Ben Gamla, definitely an excellent option

It’s been a while since my blog related to schools. I’ve just come home from a morning spent at Ben Gamla Charter School in Plantation. The event was “Mother’s Day”, and given the proximity of Yom Ha’Atzmaut (Israel’s Independence Day), the performances were what the children did for their fellow students on Tuesday, which was actually Yom Ha’Atzmaut.

I left the school feeling so incredibly happy and proud, that I just had to share on my blog.

As the Principal of the elementary school, Mrs. Toni Weissberg, put it so eloquently, Ben Gamla is a charter school, and the charter of the school is not only Hebrew language, but also the culture and history of Israel. The younger children danced carefully choreographed dances to Israeli music (1st grade below)

but the older grades went above and beyond in this show. Fifth grade did an incredible “Daglanut” show – performed twice this morning, once before each grouping of class shows – a traditional dance with the Israeli flags. I love Daglanut, my heart always fills with enormous pride for Israel when I watch it, and this year was no different, seeing the smiles on these kids’ faces as they showed respect to the Israeli flag, culminating in a 66 for the 66th birthday of the State of Israel, using the flags.

Third grade read historical poems in Hebrew, and translated them to English, that talked about the land of Israel, and how she grows annually – by population and by forests.

Fourth grade reenacted the United Nations vote in November of 1947, that resulted in the establishment of the State of Israel. This was followed by “David Ben-Gurion” declaring the State of Israel in 1948, at which point the entire fourth grade broke into celebratory Hora dancing on the stage.

Credit for the choreography goes to the Hebrew teachers at Ben Gamla, and to the wonderful Bnot Sherut – National Service Girls – who come to serve a second year of National Service here and work in schools. But the performance could not have been so spectacular if the children hadn’t taken so much pride in what they did.

Public school is not for everyone, that much is true. And a Hebrew language charter school can never take the place of a true yeshiva education. However, a Hebrew language charter school can absolutely educate children to have a love of Israel and of Zionism, as something completely apart from religion, and this is no bad thing. Remember, a large proportion of children at Ben Gamla in Plantation are not Jewish, and now they too are learning about Israel, about Israeli culture and about Israeli history. With the BDS movement, and anti-Israel sentiment on the rise, this can only be positive.

We have had a good year at Ben Gamla, it’s a choice I’m glad we made.

I want to wish Mrs. Weissberg a wonderful retirement, and thank her for all the wonderful things she has done for the school in the time she has been there. I know you will be missed!

I also want to thank all my children’s teachers, because they have learned so much this year, and that is down to you.

And thank you to the B’not Sherut – Yael, Dikla, Maya & the other Yael – my kids love you, and we look forward to seeing all of you in Israel.

Shabbat Shalom

 

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Going home, back to the place where I belong | Vanessa Brooks CEO Blog

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