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January 23, 2017 / 25 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘School’

ZOA Honors Scheck Hillel Community School Students

Monday, December 19th, 2016

The Zionist Organization of America’s first team of high school fellows attended and were applauded at ZOA’s Brandeis Awards Gala, which took place November 20. The following is an excerpt from the announcement that was made from the podium:

Hillel students at ZOA event.

Hillel students at ZOA event.

“The Zionist Organization of America is proud to announce its first High School Fellowship, being piloted with the Scheck Hillel Community School in North Miami. In addition to ZOA’s tremendous work and involvement on college campuses, the ZOA High School Fellowship aims to prepare students for what they will encounter before they get to college, while also serving as a seamless transition for the students’ continued involvement with ZOA when they get to college and beyond, no matter the career path.”

The announcement continued: “The fellowship has already been launched with three exceptional senior year Hillel students, under the direction of ZOA Florida’s executive director, Sharona Whisler, and partnership with Scheck Hillel’s Capstone and Social Studies Department chair Yehudis Benhamou. We’d like to take a moment to recognize ZOA’s first High School Fellows…Abigail Winograd, Avi Bryan, and Jordana Zackon.”

For more information about ZOA Florida, e-mail swhistler@zoa.org.

Shelley Benveniste

Social Skills In School

Monday, December 5th, 2016

There are a few questions that have been coming up in my office. I’ve combined a few of them below to answer some pressing questions about bullying and friendship.


            Q: My six-year-old son, Moshe, has been coming home from school complaining about a boy in his class, I will call him Binyamin, who is bothering him. Moshe and Binyamin have been in the same class since they were in preschool and seemed to have been friends in the past. Suddenly, though, Moshe has been reporting that Binyamin says mean things to him about his clothing, lunch, haircut, or even his grades.

Now, I should mention that Moshe is taller than Binyamin, so I can’t imagine anything physical starting up. In addition, Moshe has plenty of friends in the classroom aside from Binyamin.

When Moshe started coming to me because Binyamin was taunting him, I told him to tell him to stop. When that didn’t work, I told Moshe to ignore Binyamin’s comments. But, Moshe is complaining more than ever and has even started fighting me when it is time to go to school. I told him that he needs to work it out on his own with Binyamin and that I shouldn’t get involved. The problem is, lately, I have been thinking that he simply doesn’t know how to work it out himself. Did I make a mistake?

            A: Your question is a very difficult one – and one that comes up a lot in my office. When one child persistently attacks another child, whether physically or verbally, that behavior is classified as bullying. Depending on the severity and recurrence of the other child’s comments, I would consider getting involved. If your son continues to come home telling you about this other boys’ negative behavior towards him, he obviously cannot work it on his own. In essence, that is why he is telling you about the information – so you can help him.

Often, we want children to gain skills – to stick up for themselves when others try to put them down or to make new friends. But, in reality, if your child is asking you for help that means that he has not figured out a way to master the situation on his own.


Here are some possible signs that your sign is being bullied:

Returns from school with torn, damaged, or missing clothing
Seems afraid of going to school
Suddenly begins to do poorly in school
Complains frequently of headaches, stomachaches, or other illnesses
Has trouble sleeping or frequent bad dreams
Appears anxious or suffers from low self-esteem


So, should you step in? If the situation continues, my answer is yes. Scars from childhood bullying are often long-lasting and bullying can sometimes escalate out of our control. Here are some ways that you can get involved:

            Set up playdates with other children: Children who are isolated are more likely to be bullied in school. Talk to your child about who he enjoys playing with and then set up after school playdates with that child. Creating an ally in the classroom will inspire your child with more confidence and will also dissuade others from bullying your son.

            Talk to a teacher or menahel: Bullying is not a problem that involves two children, rather the whole school environment is engaged. Teachers and administrators are on the front line of the bullying war. The first step is to make them aware of the problem in the classroom. Then, you can work together with the teacher to come up with solutions to prevent the negative behavior. With proactive efforts, bullying can be severely reduced.

