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January 24, 2017 / 26 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘students’

Clashes with Pro-Israel Students at Rochester’s SDS Anti-Israel Event

Monday, November 7th, 2016

The Rochester University, NY, chapter of SDS (OMG, there’s still an SDS?) has declared November “Palestinian Awareness Month,” and was promptly accused of promoting a “clear anti-Israel agenda” in a Campus Times op-ed by student Yael Schiller. That did not slow down the SDS, who scheduled a screening last Wednesday of a documentary wannabe titled “The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States,” which makes the familiar argument that the Jews who control the media use it to help Israel murder Palestinian babies before Passover (we paraphrase).

Campus Times editor Justin Trombly reported Monday (Tensions flare at Palestine awareness event) that tensions “boiled over” during a Q&A session following the screening. “What point are you trying to make?” a member of the audience demanded, among a string of frustrated people angry with the film.

A man who said his family had been forced from Libya in 1967 because they were Jewish asked, “Is this for education purposes?” He noted that he is not considered a refugee on campus because he is not Palestinian.

Later in the Q&A session, student Elie Cohen was interrupted when he described education in the Palestinian Authority regarding the kidnapping and murder of 11 Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympics by a Palestinian terrorist group. One of the moderators, Farida Ibrahim, said, “If you’re going to ask a question, you are not going to make a statement.” When Cohen tried to complete his point, Ibrahim cut him off, saying, to applause, “These panelists are here to talk about their lives. They have nothing to say to you about what the Palestinian Authority or the government has put in the textbook of Palestinians.”

Eventually, a Public Safety officer began to approach him, and so Cohen walked off. But, as Trombly noted, a similar scene took place shortly thereafter, followed by what was described as an attempt by an Orthodox Jew from the audience to confront an Israeli-American panelist.

A local SDS official confirmed his group had enlisted the Public Safety police for the event, suggesting it “had to be defensive against an offensive and potentially violent force.” That’s the Jews on campus, who obviously support those Jews who control the media.

Elie Cohen, for his part, told Trombly, “I thought it was more of an Israel-bashing ‘documentary,’ opposed to one that, ‘explains the Palestinian voice,’” he said. “I hoped that after such a video, that there would be some political discussion about the claims made (since the video was purely political propaganda), but none of that was allowed. Public Safety nearly escorted me out of the event for questioning the legitimacy of the panelist’s claim that the Palestinian schools are not forcing an anti-Israel ideology.”

The moderator, Ibrahim, told Trombly the Jewish audience’s reaction to the film “was disgusting because the only thing they had to say was about terrorism which clearly implies that this is the only thing they have to ask Palestinians or Arabs or Muslims. … And that of course has to be at our Palestine events and over the voices of Palestinian and Arab students,” she said.

SDS officials were cited by Trombly as defending the use of Public Safety officers at a campus event by blaming a “radical right-wing non-student group (Roc4Israel) prompting locals to attend the event to “balance out the hate” so that Jewish students can “feel safe.”

David Israel

Boulder Prep School Students Expelled for Calls to Execute Jews [video]

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

Five Boulder Prep High School students in Colorado were expelled over their Facebook hate group, where they were calling for the executions of Jews and Blacks, The Daily Camera reported last week. Local media report that Boulder police discovered the Neo-Nazi cell after one of the member had committed suicide “to show allegiance to the Nazi party.” Police is investigating reports of threats and harassment of a student at the high school by the group members.

The chat group was reported by a parent of one of the students. The group’s “second-in-command” told police, “the whole thing was ‘funny,'” assuring them he had no intention to actually do any of those things.

“It was a shock to the community,” Scott Levin of the regional Anti-Defamation League told CS in response to the revelations. “It isn’t as if there is any identifiable group [in Boulder] that is advocating this. There’s a lot of hateful rhetoric going on in this country right now, and that has just empowered some teenagers.”

