The Cost of Jewish Education

nbn-cost-of-educationThis chart, put out by Nefesh B’Nefesh is pretty accurate from our 5 year experience here with public religious elementary school.  Our son has entered 7th grade in a private yeshiva and the cost is comparable to what the chart displays for high school.

Find out more about the educational benefits of Aliyah at the NBN site.

Costs may vary based on location and other factors (like private vs. public education).


Israel Education: Picking Your Battles (part 2)

Continued from yesterday…

Har Sadom

Later in the day I received a call from Yisrael’s 5th grade teacher asking why he hadn’t gone on the class trip. From the permission slip that was sent home on paper (we’ve yet to receive the electronic communications we’ve been requesting for 3+ years) we determined that the 5th & 6th grade boys and girls would be going together on this full day (8:30 am – 6:30 pm) trip to Har Sodom where they would see Lot’s pillar of salt wife, and Ayin Bodek Nature Reserve where they’d be hiking a moderate to difficult level trail through water and needed to bring:

  • Comfortable shoes for walking in water
  • Breakfast, lunch & snacks
  • 3 Liters water
  • Hat & change of clothes

We (along with Yisrael) decided that he would not go on this trip for the following reasons: Continue reading Israel Education: Picking Your Battles (part 2)


Israel Education: Picking Your Battles (part 1)

Olim parents of young children sometimes feel overwhelmed by the education system in Israel. Don’t worry, this is normal because it is different like most experiences in a new society, but because it can be emotionally difficult for our children it can become very stressful.

I know that I have preached in the past that one should not make Aliyah with the idea that they will cling to the customs of the society from which they came forever fighting those of the Jewish homeland. However, the following situation is an exception (in my opinion) because just like in the US (and I suspect other countries) future generations will benefit from positive improvements to the education system.

Yesterday, I found myself in two upsetting situations related to education.  The first occurred during ulpan when our morah (teacher) asked if anyone knew why Sarah (not her real name) had been missing class. A few of her friends explained that Sarah’s 1st grader was refusing to go back to school because of a bullying situation and the administration’s lack of response to it. My stomach knotted because I instinctively knew which school this boy must be attending based on our experience there 3 years ago.  Our morah knew of my experience and suggested that I contact Sarah and encourage her to fight the system as I had done – and added that if a group of parents got together and petitioned the school, things could improve. Continue reading Israel Education: Picking Your Battles (part 1)


Ma’ale Adumim Jr. High Registration

Parents of children in sixth grade are invited to learn about the city’s Junior High school options at upcoming presentations on January 15th (boys) and January 23rd (girls).


Date: Sunday, January 15, 2012

Time: 8:30 p.m.

Location: Eshkol HaPais Building ( behind the pool).

Principals of  the following schools will give presentations: Continue reading Ma’ale Adumim Jr. High Registration


Successful Aliyah for Maale Adumim Teens

Maale Adumim-Yeshiva Tichonit
Maale Adumim-Yeshiva Tichonit

The City of Maale Adumim has just announced that it is taking steps to ensure that olim teens are provided with the tools they need for a successful Aliyah.

Following the excellent example set by Ulpana Tzvia for Girls, the Education and Absorption Departments of the Maale Adumim Municipality have worked together to develop a new and exciting first year in Israel, integrative program at the Yeshiva Junior High School in Maale Adumim.

The program offers: Continue reading Successful Aliyah for Maale Adumim Teens


My Little Music Man

Alto Saxophone

Due to my limited Hebrew skills I wasn’t exactly sure why I was invited to meet with the Director of the Music Conservatory in Ma’ale Adumim this afternoon. It turns out that he heard Yisrael playing saxophone in the school orchestra and wanted to test his musical abilities. 

I was entertained as Yisrael sang the notes and scales he was instructed to (he never listens to me that closely), banged his fist on the desk to a beat, and patted his head & rubbed his stomach in circular motion to demonstrate his coordination – but was disappointed when he opened the saxophone case and discovered there was no reed so he couldn’t play (I’ve never heard him play). 

Continue reading My Little Music Man


This is MY Israel!

NBN is running a “This is My Israel” photo contest, but for my son, this video perfectly demonstrates why he’s so happy to be living here.

This video is of the birthday reception he received from his classmates recently, which paled in comparison to the “welcome home” he received on the first day of school. Continue reading This is MY Israel!


Understanding the Education System in Israel

This is in response to those of you who have been asking me via Facebook and e-mail about the education system in Israel. If I’ve missed something, please feel free to ask questions in the comment section below and I’ll attempt to get you answers.

Quality of Education in Israel

The quality of education in Israel varies based upon the community’s dedication to education (via tax allocations and programming), individual school’s focus, and parental involvement in the system. Unfortunately, Israeli schools are not ranked well among other countries in the developed world. But that can change, and you can play a role in improving the quality by making Aliyah and getting involved. Continue reading Understanding the Education System in Israel


I.O.U. – Ra’anana

I can’t believe three months have already passed and I haven’t told you all about our new home in Ra’anana. I do apologize for the delay and for the fact that this is going to be a long one!


If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that we left our beautiful and happy home in Ma’ale Adumim (along with our settler status :() and moved to Ra’anana for employment in July.

Michael is working at Delek where he is re-learning Oracle database technology (in recent years he specialized in Microsoft SQL databases). Because of his limited Hebrew skills, and his need for retraining, he has pretty much started at the bottom in a junior-level position, but that’s okay with him because he likes it there. Delek treats their employees very well – he especially likes his co-workers and enjoys the Thursday afternoon beer and nosh treats that signal the end of the work week. Continue reading I.O.U. – Ra’anana


High Anxiety! 1st Day of School – 2009

With tears welling up in my eyes I exited the school and hid my face with the camera taking shots of the crowds and scenery surrounding Yavne elementary school. My son was not happy about starting at yet another school and I couldn’t blame him… At 8-1/2 years old he has attended 1 preschool in Nashville, Tennessee; 2 preschool/elementary schools in Cleveland, Ohio; 2 elementary schools + ulpan in Ma’ale Adumim, Israel; and now another new school in Ra’anana!

After a restless night of stomach ache and dizziness complaints, he surprisingly emerged from his room in a good mood and even made his bed and put his dirty laundry in the hamper without my nagging! I offered bagels or cereal for breakfast and he made an excellent choice all on his own – plain yogurt with granola. When Jessica phoned from Tennessee just as we were ready to walk out the door, he actually rushed me to get off the phone so he wouldn’t be late for his first day. With backpack loaded and recyclables in a bag he rushed me to the elevator. I was amazed at the change in his attitude from last night and ever so proud of my little soldier. Continue reading High Anxiety! 1st Day of School – 2009