            Role-play: Teaching your child how to respond when someone bullies him will help him take control of the situation. To that end, role-playing different scenarios with your child can help him anticipate possible bullying situations.

Because bullying has become such a hot topic, I wrote a children’s book entitled My “Friend” The Bully. The colorful picture book follows Pinny as he innocently reacts to a “friend” who belittles and intimidates him – just like the situation with your son. Through help from his parents, teachers, and friends, Pinny’s life takes a turn for the better. You, too, can take an active role in helping your child overcome his “friend’s” comments. After all, he seems to be asking for your help.


            Q: My daughter, Nechama, has been struggling with reading since I started singing her the ABCs when she was a baby. In nursery, when her teachers introduced the alphabet and in kindergarten and first grade when they began to read in earnest, Nechama was always two or three steps behind. However, up until recently, Nechama’s reading had seemed to only impact her academic performance.

Since she entered second grade this year, Nechama has been telling me that she doesn’t want to go to school. At first, I thought that her problems with reading were causing her to fear school, but her reasons for not wanting to go to school range from “None of the other girls play with me” to “I don’t like eating lunch by myself.” It breaks my heart to see my once happy and confident daughter depressed and isolated from her peers.

Here’s my question and I should tell you that my husband thinks I am overstating this, but I think there might be a link between her struggle with reading and her trouble with friends. Is that possible – are reading and socializing connected?

            A: The short answer is: yes, there is a link between reading and social skills. But, first, it is important to clarify some of the different types of learning disabilities that cause children to struggle with reading:

            Dyslexia: The National Institute of Health defines dyslexia as characterized by difficulties with accurate or fluent word recognition, and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. Dyslexia is a learning disability that is neurological in origin and often runs in the family. Children with dyslexia experience trouble reading and writing when taught through traditional instruction.

            ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder affects between 8-10% of school-age children. Boys are three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with it. Children who have ADHD have trouble sitting still, focusing on one thing at one time, and attending to details. While their attention seems unfocused, it is multi-focused. Their mind takes in multiple stimuli at once, making it hard to engage in one activity for long periods of time. For this reason, reading through conventional methods can be frustrating.

            Visual Processing Disorder: Visual processing disorder affects how the brain perceives and processes what the eye sees. Difficulties with visual processing affect how visual information is interpreted and perceived. The person may have difficulty in discriminating foreground-background, forms, size, and position in space. Using worksheets with enlarged print and breaking assignments into clear, concise steps are various methods that assist comprehension. Again, with visual processing disorder, traditional methods of reading instruction fall short.

As children enter elementary school, and reading becomes an integral part of the curriculum, children with learning disorders begin to struggle academically. Whereas before, they might have been able to get along based on their innate intellect, children with dyslexia, ADHD, or visual processing disorder start to show signs of struggles when reading instruction begins in earnest.

Often, these children go undiagnosed and their struggles with reading are attributed to a lack of trying or apathy. In reality, these children are working hard, but need different methods of instruction. Without these accommodations, children with learning disabilities often become frustrated and dejected. This can lead to low self-esteem and decreased self-worth.

So, are reading and social skills linked? Definitely. When children develop low self-esteem, they are less likely to attempt to make friends. They believe that no one would be interested in being their friends and therefore think that they will be rejected by their peers. This often leads children with disabilities to isolate themselves in order to avoid risk-taking in social situations.

Fortunately, there is a lot that you can do to help improve your child’s reading and thereby improve her self-esteem. Depending on the source of your daughter’s struggles with reading, alternative reading strategies can be employed. With a customized plan in place, your daughter could be on her way towards success in reading. Then, with each small gain in reading, your daughter’s self-esteem will grow – she will no longer be the girl who is scared to be called on in class. Who knows? That newfound confidence might allow her to believe in herself enough to take some risks and make some new friends!

