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TT Talks February 2024 Edition

Updated: Feb 9




In This Issue


  • Message from the Board President

  • Celebrating Mary Baumgarten’s 50th Anniversary 

  • School Happenings

  • Annual Campaign 

  • Donor Recognition and Endowment Gifts

  • Our Mission

 

Message from the Board President



Teach these words to your children – וְשִׁנַּנְתָּם לְבָנֶיךָ (v’shinantam levanecha). At Talmud Torah, our teachers and families work together to provide our children and students with a foundation and tools for living an intentionally Jewish life. When I sat in the classroom as a Talmud Torah student 25 years ago, I did not know that my path would lead me to become a future Board President of the school, but I knew that my family and teachers were deeply dedicated to Jewish education and our Jewish community. Just as so many of my former Talmud Torah classmates now hold leadership roles in our community, our current Talmud Torah students will evolve into the future leaders of our Jewish community. 


This year, we were, and continue to be, devastated by the horrific events of October 7 and subsequent war in Israel. In an effort to build strength in our community in the face of these tragedies, Talmud Torah has focused on educating the future generation of our Jewish community. Talmud Torah maintains many of our longstanding traditions but also continues to evolve. We again ushered our incoming second graders under the tallit on the first day of school, where they were blessed by our Talmud Torah community. Our students continue to meet for Mifgash, our weekly all-school gathering, with Havdallah, music, stories, and other fun activities. We again welcomed grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and other special guests to Talmud Torah for Multi-Generations day in November. In February, we will join for a Shabbat dinner with current students and families to celebrate Shabbat together. Meanwhile, inside the classroom, our teachers continue to use innovative techniques to ensure our students are engaged in active learning. Our 7th and 8th grade students will also have an opportunity to extend their learning outside the classroom through experiential class trips to New York and Washington, DC in the spring. 


I am inspired by our Talmud Torah teachers and families who work so dedicatedly to prepare our students for their future paths in our community. As my own children are now amidst their final year of elementary school, I am reminded both of how quickly time passes and of the infinite possibilities that lay ahead, not only for them, but for all our Talmud Torah students. I am immensely grateful to our Talmud Torah staff, teachers, generous donors, and community members who have impacted countless numbers of students at Talmud Torah for over 125 years. 


L’shalom,







Jaclyn Millner

Board President


Mary Baumgarten's 50th Anniversary

By: Jaclyn Millner


Then

Now


The Talmud says that “the true guardians of a community are the teachers.” Teachers help children grow into the adults they later become and have an enduring impact on the future of our community. Last school year, Mary Baumgarten completed her 50th year teaching at Talmud Torah. This article is written in recognition and appreciation of Mary’s service to Talmud Torah and our community for the past 50+ years.


Mary has been involved Jewishly throughout her life, and her entire career has taken place in the Jewish community. She studied at a Jewish Day School through 8th grade, was very active in USY, spent her junior year of college at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and taught Hebrew while in college. When Mary moved to Minneapolis after receiving her degree in education, she chose to work in a Jewish school as opposed to a secular school. Mary was a teacher in MABA at Herzl Camp for 10 years. She then went on to direct the MABA program at Herzl Camp for another 10 years. Mary served as the Education Director at Beth El Synagogue for 32 years, which was a perfect complement to her work at Talmud Torah.


Jewish education is where Mary’s heart is, and relationship building is at the forefront of Mary’s teaching pedagogy. Mary works to create an environment of mutual respect and trust, and she genuinely cares about her students. The connections Mary has built with so many families over the years means a lot to her, and she takes great pleasure knowing that she is now teaching the children of many of her former students.


Over the past 50+ years that Mary has worked at Talmud Torah, there have been many changes. Families and their children are busier than ever. The Jewish community is now more spread out and many families live farther away from St. Louis Park than 50 years ago. Technology has made everything more fast paced, both inside and outside the classroom. Students today have more of “a say in things” than they used to 50 years ago. Touching the hearts of her students with what they are learning continues to be the key to Mary’s teaching approach, because students are more likely to remember things with this method. Mary believes it is crucial for students to understand “how” and “why” what they are learning is relevant to their lives.


Mary has a vested interest in the continued success of our school, both professionally and personally. Her granddaughter began her studies at Talmud Torah last school year, and her grandson will start at Talmud Torah in 2 years. Mary hopes that our Talmud Torah families continue to make Jewish education and Talmud Torah a priority and believes it is very important to work on cultivating a new generation of Jewish educators. 


Talmud Torah has been a constant in Mary’s life for over 50 years and is truly a part of her. Mary hopes Talmud Torah will continue to thrive and provide students with a meaningful and impactful Jewish education in the future, and we hope Mary will continue to provide that meaningful education to our Talmud Torah students for many years to come! Todah Rabah to Mary for being a true “guardian of our community” by helping shape multiple generations, and for becoming a friend to so many of us.


Make yourself a teacher, acquire yourself a friend (Pirkei Avot 1:6) 

 עֲשֵׂה לְךָ רַב, וּקְנֵה לְךָ חָבֵר


If you wish to donate to Talmud Torah in honor of Mary Baumgarten’s 50th Anniversary, please CLICK HERE. 




First Day of School 


On the first day of school, our students and parents gathered for a special “Mifgash” where the new second graders were welcomed and blessed

under the Tallit.



Multi-Generations Day 


Grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and other special guests joined our students to learn about Talmud Torah, see their classrooms and participate in

fun activities together in November.



As we begin the second month of the 2024 calendar year, please include Talmud Torah in your giving plans. Thanks to community support, more than 20% of students each year who could not afford to attend are provided the opportunity to attend Talmud Torah. Your gift also directly supports our development of experiential learning programs, classroom technology and support for students with special needs.


Please CLICK HERE to donate.



Todah Rabah to all those who have already supported us this year! See Donor List.


Thanks to the generosity of our donors, nearly 10% of Talmud Torah's annual budget is covered by earnings from our endowment funds. Our funds support overall education, specific programming, and student and staff scholarships. 


If you wish to donate to Talmud Torah, please CLICK HERE.


If you wish to create a fund to support our programming or to honor a family member please contact Head of School, Jody Moreimi, at jmoreimi@talmudtorahmpls.org


Leave a Legacy: Remember Talmud Torah of Minneapolis with a gift in your will, trust, retirement account or life insurance policy. Contact Head of School, Jody Moreimi, at jmoreimi@talmudtorahmpls.org



Talmud Torah of Minneapolis engages students of all backgrounds in educational experiences that provide a foundation and the lifelong tools for living an intentionally Jewish life.

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