Sue Marx, Lower School Jewish Music and T'filah Teacher, is in her 16th year as a CESJDS faculty member. She began at our school as a part-time teacher, coming off of raising her kids, and little by little expanded the number of students and subject matter under her wing.
Sue formerly had a career as a prosecutor in the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office and then went on to teach prosecutors and other professionals with the National District Attorneys' Association's National Center for the Prosecution of Child Abuse. She happened upon her calling as a music and t'filah teacher while singing with one of her children's supplemental school classes at Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Synagogue. She was hired on the spot by the school director.
Her role at CESJDS has expanded from teaching Jewish music for Kindergarten through 2nd grade to teaching Jewish Music and T'filah across the grades, 5th grade Torah cantillation, daily 15-minute Minha (afternoon) service for 3rd and 4th grades, working with our youngest Gurim Junior Kindergarten students, preparing the 4th grade for their Havdalah service, and the 1st grade for their Hagigat Hassidur, receipt of their own prayer book.
"Integrating t'filah into my CESJDS 'portfolio' has been life enhancing. I have grown tremendously in my knowledge and love of t'filah and really feel as though it capitalizes on my strengths," Sue said.
Sue also coordinates the monthly Kabbalat Shabbat (welcoming in Shabbat) at the Lower School, with help from fellow music teacher, Gavri Yares. "It is my baby," she said. The Lower School-wide gathering involves a narrative, singing, t'filah, and dancing. Each month, Sue selects two student leaders from the 5th grade to narrate the program.
Sue is married with two grown children. Her husband, Eric, is a lawyer with the National Labor Relations Board. Her son, Jonathan, is a senior at Yale, and daughter, Sarah, a graduate of St. John's College in Annapolis, made aliyah in December 2015, and lives in Jerusalem.
When she isn't budding the next generation of Jewish musicians and hazzanim at CESJDS, she can be found walking with her husband (they recently completed--after three years of hiking sections at a time--walking the entire 180 miles of the C&O Canal!), tutoring B'nei Mitzvah students, watching Israeli movies and TV, doing crossword puzzles, and reading.
"I feel very grateful to be here. I hope I can stay forever," Sue said.
"Sue is so knowledgeable, patient and talented. I didn't realize her greatness until I started teaching Judaics, and now I bring classes to her several times a day. She never stops learning and takes risks with new songs and tunes. I'm serious. She's amazing," said a colleague.