Meir Panim’s Tiberias Free Restaurant not only provides warm meals, but the opportunity to socialize as well.
A few weeks ago my two-year-old daughter was showing my 85-year-old grandmother how to work an iPod touch. I’m not sure if my bubbie was more amazed with the device or with the fact that her great-granddaughter understood it better than her. While this was certainly an adorable sight, it was also a very telling account of how children seem to naturally pick up, and evolve with, the technology around them. Twenty years ago my grandmother was equally mesmerized by my Game Boy, which I effortlessly learned to use.
My daughter knows how to scroll through iPod and iPad pages, go back to the menu, look through pictures, play videos, and “bake” cupcakes via her favorite app. By no means am I saying that she is a spectacular genius (though I won’t discount the possibility), but it is clear that she is able to use the Apple touch devices to a certain extent. I decided to look for more educational ways for her to use “her” iPod (after I bought an iPhone she laid claim to my iTouch). Sure enough there was an app for that. Davka Corporation has a clever and adorable app called Alef Bet Schoolhouse. The app is essentially four different games designed to not only teach children the aleph-bet, but to also learn basic Hebrew words and how to properly pronounce them. While it’s suggested for ages 3-9, I decided to let my little girl test it. Of the four games, I only found one of them age appropriate for my daughter. This was a grid with the Hebrew alphabet mapped out. When a letter is tapped, a larger picture of the letter pops up along with an animated picture of a word that starts with that letter (e.g. for yud a picture of a yaldah – girl – comes on screen). A child’s voice then says the letter and the corresponding Hebrew word. My daughter found this quite engrossing, and came to know a few letters after one sitting. The second game helps children differentiate between similar-looking letters, such as vuv and zayin. When a child completes a round they get an on-screen “prize” (a clown, a box of crayons or a doll). This was too advanced for my little girl, so I did it for her. She was very excited when “we” completed a level, and a prize came on screen. (This is probably the precursor to the inevitability of doing her fifth grade science fair project for her.) The Magical Aleph Bet Game jumbles nine letters, and children must learn their proper order. As they tap the correct letter it disappears, and little by little a cute picture appears. The child’s voice then says the word of the picture in Hebrew and English (e.g. masa’it – truck).
The final game, The Unscrambulator, is the one game adults might actually enjoy as much as children. I was quite proud when I unscrambled a mixed-up chof sofit and a cute chipmunk in a party hat came on screen celebrating my achievement.
The Aleph Bet Schoolhouse is certainly more than worth its cost of $3.99. However, children older than five might tire of the same pictures, words and prizes. While no updates are yet coming, Davka Corporation is hard at work creating more apps for Jewish children. While only one of the four games was suitable for my little girl (for the time being), the app still served my goal of using my daughters’ iPod touch for more educational purposes.
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The sage Hillel summarized the entire Torah by saying, “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn it.”
Sometimes it is hard to help people, and sometimes you can help people by just using whatever it is you have at the time – even an amazing fishing rod.
Musial told the taunted Jackie Robinson: “I want you to know that I’m not like many of the other guys on my team.”
Brooklyn resident David Siller, currently studying in Israel at Yeshivat Yesodei HaTorah in Beit Shemesh, was awarded a trophy for finishing 3rd in his age group (14-18) in a 5-kilometer race for the benefit of the Benjamin Children’s Library of Beit Shemesh.
Today is day six without a phone.
Besides for feeling slightly isolated, it’s not too bad.
I’ve been doing things that I know I would not be doing if my phone was sitting next to me, shiny screen beckoning.
Is anyone else alarmed by the way extended warranties are sold on just about anything and everything? It means one of two things – either someone has found a great way of getting consumers to part with more of their hard earned dollars or manufacturers have no faith in their own products. Neither of those options is particularly heartwarming.
As I described Gaon in a review in June 2001 (“In Search of Ancestors, Sculpture by Simon Gaon” at Yeshiva University Museum), his Bukharian Jewish roots are deeply embedded on both sides of his family, echoed in his early yeshiva education.
Let me begin by congratulating my dear machatunim, Soraya and Jay Nimaroff, on being the recipients of the Community Service Award at the Sderot Hesder Institutions 18th annual anniversary dinner.
Think of your issues this way: due to those different backgrounds, you have a “shovel” to deal with difficulties while he has a “spoon”.
Do you remember the good old days when kids were kids and there was never anything to worry about? Those days never really existed, but today there are issues kids worry about that weren’t issues for some adults. They include fear of bullying, natural disasters, divorce, and violence.
In Part I talked about celebrating 30 years of Regesh Family and Child Services providing services to children, teens and families. I shared the agency’s origin and the many lessons I have learned through this journey. As I mentioned, it is my hope that my experiences will add to your toolbox of life skills.
Unfortunately, a map of the Middle East with no mention of Israel is nothing new… It is surprising however, that the world’s largest publisher of children’s literature, Scholastic Books, has joined in this trend.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/scitech/electronics-today/as-easy-as-aleph-bet-gimmel-2/2011/10/26/
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