Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

16 Kislev 5761 - December 13, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Ta'amei Torah School -- Providing a New Taste for Torah
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

Imagine a classroom in a Bais Yaakov high school in Yerushalayim. The teacher is presenting a fascinating lesson on making our tefillos relevant, but Sara sits, uncomprehending, missing the opportunity for growth.

Sara is bright and eager to learn, but something is preventing her from learning in the setting that she's in. Perhaps she is an olah chadasha and does not understand Hebrew well enough. Perhaps she finds the Israeli Bais Yaakov mentality too different from the mentality of her English-speaking home and spends much of class time daydreaming. Either way, she is attending a school which is not appropriate for her. But there seems to be no other option.

Wait a minute -- there is another option. A very special group of individuals in Yerushalayim, who have become acquainted with "Sara" and a few of her counterparts, have realized that these girls need a different type of school -- a school which can give them Chumash, hashkofo, and halacha in their native language and prepare them for a bright future and a higher Jewish education.

A school like this, once a dream, has now become a reality, with the creation of Ta'amei Torah School. Ta'amei Torah, located in the quiet, suburban Neve Yaakov neighborhood of Yerushalayim and blessed with the counsel of HaRav Nachman Bulman, is a new and welcome alternative educational option for sincere, English-speaking bnos Yisroel.

The mastermind behind this school, which is now in its second year, is Mrs. Joanne Kaffe, a Neve Yaakov resident with great creativity, determination, and drive. She embarked on the project with the assistance of Mrs. Sima Gordon, a warm, talented, and dedicated administrator. They have succeeded in putting together a program which enriches the lives of impressionable teenage girls in Yerushalayim and other cities.

Mrs. Kaffe and Mrs. Gordon realized that their new school would not be an easy undertaking. One of their first moves was to turn to Rav Nachman Bulman, rav of Congregation Nachliel, Neve Yaakov, and mashgiach of Yeshivas Ohr Somayach, for advice and guidance. Rav Bulman has been involved in Jewish education for over 50 years. He strongly believes in Ta'amei Torah School's goals and agenda.

Ta'amei Torah's teaching staff is an impressive group of warm, able men and women from the finest educational institutions of Yerushalayim. In addition to imparting wisdom from Tanach, teaching halacha, and explaining basic hashkofo, the teachers serve as true role models for the student body. Inspirational and intelligent, they give of themselves to their students, providing a warm atmosphere as well as informative classes.

Lest one think that Ta'amei Torah is solely academic, a glance at the syllabus, carefully prepared by Mrs. Kaffe and Mrs. Gordon, will change that impression. Students at Ta'amei Torah have weekly art, cooking, and aerobics lessons. Special speakers are a regular part of their schedule, as is a Thursday evening program.

All these programs combine to provide the girls with an encouraging atmosphere for growth and a multifaceted education. The students feel that they are appreciated. They also value the assistance they receive and the increased knowledge and depth of Yiddishkeit that they gain.

The enrollment at Ta'amei Torah is small, but educational consultant Rebbetzin Malka Kaganoff, veteran educator both in the United States and Eretz Yisroel, is not discouraged. "Our goal is not to draw students away from other institutions, but to provide opportunities for English speakers who are not thriving in the existing schools. If we make the difference in the life of even one girl, we will consider our school a success."

Students at Ta'amei Torah are thrilled by the warm, friendly approach. "The teachers are more like friends than like teachers," says one student.

Parents of the student body are happy that their daughters now leave to school happily. Some of them expressed concern at first about sending their daughters to such an unconventional school, but their daughters' renewed enthusiasm for learning -- and for the Torah way of life -- validates their choice.

Mrs. Kaffe points out that different girls learn through varying means, and girls who are not successful in a standard school can flourish in Ta'amei Torah's program. A girl from an English-speaking environment can come to Ta'amei Torah and grow from the warmth and enjoyable learning.

"Our school is committed to helping every student achieve her maximum potential," says Mrs. Kaffe.

With the aid of its caring staff and its creative programs, Ta'amei Torah School is determined to provide its students with that precious taste for Torah.

Those interested in more information about Ta'amei Torah School can call Ta'amei Torah at 053-834854.


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