Religious education offers young people a balanced framework for a life imbued with meaning and purpose. In this age of technology, automation and artificial intelligence, the articulation and teaching of a meaning-driven life is the art of religious education. 

We deeply believe in the purpose of each life, the dignity of every human and the destiny that awaits each life as it journeys here on earth. 

As young people begin to grapple with ultimate questions; who am I? why am I here? how shall I live? – religious educators are set to provide direction often absent in other arenas. 

The religious educator teaches more than knowledge. The Jewish educator addresses not just the student who is, but the student who ought to be; not just the world that is, but the world that ought to be. 

Immersive religious education in this country is grounded in the unconditional love of the home and family. In each of our religious centered schools our students thrive in their home away from home, nurtured and guided as they grow into adulthood. 

In our schools, it is our historical texts that mandate the welcome to the stranger. Our traditions that commits us to caring for immigrants and refugees and that reminds us that all humans are created in the Divine image.  Our beliefs move our students pack meals for the homeless.  And the compelling notion that the earth is not ours to plunder, urges our students to be mindful about their carbon footprints.  

Here in the State of Washington we are a vibrant community of religious educators committed to our students. Our schools engender authentic connections to community, tradition and build toward our shared better future.

by Rivy Poupko Kletenik, Head of School at Seattle Hebrew Academy and member of the WFIS Board of Directors.