09 October 2012

Reinventing Jewlearn-it

Like many things in life, everything has a beginning and a end. In this case the end is only a transformation to something better.
My blog Jewlearn-it its about to close its doors.
 I started it when I was still a classroom teacher,  eager to experiment on 21st century tools. I wasn't even sure of how to do it. Not writing in my mother language (Spanish) made it even harder. Still, I gave it try.
At first, I thought a blog was a great way to keep parents and students well informed of what was happening in class. In theory it sounded good, but in reality, very few parents were visiting my blog yet, it took me a monumental amount of time to keep it updated. Is it worth it?
Then, I though I can use my blog as a way to share with colleagues the new amazing education resources I was using and finding on the web. 
With that in mind, I run to share my incipient yet interesting (at least for me) posts about projects we were doing in class with one of my bosses and I rather than getting a constructive criticism, I was run over by her:
 -"It is pathetic. I would not do it if I was you. Also please removed the name of the school from it" she said-.
-Darn it- I though. -As if writing in English was not hard enough, I now have to come up with a name for this blog-.
 What name can possibly match what I am trying to achieve and convey here. I curious about practically every Jewish education, Jewish culture and 21st century education/technology related subject out there.
Then I started thinking: Jewish people are known as "the people of the book" meaning, we have a strong connection with learning. Paradoxically, Jewish education has yet a lot to catch up with 21st century education. Then, I decided that my blog's name should reflect struggles and small victories of an "out of the box Jewish educator" on her journey to create a digital footprint in the blog world. (uff! that was exhausting to write).
This is how, in order to keep writing with out compromising the moral and ethical integrity of my employer, I decided my blog should be named Jewlearn-it. (the Jew word was also intended to include the sound of the world You).
At this point is that I decided to keep writing my blog but only as a personal diary where I could keep track of relevant projects I worked on as well as excellent and selective Jewish resources I came across with.

Fast-forward to 2012, at Simchat-Torah services yesterday morning, Rabbi Adam Grossman explained that Judaism, among other western religions, conceives life as continuous on going cycle. Year after year for generations on Simchat-Torah, we finish reading sefer Bamidbar (Deuteronomy) and begin with sefer Bereshit (Genesis) completing a one year reading cycle of Torah portions.
How is it possible that we are still learning something new from a scroll that has been written centuries ago?
Answer: What's written in the books hasn't change one word. Yet, we have changed, therefore we are able to begging reading the same book over and over with a new set of eyes, allowing us to experience learning and grow.
I can really make the analogy of what rabbi Grossman said and the writing of a blog. Every time I browse around through my older posts, I can't help to look at them with a different attitude, understanding and vision.
 Ever since I starting posting at Jewlearn-it, I have gone through several personal and professional changes and experiences. Thankfully, most of them had been positive.

I have recently moved to Memphis, TN, and a new chapter in my life hast just started. New beginnings provide  the perfect opportunity to expand our thinking and horizons. And that is exactly what has happened to Jewlearn-it and me.
This blog has been a good friend to me. It has nurtured me and helped me grow and mature as person as an educator as thinker and yes, why not? as a blog writer.
Jewlearn-it  has also provided  me with shelter on raining and cold lonely days and it has guided me to explore new and brighter paths.
As many people who know me well know, I always have a lot to say about everything. And that I will continue doing on a new blog I am working on.
 Meanwhile, I will not be adding new content to this blog but you will still be able to access what's been posted in here.
Additionaly, I have recently curated three topics through Scoop-it: Jewlearn-it Magazine, The Art of Education and The Progressive Educator while transitioning to the new blog.

Hopefully I will see y'all there too!

Some last reflections: 
Keeping a blog is a hard thing to do. It is as personal as writing a diary. Not every person in the world keeps one. Not everyone has a talent to write one.
It takes too much time an effort to keep one blog updated and in mint condition. I am not sure even how I got to this point. On the one hand, the cons in the other hand, the pros of using a blog as a tool for self grow. I am glad I haven't quite despite all. One has to be a fool in order to continue doing an activity that is not making you famous, money or generating the audience that it is expected of a blog. But, I never thought that my blog will ever do all of this for me.
Perhaps one should only write a blog to make you company, if anything else.
For me, creating, envisioning and keep writing in Jewlearn-it, has been a true labor of love.

