With Tu B’shvat upon us, it is important to recognize the symbolism amongst trees and our children’s Jewish education. The major parts of the tree that are significant are the roots, the trunk, the branches, the leaves and the fruit. In the AEP department we often times are provided with a small “seed” and we work together with other divisions to help create a very healthy and strong fruit bearing tree.
The roots of the tree serve as anchors or the foundation. The Mechina program helps to root children in Judaism and provide them with a solid Jewish foundation on which their entire Jewish education will be formed. The AEP team works diligently daily to provide students with stability and allows them to withstand and overcome their greatest challenges in a supportive environment. The branches symbolize the far reaching skills the students learn while enrolled in AEP and allows them to support the leaves which signify balance and continued academic growth, learning and interests. Finally the fruit of the tree represents the “fruits” of the students’ hard work and effort and many significant academic accomplishments. Once the tree has ripened and the fruit is ready to be picked, students have the opportunity to engage in a multitude of enrichment opportunities in both math and language arts.
It is important to note that there are many different types of trees and fruit, which symbolizes the fact that each and every one of our children are unique and demonstrate their strengths in their own dynamic way. So this year as we celebrate Tu B’Shvat, take time to recognize the beauty, strength and ability in your very own tree.
Rachel Leubitz, M.S. CCC-SLP
Academic Enhancement Program Coordinator