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Old 11-18-2023, 05:28 PM
Status: "A solution in search of a problem" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: New York Area
34,378 posts, read 16,495,356 times
Reputation: 29531

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This morning, I lead "Torah Study," roughly the equivalent of Bible study. There were about twenty adults, ranging from about 55 to people in their 80's, in attendance. I was the lay "leader" of the day. The Cantor was there to assist but had to leave about ten minutes early. When he did, all hell broke loose.

About 30 seconds after the Cantor left Torah Study, decorum totally collapsed. About six cell phones whipped out, and all kinds of side conversations broke out. I can understand people occasionally check their phones. Certainly I am guilty of this sometimes. But today was absolutely excessive. Therefore, as a result, I terminated Torah study about two minutes after the Cantor left, or about eight minutes early.

Now, the organizer of Torah Study is constantly appealing for lay leaders. They used to be abundant but certain of them don't come as often, certain ones have resigned. This morning's mayhem makes it difficult for me to imagine leading again any time soon. Is it any wonder there are few volunteers?

I was a Sunday school student from 1967-70, ages 10-13. My classroom was not ten yards away from the site of this morning's "festivities." As a 13 year old, I walked out May 4, 1970, the first class session (a Monday since it was Hebrew school) after my Bar Mitzvah. Reason; spitballing in class. Same garbage, different age, different day.
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Old 11-18-2023, 09:33 PM
 
608 posts, read 301,739 times
Reputation: 868
Wrong congregation. I am 78 years old, fairly social, and have NONE of the problems I read about on the internet. I associate with like-minded individuals and seldom encounter the others, even though I am pretty sure that they exist. Although I certainly don't look for trouble, I am moderately outspoken. Perhaps that has an effect.

??
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Old 11-18-2023, 09:56 PM
Status: "A solution in search of a problem" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: New York Area
34,378 posts, read 16,495,356 times
Reputation: 29531
Quote:
Originally Posted by ben Shunamit View Post
Wrong congregation.
are you saying that I am in the wrong congregation?
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Old 11-18-2023, 10:10 PM
 
608 posts, read 301,739 times
Reputation: 868
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
are you saying that I am in the wrong congregation?
Yes.
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Old 11-19-2023, 08:12 AM
 
9,712 posts, read 7,534,804 times
Reputation: 24112
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
This morning, I lead "Torah Study," roughly the equivalent of Bible study. There were about twenty adults, ranging from about 55 to people in their 80's, in attendance. I was the lay "leader" of the day. The Cantor was there to assist but had to leave about ten minutes early. When he did, all hell broke loose.

About 30 seconds after the Cantor left Torah Study, decorum totally collapsed. About six cell phones whipped out, and all kinds of side conversations broke out. I can understand people occasionally check their phones. Certainly I am guilty of this sometimes. But today was absolutely excessive. Therefore, as a result, I terminated Torah study about two minutes after the Cantor left, or about eight minutes early.

Now, the organizer of Torah Study is constantly appealing for lay leaders. They used to be abundant but certain of them don't come as often, certain ones have resigned. This morning's mayhem makes it difficult for me to imagine leading again any time soon. Is it any wonder there are few volunteers?

I was a Sunday school student from 1967-70, ages 10-13. My classroom was not ten yards away from the site of this morning's "festivities." As a 13 year old, I walked out May 4, 1970, the first class session (a Monday since it was Hebrew school) after my Bar Mitzvah. Reason; spitballing in class. Same garbage, different age, different day.
From what you wrote, it simply sounds like everyone assumed the study was ending early when the cantor left. As the leader, you should've said hang on, we have ten more minutes to finish up today's study.

Usually leading a group like this is easy because people come voluntarily and want to learn.
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Old 11-19-2023, 09:10 AM
 
12,577 posts, read 8,805,520 times
Reputation: 34380
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
This morning, I lead "Torah Study," roughly the equivalent of Bible study. There were about twenty adults, ranging from about 55 to people in their 80's, in attendance. I was the lay "leader" of the day. The Cantor was there to assist but had to leave about ten minutes early. When he did, all hell broke loose.

About 30 seconds after the Cantor left Torah Study, decorum totally collapsed. About six cell phones whipped out, and all kinds of side conversations broke out. I can understand people occasionally check their phones. Certainly I am guilty of this sometimes. But today was absolutely excessive. Therefore, as a result, I terminated Torah study about two minutes after the Cantor left, or about eight minutes early.

