Laughing Until I Cried: Hebrew School

My father always insisted that Hebrew school vitally important, and certainly more important than secular school, which seemed ridiculous. Regular school had its moments of strangeness—why did we spend much of third grade learning how to knit, or take at least three field trips to cemeteries?  Hebrew school, on the other hand, involved more regular strange occurrences—although I also learned how to read Hebrew, had some amazing teachers, and learned some excellent songs.

I was renowned for laughing until I cried at Hebrew school—which I mostly outgrew, as I got older. However, it is hard to blame my younger self when our teachers had us do things like try and make a driedel out of canned goods, and the parsha of the week class was cancelled due to lack of interest and replaced by classes that, among other things, tried to impart Jewish values through movies. I also once received a report card from a teacher that I had not had that semester (but had during another time that year), noting that my class participation was poor (it was as if I wasn’t even there!)


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