Meeting the younger students at Leo Baeck Education Center
By Max, Ari & Hope Chernak
As part of our Gateways and Tents partnership, classes from Leo Baeck Education Center and Shaaray Tefila are spending the year learning about one another through different activities. In the past, some of these activities have been through Skype, sharing dreidels and letters sent back and forth between the two schools. This year, the Leo Baeck’s 3rd grade and the Shaaray Tefila’s 4th grade will be engaging in personal stories using outlines of bodies to describe their hobbies and information about each other. We started this program earlier this month at Shaaray Tefila using members of the Teen Exchange delegation with the 4th grade class to facilitate the exercise and to make some videos of our American students to share with the Israeli students at Leo Baeck. We brought over drawings of the Shaaray Tefila 4th grade class that will be used in the coming weeks with the 3rd grade Leo Baeck students.
Today, members of the Shaaray Tefila teen delegation and the Leo Baeck teen delegation met with the third grade students at Leo Baeck as part of the program. Below are some of the photos from today and here is a quote from one of the American teens:
“After having met with the fourth graders in New York, I knew what it was like to talk about what we eat and think about and do with our hands, legs, etc with body outline… However this morning when we met with the third grade class, it was a real struggle because of the language barrier. As we waited for translators, it was really cute to try and talk (and use sign language). We only succeeded in saying our names and giving a kief (high five). The Israeli kids were so excited to participate in this activity and spoke to us as if we knew what they were saying. It was really cool to not only see the enthusiasm the kids had, but that even know they realized we lacked hebrew words, they still spoke to us in hebrew and they still had fun with us.
When I go back to New York I’m hoping I’ll be able to tell the fourth graders how excited the Israelis were and even with the language difference, we had a great experience and learned that some of the same things we (Americans) like are also the same things Israelis like (i.e. Walking on the beach, playing guitar, thinking about our future, eating pizza). Today was an important day in our partnership with Leo Baeck Education Center and I can’t wait to share this with our fourth grade Shaaray Tefila students” – Max
“When we took our tour of Leo Baeck Education Center, we got to spend some time with some third graders. We sat with them and talked about the things we hear, see, think, do, and eat. The third graders didn’t speak much English but we still somehow understood what the kids were saying. We got to connect with these little kids despite the huge language barrier and some terrible charades skills. It reminded me of the biblical story of the men who mumble when they pray to God, but know that God understands what they are saying. Drawing and talking with these kids allowed us to understand that they grow up almost the same way we do; they learn numbers and the alphabet and grammar, then develop to more complex ideas. I really enjoyed talking to them and learning from them. I even learned my Hebrew numbers past eser (10). These kids show that there really is a small difference between Americans and Israelis, excluding the language barrier. ” – Ari