An estimated 15 students participated in the “4th Reich’s Official Group Chat” on Facebook, according to a Boulder police report, which said members discussed “killing all Jews and N***s,” posted images of guns, and discussed “the final solution” and “white power,” and ways to “recruit more members” to complete their mission. The chat group’s “4th Reich” title is a reference to a successor to Adolph Hitler’s Third Reich. In fact, the chat group’s leader identified himself as “The Fuhrer,” and members adopted Nazi military titles.

One entry went: “You can hang Jews on trees, shoot them right in the knees. Gas as many as you please,” according to the police report.

Lili Adeli, headmaster at Boulder Prep, told Daily Camera the school had addressed the suicide and the Facebook chat’s horrifying language. “We did a lot of work with the students to help ensure their safety and mental health and healing,” she said. “It can bring up their own thoughts of suicide and previous trauma.” This includes checking on students via the phone, including text messages outside of school hours. “We’ve continued to keep the lines of communication open,” she said.

Adeli also stressed that school staff have made it their top priority to educate students on inclusiveness and the importance of speaking out against “derogatory language.”

JNi.Media

All Schools Evacuated on P.E. Island Due to Threat

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

All the schools in an entire community in Canada were evacuated due to a “potential threat” according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The source of the threat was not made clear to media.

The students were taken to safe locations in their communities around Prince Edward Island, the smallest province in Canada.

Approximately 19,000 students were involved in the evacuation, according to the website of the Public Schools Branch.

Prince Edward Island is located off Canada’s Atlantic coast.

Hana Levi Julian

NYC Lawmakers, Educators and Advocates Calls for Halal, Kosher Public School Lunch Options

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

Political, civic and religious leaders from across the spectrum are uniting in a groundbreaking effort to secure school lunch options that meet the religious dietary requirements of Muslim and Jewish students in New York City’s public schools.

Lawmakers and advocacy groups will host a gathering at the steps of City Hall in Manhattan at 12 noon on Tuesday (Sept. 6) calling for lawmakers to support Senate Bill S1032.

The measure, sponsored by New York State Senator Tony Avella (D-Queens) would ensure the availability of Halal and Kosher lunch options for every New York City public school with 25 percent or more students from a faith community with dietary restrictions.

“The population of residents in cities like New York City who practice a religious faith with specific dietary restrictions is rising,” he noted. “Offering students these types of food options during lunch not only accommodates their dietary restriction but also enhances students’ awareness and respect for diversity in cultures, religions and ethnicities.”

NYS Assemblyman David Weprin said he strongly supports the proposed measure. “As the Assembly member who represents one of the most diverse districts in the city, I am glad to support any initiative the brings kosher and halal food options to our New York City public schools.”

Dr. Ivan Khan, CEO of Khan’s Tutorial, added, “We strongly support the inclusion of both halal food and kosher food in NYC public schools. It is long overdue that city and school officials are able to serve the Muslim and Jewish communities that our amazing city has to offer.”

Donald Nesbit, Executive Vice President of Local AFSCME, and founder of the Bronx Educators United for Justice organization commented that as an ESL teacher, he has seen students refuse to eat until they get home from class, “or smuggle in food from home. Not being properly nourished impacts student attention, comfort, mood and engagement. NYC Department of Education schools should offer choices in keeping with Kosher and Halal requirements. It would go a long way to show these students they are respected and accepted, not just tolerated.”

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Students Win Big In Chemistry Olympics

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

By Tzvi Lev/TPS

Georgia (TPS) – The International Chemistry Olympiad was a rousing success for Israel, as the Jewish State’s high school delegation took home two medals and was placed amongst the world’s top 20.

“Israel’s students bring pride and honor in international contests time after time” praised Education Minister Naftali Bennett. “For a student to succeed and achieve prizes in something that is also a hobby is a formula for success.”The Israeli delegation won the Silver and Bronze medals, ranked 20th worldwide, and second in Western countries, one spot behind the United States.

Professor Zev Gross of Technion University accompanied the Israeli team, and offered lavish praise. “This year, we noticed a significant improvement, not just in the medals but the high scores that the Israeli received in the competition.

The Chemistry competition was held in Tbilisi, Georgia, with 66 countries participating. Romania won first place, with China winning the second and third spots.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

High School Students Help Discover a Unique 1,600 Year Old Pottery Workshop in the Galilee

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

By Michael Zeff/TPS

Galilee (TPS) – High school students assisting an Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) archaeological survey discovered an ancient Roman pottery workshop in the Western Galilee.

“We have been conducting a large scale survey and excavations in the town of Shlomi at the request of the local municipal council and the Israel Lands Authority for the past six months, ” IAA geologist Anastasia Shapiro told Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “We unearthed an impressive factory for the manufacturing of jars, urns, and various vessels as part of the project.”

According to Israeli law, IAA experts must conduct an archaeological survey of any construction site before issuing approval to begin building on it.

The pottery factory, which includes a unique kiln, storehouses, water basins, and mosaic floors, was dated by the IAA to the late Roman Period, roughly 1,600 years ago.

“The kiln, which was only recently discovered, is the ‘cherry on top’ for this excavation,” Shapiro explained to TPS. “As archaeologists, we have encountered many ancient kilns, but they were all built or constructed out of stone. This one, however, is the first to be discovered that was actually excavated into the rock.”

According to Shapiro, it is very rare to discover a complete kiln as they tend to break or be destroyed with time. In this case, the entire structure of the kiln has been preserved as it is made out of one piece of solid rock.

“There is no other known discovery like this. It is simply one of a kind,” said Shapiro.

IAA archaeologists also concluded that the pottery workshop itself was an important, thriving one. The ceramic debris that was discovered around the kiln indicates that two types of vessels were manufactured by the workshop–storage jars that could be transported overland and amphorae that were used to store wine or oil to be exported from Israel by sea.

The discovery was aided by a large group of high school students from neighboring communities and from the cities of Nahariya and Qiryat Bialik.

“The students who volunteered on this project since May exposed the walls of the ancient workshop prior to the discovery of the kiln itself, as well as other features of the complex, such as water holes and mosaic floors,” explained Shapiro.

The students who assisted in the discovery were part of a large group of students who have been participating in archeological excavations in six different sites around the Galilee. The Ministry of Education has been encouraging Israeli teens to enhance their education outside of the classroom in order to increase student involvement in various public projects in neighboring communities.

“One can learn a lot during a history lesson in school, but there’s nothing like actually holding history in one’s hands,” Gilad Zinamon, an IAA education coordinator, told TPS.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

To Sing A New Song… Our Children And Students

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

When I was a principal, I would often walk through the halls of my school during class. When I did, I would glance in the classrooms and, even with the doors closed and in the relative silence of the hallway, I would be able to identify what I considered a “successful” classroom.

It is, of course, easy to identify an “unsuccessful” classroom – when students are not paying attention; when they are disruptive; when the teacher sits behind the desk and shows no enthusiasm for his material or the delivery of it. These are “red flags” that cry out, unsuccessful. But successful? For me, when I saw students engaged in the instruction and, most importantly, when I saw them actively participating then I knew there was successful teaching and learning going on. That is, if I could see evidence of students learning independently then I knew I was witnessing a successful classroom. Without exception, when I saw a classroom with students participating, I saw a teacher with a smile on his face.

That smile told me that my teacher found joy not just in the material he was teaching – after all, in Jewish day schools and yeshivas is not all our material valuable and worthy of our joyous review and teaching? – but, more importantly, the joy of his students’ learning!

Thinking back on that time, I think about the advice a colleague shared with his teachers. He told them, “Make your classroom like your home and treat your students as your guests.” And another, who wisely noted that teaching, is really just another form of “parenting.”

We intuitively understand the close connection between parenting and teaching. After all, we refer to our colleges as our alma maters – our “nurturing mothers.”

Teaching and parenting. Two sides of the same coin. In both, it is essential that we are “successful.” The question is, What does that mean?

