Farewell to Tal Slome – and Welcome to Jody Segel
It is with real sadness that we bid farewell to Tal Slome, who has been our youth worker and second Religion School teacher for the past 11 months. Tal’s creative vision for the future of our children, her planning of activities for Erev Shabbat and her calm, gentle presence in class have made a noticeable difference to the experience of the pre-bar/bat mitzvah age-group. At the parents’ event on Monday afternoon, it was easy to see how fond the Religion School pupils are of Tal – and how much they trust her to engage openly with their eager curiosity about all aspects of Jewish life. Tal has made a valuable contribution to our rethinking of the Religion School curriculum by helping to pilot a new Hebrew course. In addition, she has shared ideas from both her professional background in primary-school teaching and her familiarity with youth movements internationally. Her passion for technology will encourage us to explore these possibilities, so that we can offer the children interactive learning that speaks most effectively to their interests.
Tal is due to return to Australia early in February. Until she leaves, she will be working closely with Jody Segel, who was a unanimous choice to fill the positions of youth worker and junior Hebrew teacher. We’ve no doubt that this approach will ensure the continuity of our programmes, and that Beit Emanuel will benefit from Tal’s expertise until the last moment. I’m also sure that there will be regular electronic consultations between our Curriculum Committee and Australia throughout next year.
To conclude, I would like to thank Tal warmly for her generous involvement in our congregation. We wish her and her husband Nic every happiness as they rejoin their family and friends, as well as pursuing their successful careers in a different context. At the same time, it gives me pleasure to congratulate Jody on her recent promotion. She is currently completing her Honours degree in English at Wits; she will then enrol for the Postgraduate Certificate in Education in 2016. Our children will be in safe hands, especially as many of them have already formed a special bond with Jody.
(Professor) Merle Williams, Chair of Mancom