Congregation Temple Israel Announces New Family Education Department and Leadership Structure

Leslie Wolf, who has served as Congregation Temple Israel’s Deutsch Early Childhood Center (DECC) Preschool Director for eight years, will now be serving as Director of Family Education. Leslie has had tremendous success in helping DECC quintuple in size and become a Jewish preschool admired and emulated around the nation. In her new role as Director of Family Education, she will continue to lead and oversee DECC, as well as help to provide a consistent approach and connection between Temple Israel’s early childhood education program and our Religious and Hebrew Schools. Temple Israel has also hired Sandy Kramer as Assistant Director of Family Education. Sandy has served as the Education Director of Shaarei Tikvah in Wichita, and prior to that, of the Wichita Jewish Community School, where she developed a successful Shabbaton program for the entire Wichita Jewish community. Before moving to Wichita, she served as the Director of Educational Programming at Beth Israel-The West Temple in Cleveland, where she ran the religious school, family education and congregational programs, and developed Camp Kee Tov, the first Jewish day camp on the west side of Cleveland. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Washington University and her Masters degree in Jewish Education (MJEd) from Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts. Sandy will be the primary contact for Temple Israel’s Religious and Hebrew Schools. To help support the Family Education department, Temple Israel has hired Sara Jones as Family Education Office Administrator. Sara has worked with children and families at the St. Louis Jewish Community Center for almost eighteen years, starting in the KidZone with children ages six weeks to eight years. Sara then managed their youth programs and after school program for school-aged children, and most recently, served as the J Day Camps Camp Registrar. “Leslie, Sandy, and Rabbi Michael Alper, with the support of the Family Education Office Administrator, are working together to create a visionary, out-of-the-box learning experience for children of all ages and their families that builds on the vibrant, engaging school that we currently have and tailored to suit the needs of our Temple Israel families,” said Dee Mogerman, President of Temple Israel. “This plan has the full support of our Board of Trustees, our Rabbis, and our Religious and Hebrew school staff, who have been an instrumental part of our vision for moving the Family Education department forward.” Temple Israel’s Religious School program is a continuation and extension of DECC’s Preschool experience where students begin to form their Jewish identity. The program begins in Kindergarten and runs through senior year of high school, enabling students to progress and grow from young children who are passionate about their Judaism to young adults who will become the future leaders of our Jewish community. For more information about DECC and/or Temple Israel’s Religious and Hebrew School program, please contact Leslie Wolf, Director of Family Education, at lwolf@ti-stl.org or...

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Career Transitions – Your Termination Rights

Your Rights When You Leave a Job Whether you leave your job voluntarily or through a termination or lay off, there are a number of loose ends you will want to tie up before you walk out the door. Severance Pay No law requires an employer to provide severance pay to employees who the employer terminates or lays off. Nevertheless, many employers may offer one or two months’ salary to employees who are forced to leave their jobs through no fault of their own. Some employers may be more generous to long-term employees, giving perhaps one month’s pay for every year an employee worked for the company. While no law requires severance pay, an employer may be legally obligated to give you severance pay if it promised to do so — for example, through: • a written contract stating that the employer will pay you severance • a promise of severance pay in an employee handbook or manual • a long history of the company’s paying severance to other employees in your position, or • An oral promise to pay you severance — although you may run into difficulties proving the promise existed. A severance package can include more than just money. If you are in a position to negotiate a package (perhaps your termination is questionable and your employer wants to keep you from going to court), consider asking for these other benefits: • Insurance benefits. Health insurance continuation laws allow you to keep the same health care you had with your employer but require you to pay the full cost of the premiums for continued coverage. There is, however, nothing in these laws that prevents your employer from picking up the tab if it agrees to do so as part of a severance package • Uncontested unemployment compensation. Sometimes, employers will try to contest the unemployment claim of a terminated worker. Ask your employer to agree not to do so. It will make getting unemployment benefits a lot easier. • Outplacement services. Outplacement firms help employees find new jobs. They may offer counseling, job skills training, tips on resume and cover letter writing, and leads on potential jobs. In addition, they may give you a place where you can use a computer, receive faxes, and have a receptionist answer the phone. Many employers are now paying for these types of services as part of a severance plan. • References. If you are leaving your job under less-than-pleasant circumstances, you might work with your employer to come up with a mutually agreeable letter of reference. Final Paycheck Many states have laws that specify when departing employees must be given their final paycheck. Often, the outcome depends on whether you are leaving because you quit or because you were fired or laid off. For example, in some states, employees must be given their final paycheck immediately or within a certain number of hours if they are terminated or laid off, but not until the next scheduled payday if they quit. Some of these state laws also specify whether your accrued, but unused, vacation pay must be included in your final paycheck. For more information, contact your state’s labor department. About the author Alan Ludmer is the president of ARL, Inc; specializing in individual career transitions, outplacement, and career and...

