In 1972 I developed a Hebrew letter people program to teach reading readiness to young children. This program includes a story and a picture for each Hebrew letter, both of which demonstrate the sound of the letter and how it functions in the Hebrew alphabet. E.g., Mr. Aleph has his mouth sewn up, since he was such a chatterbox that the other Hebrew letters could not stand it. Now he can only speak when one of the "helpers" - the vowels - are there to assist him. This program comes complete with very simple worksheets and recognition tests that can be used with children as young as pre-school. I have used this program in various formats for many years. The children love it and look forward to "meeting" a new letter person every week. To read Mr. Aleph's story, click on the following link: Aleph
For most of the years that I've been teaching, I have also written plays for my students. Unfortunately, most of the plays I wrote in the early years have been lost, but, since getting our first computer in 1985, I have saved the scripts on floppy disks and now have quite a collection of plays of various sizes on a variety of topics. I would be delighted to share these with you. More importantly, I would love to be able to share with you techniques that will enable you to write plays suited exactly to the classes that you have. This includes a format that I have dubbed a "playlette," a very short play which is very flexible, easy to write, and easy to stage. It is ideal for a supplementary school situation. To read the playlette, "The Ragseller's Story," click on the following link: plays
In 1994, I came back from CAJE right into teaching about the High holidays. Going into a first grade class with the intention of teaching the story of Jonah, I decided to use Jeff Klepper's "Jonah" song, and discovered that I could actually teach the story using that song. From this experience was born my music curriculum - a new way of looking at music in Jewish education, not as a reinforcement, but as the method where the foundation for learning Jewish subjects is set. I have since written many songs geared specifically to be used in this manner. Eleven of them have been recorded and come complete with a teachers' guide. If you want to see the annotated song lyrics for "Mattityahu's Sons," a song on the tape, click on the following link: Songs
For the last four years I spent in Des Moines, IA, I was responsible for the educational content of the school's Shabbatonim. In this context I created several complex educational games that had the children running all over the camp grounds trying to solve a "mystery" or collect things for a "scavenger hunt." In addition, I was involved in creating more standard games like Chanuka Jewperdy and Concentration that could be used either at a Shabbaton or in a classroom.
Once my family acquired an "updated" (Windows 95) computer, I began encountering many people on the internet - particularly in a Jewish chat room run by WBS (no longer functional). Every so often an individual would come in and try to "save our souls." I have learned much from debating religion with these people including a fact that I find very disturbing. While organizations like "Jews for Jesus" have been around for a while, there is a serious increase in the number of Christians who consider themselves "completed" Jews and present themselves, and more importantly, their belief system in this manner. They are absolutely interested in winning the hearts and souls of our young people. Therefore, in order to arm our young people against this particular tactic, I wrote a text for junior high and high school aged children which delineates the fundamental differences between Judaism and Christianity. To read the Introduction to the book I wrote on this subject, click the following link: Missionaries
I would be delighted to share my programs with your community. Please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Lehitra'ot!!
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