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November 30, 1990 - Image 20

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-11-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



Pilot Program Brings
Parents Back To School

All in 18k Gold
and Finest Diamonds


Staff Writer


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hildren aren't going
to be the only
students in one
United Hebrew Schools fifth
grade classroom this Sun-
Many of their parents will
be sitting next to them
thanks to a new pilot pro-
gram at the Adat Shalom
Synagogue branch called
Children and Adults on
Israel (CHAT).
CHAI, developed by the
Agency for Jewish Edu-
cation, allows parents to get
involved in their children's
education and at the same
time increase their own
knowledge about Israel, said
Renee Wohl, director of the
agency's resource center and
CHAI coordinator. If suc-
cessful, the program will
eventually be expanded to
include more than just
teacher Tamar Traub's ac-
celerated fifth grade class.
Unlike similar programs
which encouraged parents to
enter the classroom, CHAT is
an ongoing project, Ms. Wohl
said. Once a month until
May, a guest speaker will
present an educational pro-
gram about Israel and the
holidays to both parents and
CHAI kicks off Sunday as
Sivan Maas, Detroit's
shlicha, talks about how
Chanukah is celebrated in
Israel. Future CHAT topics
include a Tu B'Shevat seder,
Purim, Israeli Independence
Day and Yom
"We are using the issue of
Israel as a vehicle to explore
common values," Ms. Wohl
said. "What we are trying to
do is to get parents to come
into the classroom and par-
ticipate in activities with
their kids," Ms. Wohl said.
Sometimes, the parents
and students will work
together on a project during
the two-hour session, she
said. At other times, adults
and children will be
separated through parts of
the program.
With CHAI, the agency
hopes to create a strong link
between what happens in
Hebrew school and in the
home, Ms. Wohl said.
"We need to make school
applicable to the rest of their
lives," she said. "We can't do
that without the parents,
without the home."
"We feel it's very impor-
tant to develop a strong

partnership with the
parents. Parents really can
do a lot to influence their
kids," she said. "If we form a
partnership, I know we can
make a difference in the
students' lives." So CHAI
will include more than just a
guest speaker. After every
event, parents will be given
a package filled with ac-
tivities they can do at home
with their children.
So far, reaction to the
CHAT program from parents
has been positive.
Thirty-six parents were in-
troduced to the CHAT pro-
gram at a Nov. 11 orienta-
tion. During the meeting,
parents were given
photographs taken in Israel
and were told to pick out one

"It shows students
that parents really
do care."

Ann Feld

which best represents their
image of the country and
which various newspapers
might use to depict Israel.
After the exercise, parents
were asked to keep the
photos and try it with their
children. Parents also
received a tape of upbeat
Hebrew songs complete with
a songbook to bring home.
Aim Feld, a parent at the
orientation, said "I think the
CHAI program is a positive
thing for the kids as well as
the parents. It shows
students that parents really
do care."
"It helps make Hebrew
school more fun for the
kids," said Mrs. Feld, whose
son, David, 10, is a student
in the class.
She believes the CHAI
program will be a learning
experience, not just for
David, but for herself and
her husband, Jeff, Ms. Feld
said. "We plan to take a trip
to Israel next year and it will
be nice to learn more about
it before we go," she said.
Laura Ostreicher said
when she first heard about
the CHAI program, she was
a little pessimistic about
parents getting up on a Sun-
day morning to go to Hebrew
school. But after the orienta-
tion meeting, she believes
most parents will look for-
ward to the sessions, said
Mrs. Ostreicher's son,
Brian, 10, is among the
students involved.
"I'm looking forward to
spending time with Brian,"
she said.

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