Sharing ideas on Education, Leadership and Life

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What Presents Are You Giving?

Last night Jews around the world celebrated the first night of Chanukah. Chanukah celebrates our religious freedom and I have always found it to be a holiday that spoke to me as a Rabbi and educator. I try to find an appropriate Chanukah message to share with people each year. . This year I came across the words of Lord Rabbi Sacks.

The message is one that we as parents and educators need to take to heart.

Wishing  you all a Happy Chanukah and in the words of lord Rabbi Sacks, “The best present we can give our children is the chance to do something great.”

I hope Rabbi Sacks words speak to us as much as they spoke to me

Editors note: Because of the important message I will be posting this on a number of my blogs 

Here is a link to the complete article:

“The best present we can give our children is the chance to do something great.
Children grow to fill the space we create for them, and if it's big, they grow tall. But if we turn them into mini consumers, we rob them of the chance of greatness, and I've not yet met a child not capable of greatness if given the opportunity and encouragement.
I do a lot of public speaking, and people sometimes ask me who taught me. The answer is simple. I went to a Christian school with a lot of Jewish pupils but no Jewish teachers. So we had to run the Jewish assembly ourselves, and that's how I learned as a teenager how to speak in public, because somebody gave me the chance. It was best piece of education I ever had.
Judaism is a child-centred religion. My earliest memories are of putting the bells on the Torah scroll in the synagogue, asking the Passover questions, lighting the chanukah candles. Judaism stayed young because it made heroes of the young. The best present we can give our children is the chance to do something great. It's a gift that will last a lifetime and transform their lives.” 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011



How many of us have gotten angry or upset at someone for doing something and then we do the same things. Well my virtual hand is raised. Today that happened to me. I sent out an email by mistake that wasn’t meant to be sent out.

Believe me when I tell you that I was consumed with guilt and had a tough time functioning after that. I sent out an apology email and took responsibility for my actions right away but still felt bad.

I learned a few important lessons from this episode:

1. We are all human and we all make mistakes
2. As we learn in Ethics of our Fathers don’t judge others until you are in their place. SO TRUE!
3. Take responsibility for your actions

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mixed Emotions

I found out the other day that I was nominated and made the short list for an Edublog award for Best Administrator Blog.

To be honest I had mixed feelings. On the one hand I never started blogging to get awards and to be honest for that reason and others I didn't nominate others. ( I am very honored and thankful that I was nominated)

On the other hand to be honest it felt good to be nominated and recognized for what I have done. Hence my mixed emotions.

Then I started thinking that there must be a bigger message here, after all the whole concept of awards is one that has been debated on twitter. Tonight I RT the following:

RT @phsprincipal: Finding meaning in the edublog awards by @stumpteacher <--very well said! Was thinking the same

This post sums up a lot of what I was thinking but I return to my original question what is the bigger message, what can I take away from all this

To me the biggest take away I have from being nominated is that "WE ALL MATTER". Who would have thought an orthodox Rabbi from Memphis TN would have almost 2,100 followers on twitter and start a blog that would actually be nominated for an Edublog award. Well I would never have!

So whether it is education reform, or just changing the way you teach. Or maybe it is why or what can I learn or offer others on Twitter, and for some maybe it is why should I blog what can I say that people want to read about

To all of you I say "YOU MATTER" and don't let anything stop you.