Thank you so much for you support and friendship,

Noemi Szoychen

20 September 2012

High Holidays with out walls!

Thankfully for many people, me included, the 21st century had opened up new venues of religious participation.
Last year, it was a great moment for me to experience for the first time a free High Holiday Service streamed live online. Behind this innovating initiative is Temple Israel of Memphis, TN.
Thanks to Temple Israel, I was able to experience full Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services right from the comfort of my own home. Best of all, I was able to share it with my two sisters (one in Mexico City, another in South Caroline and me, in Florida) on a Skype conference call we had previously arranged. Because of distance logistics, spending High Holidays with my sisters, had not been a feasible option for years! That is until now!
It takes one group of creative people to apply a little of "out of the box thinking" to make a small step yet with a huge positive impact in people's lives.
Now, students, travelers, sick people in a hospital, a soldier stationed on the other side of the world, or people who just can't afford High Holiday tickets or a synagogue membership can have a piece of the Sabbath and High Holidays community spirit.
Little did I know, this year I will be spending High Holidays services at the same Temple that I participated with online a year ago.
 It was a Déjà vu moment, when Rabbi Greenstein was explaining how the service was being watched live by people in Spain, China and numerous part of the world! How cool is that!  Yet, Temple was packed! and why wouldn't? Just as a witnessed last year online, High Holiday services at Temple Israel are beautiful perform by three inspiring Rabbis, a Hazzan with a rich tenor voice and a delightful group of musicians.
Although, the overall view and the sound at the Temple's second floor was excellent, (First year here in Memphis. I will make it 30 min. earlier next time), I wish I was able to have a close up of Rabbi Grossman's face as he was delivering his uplifting Rosh Hashanah sermon. He's quite a speaker.
Anyway, I believe a Temple like these is already ahead of the game on the 21st century ways of  offering creative ways of community engagement to its congregants and the rest of the world. I call it, "praying with out walls".

The Check Is in the Mail: Reflections on a Quarter Century of Jewish Day School Tuition

This is an outstanding article written by a friend, rabbi and Jewish education extraordinare who I have a lot of respect for. Please, read and share Rabbi Samlam's honest and wise words of advice on investing a Jewish Day School education for your children.

The Check Is in the Mail: Reflections on a Quarter Century of Jewish Day School Tuition

04 December 2011

HaChavaya: Noemi Szoychen

HaChavaya: Noemi Szoychen: As an amazing first chapter to our Network-Weaver-Wisdom series , I had a wonderful conversation with Noemi Szoychen, a Jewish educator ex...

14 September 2011

Transmedia Jewish storytelling

For the last month I've been busy in learning and expanding my knowledge on Transmedia storytelling and incorporating it into Jewish learning. With this purpose in mind, I took the time to search, select and request from an international Transmedia storytelling mogul to be my mentor and guide me throughout my Transmedia learning and transformation journey of being a Jewish educator (consumer) and become a Jewish educator/ producer of Transmedia experiences (my take on being a prosumer).
I am most happy and honor to say that this extremely kind and brilliant person has agreed to help me. However at this time I will not reveal his name.

Here is some of what I've learned. I am happy to share it with those of you who might be interested in applying this exciting format of storytelling into Jewish education.

  1. First thing to remember is: "The story and your goals for the project are the Key part in the planning stage.
  2. Simultaneously, you must envision what do you want people to feel, think and what are the education learning goals you have for your project. 
  3.  Only then, choose your media (social networks, games, movies, communication tools, etc).
I will be posting a lot about this on my blog. I am also going to collaborate with two other Jewish education professionals who had expressed their interest in exchanging ideas on implementing Transmedia storytelling in the Jewish classroom.
We had planned to have our first Wizq session/meeting today but unfortunately I am a little under the weather right now. We will reschedule it. If you are interested in joining us, feel free to contact me and add you to our group.

