Miami now is home to a convenient new program of study available for students of any age interested in learning more about Judaism.
Rabbi Yaakov Fellig of Chabad of Miami, located in scenic Coconut Grove, recently launched an online Jewish Studies Program under the direction of longtime Jewish Montessori educator Rabbi Daniel Presberg.
“The students in our online Jewish Studies Program represent varying ages, abilities and interests, but the one quality they all share in common is a desire to learn more about Judaism,” Rabbi Presberg explained.
Students study at home, at the times most convenient for them, and parents don’t have to be involved unless they want to be. And neither are parents required to battle Miami traffic — a computer is all that’s required.
Rabbi Presberg interacts online through an amazing online educational management platform that facilitates interaction, one-on-one learning and skill building through video, audio, and writing.
“The Online Jewish Studies Program is a fun and interesting platform that allows Jewish children between the ages of 9 and 18 to learn many important aspects of Judaism, from the meaning of the Jewish holidays, to the teachings of the Talmud, to the Hebrew language itself,” Rabbi Presberg said.
When asked whether the teachings are available to people older than teenagers, Rabbi Presberg grinned and said, “It would be great to have more adult students, and yes, we can certainly accommodate them.”
According to the Jewish Montessori philosophy of teaching, every child is considered as having been born to make a specific contribution to the world. Children are assessed as individuals and not in comparison to peers, allowing teachers to design individualized lesson plans that incorporate each child’s interest, needs, strengths and weaknesses. Rabbi Presberg, who brings more than 30 years of experience as a Jewish Montessori teacher and administrator, is the embodiment of that philosophy.
According to Rabbi Presberg, the online program is designed to awaken students, each on an individual basis, and to instill meaning in their lives. The whole purpose of the Jewish Montessori system is to transform children in a positive way, to provide the knowledge they need for a happy and successful life, and to help them develop self-knowledge and spiritual growth concurrently.
“In answer to the question of which is greater, study or action, The Talmud says study is greater, for study brings about action,” said Rabbi Mendy Fellig of Chabad of Miami. “For any Jewish child, the study of Judaism is very important, because if you don’t know where you’re coming from, you can’t know where you’re going.”
Rabbi Fellig further explains that the online Jewish Studies Program is extremely fortunate to have Rabbi Presberg at its helm. In addition to being extremely tech-savvy and an esteemed educator, Rabbi Presberg received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Cornell University and a Master’s Degree in strategic communication and leadership from Seton Hall University.
After smiling at the mention of his credentials, Rabbi Presberg modestly sums up his thoughts succinctly.
“My role is to inspire my students to learn, for the learning will change their outlook on the world in a positive way.”