Rifka Schonfeld

How To Send Lunch To School

Monday, November 21st, 2016

For years, we have participated in the school lunch program, figuring that for a few dollars a day it was worth the hassle of not having to prepare lunch. I was reassured by the fact that the schools were offering whole grains, vegetables and fruit at every meal, and that water or milk were the only beverages. Or so I thought. Slower than I should have, I began to realize exactly what the schools were serving their captive audience (i.e. my children). Milk and water were being served, but so were juice and punch. Whole grain is loosely defined, and includes bread and carbohydrates of any type. Protein is heavily fried and/or covered in mayonnaise and/or oil. Fruit can mean sugared fruit cups, and canned peas and corn routinely serve as the vegetable portions. I wasn’t happy when I discovered that, but I still went along with the program. I just couldn’t fathom making lunches for all the children every day, and I rationalized that at least they were eating healthy breakfasts, snacks and dinners.

Then came the clincher. One of our children’s schools sent home a letter saying they would no longer be participating in the government school lunch program and would now use an outside vendor. For the cost of only $4 per meal, my child can eat hot dogs with french fries, pizza with french fries, pizza rolls with french fries, macaroni and cheese, or baked ziti etc. Oh, and they will also serve cottage cheese from time to time.

I was furious, to say the least. With child obesity at epidemic levels, and experts predicting that today’s youth will be the first generation to die earlier than their parents, due to their likely health problems, this type of administrative irresponsibility seemed to have breached any level of shortsightedness. The food they plan on serving is party food, which should not be eaten more than once a month, not given to children on a daily basis. This type of regular menu destroys people’s ability to self-regulate and utilize appropriate moderation skills, not to mention raising cholesterol, blood sugar, and weight.

Imagine my surprise when discussing this new lunch program with other parents and they informed me the school changed the vendor not because they want the children to be eating fast food every day, but because parents asked for it. Let me repeat: parents of growing children asked the school, the standard of authority in these young children’s lives, to serve their children on a daily basis the absolute worse food-like products possible. To those parents, I have nothing to say. But to my children, I said, “Guess what! We are going to be making our own lunches, and it will be the best ever.”

Believe it or not, at first they were excited when I told them about the cute containters I was going to buy for them, and the yummy food they would get to pick. But as time wore on, they got less excited, and started begging me to let them eat the school lunch. I (so far) have not given up, and we are still chugging along.

Here’s how:

  1. We discussed what their favorite school lunches were and how we could incorporate healthier versions into our menu. One child liked the meatballs. No problem. Meatballs made with a mixture of chicken and beef and whole wheat matza meal in a tomato, zucchini and onion sauce would be a great substation. Another child wanted knishes. That too can be incorporated once in a while, along with healthy sides, and so on. It isn’t perfect, and it isn’t as healthy as I would have preferred, but remember, I am going against pizza parlor lunch every day. I can’t expect my sprouted bread and wild-caught salmon to compete with that (although salmon is a favorite lunch, and sprouted bread is the go-to bread in our house).
  1. I took them to the store and bought them cute lunch boxes and containers, and reviewed with them the importance of washing out their containers right away and putting them into the kitchen sink immediately upon coming home. Don’t make the mistake I did, and forget to label them. It only took one missing lunch bag for me to quickly scribble Baim everywhere.
  1. Each week, we sit down and create a schedule of rotating lunches. Each lunch contains a vegetable (cut-up peppers, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, baby carrots, celery, hearts of palms), a fruit, a sandwich on the children’s favorite whole-wheat breads, with a healthy filling of eggs, tuna, salmon, avocado, chumus, peanut butter (how odd that so many schools do not allow peanut butter in school, but do allow our children to be poisoned by the toxic, processed products they call food). They can also choose a small home-baked good, made with 100% white whole wheat, and moderate amounts of sugar and oil. With the children’s help, I prepare the lunches at night. In the morning, I warm up the lunches while I drink my coffee and pack them into the insulated lunch bags.
  1. Each child receives two dollars once a week to do whatever they want with, including buying junk. I know this doesn’t sound right, that I am paying my children not to eat school lunch, but remember, my children are sitting at a table with other children who are eating carnival food, while my children unwrap their sandwiches. Receiving the two dollars helps the children enjoy the savings of not participating in this lunch program and illustrates that junk food is something to be considered before buying, and perhaps they would rather save the money for a new game or toy.

