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The Traveling Teacher

Updated: Apr 2

Meet Volunteer Lori LeBreque,  an experienced teacher who volunteered at the Tamar Ariel School in Netanya.

Lori shared snippets of her experience which she has allowed us to share on the Skilled Volunteers for Israel blog.

February 4 I’d like to share an amazing story of the renaming of the school that I teach in Netanya. There are so many heroic stories in this country — this is one more. The name of the school was “Shapira,”  and is now named “Tamar Ariel” and here is why.

“Tamar Ariel was from a cooperative farming community in Israel. Her father was born on the Moshav and her mother immigrated from Puerto Rico. Tamar was the third of six children.  Ariel graduated from the Israel Air Force (IAF) flight school in December 2012. During her training she was forced to eject from her jet causing her to rocket skyward, breaking a vertebra in her back. Ariel spent months in an elastic body cast then went on to complete her training. After graduation, she flew the F-16D. During Operation Protective Edge, according to one of her commanders, she flew the most combat missions in her squadron. Ariel died, aged 25, in a snow storm that hit the high mountain passes on a vacation to the Himalayas in 2014.”  Shapira School was renamed Tamar Ariel in honor and remembrance of this brave Israeli woman.

February 7 Meet Gadi.   Gadi is fourteen and he was born and lives in Netanya. He has four brothers and two sisters. He is in grade 8 and is one of the top students in his grade. He likes football (Israeli soccer). Hebrew is his native language and his learning style is to read English carefully and think it over before responding. He is shy, religious, likes to giggle and is a delightful young man and I have the pleasure of reading with him on Thursdays. His favorite holiday is Passover. His grandmother is from Ethiopia and she currently lives in Netanya.

February 11

At Tamar Ariel Beit Sefer (school) I worked with 3 seventh grade boys. Their reading and comprehension was quite good. They are always preparing for their graduation tests which is a determinant toward their futures. Across the street from this neighborhood school I saw an orange tree with its fallen fruit on the ground. I so wanted to hop the fence. During break time, I snapped a photo of the high schooler’s favorite pastime: clicking into their cell phones. They are allowed to carry them all day and they use them as a translator in their English classes.

February 14

I taught two great small groups today at Tamar Ariel in Netanya. Two grade 7 boys needed review on their English comprehension and grammar test. Afterwards were my 7th  grade  girls. We practiced some conversational English and then we reviewed “a,” “an,” and “some” from a worksheet.

February 27

I travelled from Netanya to Tel Aviv to Jerusalem where I taught two days at the Hand in Hand school and then on Wednesday I reversed the route to be ready to teach on Thursday at Tamar Ariel in Netanya. Friday morning I joined a coffee group, enjoyed the Promenade. Friday evening I joined friends for a Shabbat dinner.  Saturday morning I went to the synagogue and in the night I went to the Mall. I am in Israel and feeling Israeli!!

March 11

Today was a wrap up day at Tamar Ariel High School. I really enjoyed this teaching experience with the hard working teachers and zest for life students.  One of the people at this school who made my days there even more special was the Librarian, Sara. With her broken English and my broken Hebrew we managed to enjoy many chats.

Also today, will be especially memorable —:: I was presented with a framed-typed letter of appreciation given to me by the teachers in front of the Principal of the school. I also received thank you notes from some of the students I worked with.

Whew, breathe — it was emotional.   THREE MORE DAYS to go before I head back for home!

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