Opportunityby Brie Stimson July 26, 2018
Education is a key to opportunity. In my opinion, it’s more important than money, natural talent or connections. It’s why totalitarian societies don’t want their people to learn – because citizens who can think for themselves cannot be controlled so easily.
San Diego’s schools are among the best in the country. From public to private to the Jewish day schools featured in this issue, our next generation is heading out the door with powerful knowledge and skills.
Chabad Hebrew Academy’s Building Bridges STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program is an example of that. Building Bridges helps students make connections between these disciplines and their own lives. In the program they learn everything from 3-D printing to making a Sukkah out of recycled materials.
San Diego Jewish Academy’s new Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking will help students gain skills for jobs not yet created with progressive learning techniques and an emphasis on creativity.
Federation’s Shinshinim program and Masa Israel Journey offer students an education in language, culture and understanding by sending American and international students to Israel to study or work (Masa) and, in the case of the Shinshinim program, by bringing Israeli emissaries to the United States to make connections between the countries.
In many cases, San Diego’s theatrical and musical institutions are going out into the community to offer their expertise. San Diego Opera’s Words and Music program brings professional opera artists to students who would otherwise not have that opportunity. Theaters like the Old Globe and the Cygnet have similar programs that help students in disenfranchised areas learn about the theater.
Organizations like Hillel and the Lawrence Family JCC are expanding their programming and their campuses. Hillel’s new Beverly and Joseph Glickman Hillel Center has finally broken ground after decades of impediments. The JCC’s Center for Jewish Culture is for the first time offering a nine-month season (August-June) that includes appearances by comedian Paula Poundstone and folk singer Peter Yarrow in September.
Education can be anything. It doesn’t end with your high school diploma or your bachelor’s or even your master’s. A trip to Israel is an education. A visit to a Balboa Park museum is an education. Speaking with someone from another walk of life is an education. (As a person who interviews all different kinds of people for a living, my life is an amazing education everyday).
Whether we’re seven or 70, we can always learn from someone else, and it’s important to keep ours minds and ears open because we never know who will teach us.