Although I still hear the occasional complaint, I can report that I am very pleasantly surprised at the success of our home lunch program. Planning and preparing the lunches took less time than I thought and I take great comfort that I am preparing my children for a healthy lifestyle, while saving hundreds of dollars as well. The constant inclusion of my children’s wants and taste help them be involved, not to mention the sweet cash incentive.

I want to encourage everyone to consider making home lunches as well. It’s not as hard as one would think, and the benefits are tremendous.

Pnina Baim

Campus Warrior Tells High School Seniors About College Anti-Semitism

Friday, November 18th, 2016

Last Wednesday, Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, co-founder of the AMCHA Initiative which combats campus anti-Semitism in America, spoke with 25 Brighton High School students in Rochester, NY. Later, in the evening, she spoke to an audience of 150 concerned parents, educators and community members. Both events were organized by Roc4Israel.

In early November, the Rochester Campus Times reported confrontations between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian students at an event organized by the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) after the screening of “The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States.”

Noah Spivak, president of the Jewish Student Union at the high school, told JNi.media via an email from an AMCHA activist: “Soon we will each be applying for colleges and we are very concerned by the recent rise in anti-Semitic behavior on campuses across the country. Thanks to today’s meeting with Tammi, many of us feel better prepared for what we might encounter.”

Rabbi Shaya Kilimnick of Congregation Beth Sholom in Rochester, also told JNi.media via the same email: “Recently our campuses have become the battleground for anti-Semitic and anti Israel activities, mostly  by pro-Palestinian protests orchestrated by experienced hate groups — under the blind eye of University administrators. This has left our Jewish students vulnerable and exposed to  hatred and under attack.”

“Last evening, Tammi Rossman Benjamin of AMCHA provided us with leadership and offered us a selection of opportunities to engage in, so that we can be able to approach this challenge successfully. We encourage all who are concerned for our Jewish children to become involved.”

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin summarized her message, saying: There’s bad news and there’s good news. The bad news is that as a result of BDS and other anti-Zionist activity, Jewish students are experiencing alarming and unprecedented levels of anti-Semitism on campuses across the country.  The good news is that the Jewish community and its allies are uniting at last to do something about it, and you can help.”

Following is a portion of Tammi Rossman-Benjamin’s talk, generously transcribed for JNi.media.

●  ●  ●

As you might imagine, anti-Zionist sentiment and activity have had extremely negative consequences for many Jewish college and university students. The injection of the anti-Zionist movement, and particularly BDS, onto campus in the past decade has fueled a significant resurgence and increase in anti-Semitism.  The lines between appropriate political discourse on Israeli policy and discrimination toward Jewish students have become blurred. Jewish students report that anti-Zionist activists single out, harass, intimidate, and even assault them, regardless of their personal feelings on Israel. And far too often, anti-Zionist expression is laced with centuries-old classic anti-Semitic stereotypes. The anti-Zionist activists target not only pro-Israel students, but anyone presumed to support Israel, first and foremost Jewish students, regardless of their actual personal feelings on Israel. As a result, Jewish students engaging in Jewish activity having nothing to do with Israel — wearing their Jewish sorority or fraternity letters, displaying Star of David necklaces, walking to Hillel for Sabbath dinner – report fearing for their safety and well- being. In addition, because of their support, or even just presumed support, for Israel, Jewish students report being rejected from progressive social justice activities such as pro-choice rallies, anti-rape demonstrations, Black Lives Matter events and racial justice conferences.In addition to ostracizing and alienating Jewish students from certain areas of campus life, anti- Zionist students repeatedly attempt to shutdown events organized by Jewish students and suppress their free speech about Israel and other topics. Sadly, Jewish students are being targeted, discriminated against and ostracized, and their civil rights are being egregiously violated.
That’s the view from 30,000 feet.  Now let’s get down to what I hope will be helpful specifics.