Now, the organizer of Torah Study is constantly appealing for lay leaders. They used to be abundant but certain of them don't come as often, certain ones have resigned. This morning's mayhem makes it difficult for me to imagine leading again any time soon. Is it any wonder there are few volunteers?

I was a Sunday school student from 1967-70, ages 10-13. My classroom was not ten yards away from the site of this morning's "festivities." As a 13 year old, I walked out May 4, 1970, the first class session (a Monday since it was Hebrew school) after my Bar Mitzvah. Reason; spitballing in class. Same garbage, different age, different day.
We've run into this. There are a lot of people who come to church to socialize. And if you are not part of the social group, it becomes like middle school where they chatter away completely ignoring anyone else in the room. It was one of the things that caused us to stop attending, we were always on the outside looking in.
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Old 11-19-2023, 10:38 AM
Status: "A solution in search of a problem" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: New York Area
34,378 posts, read 16,495,356 times
Reputation: 29531
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unsigned comment at 518 am
Lack of authority and respect?
Disciplining your equals, and usually elders, in a congregation is hard. Which is why I chose to terminate early. One one occasion, one of the other "members" shouted down a Rabbi when she tried to bring to group to order, and he was forced to apologize in public.
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Old 11-19-2023, 02:25 PM
Status: "A solution in search of a problem" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: New York Area
34,378 posts, read 16,495,356 times
Reputation: 29531
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
We've run into this. There are a lot of people who come to church to socialize. And if you are not part of the social group, it becomes like middle school where they chatter away completely ignoring anyone else in the room. It was one of the things that caused us to stop attending, we were always on the outside looking in.
Very good description. And plaudits, even for the critics, who have the courage to stand up and be counted and not mount a "drive-by."
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Old 11-19-2023, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Sandy Eggo's North County
10,134 posts, read 6,549,029 times
Reputation: 16451
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
This morning, I lead "Torah Study," roughly the equivalent of Bible study. There were about twenty adults, ranging from about 55 to people in their 80's, in attendance. I was the lay "leader" of the day. The Cantor was there to assist but had to leave about ten minutes early. When he did, all hell broke loose.

About 30 seconds after the Cantor left Torah Study, decorum totally collapsed. About six cell phones whipped out, and all kinds of side conversations broke out. I can understand people occasionally check their phones. Certainly I am guilty of this sometimes. But today was absolutely excessive. Therefore, as a result, I terminated Torah study about two minutes after the Cantor left, or about eight minutes early.

Now, the organizer of Torah Study is constantly appealing for lay leaders. They used to be abundant but certain of them don't come as often, certain ones have resigned. This morning's mayhem makes it difficult for me to imagine leading again any time soon. Is it any wonder there are few volunteers?

I was a Sunday school student from 1967-70, ages 10-13. My classroom was not ten yards away from the site of this morning's "festivities." As a 13 year old, I walked out May 4, 1970, the first class session (a Monday since it was Hebrew school) after my Bar Mitzvah. Reason; spitballing in class. Same garbage, different age, different day.
I would have had the cell phones turned "off" as class commenced.

However, if "side conversations" involved your subject matter, this could have been your opportunity to "emcee" the group. There are times when letting the "inmates run the asylum" is a time for them to grow and learn. But, pandemonium can't happen.

I used "ACL" often, when I facilitated motorcycle training in the classroom. I used "ACL" (adult centered learning) as a primary technique. LOL!
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Old 11-19-2023, 06:29 PM
Status: "A solution in search of a problem" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: New York Area
34,378 posts, read 16,495,356 times
Reputation: 29531
Quote:
Originally Posted by NORTY FLATZ View Post
I would have had the cell phones turned "off" as class commenced.
Many, including myself, use cellphones or laptops to take notes. I can't read my handwriting. Also, during study, since there is no exam, looking up sources such as from the Bible or Talmud is often necessary.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NORTY FLATZ View Post
However, if "side conversations" involved your subject matter, this could have been your opportunity to "emcee" the group. There are times when letting the "inmates run the asylum" is a time for them to grow and learn. But, pandemonium can't happen.
That's why I terminated the session.
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