Tuesday, February 08, 2005

A Committee Member

Yes, dear readers, I am a committee member. Normally, I prefer not to sit on committees; I prefer hands-on interaction, the active rather than the passive. But I have sat on committees before: I sat on a PR/marketing committee for Toronto's Jewish Community Center for almost a year, but had no real impact there. I have been involved for twenty years with Toronto's Jewish Archives cataloguing committee, and that's okay because my work there is not about discussing policy, it's about restoration of documents, of categorizing history. I sit and work, not just sit and talk. I was on an editing committee for my children's school fund-raiser, an elegant and Kosher cookbook -- again, something I worked on, not just something I discussed.

Yes, dear readers, I am a committee member. And although I prefer not to sit on committees, this one's okay by me. It is the CHINUCH COMMITTEE of my children's school. I didn't request to sit on it, I didn't track down the chairperson to beg him to add my name to his committee list. Rather, I got a phone call from the school president, who told me that my name had been recommended to him to sit on this committee. I don't know who did the recommending, especially because I'm not a "macher" at the school -- we lay low for the most part as a school family -- but I do volunteer for them whenever I can. I was totally flattered that more than one person referred my name to the school president for the CHINUCH COMMITTEE.

Now for those of you who might not be familiar with the term, CHINUCH means "education" -- we discuss school policies, provincial requirements for secular education, the board of Jewish education's directives for religious studies, parents' needs and teacher's needs and administration's needs. We discuss whether all the school is doing is in tune with the school's HASHKAFA, philosophy. Wow, to think that I can sit on a committee, and that what I say might have a direct impact on how my $9000+ /year per child is being spent and whether or not our children's needs are being met. This behind-the-scenes look can be very eye opening for a parent, but the only requirement of me is CONFIDENTIALITY. That is not always an easy trait to observe -- Does my husband qualify as taboo to school information? I live with him; he's a parent in the school. Does my blog qualify as off-limits? Nobody at the school knows I blog, except my husband and children.

I guess to sit on my committee member's seat for the two-year reign is an honor in our school, and I should be ENLIGHTENED enough to respect that and the confidentiality code. So, folks, my lips are sealed: you won't get any info out of me; I promise not to say anything; don't even ask me to give you a hint... Okay, you want to know what they said last night? Okay, I give up, twist my rubber arm. Last night it was discussed that--

Shhh...silence is golden.

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