Kallah Reflections

by Margie Zeskind

I have never attended an Early Childhood Educators of Reform Judaism Conference or Kallah before this one.  As the director of a Jewish Early Childhood Reggio Inspired Program I was drawn to the opportunity to visit the Reggio Inspired Boulder Journey School.  Four members of my professional team eagerly signed on with me for what we thought would be another great Reggio learning experience complemented with a three day Judaic learning component.  We quickly realized that the Boulder Journey School, the provocation for our participation, became secondary to a deeply spiritual and nourishing experience.

Our eyes were filled with wonder and tears.  Our souls deeply steeped in the sacred richness of the Kallah content.  Our spirits were joyfully nourished by the beautiful music, shared conversations and community connections.  Our minds were guided by passages that enabled us to reach a heightened level of awareness of our innermost feelings.  We felt for ourselves and we felt for our colleagues.  This weaving of emotions bound us together, in such a short time, that it almost felt surreal.  Each one of us felt like our personal and collective experiences, during the Kallah, opened us up to realizing values that will sustain us and deepen our connections to God, Judaism and our community.

Each of us left feeling that our lives were richer because we had been inspired by Cantor Ellen Dreskin.  She reached out, expressing herself from her heart, mind and soul.  She articulated her depth so meaningfully, both in song and words, that through her guided imagery, we reached a sacred time and space together.  This was restorative for each of us individually and collectively.  Shira Kline, someone we connect with regularly through her music in our classrooms, contributed tremendously to our feeling of completeness and celebration as she artistically sparked a newly kindled fire within us.  Rabbi Jan Katzew brilliantly set the stage for thinking, connecting and growing as he led us in Torah Study which set us in motion for delving deeper into our thinking and beliefs.

My staff, Liset Leyva, Scarlet Geiger, Ashley Weissman, and Rachel Unger feel blessed, as do I, for having the opportunity to participate in this deeply moving experience.  This reflection represents each one of us.

 Margie Zeskind is the Early Childhood Education Director of Temple Beth Sholom Foundation School in Miami Beach, FL.

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5 Responses to “Kallah Reflections”

  1. avatar

    This was my 8th conference joining with colleagues and clergy! I am so privileged and happy to be part of such a wonderful, communtiy of leaders who enrich my life each and every day! The connection we share with one another can be felt whether we are praying/learning together or thousands of miles at our own schools.
    Thank you to URJ and all the outstanding people who organize these yearly conferences.
    Sue Tolchin
    ECC Director
    Westchester Reform Temple
    Scarsdale, NY

  2. avatar

    “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

    Thank you Margie, for making this trip happen. I’m very proud of our Foundation School and the enriching things we share.

  3. avatar

    I had chills reading this Margie. You summed up the experience so beautifully! It really is a unique and special group of such committed and caring individuals. This is the main reason why our conferences and Kallahs are so enriching. See you all in NJ 🙂

  4. avatar
    Sari Luck Schneider Reply March 26, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Thanks, Margie, for putting it so well! This was truly a deep and meaningful experience for all of us, both individually and as a tight unit of 75 people. It was hard to believe that 75 people could all resonate together, but all of our teachers and those who worked with them to prepare for this Kallah, truly worked a wonder. So glad to have seen you there.

  5. avatar

    You captured my experience beautifully! Thank you for your eloquence and your lovely article on an amazing experience that we shared together.

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