As the world starts to reopen, it’s hard to imagine how different our lives have become since the covid pandemic began. Restaurants closed, opened, closed, and opened again. Small businesses struggled to keep their doors open. But one area of life that has not only remained constant but has actually grown is Jewish education.
Chabad Hebrew schools worldwide have begun to host graduation ceremonies celebrating a challenging year that exceeded expectations. From Hawaii to India, parents were impressed over and over again by how much their kids had grown.
As the Covid Infection rate continues to grow in Mumbai, the Jewish Academy held their graduation virtually. “There was not a dry eye in the audience,” says Mrs. Mushky Bloy, the beloved director of the Mumbai Jewish Academy. “The parents couldn’t get over how much their kids lived Judaism this year, “bringing it home” with special programming aimed at including the whole family.”
CKids, as the global education network for Chabad, was uniquely positioned to support Hebrew Schools across the globe as the panic of the pandemic first set in. And a year later, Chabad Hebrew Schools are doing better than ever, with over 400 Hebrew schools coming together this past year under one curriculum.
Over 40,000 children from over 26 different countries looked forward to the program every week. Compared to pre-Covid, retention has doubled—up from 43% to over 80%. When Broadway shuttered its doors, and air travel has been down, over 30 Chabad Hebrew schools have opened up in the last year alone. “It’s thanks to the teamwork of Hebrew school teachers worldwide using the Ckids network to pool resources that we were able to start up so quickly,” says Chana Gordon, Hebrew School director in Vancouver, Canada.
“None of us knew what to expect for this year,” says Rabbi Mendy Kotlarsky, director of Merkos 302 – the office for global Jewish development at Chabad Headquarters. “But we couldn’t be more grateful to all the shluchim and CKids staff who navigated covid with unmatched success.”
The program was developed under the dedicated leadership of:
Mrs. Sarah Alevsky
Mrs. Chavie Ash
Mrs. Sarale Bluming
Mrs. Chana Gansburg
Mrs. Beila Goodman
Mrs. Mushkie Loewenthal
Ms. Sara Newman
Mrs. Fruma Reznik
Mrs. Gillie Shanowitz
Ms. Chaya Zirkind
Rabbi Dovid Weinbaum
Rabbi Mendy Cohen
Rabbi Zalmy Loewenthal