Earlier this week, the global Jewish community experienced a horrible tragedy, as a teacher and three students were murdered at the Jewish day school in Toulouse, France.
Among the victims was Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, a life long teacher who dedicated his life to Jewish education. Born in France, Rabbi Sandler grew up as an active part of his community. After high school, he came to Jerusalem where he studied for almost five years. During this time he received his Rabinic ordination as well as educational training. After his years in Israel, he returned to France, where he married and started his family. During this time, Rabbi Sandler quickly became a fixture in the French Jewish community, serving as an educator, Rabbi, and all around role model. Rabbi Jonathan Sandler gave his life to Jewish education.
This terrible tragedy also took the lives of two of Rabbi Sandler’s children as well as the daughter of the school’s principal.
This tragedy has already had a devastating effect on the global Jewish community. We often forget about the hatred that still exists on the outside. Rabbi Sandler served as a model for Jewish education. He could have remained in Israel after his studies. He could have moved to England or the US. Rabbi Sandler however wanted to give back to his own community. He knew first hand of the challenges that existed and he wanted to help make create a successful Jewish community.
Rabbi Sandler’s efforts should serve as an example to Jewish educators all over the world. This educator did not take the easy path. He did what he felt was needed to help Jewish children succeed.
As terrible as this tragedy was, hopefully, we can still learn a lesson from these events. It is individuals like Rabbi Sandler and his family who continuously help to better Jewish education. We hope that his efforts will continue in his, and in other communities.
Tomorrow’s Genius will be dedicating this week’s Judaic Studies classes to the memory of Rabbi Sandler and to the rest of the victims of this horrible tragedy.