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Comment on : Hebrew School Wraps Up Successful Year String of Pearls Offers Novel Approach to Religious and Language Education

Hebrew School Wraps Up Successful Year String of Pearls Offers Novel Approach to Religious and Language Education

 Princeton, New Jersey (July 1, 2010). A visitor to a String of Pearls Hebrew School classroom during the last academic year would have found students making butter, playing an Egyptian game with hieroglyphics, or molding ceramic oil lamps modeled on a biblical artifact. 


Such activities are intended to engage students and bring to life the world Abraham and Sarah inhabited. They are part of a new curriculum developed by Rabbi and Education Director Donna Kirshbaum to provide students with a deep understanding of what constitutes a Jewish way of life and with the confidence to challenge, and to be challenged by, their tradition. 


In small classes that afford individual attention and instruction, students are encouraged to share their ideas, beliefs and questions as they become part of a tradition in which Jews have always questioned foundational texts. 


Students learn Hebrew through the study of core prayer groups. Here too the approach is innovative: in addition to classroom instruction students call Rabbi Kirshbaum’s voicemail to recite the prayers as they learn them, and she in turn emails her feedback to them. 


The human search for meaning, lovingkindness, strength and harmony are core concepts also realized through a combination of study and action. To understand tzedakah in its biblical context, for example, students find and donate to organizations that embody Abraham and Sarah’s hospitality to strangers. Students have selected, among others, the Crisis Ministry, Jewish Family and Children’s Kosher Food Pantry, TASK, and Womanspace, 


The String of Pearls Hebrew School is a diverse community in which students have fun and form lasting friendships. Parents are encouraged to participate and to share special skills and talents with the community. The school is accepting 2010 - 2011 applications for children in grades 1 - 6. Beginning September 13, 2010, classes will be held each Monday at Princeton Day School from 4:15 - 6:15 p.m. 


For more information and to obtain an application, call Donna Rubin at 609.921.1909 or Julie Zimmerman at 609.688.1708.