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Hebrew School Headaches
Salomon Says

Hebrew School Headaches

Can they be saved?

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Published: January 10, 2010


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Visitor Comments: 70

(68) Miri, September 14, 2010 7:35 PM

Some things are decided elsewhere

My husband and I went to great efforts to give our 5 children the Jewish education we never had. Given our nomadic lifestyle, the quality of that education ranged from stellar to abyssmal, both on the religious and secular scales. Their worst experiences were in those schools which attempted to emulate (read- compete with) secular prep schools. School isn't free- and those with the money tend to drive the direction of the curriculum. Their best experiences were in less "accredited" environments where the teachers were able to display their personal love of Torah and model behaviours that promote life-long learning. Thay have all grown (thank G-d) to be unique, amazing Jews- each observing and continuing to learn in their own way.

(67) Malka, February 5, 2010 4:40 AM

The problem is the public school.

Going to a public school meant being introduced to Christian holidays, songs, unkosher food served in the lunchroom and having friends from other faiths. The time I spent in Hebrew school was not enough to learn about Torah and Judaism. I sent all my children to Yeshiva. B"H I'm very happy that I did. Improving the Hebrew school is not the answer. The only solution is to find ways to encourage and make sure that every Jewish child is enrolled in an orthodox yeshiva.

(66) Anon, January 17, 2010 6:01 AM

Home-School Hebrew School

I "Home-school" Hebrew school a family. The parents pulled their kids out of Hebrew school and hired me to work with their three children in their home. I can't tell you what a difference this is making. The kids hated Hebrew school and now they fight each week who will learn with me first. In addition to teaching them reading and chagim, I teach different Hebrew units like Brachot and Shabat. I teach them songs, bake and cook with them and do projects all related to what I'm teaching them. I think the reason this is working is because I'm in their home and I'm being practical with them. As opposed to school where what is taught starts and ends in the classroom. The parents that I work for feel like they are getting more for their money being that their children get personal attention, learn more at a quicker pace, and that they choose the curriculum. If anyone out there wants their children to get a good Jewish education and doesn't want them to get a bad taste from Hebrew school, consider this.

(65) Sid Amdur, January 15, 2010 4:57 AM

The problem is multi-faceted

I went to Hebrew School from 8 yrs old to 16 yrs old. I can best be described now as a modern orthodox Jew. I identified with the Rabbi who taught us in Hebrew School and enjoyed his class. He was my role model. But I attribute my being observant to many factors besides that: (2) especially growing up keeping kosher and (2) connecting with other observant Jews in college. Being in an religious social environment in college was essential for me to remain observant. After graduating college, I went to Yeshiva full-time for 7 years to catch up with what I missed in Hebrew School. But my emotional Jewish roots were planted in my Hebrew School years. I believe there are many paths to the same goal---it depends on the person, his family, and his environment.

(64) Feigele, January 14, 2010 11:27 PM

Continued from comment # 63 Feigele not Anonymous

Overall, it was up to us to learn, which I believe I did mostly on my own. My parents loosing part of their faith because of the Holocaust, where they lost all their families, ceased to be very religious. But all traditions, Jewish Holidays and synagogues still remained and were still part of our lives. So with Hebrew schools as bad as they were and my parents’ traditions I educated myself. It is really up to the individual to absorb all he can from life and believe or not in G-d. No teachers should do that for you. It should be a free will as oppose to some cults who brain wash people. My school's name was Maimonides and sadly enough is no longer there.

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