Anti-Israel student groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine, or SJP, whose very mission includes the promotion of BDS, are found on hundreds of U.S. campuses. (I know that at University of Rochester, the group Students for a Democratic Society, SDS, has spearheaded considerable anti-Zionist activity on campus, most recently the screening of an the film “Occupation of the American Mind,” a film which not only demonizes and delegitimizes the Jewish state, its whole premise is based on the classic anti-Semitic tropes popularized in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” of Jewish wealth, power and mendacity being used to control the government and media). SJP and similar groups, besides promoting BDS on their Facebook pages and other social media, on the large “apartheid walls” they build, in op-eds they publish in student newspapers and at events they host quite regularly, groups like SJP are responsible for organizing campaigns to get their own schools to boycott Israeli products like Sabra humus, to terminate their school’s academic exchange programs with Israel, and, most frequently, to have their student governments vote on resolutions demanding that the university divest from any of its financial holdings in businesses which do business with Israel. More than 90 anti-Israel divestment resolutions have found their way to about 50 U.S. campuses across the country.  About half of all resolutions have passed, but this number is, frankly, irrelevant, because any school whose student government or student body even considers such a resolution is racked with divisiveness, hostility, and animosity for weeks on end. And whether a resolution ultimately passes or not, the anti-Israel forces have used these campaigns as opportunities to inject enormous amounts of anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic sentiment onto campus.

And it’s not just student groups like SJP, whose members are devoted to anti-Israel activity, that are involved in these efforts.  In this age of “intersectionality,” where the grievance of one group is opportunistically linked to the grievance of other groups, SJP has deliberately forged alliances with many other minority student groups on campus, who frequently add their groups’ names to the sponsorship of BDS-promoting events and the endorsement of anti-Israel divestment resolutions. For example, SJP has made common cause with Black Lives Matter, and students from both groups frequently co-host rallies and events linking Blacks and Palestinians and promoting BDS. Last year at the University of Rochester a talk by Reverend Graylan Hagler entitled “Connecting the dots: From Ferguson to Palestine,” which demonized and delegitimized Israel and promoted BDS, was sponsored by several student groups, including an Arab group, an Indian group, a Muslim group, the Black Students’ Union, and a multi-ethnic fraternity.

In addition to that, thousands of faculty on hundreds of campuses have also publicly endorsed BDS efforts, especially the boycott of Israeli universities and scholars, as well as the divestment resolutions of students on their own campus. Some faculty boycotters bring their anti-Israel animus and activism into their classrooms, and it is not unusual for academic departments to sponsor virulently anti-Israel talks and symposia, some of them even including calls for the boycott of Israel.  For example, earlier this year at Vassar College, a talk by women and gender studies professor Jasbir Puar, in which she falsely accused Israel of maiming and murdering Palestinians and harvesting their organs, and she actively encouraged her audience to endorse the BDS movement, was sponsored and funded by 6 academic departments, including Women’s Studies, English, International Studies, Political Science, Africana Studies, and Jewish Studies.  Indeed, since 2015 we have documented more than 60 departmentally sponsored events like this, on campuses across the country.

Given the sheer number of students and faculty who have positioned themselves squarely against Israel, even to the point of opposing its very right to exist, it’s no wonder that many Jewish students who identify with the Jewish state feel like the whole campus community is united not only against Israel, but against them.

Unfortunately, it gets worse. In a recent study that our organization carried out, looking at the prevalence of anti-Semitic activity and the factors that affect it on more than 100 US campuses with the largest Jewish students populations, we found that on close to half the campuses we investigated, students are threatened because of their Jewish identity, sometimes regardless of their personal feelings on Israel. They are assaulted, harassed and intimidated, their places of residence defaced with swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti, their participation in campus activities shunned, the events they organize disrupted and shut down, and more.

