Interior Design for a Jewish Classroom

As a Hebrew teacher in a Jewish day school, I am charged with the challenge, duty, responsibility and privilege of teaching and inspiring young Jewish children. To do so well, a Jewish teacher and educator, must have a sense of calling, ever growing knowledge, talent, organizational skills, creativity and imagination. Oh, and one more, important, thing: a classroom! Many of us think that our degrees or our title will make our teaching superior… I say good teachers are the ones who leave students with a positive emotional connection to the subject they teach and with curiosity to seek and know Read More

Jewish Values, Jewish Children, and The Zig Zag Kid

In the movie “The Zig Zag Kid”, you notice many universal Jewish values such as the importance of family, Jewish life cycle celebration, creativity with rituals and tradition, and the practice of questioning and investigating everything! “The Zig Zag Kid” and Shira, the main character of my books, share many traits in common- they both embrace their Jewishness – their Jewish values – both are curious, inquisitive, brave, innovative, adventurous, love their family, and both are agents of change through action! Here are the things I believe about Jewish children: Jewish children are spiritual beings. They seek and enjoy Jewish Read More

Jews and Arabs – Dancing in Jaffa

I was born in Israel, not far from Jaffa, grew up there, served in the army …..but only after my service I met and got to know an Israeli Arab for the first time. Why so long? Lack of trust, separation, fear and suspicion were the main reasons. However…… My mother and grandmother were both born in Morocco and told me and my siblings many stories about the wonderful harmony that was part of everyday life in Morocco between Jews and Arabs. They had respect, reverence and appreciation for each other. Lived together and helped each other. Until today, the Read More

Dress Up Day

It is dress up as your favorite book character at The Davis Academy. This student showed up as Shira— holding her RIMON!!! One of our teachers also dressed up as Shira—from Shabbat in the playroom with all the stuffed animals in her pocket!! Super cute! What a fun day!! Read More

MJCCA Family Book Festival–Magical Day!

Sleep eluded me the night before the festival, as I was super excited. Once at the community center, I met with my Davis Academy co-workers, set up our table with an activity that represented the school with my book “Shabbat in the playroom” that was inspired by my Davis students. Children were directed to follow the creative steps of writing a book, make a plan and take with them a hard cover blank book to produce their own “published” book. Next, I was showed where my books are sold- so surreal!!! Then, off to my special activity room that offered Read More

Pew Report— Can Shira’s Series Make a Difference?

After reading the Pew Report about the changing American Jewish identity I felt a bit worried and discouraged. (http://ejewishphilanthropy.com/pew-survey-examines-changing-american-jewish-identity/ ) Is this trend signaling the beginning of the decline of the Jewish religion? Will secularism and intermarriage do what countless anti Semites could not- wipe us out? Is the connection to Israel be to Jews in America as casual as to any other country? I hope and pray the the answers to all these questions is a big, definite NO! I want to believe that these trends are the results of technology making the world much more connected, small village-like Read More

Rosh Hashanah Foods

Everybody, including adorable Shira, knows about apples and honey for a sweet year, round challah for the circle of life, but, did you know there are more symbolic Rosh Hashanah foods? Growing up on Israel, in a Sephardic family, our Rosh Hashanah table was loaded with dates, pomegranate, pumpkin, leek, beets and a whole fish or the meat from a sheep’s head. All have symbolism and play on words / double meaning as written in the Machzor. For example: the word leek in Hebrew is  כרתי and a similar word is כרת which means to cut or amputate; May our Read More

Who me? An author? …..You must be KOOKOO…

That is what I would have answered you four or five years ago…. I am a teacher not a writer, I never learned writing, English is my second language and if it weren’t for automatic spell check, my creative spelling would have make you laugh so hard you would have to hold your stomach! Then, Shira was born in my head, inspired by my students at The Davis Academy. I started jotting down some of the tales, anecdotes and stories I came across. First came “Shabbat in the playroom” then each holiday I added another story, and every time I Read More

Teach them faithfully

I just became an empty nester. My husband and I went through a mini-crisis after finding our daughter on her bed, deep in reminiscing thoughts and explaining that she needs few more moments to say goodbye to her room, her childhood and to this chapter in her life, before she leaves to work at her childhood Jewish summer camp and then straight to college. My baby is all grown up! It comforts me to think that I have another “baby” – Shira, the main character in the stories I write. She was born in my head, not in my belly Read More