It is important to point out that a person or teacher who is not a film maker/producer, electronic artist/ designer, or a digital media specialist, still is able to produce a Transmedia storytelling project. Although to be successful at it, requires full collaboration from a team.

My crazy teaching style- Now has a name!

With out knowing and instinctively, I've been using a "Transmedia interactive learning style" for a long time. Some of the tools I had used on different projects with my students had been: cell phones, instant messaging, visual media, TV anchor, green screen story production and more recently, GPS tracking.

Mission Impossible: a very incipient example of Transmedia storytelling creation in a Jewish education project.

Four years ago, when I was still working on Day school, I created, planned and organized a middle school project called "Hamerraglim- mission impossible" about the 12 spies sent by Moshe to eretz Canaan on sefer Bamidbar.
Students got a text message from me (at their cell phones) with instructions for a scavenger hunt/role play Jewish learning experience. Students had to run around the building following the text messaging and a map provided to them. At that time our cell phones did not have GPS capability (not everyone had an IPhone) so I managed to give them a map I made on Google maps.

This multitask hands on activity had also multiple individual learning goals (based on student's learning intelligences). Some of these goals were:

To Elaborate on the following Midrash Tanhuma (Parshat VaYakhel 1) on a person's name:

את מוצא שלשה שמות נקראו לו לאדם, אחד מה שקוראים לו אביו ואמו, ואחד מה שקוראין לו בני אדם, ואחד מהשקונה הוא לעצמו. טוב מכולן מה שקונה הוא לעצמו. -מדרש תנחומא ויקהל, א. There are 3 names by which a person is known…
The name which his parents give him.The name which others call him the name which he gives himself. 
The report from the spies (the minority report made by Yehoshua and Caleb, and the evil report made the rest of the spies). Through out the activity, students needed to research on their tanach to answer key questions on the story.
The life of a merragel (a spy) learning about spy coding: text message came in a special spy code format and students needed to decode it (we had previously worked on class on this). Plus they learned about famous Israeli and Jewish spies (one of my favorite subjects). Kivunim (directions) and biblical geography (in Hebrew) of eretz Israel.
 This project is very extensive and although students were able to complete all requested activities, the feedback did not reach the level I was expecting. We did not have enough time to complete all was planned and we did not have time to finish it in other class periods.
Today, I will change many parts of this project to use time more effectively.

During the planning process of this project, I imagine how my students should feel and think throughout the throughout each stage of it, and that really allowed me to select the tools we need. In this respect, the activity was a huge hit with the students. I still remember the shocked faces of some parents, school visitors and colleagues (except from Andrea Hernandez, 21st century technology specialist extraordinaire, who was ready to join us in) when they saw us sending messages to each other, running and hiding (as a real spy) throughout the whole building and during school time!
Oy vey!

What's got into my head now
 One of my medium term goals, beside learning more about Transmedia, is to start working on two of classroom projects that my students and I had worked on.
I will Re-direct the learning goals for both projects and I will change their current formats (book and video) and create an extension of them into a Transmedia storytelling format that students in different places could follow. I believe that I will probably need funding support at a certain point on my project. I'll keep everyone posted.
To have a feel of how Transmedia is changing storytelling, check out this links.

07 September 2011

New Jewish Education From the Inside Out.

I've been giving a lot of thought of how to help teachers to get excited about all the new technology tools and resources they will be utilizing this school year. On a recent teachers training, with only 45min to spare, I shared with them great Jewish education websites, beautiful animations, relevant videos, cool tricks etc. I know that at least for me, just learning about these resources will immediately motivate me to exploring them right away.
But, even thought non of the teachers expressed otherwise, I have the feeling that for some of them, specially those who had barely step in the technology world, all of this could come across as bit intimidating. Then I wonder, am I really reaching my goal of get them excited about it?

