“Chess is a great way to teach students to consider the consequences of their actions,” said Rabbi Jeremy Ruberg, Assistant Rabbi at New City Jewish Center. “’Think before you act’ is a powerful life lesson.”
Ruberg spends weekly lunch hours at the Rockland Jewish Academy, teaching students in grades K-5 the basics of the game, but also instilling in the youngsters the deeper meanings inherent in a game of planning and strategy. The understandings he conveys are consistent with the values being taught at RJA. “Chess isn’t just about trying to win. You have to think about each move very carefully, always considering how the other person will respond.”
Ruberg’s chess initiative at RJA is an example of the community’s involvement and investment in the new Jewish community day school, as well as an illustration of enhanced learning opportunities the private school is able to provide.
In addition, students are being given an opportunity to work at jewelry-making as another lunch time elective. Offered by the school’s learning specialist Doris Gordon-Heath, the skills enhanced by this activity are consistent with the foundations of learning: fine motor skills, motor and executive planning, focus and concentration to name just a few.
Best of all, the children are having fun while learning.