Sam, a Grade 10 Confirmand, reflects on his experience at Holy Blossom Temple Religious School this past year. We thank Sam for his thoughts. Please join us as we celebrate our Confirmands and their accomplishments as a part of our Shabbat services, on May 26, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. We look forward to rejoicing with all of our Confirmands and their families.
Good evening and Shabbat shalom. I find this time of year bittersweet, because although the weather is improving as summer is approaching, it also means the end of the school year, and seeing my friends on a daily basis. For this year, it also means the end of Confirmation class. For me, having a Confirmation class every Monday, starting at 6:30 was an important addition to my schedule. It provided me with an opportunity to not only make new friends in a new environment, but also a modern, relevant Jewish education as well. Many discussions with Rabbi Moscowitz, Thomashow, Splansky about a variety of topics were often inspiring and thought-provoking. Some of the best moments of my year, however, have been outside that classroom. Some of the highlights of my time here have been volunteering at various classes on Sunday mornings, when I was able to work alongside my classmates or with teachers in the school. This experience was very valuable, and I will be returning next year for the opportunities that the program offers STUDENT TEACHING PROGRAM. Spending time with the students in the lower grades was also a tremendous amount of fun, and it gave me a variety of skills such as being able to deal with the often erratic behavior of children who are much younger than myself. I looked forward to every weekend with the lower classes, and was lucky enough to spend time in different grades, which really broadened my experience.
However, the time I found most valuable this year was the trip to Israel taken as a Confirmation class. Every moment we were in motion, learning and experiencing Israel for 7 days. Despite the accelerated pace of the trip, I felt that we had accomplished a lot over a few days, and were able to fully process and enjoy the journey. Walking and running up Masada was definitely one of the highlights of my trip, as was the Old City and the Save a Child’s Heart visit. At the same time, there isn’t an instance when the trip wasn’t positive, discounting the end of the first day, when a few people, myself included, were falling asleep standing up. Other than the hectic schedule and long hours, I found the trip fulfilling and a lot of fun. I was new to Toronto and Holy Blossom at the beginning of this year. By the end of the Confirmation trip, I felt that I was part of this community.
Primarily, I’d like to thank Debbie Spiegel, because if I hadn’t been told to write this speech, I would not have had the opportunity to reflect on this year in the same way. I’d like to thank Myrna Ross, for working so hard to get our class involved in Student Teaching. I’d like to thank Rabbi Moscowitz, Rabbi Splansky, and Rabbi Thomashow, for taking time out of their schedule to work with our class. Finally, I’d like to thank my classmates for a great year.