Hebrew Academy Parents Speak Their Mind
. . . When my husband and I began looking for a pre-school for our son, we of course were looking for the best program available. Our criteria not only demanded a scholastic environment which lacked competition and promoted self-confidence (and of course would prepare him for Harvard!), but a Jewish environment that would nurture his spirit and love of Judaism without applying pressure to conform to a preset notion.
As many young Jewish families find themselves on a journey of life and spirit, our family is also along the way. At The Hebrew Academy- Chabad, we have felt only acceptance and equality. No one ever asked us about our personal agenda or practices. Our child is treated the same as the Rabbi's own children.
When my son is at school, I am totally secure and confident that the environment is as warm and loving as at home. Knowing that the staff is experienced and well seasoned teachers, and that Judaism is the guiding light for all action, I feel in control even during my absence.
The scholastics program, including pre-reading skills, writing, computer, science, physical exercise and art, is wonderful. The small class size permits personal instruction within the context of the class. Social skill building and religious instruction round out the day to a well balanced, fun schedule. My son loves school and looks forward to every day with excitement and enthusiasm. To see the love of learning bloom in our child is a wonderful thing.
It warms the heart and the soul to hear our son say the blessings, explain the weekly portion, recognize English and Hebrew letters and speak lovingly of his friends and Morah.
The Hebrew Academy is a wonderful, accepting, nurturing, and educating institution. We feel blessed to be a part of The Hebrew Academy family.
Denise Ben-David, Spring Valley
. . . Our home is not very observant. We keep a kosher home and have Sabbath dinner together. However, our commitment to raising our children to know what it means to be a Jew is strong. We want our children to receive the best education possible both secular and Judaic. That is what brought us to The Hebrew Academy.
The classes are small which enable the teachers to give individual attention to all the children. There are computers in every classroom loaded with many programs for the children to use. All of the secular curriculum is current. The teaching philosophy is that children learn best when they are involved, and they are here! All the classes involve the children in creative and interactive projects which help them learn the lessons in a fun way. The Judaic studies are taught in a non- pressured environment, also using the most current curriculum available. All the teachers are committed to giving each child their best. They are caring and involved in every way needed to give our children a well rounded and happy educational experience. They are flourishing in mind and in spirit.
Helene Rachlin, Pomona
. . . Why choose a Jewish Day School education for your child?
As a Jewish parent, I believe that there is no substitute for fulltime Jewish education. The only way that our children can become fluent readers, writers, speakers and comprehenders of Hebrew is to attend a Jewish day school. The only way that our children can be exposed to, and learn about, the entire range of Jewish life and lore is by being given the best possible Jewish education, that is, a full‑time one.
While some supplemental schools run by synagogues do an admirable job in the little time that they have the children each week (maybe 3‑6 hours), a child who attends such a school from pre‑school through high school will still only receive the equivalent of one year of full‑time Jewish education. This is not enough to guarantee that our children will have the kind of Jewish education that will guarantee them the ability to be fully literate and functional Jews.
Although we live in Clarkstown, home of some of the best public schools in the country, we did not hesitate to send our son to The Hebrew Academy. A day school education costs money, but what better way to spend our money than on our children's Jewish Education? The Jewish education of our children guarantees their future as Jews, and the continuity of the Jewish people as a whole. That is far more important to us than the material comforts that we could have if we were not paying private‑school tuition.
Why Chabad and The Hebrew Academy?
As an active member of a Reform Congregation, I believe that it is the responsibility of each Jew to study as many aspects of Judaism as possible, and to choose, based on knowledge and study, those Jewish observances that bring meaning to the individual's life. I may not observe Shabbat according to the Orthodox tradition, but I do observe, and I can tell you how and why I have chosen my form of observance. At The Hebrew Academy, we have never been made to feel uncomfortable in our way of Jewish observance. It was never our intention to become Orthodox
Jews when we enrolled our younger son in the Hebrew Academy. Rather, we wanted him to learn all about Jewish observance so that he could, as he grows up, meaningfully choose his own observances, based on his education. The Hebrew Academy has been totally accepting of us, while at the same time providing our son with the caliber of Jewish education that we want him to have. We have never felt any pressure from the school to become more observant.
At The Hebrew Academy we have seen our son learn Hebrew print, script, reading, writing, language skills for Siddur (prayerbook), Chumash (Torah), Holidays, Mitzvot (commandments), and conversation, all in just a year and a half. As far as secular studies go, we have found that the work, be it math, science, reading, writing or social studies, is interesting and challenging. All of the equipment, whether it be computers or textbooks, is new. Music and art are integrated into both Judaic and secular learning. Classroom technology is cutting edge, and there are good resources available to teachers both in and outside of the classrooms. Not only has our son learned much Judaic and secular material, he has a feeling of pride and accomplishment in his work. Homework is rarely a source of contention, because he has learned to take pride in work well done. The small class size and intimate environment have enabled the teachers to lavish the children with close attention, and frequent positive reinforcement of many kinds. The love with which all children are taught at The Hebrew Academy cannot be faked, or replaced with anything of greater value. It is this love for their work, the children and the children's accomplishment that enables the teachers at the Hebrew Academy to achieve such splendid results in both Judaic and general studies.
Molly Karp, Congers