February 15, 2023 • 24 Shevat 5783
Dr. Josh Levisohn

This past Sunday was the first grade Siddur Party, a celebration that elicits such excitement and enthusiasm from our children. As someone who has spent the last 30 years in chinuch, it is particularly heartwarming and inspiring to see just how excited our young students are to receive their first siddurim, to get the book from which they will pray to Hashem for many years to come. As I tell the parents, it is my fervent hope that 1/10 of the sheer joy and excitement of our first graders rubs off on us, as adults, in our own davening.

As kids get older, davening becomes a bit trickier. We add more tefilot, more singing, and more expectations. For many students, this works well as they start to feel a greater independence in their davening and a greater connection to tefilot each morning. For others, however, davening becomes more challenging as the length increases, the complexity of the tefilot increases, and their own patience wanes. When I go to Jewish day school conferences, this topic is, not surprisingly, a very common one.

I don’t think there are easy solutions - if there were, someone would package it and sell it. However, I do know that students do better in smaller environments where they are also given more responsibility both for their own davening and for that of the tsibbur. We see this in both of our minyanim (middle and high school), which are far quieter, more engaged and inspiring than most other school minyanim. There is always more work to be done to engage everyone where they are, but we are fortunate that we are starting from a very strong base.

Next week is Rosh Chodesh Adar and we would like to invite you to join us at the 4-5th grade davening in the MPR or in our combined middle and high school minyan upstairs in the Beit Midrash. Rosh Chodesh is always a special davening because of Hallel and leyning and we would love for parents to join us if possible. Davening begins at 8 and and should be done around 9 a.m.

Looking forward to seeing many of you there.
21100 West 12 Mile Road, Southfield, MI 48076
(248) 386-1625 • www.farberhds.org