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Forty Years in the Oasis

July 27, 2010

By Ed Frankel

Our texts are the documentation of our existence as a people. Constantly relating lessons and values of the past to realities of today helps students examine their world through Jewish eyes.

Mom thought I was crazy, some forty years back, when I followed in Dad’s footsteps and began my career as a Jewish educator.

I had no long-term goals when I started. I really had little idea what I was doing. I had yet to receive any training and could not distinguish between methods and goals, skills and knowledge sets. Back then, as I strove to bring in a little gelt, I operated on pure instinct as I pushed my sluggish students to read more rapidly, to think less, and just do it. Did I have any sense back then that decoding was strictly a skill? Naah! Still, the gut instinct was borne out by the research I discovered when my career blossomed and as I advanced from Jewish educator to becoming a fully-trained educator who specialized in Judaism.

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