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The Prodigal Son

January 8, 2009, by

August 4th, 1991 – John Smith is born August 4th, 1991 – Wen Chyan is born. 1992- 1996 – John Smith watches cartoons 1992-1996 – Wen Chyan watches Baby Einstein 1997- 1999 – John Smith still watches cartoons after school. He particularly enjoys Pokemon 1997- 1999 – Wen Chyan reads books in school, after school,

Second Thoughts: Educating in English – or Hebrew

June 19, 2008, by

Twice a week I have the privilege of meeting with two charming, intelligent, young Israeli females in my kitchen. The purpose of our meeting is to strengthen their English skills, hone their pronunciation so that it is comprehensible to English ears, and to socialize. The two young women are direct descendants, third generation – i.e.

An Imaginary Interview

March 12, 2008, by

Holy and Secular – Don’t expect the following interview to ever really appear in print. This imaginary talk is a combination of many discussions that I have had with a wide variety of dozens of teachers. It is not meant to reflect the opinion of the educational system or the official position of any formal


October 17, 2007, by

A Lesson For the Children – My name is Rina (this is not her real name), and I live in Gush Etzion. A few months ago, when I was in my car, riding towards Gush Etzion, there was a serious traffic jam. When I reached the Gush, I saw the reason for the heavy traffic

Too Late

August 15, 2007, by

A Lesson For the Children – The rabbi found it hard to conceal his surprise. The man at the door of his room was none other than Mr. Levy. Under normal circumstances, Mr. Levy did not set foot in the synagogue. Just the opposite – Mr. Levy was known to be a strong opponent of

Painless History Lessons

July 19, 2007, by

History is one of those subjects students distaste—dry, monotonous, meaningless dates and places, just the thing that makes school so tedious. Yet recently the students of the Sussia Ecological High School Yeshiva were fascinated, as were their teachers, by living history lessons related by none other than their own grandparents. The idea started last year

For You Were Strangers

June 7, 2007, by

The first I heard of Matt was from his rosh yeshivah here in Jerusalem, who called to ask if we could have a Shabbos guest. This particular young man, said the rabbi, was a black American convert from New York City, an exceptionally gifted and promising Talmid. We’d be sure to enjoy his company. That

Let’s Make this Shavuot Like the First – With Everyone Included

May 16, 2007, by

When the Jews in the wilderness told God “Naaseh v’nishma” – We will do [what the Torah commands] and we will obey its lessons – they took it upon themselves to study and adhere to the Torah’s every dictate. This act of communal acceptance was, as Rashi’s commentary teaches us: k’ish echad b’lev echad – as one person

Timeless Teachers

May 31, 2006, by

Shavuot is a particularly auspicious time for learning Torah. It’s also a good time to remember the people who are responsible for supplying us with the tools for and the love of learning – the teachers of Torah . As a student of long standing, as the wife of a life-long teacher, as the mother

The Reading Lesson

March 2, 2006, by

My father always used to say to us that the story of George Washington and the cherry tree is not a good one for Jewish children to hear. He cut down a cherry tree and then he said ‘Father, I cannot tell a lie. It was I.’ The result was that his father was so