Toronto, Mazel Tov on becoming a Torah Live City! You will soon see the mitzvah motivation of your students of every age soar.
How do I know? I teach in the first Torah Live Town. Others might call it Baltimore, but since Dr. Paul Volosov sponsored Torah Live for all the Jewish day schools in Baltimore, the unique and expansive Torah Live programming has been enriching the curriculum of Jewish schools in our city.
I have been using Torah Live videos and it’s supplementary educational material for five years in the Ohr Chadash Academy, where I teach fourth and fifth grades. At Ohr Chadash, we pride ourselves in the use of modern educational technology of which Torah Live plays a significant role.
It has been very exciting to use the modern educational technology of Torah Live to motivate my students to learn different Torah subjects. My fourth graders love the Emunah and Tefillah series. The video production is of top quality and the content is very appropriate for that age.
My fifth graders connect to the Anger video. At that age, anger is something they experience in sports and friendships, and until they saw the Torah Live film, I don’t think they ever heard of a discussion about anger and how to be in control of your anger from a Torah perspective.
It goes without saying that students in all grades benefit from what Torah Live has to offer. They view the series about different yomim tovim such as: Rosh Hashanah, Sukkos, and Chanukah. Then depending on what the class is studying, they use Torah Live to enrich learning about mitzvos, such as Shatnez, Kosher and middos.
This year I was one of the Torah Live representatives at the Torah U’Mesorah Conference. I ran the booth, engaged a variety of participants in learning about Torah Live, and received feedback from current users. Many educators were already familiar with Torah Live and have used its programming. Those who weren’t familiar with the programming were very excited to learn about it. We had a large screen behind us, where we played segments of the different Torah Live series.
The response was very positive. A lot of people saw the value in presenting Torah content through this modern medium and felt that it can be appropriate for many ages.
Over the past five years, I’ve seen how students have truly benefited from Torah Live. Each series gives the students a clear visualization of what they’re learning. Torah Live videos can explain complex information in a short amount of time, and it provides the students with an even deeper understanding and greater appreciation of the topic they’re learning in Torah Live.
So, Toronto, you’ve got lots to look forward to, as your students enthusiastically explore Torah topics with the additional programming provided by the Torah Live curriculum.
This guest post has been contributed by Rabbi Mordechai Bennett, a fourth and fifth grade rebbe at Ohr Chadash Academy in Baltimore.