By Ben Schreiber (’15), speaking at the Open House

At Ida Crown, as in most Jewish schools, you learn math in math class, English in English class, and Chumash in Chumash class. So it should follow that you learn Gemara in Gemara shiur. Right? Exactly right. However, you learn a lot more than that. In Gemara you learn the importance of Star Wars, the Matrix, and the Miami Heat. A little confusing? Trust me, I know. When I began my freshman year, I never expected to have to write a two-page response to Minority Report comparing free will in the movie to free will in Judaism or discuss the significance of Mace Windu’s purple light saber in regards to Moshe’s staff. But now, in retrospect, I do not see any other option. I could not have succeeded and matured in my Gemara learning without these seemingly abstract components. Let me explain.

At Ida Crown, I have found that the Rebbeim for Gemara are more than a bunch of intangible, bearded men who read from a book which is written in an obsolete language. I have found the Rebbeim for Gemara are actual people who enjoy activities outside of sitting in a Beis Midrash all day. Rabbi Rosenbaum is an avid Harry Potter fan fiction reader. Rabbi Segal is a master chef. Rabbi Robinson is a brilliant mathematician. Rabbi Turoff is, unfortunately, a die-hard Heat fan. But, without these identifiable traits, I could not have developed a relationship with my rebbeim, and, therefore, I could not have grown to enjoy learning Gemara.

I never expected to connect with my Rebbeim on a personal level. But I did. I connected with them, my classmates connected with them, and I am willing to bet that you will connect with them as well.