Anyone who says “If you can’t do, teach,” hasn’t tried teaching. Education is an arduous undertaking that leaves little leeway for error. Whereas a failure in the business world costs money, one in the field of education costs futures.
As we are all aware, the global pandemic that is the coronavirus has nearly stopped education in its tracks. Schools and youth groups shut down with almost no notice, and administrators were left stunned with little in the way of contingency for such an extraordinary turn of events. Zoom and other web-based programs have provided some relief, but legal issues surrounding data protection and threats of “Zoombombs” have proven tough to navigate. Many institutions have struggled tremendously through the pandemic; some have even collapsed as a result. There are some educational movements that have quickly turned a catastrophe into a success.
I work for the New York branch of NCSY. We are the youth movement of the Orthodox Union. Many thousands of teenagers from across the world are affiliated with the organization. Social scenes are our forte and personal relationships our expertise. As the shutdown gained momentum we had to look for different avenues of approach — and fast. How do you create a social atmosphere when people are not allowed in the same room? How do you maintain a close community when kept so far apart?
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The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.