Prayer book party ’22

An Israeli tradition On Friday, our daughter's first grade class had their siddur (prayer book) party, which is considered a milestone for Orthodox Jewish children in Israel. Our daughter's school is unusual in Israel in that half the student body identifies as religious (Orthodox) and the other half identify as non-religious (i.e., secular), unlike the… Continue reading Prayer book party ’22

Poor advice from a 1st grade teacher

Our first-ever parent-teacher conference Last week, we had our first parent-teacher conference with our 1st grade daughter's teacher. It was uplifting. Her teacher told us that our child is wonderful that she wishes she had a classroom of thirty children just like her. To be entirely honest, we weren't surprised by her feedback, but it… Continue reading Poor advice from a 1st grade teacher

Roots, or: Wings

My 1st Lai She has a playdate with her new classmate today. Her excitement's great; the skip in her gait conveys her overjoyed state. Adventures await - Hooray! Their teacher is wise and good sense applies in class. Seating plan devised, sixty anxious eyes, en masse, up to hers did rise, but her poise defies… Continue reading Roots, or: Wings

Supporting belief in the tooth fairy

The tooth fairy Our 6ยฝ-year-old daughter believes in the tooth fairy, despite the fact that I've casually mentioned to her that goblins, gnomes, witches, fairies, dwarves, dragons, etc. are all imaginary, mythical creatures. She completely understands all of this, but for some reason, the tooth fairy seems to fall into a separate category in her… Continue reading Supporting belief in the tooth fairy

Our welcoming school community

Now that the Jewish High Holy Days (Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, etc.) are over, the school year is in full swing in Israel. Happily, our daughter's first grade teacher, who had been sick with COVID and was absent at the beginning of the school year, is back in the classroom. To a large extent, we… Continue reading Our welcoming school community

Thank you, or: Special

A Panegyric Poem Thirty pairs of little eyes searching for you daily, Every morning, smiling, you welcome them gaily, Concerned enough to hold heart-to-hearts with each, Encouraging them, teaching - nothing's out of reach. Your classroom atmosphere's of kind, loving respect, Assuring young hearts, learning, yearning to connect. Their parents, confident in your wise, gentle… Continue reading Thank you, or: Special

Drop, or: Fall

A haibun My only child is entering first grade on September 1st... That's the day after tomorrow. I have written before about my anxiety regarding whether or not the Israeli government will allow our children to return to school this year after a year-and-a-half of various lockdowns and quarantines... More than anything, I want her… Continue reading Drop, or: Fall

First impressions of first grade

Today in the stairwell of our apartment building, our upstairs neighbors asked our six-year-old daughter if she's feeling excited about going into first grade next week. She responded, "Yes, I am, but my father is even more excited." Now, subtlety was never my strong suit, but, to be fair, my wife is also very excited.… Continue reading First impressions of first grade