Dear Parents,

As both a mother and coordinator of Jewish activities, I feel that an important means to preserve the Jewish heritage in our children is by giving them an authentic Jewish education. Your determination to acquire such an education for your child will have inestimable results, as your child will develop a love and knowledge of Judaism which will certainly affect his whole future.

Below is an excerpt from a letter written by a former Hebrew School parent:
Recently, my wife and I were sorting through kids' papers in preparation for the new school year and we had a chance to go through their Hebrew school notes from the last year. I would like to let you know that we very much appreciate the knowledge, the effort, and the time you are giving our kids. It is very important to us. We hope that what you teach them will influence how they grow and will help to shape their identities in the future. Thank you for what you are doing.

My resolve to expand the Hebrew School was strengthened due to a terrible personal tragedy. A few short months ago, on May 25th, the 2nd of Sivan, my husband and I lost our precious baby, Meir Shlomo (Shloime’le) Zaltzman OB”M.

We are taught that we cannot understand the answer to the resounding question of “Why?” Only Hashem can know that. The pain resounds in all our hearts, as it echoes through the ages of our nation’s history. The question, however, that we are obligated to ask in the face of such heartbreak is: “What?” What are we supposed to do? How do we to respond to Hashem’s will? In what way will I transform the pain into an opportunity for growth?

I thought there could be no better way to honor Shloime’le’s memory and eternalize his life than by bringing the values and excitement of Judaism to more children. As parents, we had planned a beautiful life for our son, replete with Jewish traditions. Now we plan to ensure that many more children benefit the Jewish education our son would have enjoyed.

After Shloime’le was born, the first thing I was back to was teaching Hebrew School. He was 5 weeks old and behaved so that I could teach Jewish children about their heritage. As we got up from Shiva minutes before the holiday of Shavuot, the question was: Now what? Is life going to continue without Shloime’le? How will we bear the pain which doesn’t seem to dull with time? Will I ever be able to go back to teaching? The day of his unveiling was the same day as our Hebrew School graduation. The pain was deep, and yet we were still able to give the children the sense of joy and pride at this milestone.

I’d like to redirect the energy I would have given to Shloime’le to the young children of our community who are the continuation of the Jewish people. Shloime’le is no doubt looking on and having Nachas from our work. May we share only happy occasions together, and may we merit the coming of Moshiach, whom we will greet, “With our young and our old, our sons and our daughters – a great multitude will return there.” And may it be now.

Contact me if you have any questions, at 905.886.5739 or chaniez@jrcc.org.

Sincerely, Chanie Zaltzman