Tuesday, November 30, 2021

On October 4, students in Manhattan Day School’s grades four through eight began studying Mishna and Gemara in a new, exciting after school mishmar program.

Manhattan Day School launched its first mishmar program in order to afford students the opportunity to take their Mishna and Gemara skills to another level. Mishmar is held after school for one hour. Fourth through sixth grade students meet once a week while seventh and eighth grade students meet twice a week.

Participation in Mishmar is optional and the students who opt-into the program are delighted to participate in this fantastic Jewish learning opportunity. “Mishmar Talmidim (students) are not strangers to hard work and self motivation in Torah study because it is something valued and very much part of MDS’s culture,” said Malki Perl, mother of a mishmar participant. After a full day of school to choose to stay for an extra hour of learning is “quite impressive,” Perl added.

The purpose of mishmar at MDS is for students to obtain a deep and clear understanding of new text that is in addition to, and different from, the material they are learning during the school day. Students who join mishmar will be able to strengthen their learning and benefit from this exciting program.

Students in fourth grade are studying Mishna at mishmar and students in grades fifth through eight are studying Gemara. Rabbi Abba Genack, mashgiach ruchani of MDS’ lower school, teaches the mishmar program and also runs the MDS Amud Yomi program, which recently celebrated its fourth (!!) siyum masechet, reports intellectual curiosity, love of Torah study and camaraderie.

“It is an amazing experience to be learning with a group of talmidim so motivated for Torah study, each one is the igniter of the other. The positive energy for learning is remarkable,” said Rabbi Genack. “The sky’s the limit for what they can attain, and I wait eagerly each day to be impressed by what they have accomplished,” Rabbi Genack added.

Community building, especially surrounding Torah study, is a hallmark of the MDS learning experience. The students are looking forward to a successful year of study in mishmar and beyond!

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