This week in Israel, school began. It is always on September 1st here. And this year was no exception, despite the Corona crisis and new challenges. As the kids scrambled to gather their books and parents did the same, I as usual was late. It’s not that I don’t care about school – I do, I really do! But..it’s just that when I was growing up, school was MY responsibility, as a student. I did not run to my parents with a book list; I did not depend on my parents to help with these things. So I find it strange that we, parents, are responsible for these things, and I am unprepared each year, even though we have raised our children here….
Anyway, I am not too good in this parent arena, but I make up for it in other ways. In any case, the night before school, a good friend, Hila, who is a teacher, came to my house and helped organize the books for my kids – only 2 are going to school. (the others are teens, and take care of themselves). While she was organizing, I told her I was willing to teach an english “chug” (special class/activity) for my son’s age once a week. My son’s class only has school twice a week….the rest of the time will be on the computer, learning via Zoom. This is because the school doesn’t have enough classrooms to satisfy the requirement for small classes (18 student maximum, I believe). I am very upset about these Zoom lessons. That is no way to learn, and no way to experience school. When I offered to teach an English lesson, Hila said “great! come to a meeting tonight of all the parents, to talk about what we are going to do to fill in the time….nobody wants zoom.”
I went to the meeting. It was 9:15 pm, the night before the first day of school. We met on the pergola at the home of one of the parents from the class. There was cake and fruit. It was nice. There were about 15 of us. Boy, were they organized. One by one, we tackled the problems and issues; not me. They. These Israeli parents. Wow, each person had a solution. One person wrote it all down; another person set up a way to pay a private teacher; someone else took charge of setting up a google doc for parents to volunteer; a gym teacher from Arad will be called; My lesson will be scheduled. Every day for those 3 days of only zoom are now filled up with a proper schedule. We even found a building in the yishuv to use.
When I left that meeting, I was in awe. There could have been a very different reaction….there could have been blaming and complaining…but there was none of that. So much was accomplished in such a short time, and totally last minute. This is NORMAL in Israel. I have learned this, but I am always impressed. Nothing is slow here. No problem is too big. And Israelis never give up.
Our medics are a perfect example…they are busy with their lives, then drop everything to save a life….in the heat, in the middle of the night, in the hills, in the midst of a terror attack…they never give up, either. Thank you for supporting us.