When a nearby Cheder closed its doors on our kids for the last time in December 2009, the teachers who travelled long distances to be there, had just a handful of students. I have heard older members say that in its heyday there were over 400 pupils. When Rabbi Yoni and Elisheva joined Hadley Wood Shul we asked them if it might be possible to arrange something locally for our younger two children and with Yoni and Elisheva’s energy and enthusiasm, the idea of SMILE was born. We were able to attract two excellent young teachers who already had weekend teaching positions at other very successful cheders and we now boast two classes, one for ages 5-8 and another for 9-12 year olds. I ask my own kids every Wednesday night when I come home from work ‘So, how was cheder this afternoon?’ and I always expect them to say ‘boring… do we have to go?’ but instead they both reply ‘REALLY GOOD FUN… GREAT.. LOOK WHAT WE MADE TODAY’. All I can say is that things have changed since I used to go to cheder!! Their knowledge and Hebrew reading have also improved immeasurably. The cheder has attracted a other young Jewish families to participate in the Shul Community and our kids are making new Jewish friends of their own age living in the Hadley Wood area. Now there really is a reason to SMILE.
The Hadley Wood Cheder – SMILE - takes place from 4.30pm – 6.15pm on Wednesday afternoons during school term time. For further information contact Rabbi Yoni at email@example.com.
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