Friday, March 22, 2019

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Staycation Ideas for Winter Homebodies

Students and teachers are working hard, trying to cram as much as they can into the last couple weeks before Yeshiva break. But thoughts keep drifting toward long-awaited vacation plans. For those who feel left behind during these days, rest assured: Many activities await that do not require flying, and the most packing

Write a Book Report: Sharpen Your Executive Functioning

Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult for some students to write a book report? Good writing takes many steps and depends upon executive functioning skills. Executive functioning is an umbrella term that refers to a number of cognitive processes and skills that facilitate learning. Being successful in writing depends upon

Ephraim and Menashe: Role vs. Soul

In this week’s Torah portion, Vayechi, blessings abound. Jacob is dying. His son Joseph, his favorite, the one who truly became the savior of the family, rushes to his bedside to comfort him. Jacob announces that he will adopt Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Menashe, and will bless them with inheritance equal to that of his

The Miracle

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a bar mitzvah where my connection was with the family rather than the young man. In fact, I had never met the boy. Arriving fashionably late, we were just in time for the speeches, and my introduction to the bar mitzvah boy occurred as he addressed the gathering. Up stepped a confident,

How to Talk to Your Kids About Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-teacher conferences are a great opportunity to hear about your children’s classroom experience and connect with their teachers. These conferences also have the potential to shape your children’s relationships with their teachers and their school experience for the rest of the year. Sharing the teachers’ feedback with your

How Teachers Can Better Handle Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parents can be frustrated by their children’s teachers. By their harsh tone of voice when young children have trouble being quiet or sitting still. By taking away recess for infractions like losing their Chumash worksheets or getting up to sharpen a pencil without asking permission first. By their fixation on rewards and

Nurturing the Hearts and Minds of Children

Donny was having a blah day at school. As he was finishing up his work before the afternoon switch to English studies, his rebbe stopped by his desk and said, “Donny, I see you got a haircut. It looks really nice.” Donny looked up at his rebbe beaming and said, “Rebbe, I was waiting all day for someone to notice. Thank

The Dangers of Substance Abuse  in Teenagers With Mental Health Challenges

Dear Readers,

It has been almost a year since we first started this Recovery Column.

Our thought for the column was to create a dialogue between us and our readers, and between our readers themselves, about the issues of addiction and its impact on

Who Will Put Out the Fire?

Amidst all of the crises the Orthodox Jewish community is facing—the shidduch crisis, off-the-derech children, substance abuse and internet addiction—no one is talking about the elephant in the room that might actually be a game changer in reducing many of our other challenges. This is what I call the divorce crisis. While most


The bell had rung and the third-grade class excitedly gathered by the door, a storm of arms grabbing coats off of hooks and knitted hats being tossed on the floor, as the kids vied to be first on line to get to recess. It had been a long afternoon and we had spent much of the time trapped at our desks, looking longingly out the

Think All Kids Are Sporty? Think Again.

If there’s one thing I learned from my time in elementary school, it’s that kids are expected to love running around and playing sports. If you don’t…then you’re weird. The school I attended was pretty good at providing the students with a healthy number of opportunities for physical activity, but I was just one

Talking to God

Two summers ago, I participated in the Elaine Breslow Institute educator’s immersion program at Beit T’Shuvah, a Jewish addiction treatment facility in Los Angeles. Beit T’Shuvah integrates Jewish study, the 12 Steps, and clinical and medical techniques to address the process of recovery. I approached the new experience as