If you are a member of a Jewish or pro-Israel organization — perhaps Roc4Israel or a synagogue-affiliated group — or if you would consider forming an organization, perhaps an alumni group concerned about anti-Jewish hostility at your alma mater, please consider spearheading or participating in a campaign, say, to get the president of the University of Rochester or of your alma mater, to follow in the footsteps of the UC Regents.  We can help!   AMCHA will work with your group to develop a plan, provide you with our research on anti-Semitic activity at your school, advise you as you carry out your plan, and help you network with other groups across the country.

Together, we can make a real difference.


Police Investigate Swastikas on NYC New School Dormitory Doors

Monday, November 14th, 2016

The father of a New School Jewish female student whose Manhattan dormitory door was scrawled with swastikas on Saturday reported the incident to the NYPD, which launched an investigation. Police discovered swastikas on four New School Kerrey Hall dormitory doors altogether, News NY1 reported Sunday.

The room where the first swastika was discovered is home to four students, two of whom are Jewish and one Latina.

The Nazi symbols were scrubbed off by security.

The students whose door had been vandalized said they are shocked and scared. One of them told News NY1 that “it just shows that this can happen anywhere. Hatred is rampant. Anyone can be a victim of it.”

Another student said the experience “felt very violating and personal because it happened in a space where we live, where we hang out, where we sleep.”

Sam Lichtenstein, 20, who lives with three Jewish roommates at the dormitory, told the NY Daily News that she broke down in tears after seeing the swastika that had been drawn in black marker on her door. “It was just heartbreaking,” she said, adding it was “crazy to have it happen in such a progressive city, and a progressive university.”

Lichtenstein tweeted pictures of the defaced doors to New School President David Van Zandt, who later made a statement condemning the hate crime, and saying the school is taking action to keep students and staff safe.

Mayor Bill de Blasio called the act “reprehensible.”

At about the same time the swastikas were drawn on the Manhattan dorm door, vandals drew the Nazi symbol on a sidewalk in Crown Heights, a neighborhood with a large number of religious Jewish residents.


A School Named After The Orlando Nightclub Terrorist?

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

What do you suppose would be the public’s reaction if the U.S. government decided to name schools after the terrorists who carried out the Orlando nightclub massacre, the San Bernardino slaughter, and the Boston Marathon bombing?

Outrage? Demonstrations? Lawsuits?

All of the above, and more.

Now what has been the reaction of the public – or the media or the American Jewish community – to the news that the Palestinian Authority has named schools after a terrorist who murdered American citizens?

Silence. Indifference. Acquiescence.

Thanks to the good work of Palestinian Media Watch, we know that the PA has decided to rename a school in Tulkarm the Martyr Salah Khalaf School.

Salah Khalaf was a senior PLO terrorist who operated under the direct command of Yasir Arafat and masterminded a series of attacks in the 1970s attributed to the PLO front group Black September. They carried out the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972. One of the eleven was an American citizen, Cleveland weightlifter David Berger.

Khalaf also planned the Palestinian attack on a diplomatic reception at the Saudi Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, on March 1, 1973. The terrorists kidnapped and murdered the American ambassador, Cleo Noel, and another U.S. diplomat, George Moore (as well as a Belgian diplomat).

An internal State Department report that was declassified and made public in 2006 stated: “The Khartoum operation was planned and carried out with the full knowledge and personal approval of Yasir Arafat, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and the head of Fatah. Fatah representatives based in Khartoum participated in the attack, using a Fatah vehicle to transport the terrorists to the Saudi Arabian Embassy.”

Note that the PA’s decision to name the school in Tulkarm was not some low-key matter. On the contrary, the PA insisted on making a big public show of the fact that it is naming a school after a murderer of Americans. The PA daily newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported (on Sept. 24) that a ceremony was held to lay the cornerstone of the school, and a PA official, Tulkarm district governor Issam Abu Bakr, gave a speech in which he “emphasized the importance of the project of building the school named after Martyr Salah Khalaf, in order to commemorate the memory of this great national fighter.”

