Saturday, April 01, 2023

I am surprised that The Jewish Link printed a letter maligning one of our outstanding community day schools. Rabbi Bob Mark’s essential point (“Our Students Must Be Taught Basic Hebrew Reading Skills,” January 5, 2016), that Hebrew-language education should be given more attention by our community, may be valid, but it is unconscionable to spread lashon hara about a specific institution based on the anecdotes of one person. To counter with my (also admittedly anecdotal) evidence as a teacher of an Ivrit-immersion ninth-grade Tanach class at Ma’ayanot, the graduates of Yavneh have excellent spoken and written Hebrew, broad Torah knowledge, a strong love of learning and superb critical-thinking skills.

Day school Jewish studies programs have many goals, including instilling a love of Torah; imparting knowledge of Torah, Talmud and Halacha; engendering a love of Israel and the Jewish people; and teaching Hebrew language. All these worthy goals compete for the limited time available, and different schools give more time and have strengths in different areas. I have no vested interest in Yavneh other than teaching some of its graduates, but I do appreciate it as one of the excellent choices our community offers.

Shifra Schapiro


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