By Julia Horowitz
Kehillah Schechter Academy
One Commerce Way
Norwood, MA 02062
“L’chi lach, on your journey I will bless you.” As the third graders beautifully sang this song at their milestone event, I had tears in my eyes. This moment in the life of a third grader marks the beginning of a lifelong journey of learning and studying Torah. They have reached a point in their education where they are ready to dig deeper, ask richer questions, and understand at a new level.
I can relate to their feelings because I was in their shoes when I experienced my third grade milestone. I remember looking out into the audience and seeing my parents, grandparents, and teachers watching me as I started this journey. Their proud and loving faces provided me with the support and knowledge that I was not alone in this journey. I felt like a grown-up ready to start this new chapter in my learning. I also remember being surrounded by my classmates and friends. I wasn’t alone; we were connected as a class ready to start something new and different together.
Now, as I looked at my students leading T’fillot, singing songs, reading their similes about Creation, and sharing a piece of the text, I knew they had made it. I could tell by their proud smiles and confident voices that they were experiencing what I had felt. Together as an entire third grade, the bond between them all was evident. Their journey is beginning and the joy and eagerness I get from being able to guide and experience this journey with them is incredible. They are ready, I am ready, and we are taking off to new exciting levels of learning, questioning, and understanding the Torah.
Julia Horowitz is a third grade teacher at KSA and an alumni of the school, class of 2002. The third grade milestone is Bereshit – The Book of Genesis, In the Beginning.