Teachers and principals from several Crown Heights schools became students this Sunday when they joined Menachem Education Foundation’s workshop, “Language Skills: the Golden Key.” The subject for the morning’s “lesson”? Dikduk – and all came away asking for more.

Many of us have a fear of dikduk or see it as an impenetrable web, a stigma which the presenter, Mrs. Sara Rosenfeld, masterfully dispelled with her engaging overview. Mrs. Rosenfeld is a master educator with years of experience teaching both students and teachers about Lashon Hakodesh, and recently joined the Menachem Education Foundation (MEF) team to develop the Zekelman Standards for Chumash.

“The language of Chumash … is precise, and all of its details have tremendous and untranslatable significance,” states the introduction to the language section of the Zekelman Standards. “Additionally, any translation of Torah is by definition already interpretive,” so how else to give students access to the Chumash, than through the language and conventions that it speaks to us with?

“Mrs. Rosenfeld’s Chumash workshop was well-planned, clearly presented, and, most of all, super practical.”

And who will teach dikduk if our teachers never learned it in the first place? This workshop tackled this problem, using Pesukim and Rashis as entry points to an in depth exploration of language skills, and providing a bird’s eye view of the Zekelman Standards for Chumash.

According to Mrs. Raizel Nissim, an assistant principle, “Mrs. Rosenfeld’s Chumash workshop was well-planned, clearly presented, and, most of all, super practical.”

Another participant, a resource room teacher, emailed: “Thank you so much for holding the workshop. I learned some things I was unfortunately never taught, and was therefore unable to teach…. If this standard idea becomes the standard in every school (pun intended), then we know our current and future teachers will not remain ignorant of the basics. Looking forward to learning more!”

More is on its way… beginning with a repeat workshop at the Kinnus Hashluchos, on Sunday, January 26 – 25 Shevat. For more information about this workshop, the Zekelman Standards for Judaic Studies, or other MEF programs and resources, visit www.mymef.org today! 

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