each day.
I will memorize the list of verbs that appear in the Tanach x amount of times, and finally master those of the concepts in Biblical grammar that I am still foggy about.
I will get beyond my stumbling blocks when it comes to reading Hebrew out loud. I knew coming into Pardes that reading out loud in Hebrew is an area in which I need improvement. Besides working with a tutor for half an hour a week, I am going to spend about an hour in the Beit Midrash (the big room where we do our learning) after school working on this, three times a week. So if you see me reading out loud to myself, now you’ll know why.
I will continue to hone my skills as an educator. This will be achieved through working with a mentor and participating in peer teaching. For this I have to thank the PCJE team for working with us to make it happen, peer teaching was not originally part of the program.
I will finally make a decision about what grade(s) I want to work with.
I will speak Hebrew for a minimum of one hour a week (hopefully more!).
The relatively immediate goal is that I will lead pesukey De’Zimra (preliminary morning blessings) at community davening and in the egalitarian service at Pardes. This ties in to my “reading Hebrew out loud” goal. I started with reading these blessings out loud, there are some seriously tongue twisting words involved.
Next is that I will learn to lead Shacharit (literally the morning service)
Parallel to these is that, I will read torah by the end of the year. This I am learning to do in a class.
All are things that want to take on for myself, and are necessary for a Jewish educator.
The following are goals of well being. These are also what are going to make it possible to achieve my academic and professional goals:
I will walk for at least one hour a day, if anyone wants to join me, they are more than welcome. More than anything I am struggling with sitting in the Beit Midrash and class all day long. Exercise is not only good for you physically, it also releases endorphins which relieves stress.
I will go to The Open Studio (Avigayle Adler’s studio) at least once a month, again, if anyone wants to join me, they are more than welcome. I miss being artistic, and this also is a stress reliever.
Even though this is not a Devar Torah, I want to give everyone a blessing, me to, why not, that we are all able to achieve the goals that we set for ourselves and if the opportunity presents itself, to help others achieve their goals as well.