The sleeping fox catches no poultry
by Margarita Kantor, Project Coordinator
Caspari Staff Oct 28, 2018
“The sleeping fox catches no poultry” goes the proverb. This is just one of many proverbs that echo the bible. Time and again the Scriptures, both of the Hebrew bible and of the New Testament, call us to take initiative and to not remain passive. One of the most important biblical ideas is that fruit, or harvest, is the result of man’s interactive partnership with God, and not a sudden drop-down from heaven “by grace”. From Solomon, who saw poverty as the fruit of inaction (Prov. 6:10-11), to Yeshua’s teachings about forcefully advancing God’s kingdom (Matt. 11:12) and taking its yoke upon ourselves (Matt. 11:29), the call is the same: express your faith in the Creator by being creative! Step out, take action, do something!
Why am I writing about this? Because if it were not for the initiative of one teacher from a Bat Yam congregation, there would be no development in the children’s ministry in that congregation. This particular teacher, in conversation with Alec Goldberg (Israel Director of the Caspari Center), broached a matter that lay heavy on her heart: there are many children in the congregation, and although their Shabbat School teachers desire to serve these children to the best of their abilities, these teachers lack both knowledge and experience.
As our regular readers will know, the Caspari Center regularly holds seminars for Shabbat School teachers, where they can learn both the theoretical and practical aspects of working with children in a congregation. Unfortunately, Israeli reality dictates that not everyone is available to participate in our seminars, which are held on Fridays. Although Friday is a day off for most people, many congregations have meetings that day, while other people might need to work or study, making it impossible for some children’s ministry workers to participate in seminars.
We decided to try something new, and come to the aid of the teachers in this Bat Yam congregation by offering on-site training. As a pilot project, we conducted a weekly series of evening meetings in the congregational building to train the teachers, for a total of 5 weeks. I embarked upon this course enthusiastically as I routinely train new teachers in my congregation and am aware of the importance of this process.