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November 22, 1991 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-11-22

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

DETROIT 1

Akiva

Continued from preceding page

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16

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 1991

headmaster at Akiva, sup-
ported the elimination of the
twelfth-grade Israel pro-
gram. He felt students would
be better off waiting another
year before going to Israel.
"We were also starting to
hear from yeshivot in Israel
who didn't want to keep ac-
cepting high school
students," Rabbi Shimansky
said. "Akiva was one of a
handful of schools all over
the world still sending
twelfth-graders to Israel.
"There was also tremen-
dous pressure placed on
students to complete their
requirements in three in-
stead of four years of high
school," he said. "Their days
were overly long and we
didn't think they needed to
cram all that in in so brief a
time."
Debra Chopp, 16, admits
she's relieved not to have the
added pressure. "I think 16
is a little young to go to
Israel," she said. "I don't
mind having the extra time
to finish high school."
The only course left for
seniors to take in twelfth
grade at Akiva is physics.
"I could have taken that
this summer," Ben Beres
said. "I'm ready to get on
with higher learning and
college."
Rivky Schramm, 16,
wasn't too happy about
spending her senior year at
Akiva. "I wasn't happy at
first because it's always
been a sore point that the
school stopped the program
with our class," she said.
"I'd considered going to
Israel, but I'm also kind of
young for my grade."
Mintzi Schramm was con-
cerned her daughter
wouldn't have a viable op-
tion. She wanted to make
sure Akiva offered a
stimulating academic alter-
native to the year in Israel.
"The question not only
became what Akiva could do
to better prepare its students
for a year in Israel, but what
Akiva could offer its
students to rival what they
could already be learning in
Israel," Mrs. Schramm said.

Seniors this year have the
pick of a wide range of elec-
tive courses. Students can
choose from pre-calculus,
physics, world literature,
advanced placement history,
computers and video produc-
tion. Religious studies offer
boys and girls classes in
Chumash, or Bible, Gemara
and Judaic research.
"It's going a lot better
than we thought it would
be," Mrs. Schramm said.
"We've been pleased so far."
So is Michael Chopp,
Debra's father. "I feel very
positive about it," he said. "I
think this will enhance
everything they've learned
already."

"These kids, some just
barely 16, are turning out
national level test scores and
college level papers," said
Ed Codish, who teaches
seniors Judaic research and
world literature. "My
classes are writing papers on
topical halachic issues like
women's roles in Judaism,
birth control and abortion.
They're reading works by
Dostoyevsky and Sophocles."
"They're thinking in-
dependently and managing
a high level workload,"
added Susan Codish, who
teaches seniors Chumash.
"They'll benefit from this
grounding, especially be-
cause they won't have any
secular studies next year in
Israel."
Rabbi Shimansky said 12
out of the 14 seniors will
study in Israel next year.
Rabbi Morton Yolkut, an-
other parent, said it's
necessary to understand the
founding philosophy of the
school. "Akiva was founded
30 years ago on the prin-
ciples of religious Zionism
and a strong commitment to
Torah and madah (science,
or secular studies)," he said.
"The 12th grade in Israel
put that philosophy to prac-
tical use by spending it in
Israel. It was the culmina-
tion of that philosophy.
"The commitment is very
much alive, it's just put off
one year." 0

Experts Talk About
Prospects Of Peace

NOAM M.M. NEUSNER

Staff Writer

I

n the wake of the Madrid
summit, pundits and pro-
fessors publicly have
pondered peace.
Last week, four experts
took on the heady issue of
where Middle East peace can
go from here. They weighed

in with conflicting visions on
Israel, Palestinian
autonomy and the prospects
for peace.
The four — Richard
Straus, Hisham Melhem,
Raymond Tanter and Joel
Bainerman — took aim at
what they perceive as
misconceptions about both
the conflict and its com-
batants.

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