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Epstein Hebrew Academy hosts Israeli art educator, Elyssa Moss Rabinowitz

Next Wednesday, November 11th and Thursday, November 12th, master artist, art educator and mentor, Mrs. Elyssa Moss Rabinowitz of KolHaot in Israel will lead a hands-on workshop symposium with the faculty of the H.F. Epstein Hebrew Academy (EHA).Together with Moss Rabinowitz, the EHA faculty will explore unique tools and techniques to enrich Jewish texts and values through the visual arts. Several faculty members of EHA spent time this past summer with Moss Rabinowitz at a special Teacher Institute for the Arts for Judaic faculty from many different day schools across North America that took place at Camp Stone, a Jewish Zionist camp in upstate New York. This summer Institute was made possible by Legacy Heritage Fund and was created by Moss Rabinowitz and several other prominent Jewish artists, including Moss Rabinowitz’s father, David Moss. The program was created to inspire and empower Judaic and art teachers through a variety of experiential and creative problem solving techniques. One such technique called syncectics is a process developed by Elyssa and her father that explores the intersection of Jewish text and the arts in a way that enriches knowledge of the texts and content.  Among twenty five educators from across North America to participate in the program, the Epstein teacher team – Baila Shulman, Shiffy Landy, and Jessie Lefton – was paired with Moss Rabinowitz who, as the group’s mentor, has helped support and guide the EHA team, and entire EHA faculty, as they implement plans to enhance both art and Judaic content throughout the school. Epstein’s signature project born out of this program is a new character education and development initiative, which the school has affectionately named S.M.I.L.E. (Super Middot In Life Every Day). Students are using the arts to express the themes of the various middot, character traits, which deepens their understanding of each character trait and the personal application to their lives. For more information about the program, or to attend next week’s hands-on workshop, contact Rachel Lubchansky at EHA: rlubchansky@eha.org or...

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The Glass Leadership Institute

The Glass Leadership Institute was initiated in this region in 1999 to develop the next generation of ADL advocates.  The goal is to provide broad exposure to ADL programs and issues in the hope that participants will choose future avenues of involvement.  The Institute is made possible by a generous grant from Sherwin and Shirley Glass from Atlanta and Michael Staenberg in St. Louis; this is the 16th year that St. Louis is participating.  Meetings will mostly be monthly, with dinner, 6:30 – 8:30 pm, on Wednesdays between October and June, 2016.  We ask some patience with the schedule as events may occur that suggest other additional meetings/opportunities to engage. Learn more: http://stlouis.adl.org/event/st-louis-region-to-kick-off-2015-16-glass-leadership-institute/  For more information, contact Karen Aroesty...

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Congregation Temple Israel Hosts URJ’s A TASTE OF JUDAISMTM for those curious about Judaism – Jewish or not

“A TASTE OF JUDAISMTM: Are You Curious?” is a unique program designed to engage “beginners” – Jewish or not – in learning more about Judaism. It has attracted more than 70,000 participants across North America during the past fifteen years, welcoming all who are curious about the Jewish tradition: unaffiliated Jews, interfaith couples, and interested non-Jews. The three-session classes, given free of charge, are being offered on Tuesdays, December 1, 8 and 15 at Congregation Temple Israel. For those who would like to explore or re-explore the foundations of Jewish tradition or for those who may be searching for an entrée into Jewish life, the course covers the Jewish perspective on spirituality, values and community. Comfortable surroundings and an informal atmosphere encourage free and lively discussion of Reform Judaism’s approach to living in our rapidly changing society. Using traditional and modern Jewish texts, Rabbi Michael Alper will discuss the ways that Judaism addresses issues in our personal and professional lives. Pre-registration is required for this class. For further information or to register for A TASTE OF JUDAISMTM, contact Rabbi Michael Alper at malper@ti-stl.org or by calling 314-432-8050. This program is sponsored by the Union for Reform Judaism. ### Congregation Temple Israel is a caring, inclusive community committed to living Reform Judaism and participating in the sacred destiny of the Jewish people and Israel through education, worship, and repair of the world. We welcome and embrace individuals and families from all backgrounds. Wherever you may be along your Jewish journey, there is a place for you at Temple Israel. For more information, go to www.ti-stl.org....

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Bright Ideas

Come for a parents’ night out! Roll up your sleeves and participate in experiential learning about how kids grow to become tenacious learners and ethical leaders. You’ll even take home a bright idea or two. If you’re intrigued by the idea of a Mirowitz education for your children, this is a great opportunity to “sneak a peek” and ask questions. The workshop will include: • The Constructivist Classroom: What we learn when we learn through doing • What a Difference a Jewish Day School Makes: The impact of day school on Jewish knowledge, identity and ethics • Building Up STEAM: Integrating science, technology, engineering, art and math • Write On!: How children become prolific writers and voracious readers • Learning Hebrew: How children learn our heritage language • Tackling “Nature Deficit Disorder”: Why kids need to spend more time outside • What’s Jewish About a Butterfly? Learning through a Jewish lens…and more! RSVP online: www.mirowitz.org or call Patty at...

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