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April 6, 2018     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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April 6, 2018

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PAGE 14A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, APRIL 6, 2018 .sh An Israefi high school student videoconferences with a North American baby boomer for a weekly English lesson. By Ben Sales the snow outside his window, the particulars of the local (JTA)--There's no reason malls. Koskas says she now Hodaya Koskas and Barrett understands that in Canada, Brickell would know each people hit the malls with a other, bigger bag than in Israel, so Koskas, 14, is a high school they can buy more stuff. student from a small city in "I feel a connection to central Israel who takes bal- another world," Koskas told let classes and hopes to be a JTA of the conversations. "I dancer.Brickell, 71,isaretired talk about what's done there schoolteacher from Ottawa, and what's polite there. We Canada. talked about how they shop But they've been video and how we shop." chatting every week since TheIsraeliteenandtheCa- September. The unlikely pair- nadian retiree are participants ing begins by having Koskas in Israel Connect, a program read a one-page English de- where older North American scription of a place in Israel, adults tutor Israeli kids in perhaps the Western Wall or English once aweekviavideo a mall. Then they shift into chat. For seniorslike Brickell, talking about their lives, theprogramisarelativelyeasy Koskas talks about an way to connectwith Israel and upcoming ballet competition help kids. For kids like Koskas, that, ifshewins, could lead to the sessions expand their atriptoNewYorkCity.Barrett vocabulary, improve their talks about life in Canada-- pronunciation and introduce u 3 L I C 2O E N S E E 47 E "3" i m C H E S 7614 3246 8593 2879 82593 95781 71264 54316 them to North American cul- ture (she now knows how to pronounce "read" in the past tense, for example). "I want to find out about their personal lives," said Brickell, who taught fifth and sixth grade for nearly 20 years, and now tutors three kids as part of Israel Connect. "I end up liking them a lot. The time I get to spend with young people is very meaningful to me, and I have a feeling that they enjoy it." The program began in 2011 as a side project of Sarah Gor- don, a Canadian with Israeli haveschoolswherewearethe "They didn't choose to parentswhotaughtHebrewin English program--wedonot be born into this conflict," Ottawa.Aformerclassmateof recommend that." Gordon said of the students. Gordon who taught English English is usually akeypart "They didn't choose to go to in Israel told her about some oftheschoolcurriculuminIs- the army in two years. We of her Arab-Israeli students rael, andisviewedasagateway should just be empathetic to who were struggling to pick to cultural exposure, academ- their reality." up what would be their third ic excellence and professional But Gordon emphasizes language. So Gordon matched success. Students in Israeli that the point of the pro- them with Canadian seniors high schools receive four to gram is to rigorously teach she knew who could tutor five hours of English educa- English, not just to create them from afar. tion per week, and an entire informalvideo pen pals. Most Since then, Israel Connect section of Israel's version of of the students' chats hap- has mushroomed. It spread the SAT is devoted to English pen while they're at school, to Toronto and a few areas in proficiency. But Gordon said underateacher'ssupervision. the United States, from New mostofthestudents'practical Gordon said that out of 300 Jersey toBaltimoreto Florida. knowledge of English comes alumni of the program, all but It now has 400 volunteer tu- from pop culture, fourscoredover90percenton tors, mostly baby boomers "Theywatch alot of TVand the English comprehension and older, and 500 Israeli listentoalotofmusic,"shesaid, section of the standardized high school students from "It'snotuncommonforthemto test. 35 schools. Gordon said baby show up the first week and [as] "They're more confident in boomersareagoodfitbecause they're talking with a retired reading, in their interactions they wake up early and tend dentistorbrainsurgeon, they'll talking with the volunteers," to have free time. say, 'Hey, what's up, dude.' And said Ofira Mor, a teacher at The schools are mostly on the teacher will say, 'We start Koskas' high school. "They Israel's periphery--smaller with 'Hi, how are you?"' have a wider vocabulary." and often poorer towns that The core ofIsrael Connect's But volunteers say that are distant from Jerusalem curriculum is the one-page aside from the tutoring, they and Tel Aviv The students handouts on Israeli locales, enjoy having direct exposure themselves come from a which come with pictures, to life in Israel through rangeofreligious, ethnicand Volunteers will help the young people's eyes. Beverly socioeconomic backgrounds, students read through the Grostern, a volunteer from Gordonsaidshehasawaiting paragraphs, and then will Ottawa, took her first trip to listofl00schoolsthatwantto discuss them before pivoting Israel in decades after a year join, and is hoping to expand to casual conversation,of tutoring an Israeli girl. her volunteer base. TheonlyrestrictionGordon "It's reintroduced me to Is- "Most of our volunteers are gives is to avoid politics. Some raeli life, to their food, to their connecting with students in of the participating schools attitude," she said. "They're towns they've never heard of areinWestBanksettlements, likeyourtypicalteenagerany- before,"said Gordon, whonow and Gordon stresses that the where. I ask them something, co-directs the organization program does not take politi- what's your favorite activity, full-time with her husband, calpositionsandaimstoserve what do you like to do, and "We take the ones that have Israelikidsregardlessofwhere nine out of 10 it's like, 'I like the strongest need. Some of they are. Retired doctors are to go shopping, I like to visit the schools we work in don't also told not to provide medi- my grandmother, I like my have English teachers. We cal advice, computer.'" From page 13A directedbyStevenSpielberg, in 1971 that he wrote and I Bochco was born in andwith that came the first directed," Spielberg saidin a New York and attended Hehadhis first job at Uni- of 34 Emmy nominations,statement. "We have support- the High School of Music versalafter graduating from according to the Hollywood ed and inspired each other and Art in Manhattan, Carnegie Mellon University Reporter. He stayed at Uni- eversince, andthroughmany where he sang. His father, in Pittsburgh in 1966 with a versal for 12 years, deep mutual friendships we Rudolph, was a violinist, theaterdegreeandworkedon "Steve was a friend and a have stayed connected for and his mother, Mimi, "Columbo" for a few seasons, colleague starting with the 47 years. I will miss Steve was a painter and jewelry Thefirstepisodehewrotewas first episode of 'Columbo' terribly." designer. From page 1A worked for the Jewish Federa- strategy for the Federation Israel and Russia, and Zionist tion of Palm Beach County and increased the visibility education and advocacy. the organization, which in- as Israel and global initia- of PalmBeach'sglobalimpact Friedman is expected to creased student engagement tives associate. While there through large-scale, innova- begin his duties at Stetson by20 percent. Prior tothathe he designed a new branding tive programs, delegations to on April 30. From page 5A Last year they started using ingwhethertheirrelativesare us, it gives us inspiration. chemical weapons. This is stillalive. If you live in Israel, Onlyyou can protect us now If these people are notwhat has already been hap- they travel next to you on the that we have lost hope in considered refugees in Israel, pening on a daily basis in the bus, theywash your dishes in every other direction. Please thanwho is? NubaMountainsandtheBluethe restaurant in which you don't shut the door in our Believe me, it is not pleas- Nile region, will eat tomorrow and they faces. Don't let this disaster ant for anyone to leave his In fact, just a weekago, on clean the streets on which happen. country, his house and his March 22, the area in which you walk. And all the while, Monim Harun is a Suda- family, and to go in search of I was born and raised was at- they are living in constant nese asylum seeker, corn- asylum in a place he does not tackedagain.Dozens of people fear for the lives of the people munity activist and a mem- know. One will only do this if were killed, most of whom are they love. ber of the African Students he has come to the conclusion women and children. We understand that the Organization in Israel based that an unknown future in a There are many more like government of Israel does in Jerusalem. foreign land is better than a me in Israel, people whose not want us here, butwehave The views and opinions certain death now. families are being attacked nowhere else to go. expressed in this article are The area in Darfur fromevery day in the NubaMoun- Therefore, our last andthose of the author and do not where I originated has been tains, theBlueNileregionand only hope lies with the Is- necessarilyreflecttheviewsof attacked many times by inDarfur, asylumseekerswho raeli people and the Jewish JTA or its parent company, 70 the Sudanese government, wake up every day not know- nation. When you stand with Faces Media. 9137 5461 4985 1728 6352 26845 38927 17632 63459 491 78 From page 8A effective policy measures products this year, which is thrownawayinsteadofbe- to reduce social gaps in the is taken directly out of the ing donated to the needy--is "Israel, more than any economy, andit is a critical consumer's pocket." aseriousfailureoneconomic, other country, has an eco- oversight that the govern- "Surplus food in the retail social and environmental nomicadvantage in rescuing ment has not yet formulated and distribution sectors is levels." food, due to the combination a comprehensive national inevitable since retailers are One way that Americans of high expenditure on food plan to rescue food." required to ensure a wide, can support food rescue for and the growing levels of He went on to point outvaried and readily available the needy in Israel is to shop inequality across the demo- that "retail chains and food food supply at all times," said AmazonwithAmazon Smile. graphic," said Herzog. "Food manufacturers lost NIS 3.5 theeconomist."However, the For more information, rescue is one of the most billion [$1 billion] worth of reality--inwhichexcessfood please visit: