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October 30, 1998     Jewish News
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October 30, 1998

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October 30, 1998 I:R()M AIA,;NE KAUI,'MAN I)IREC, TOR ()F EARIN CltlI,I)HO()I) Learning's a Simcha Celebrations. study, and sim- cha! These are three little words that describe the big happenings in Hebrew Academy of Tidewa- ter's Early Childhood Depart- ment! Students in our programs for children ages 2-4 actively engaged in projects and pro- grams that involved the whole child. Our Early Childhood cur- riculum is based on well- researched and progressive then- ties of education. This past year. students cele- brated Shabbat weekly, and Jew- ish and secular holidays as the calendar dictated. In their class- rooms, they created art projects, learned songs, cooked food, and read stories. Many units culmi- nated in departmental celebra- tions that often included parents and guests. Students and families looked forward to the weekly Shabbat sing-along as Early Childhood teacher, Rona Proser, lead the students in song, and EC assistant Janice Bailey accompa- nied her on the guitar. Parental celebrations included our annual Special Guest Days and Family Pesach Seder. Students studied a variety of exciting units. One goal of HAT's EC program is to develop strong readiness skills, and our students certainly had ample opportunity to do so. Meaningful units with lots of hands-on opportunity continued to chal- lenge our students as they inves- tigated the world around them through their Multiple Intelli- gences. They met the goals of the curriculum in the General Stud- ies areas of Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Physical Education as well as the Judaic Studies units in Torah, Holidays and Customs, Jewish Values, and Hebrew lan- guage. As .they left their classes daily, you could see their excite- ment about their most recent pro- jects and knowledge. Each class is filled with hap- piness a real simcha. Children laugh and smile throughout the day. Their laughter brings joy to those who work with them and those who are "just visiting" for a happy spot in the day. This is the place where students begin on the road to life-long learning. Every day is an opportunity to develop intellectually, emotion- ally, spiritually, physically, and socially. Southeastern Virginia JewishNews 13 TAKING DAY SCHOOLS SERIOUSLY Jewish day schools have long been the stepchil- dren of the organized American Jewish communi- ty. This is so despite the fact that studies consis- tently show day school education to be the most effective antidote to increasing assimilation and intermarriage, commonly viewed as the most seri- ous threats to Jewish survival in the U.S. True. there have beensignificant communal increases in funds for these schools in recent years, but parents still face steep tuitions, teachers are grossly underpaid and many of the schools are in constant struggle for financial survival. Over the years the community has kept the day schools at arms length rather than embracing them as the key to Jewish continmty. Never. tbr exam- ple, has there been a dramatic campaign for sup- port as there was for, say, the rescue of Soviet or Ethiopian Jews. But day school advocates insist that the next generation of American Jewry has to be rescued from assimilation just as Jews from other coun- tries had to be saved physically. The most signifi- cant effort these days is being undertaken by George Hanus. a Chicago business man who is working tirelessly to broaden financial support for these schools and change communal attitudes toward them. Hanus was the chief founder of the National Jewish Day School Scholarship Commit- tee last fall, and has elicited support from the heads of the Orthodox and Conservative move- ments as well as a number of leading Reform rab- bis. They have endorsed a resolution asserting that Jewish education should be a service provided by the community rather than a consumer product that only the wealthy can afford, and that chil- dren deserve a Jewish education, regardless of religious denomination or family income. "it's a matter of survival." says Hanus, whose group works with all 14 Chicago day schools, rep- resenting each of the streams. Most dranaatic, the resolution calls on rabbis and communal leaders to encourage members to leave at least 5 percent of their income to a Jewish day school in their wills. Hanus calls this "a Jew- ish estate tax," a key to changing the philanthropic environment through "'a moral mandate." The Jewish federation of Chicago has been supportive of the day school committee's eflbVts, and Chicago may prove to be a model for other communities around the country in making day school education a top priority communal issue. If Jewish education is indeed a funadmental vaiue and instrument of continuity, let us respond accordingly and provide day schools with the funding they need to survive and flourish. (Reprinted with the kind permission of the Jewish Week) J VISIT HAT'S DYN AMITE OUR Educate Yourself Hebrew Academy of Tidewater Open House Tuesday, November 10, 1998 7:30 p.m. Visit the Hebrew and learn why our graduates are so You'll to tour the school, meet the and explore curriculum. So join us on November mean for your child. For what we can , please call 424-4327. We Reach Children Between The Teinp!00 1244 Thom kinsLane-Vir"" B00h, Vir ......