Jewish Melbourne

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Jewish Melbourne

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As a Yiddish teacher the plague year was marked by a shift to online teaching. Of course this involved inconveniences and accomodations but mostly I was so grateful to have a job that meant I got to stay in contact with people throughout 2020. In classes I worked hard to support students in a difficult time, but also found myself energised and reassured by the regular social contact they provided.
I've chose two pictures of my classes - one, a kids class featuring members of my family and the other, a screenshot from one of my long running classes at the Kadimah.
The kids class was often fairly chaotic on zoom, marked by kids disappearing, scribbling on the screen or more interested in making faces in the camera than anything else. But it still represented a weekly engagement with Yiddishkayt for these kids, who all live in the North of Melbourne and attend state schools.
The image I chose of one of my adults class is from a night when there was a blackout in my street - all the lights went off and my connection cut out. I realised though that I could teach using my phone for internet - it just meant sitting in the dark! I remember a strong feeling of "the show must go on" in a time when so much else was uncertain it was important to me that every Monday evening was the same - Yiddish class with my longtime students. Throughout lockdown students have been so patient and understanding of everything that has had to change and even now as I am extremely over teaching online I am honestly so grateful for what they've given me - meaninful, interesting, engaging work and social contact! We should all be so lucky.

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This item was submitted on February 24, 2021 by Esther Singer using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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