Tikvat Israel Congregation

A Conservative Synagogue in Rockville, MD

Leadership: A Balancing Act – Atid Learning Center Weekly Update 2/2/18

Dear Families,

Have you registered?: Youth Shabbat: Saturday, February 109:30am– (please join us by 10:15 a.m. in time for the Torah service) our TI Youth will  lead and participate in the congregational service. A festive Kiddush honoring our youth will follow services.  Our K-6 students are rehearsing Eitz Chayim Hi, Oseh Shalom and Adon Olam for the service. REGISTRATION DEADLINE EXTENDED 2/6.


Reminder: K-2 Students–join us for Kehilat Kids this Saturday
3-6 students join us for Junior Congregation this Saturday….details at the bottom of this email!
?NEXT SUNDAY(2/11/18):       11am meet with Director Rabbi Rami Schwartzer 
Discover why Ramah Day Camp of Greater Washington, DC is the fastest growing Jewish day camp in the area. Ramah provides children entering grades K-5 with the very best camping experience in a setting of love, friendship, wonder and discovery, and a place where Judaism is integral to daily activities. Enjoy our flexible elective-based schedule, instructional swimming, round-trip bus service, and a staff that is sensitive to each campers’ care and well-being. Located in Germantown, MD.   
Torah Talk:
http://jewishjourneyproject.weebly.com/parshat-yitro.html (includes a video about the parsha!)

Intelligence may be in our genes, but wisdom is certainly not. A person becomes wise when he or she realizes that everything in his or her life is an opportunity to learn something. Everything that happens to us and everyone we know (yes, everyone) can teach us something. In this week’s portion we find Moses listening carefully to, and implementing, the suggestion of Jethro, Yitro in Hebrew. Moses was the greatest of all prophets. He communicated directly with God and was given the Torah. Not only was Yitro not a prophet, he was a priest of Midian – a foreign nation! 

Yitro observes Moses at work and sees that he is overwhelmed by the people’s need for him to act as a judge.  Who knew there would be so many disagreements and arguments for him to settle?  Yitro sees this and offers Moses what we might call  “constructive criticism”. Yitro tells  Moses,  “This is not a good thing you are doing,” a gentle way of telling him that the whole manner in which Moses is going about settling the people’s complaints is completely wrong (Exodus 18:17). It is not that his rulings or warnings to the  people are incorrect, as says the Midrash Sechel Tov (12th-century commentary), but rather that the system isn’t working for either Moses and the people.

Accepting  Yitro’s advice, Moses develops a new system.  Moses appoints a middle level of judges. In this new system, judicial responsibility is shared with other individuals and only the major disputes come before Moses. Instead of being the sole leader, he entrusts 70 elders to listen to and resolve the people’s problems.  

In this way, Yitro seems very contemporary. Moses realizes that to remain a leader he has to share his power.  Instead of having only one person serving as God’s spokesperson he empowers 70!  Being a good leader often means having to delegate your power to others.


Talk with you family about a time when you tried to do everyone on your own and it became too much.  Did you realize that you had to share the project or the responsibilities with other? If yes, how did it turn out?  If not, did you get burned out? What happened?

Share a time you got advice from someone.  Was it easy to or difficult to accept? It’s not always easy to accept “constructive criticism” from someone, especially a family member.  Can you think of a time when it was easier to accept than at another time? Why do you think that might be?

Did a leader ever ask you to accept responsibilities for something that was too “big” form him or her to do alone. How did it feel being brought into the “leadership” circle? 


Upcoming Events:
  • Saturday, February 3– Junior Congregation (Grades 3-6 10:30 a.m.)
  • Saturday, February 3– Kehilat Kids (Grades K-2 11:00 a.m.)
  • Saturday, February 10– Youth Shabbat 10:15 a.m.
  • Saturday, February 10– Game Shabbat until 3:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, February 18– No School- Presidents Day Weekend
  • Saturday, February 24– Torah Club
  • Sunday, February 25– Bonim (K-2) Event (Mishloach Manot Mitzvah Project)  

Community Announcements: 

Summer Fun at Capital Camps

Don’t miss out on summer fun for children and/or the whole family at Capital Camps! Experience our challenge course, lake and aquatics center, sports fields, arts offerings, and more with traditional 2, 3 and 4 week sessions and during Family Camp (August 17-19). New camper grants are available! Learn more at 301-468-2267 or on an upcoming tours: 2/11, 3/4, 3/25, 4/15, 4/22. Visit capitalcamps.org for more information or to RSVP for a tour.

Shabbat shalom,

Luisa Moss