Two other PA officials also took part in this public glorification of a murderer of Americans: Tulkarm mayor Iyad Al-Jallad, and Tulkarm Education Directorate head Salam Al-Taher.

That’s not all. It turns out there are already three other PA schools named after Khalaf. In Gaza – which the PA ran from 1994 until the Hamas coup in 2007 – there is a Salah Khalaf Elementary School and a Salah Khalaf Junior High School. Also, in Rafah, there is a Martyr Abu Iyad School. Abu Iyad is the well-known nickname nom de guerre for Khalaf.

There are many other schools in PA territory that are named after terrorists – in fact, Palestinian Media Watch has found 25 of them. And, of course, we should be deeply concerned about what goes on inside the schools: the indoctrination of students with anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hatred and incitement to violence.

But what goes on inside these schools begins with the name on the front of the building the students enter each morning. That name teaches the children who it is their society honors and who represents the values they should strive to emulate. In short, who should be their role model.

The Palestinian Authority, which receives $500 million in American taxpayers’ money each year, is teaching its children to honor and emulate a murderer of American citizens.

In America, we name our schools after George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. In Tulkarm, the PA names its schools after kidnappers and killers.

This is the PA we are supposed to believe is “moderate” and has forsaken terrorism. This is the PA J Street and the State Department insist should be given a sovereign state, as soon as possible.

Members of Congress have the final say on how U.S. funds are spent abroad. It’s time for American Jewish organizations to educate Congress about the need to stop funding regimes that glorify murderers of Americans.

Stephen M. Flatow

Choosing The Right Middle And High School For Your Daughter

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

As an educator with more than three decades of experience in chinuch, I am often asked how to select the best middle and high school. Here is what I have learned during the course of my career:

1: Do a background check. For schools, that means asking about accreditation. To be accredited, schools need to have a track record of academic excellence and demonstrate they are following a set of tried and true standards set by national, regional, and state agencies. It is a rigorous process. SBTAG has been accredited for more than a decade by the Association of Independent Schools of Florida, the National Council for Private School Accreditation Commission, and Middle States Association on Elementary and Secondary Schools.

2: Know your child and find a school where she will have a variety of opportunities to shine. Some girls are Tanach scholars. Other thrive in math. Some play out their best moments on stage while others are all-stars on the basketball court. At Sha’arei Bina, we believe every girl has a talent, which is why we offer academic classes and a wide array of extra-curricular activities and leadership opportunities.

3: Meet the faculty and administration. Our faculty members and administration are experienced, licensed, and hold advanced degrees. Our teachers foster a strong learning environment, where they serve as both role models and mentors. They encourage dialogue and critical thinking. Equally as important, they reach out to develop relationships with students.

Dr. Rochelle Brand with a Sha’arei Bina student.

Dr. Rochelle Brand with a Sha’arei Bina student.

4: Alumni are a true reflection of a school’s character. This year we will be graduating our sixth senior class. In the five years prior, 100 percent of our graduates have studied in seminary and 100 percent have continued their studies in colleges and universities.

Our 100 percent rate is not an accident. Our limudei kodesh program is geared to ensure seminary acceptance and our general studies program is geared to ensure college and university acceptance. We offer a SAT prep courses, and application essay writing skills are taught as part of the 11th grade English curriculum.

In addition to the numerous advanced placement courses we offer during school hours, our students have the option of participating in a dual enrollment program at FIU where they can earn college credit.

5: Attend an open house. Watch the formal presentation, observe the informal faculty and student interaction, and then ask yourself, “Will my daughter be happy and successful here?”

In life there are no guarantees. However, Sha’arei Bina has a guaranteed track record. My promise to you is by choosing Sha’arei Bina, your daughters will be offered all the essential opportunities.

For more information on Sha’arei Bina, call 954-927-5544 or email office@shaareibina.com.

Dr. Rochelle Brand

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/south-florida/choosing-the-right-middle-and-high-school-for-your-daughter/2016/11/03/

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