When I was in the classroom, I cherished the moments when I reviewed text and ideas with my students but my greatest joy was when they were able to take what I shared with them and discover something new and unique.

I reveled in their independence. It seems odd to say that as a teacher, when for so many the role of teacher is to “pass along” knowledge. But learning is not and should not be passive.   Students are not mere vessels to be filled with information.

There is much a student or child can do simply by “following instruction.” Swimming is not one of them! To swim is to be independent, is to have the judgment and intelligence to read changing variables and tides, to be able manage shallow shoals and dangerous depths. That is what a teacher – and a parent – must prepare a student and child to do.

Not long ago, a mother and father wrote to a rebbi, saying they had waited for the day when their son, who had always been a caring and good student, “would pick up a Gemarah on his own on a Shabbos afternoon.” That day finally arrived just as their son was getting ready to graduate 12th grade.

That school succeeded!  Those parents succeeded!

The child could swim!

* * *

As the child, so too the Children of Israel.

There were two great songs recorded in the Torah, the more famous being Az Yashir. “Then sang Moshe and B’nai Yisrael this shirah…”, praising the splitting of the yam suf and allowing the Children of Israel to be free at last from their bondage in Mitzrayim.   The other, less well known, is tucked away near the end of Chukas, a short song of gratitude for the uninterrupted supply of water (the well!) throughout the forty years sojourn in the desert.  “Then Israel sang this song; ‘Come up, O well, announce it! Well that the princes dug, that the nobles of the people excavated, through a lawgiver, with their staff. A gift from the Wilderness.” The song then traces the path of the well /water that followed the nation, no matter how high the elevation or difficult the terrain. The gift went from the valley to the heights. And from the heights to the valley in the field of Moab, at the top of the peak, overlooking the surface of the wilderness.

The irony of childhood is that it is only after it is over, when we are adults and independent, do we realize that we were in a period of innocence, that we could not have become what we’ve become without the guidance and wisdom of our parents.

So too, as the Children of Israel sang, they finally understood that they could never have made it without God’s constant and consistent be’er –well – supply of water, but make it they did. They are about to enter the Land, and are leaving God a note of thanks, very much like the bride tucking a thank you note for her parents before leaving for the Chupah, or the student for his rebbi before graduation. They are saying “thank you” knowing that they are able to move forward independently because they had been nurtured and loved – and prepared and expected to be independent!

The Promised Land was a long, hard forty years away. The ‘Song of the Well’ was celebrated at the end of that long journey. Throughout that journey, Moshe taught many important lessons, lessons that B’nai Yisrael fortunately absorbed.

When they first escaped Mitzrayim, the people were burdened with a slave mentality; they were like little children who had to be taught everything, even how to say “thank you” for their deliverance.   Thus, az yashir Moshe and B’nai Yisrael. But then, forty years hence, after hardships and joys, after the lessons of Sinai, including more than half of Torah mitzvoth bein adam l’chaveiro, with countless lessons of gratitude and appreciation conveyed everywhere in the Torah it was “graduation” time, it was time to step forward as a proud, independent nation. It was time for Moshe, as a parent and teacher would, to sit back confident and gratified that the children will do the right thing, they will say “thank you” to God.

They had learned to learn on their own.

Was it hard for Moshe to stay silent and not sing with them? Of course. It was hard for him and for them. It is always “easier” for parents to “do for” their children; it is always easier for the teacher to tell the student what he or she needs to know. But how much more joyous, how much more satisfying, how much more meaningful to have brought children and students to the place where they can “do it themselves”?

Moshe, the archetypal parent and teacher, has shown how to raise children and teach students. He is shepping the nachas!

Moshe is not simply hearing a repetition of the song he led B’nei Yisrael in singing. He is hearing a new song. And that is the greatest joy of the parent and the teacher, to hear his or her child or student sing a “new song”, a song that could never have been sung without their love, guidance and faith – faith in the child to one day walk forward as an individual!

Rabbi Eliyahu Safran

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/to-sing-a-new-song-our-children-and-students/2016/07/14/

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