Shedding New Light on Jewish Traditions

Barbara Weisman Story

Barbara Weisman’s Story


In May of 2012, I entered into a dialogue to become the Education Director at Or Hadash.  Although my extensive experience in Jewish education would indicate success in the role, I had limited experience with Reconstructionist Judaism. The closest I had come was davening with the Reconstructionist-oriented Dorshei Derech minyan at Germantown Jewish Centre several years previously.  Nevertheless, the leadership of our Education Steering Committee (ESC) chose me to lead our school.


Since arriving at Or Hadash, not only have I come to embrace the practice of Reconstructionist Judaism, I have continually been drawn to immerse myself deeper and deeper in the Or Hadash community. I have gotten to know my students and their families, as well as those not immediately associated with the school. In doing so, my commitment to educating our children has grown and deepened. I take great pride in directing the educational process within our school and in the accomplishments of our students. I have come to care deeply about our families and I am passionate about seeing the students accept their role in the chain of l’dor v’dor (from generation to generation).


For me, there is no clear line where the school ends and the Or Hadash community begins. I see that line as constantly blurred. My vision is for my students to see Religious School as merely a stepping off point, Hebrew High as an appetizer and Confirmation as a portal into the full community. I see the larger Or Hadash community, myself included, as mentors and ambassadors for these children and teens. 


It has been my profound pleasure to take the helm of this process.