- Shmuel Hoffman
Fun...in all seriousness.
Updated: Feb 20, 2020
Studying and fun??? Do those two even go together?
Nowadays it's the kids who are making the decision of where to go to school,
And kids for sure want a good education for the future, but they also want to have fun now.
How do you attract kids to learn Torah - or to go to your school at all, for that matter?
Studies have shown that you retain knowledge much better and learn complex concepts if you're taught in a fun and engaging environment. That’s easy to understand.
What is not easy to understand is why educational institutions don’t use fun in their marketing and advertising. And also, when fun IS used to market, why its not given context. In an ad for an amusement park, fun would make sense without context, because fun is the whole point of an amusement park. But when recruiting for a school, it must be put into context, because educating children and preparing them for the future is the point of a school.
How can you position your school as being both fun and a serious place to learn at the same time?
Kids want to learn because dopamine is released in the brain when we discover the world wide-eyed. If you market a school, it needs to look fun, but you can’t do it without showcasing the WHY behind the fun. Because fun without purpose is fluff, and most people want depth and meaning in life. When we present in our films the thought behind the fun, it shows that the school is fun for educational purposes, and not as a gimmick.
So, while commercial films for schools need to stress what a good education an institution offers, the fun of learning must be portrayed in order to get the kids on board. And vice versa: the seriousness, studiousness, and safety of an institution is top priority on parents' minds. So combining the two is key.
What we love about Yeshiva Ohavei Torah is that students get a very high level of education in both religious and secular studies… but they're having fun while doing it. The ruach, the friendships, and the trips and special events the school puts together make for the exact right mixture of studying and downtime. The individualized attention that rebbeim give each student, and the warm atmosphere between the students, ensure that no kid falls through the cracks. We were impressed by the transformation that boys go through over their 4 years at Ohavei. It's a place that takes the raw clay of Adam and turns it into a fine human being with excellent middos, high-level secular knowledge, and diligent Torah study keneged kulam.