Part of my job is helping teachers with the logistics and technical aspects of  learning and using new tools and resources. At times, this task could be a little challenging specially when the resources are not ready when you need them or when there is non existing time for proper training. Ultimately, with time anyone can learn how to operate any technology tool.
Mistakenly, some educators think that once they are able to use one or two new technology tools, they had done their share with 21st century learning. Assuming that technology equals 21st century learning is wrong. Rabbi Akevy Greenblatt elaborates more on this idea on his post "Technology Does not Equal 21st Century Learning" which I highly encourage you to read.
Parents and school's boards are pushing teachers into using more innovating ways of teaching;  teachers must now blog, or plan lesson plans around Smart Boards, IPads and IPods. .
What people do not realized is that even thought we are living in a golden technology age, technology is only one way of innovating and engaging students in the class.
Technology has created a bigger gap between pedagogy and methodology of teaching:
Good teaching will be enhance with technology. However, technology will only worsen bad teaching.

Organizations of every kind believe that providing updated systems and new structures will guarantee "a change" in culture. They are wrong. What they are really missing is to foster a change in "behavior" a change from within.
In order for change to take place, people must first experience the need to change. You can not make someone change their ways unless they experience change from themselves and from within themselves. And yet, not everyone is either willing or interested on changing and this is a fact.

I have always been someone who loves, looks for and welcomes change. I had have the opportunity to live, study and work in different countries and change has always highlighted my life's journey. However I have realized that this "journey of change" could be quite lonely (at least, it used to be before the invention of web networks).
Every time I learn about or do something differently, I get so excited that I want to share it with the world; I want the world around me to see it the way I see it; I want to help people to experience it the way I experience it and this, is really not the way to go.
My Jewish education teaching style has always been very organic, out of the box and respectfully away from old  methods. I had tried to create joyful experiences for my students and have my students as partners in the planing process. Over the years I have worked with several peers in the Jewish education world and they have not been very supportive in adopting a similar teaching style because, as they had expressed, it involved a lot of changes and extra work.
So, I get it. Not a lot of people embrace changes as openly as I do.
Then what is it about change and doing things differently that attracts me so much?
Today, I am able to answer this: It is overall excitement and anticipation, it is the intense feeling of being interested on something, it is the tingling in my stomach when I create something, work on a new project, take on a new challenge or embrace something new.

Author Mitch Ditkoff, co-founder and President of Idea Champions writes on his blog "The Heart of Innovation",  that "The origin of innovation is fascination". He also thinks that a person who is fascinating about doing something, "does not need to be motivated". He continues: "All that a person needs is time, some resources, meaningful collaboration, and periodic reality checks from someone who understands what fascination is all about".(Read more on his post "Innovation from the inside out with fascination".

I could not agree more with Mitch's wise words:
Fascination for Jewish education is what keeps me working in this field. 
Fascination on technology is what made me look into it as a new career path for me (even though I held my first computer at 30yrs of age). 
Fascination in working with children and learning from them is what has made me worked in education for this long. 
Fascination on working with my peers is what has made me want to help them, work and provide training for them.
Fascination on art and creativity has made me a "hunter" for finding ways of doing things in a beautiful and esthetic way.

Back to planet earth

We'd like to think that everyone working in Jewish education is fascinating by it. Unfortunately as we well know, this is not the case. Some people had became Jewish teachers by accident; only a few of us had became Jewish educators by choice. Therefore, after reflecting on the idea that innovation comes from fascination, I wonder, how can we instill or spark innovation on people who are not fascinating with what they do? Is there anyway that we could do this? Should we do this?

While I leave you with this post as some food for your thoughts, and hopefully I could be honored with your feedback, I think that we could start by innovating the ways we teach innovation and 21st century learning skills: Let's start from the inside out.
Let's give teachers the opportunities of self-discovering, lets give them the opportunities of finding out what they think and what they love (and I am not talking about teacher's surveys). I am talking about engaging them and providing them with tools to do so.
No time to do that during school time? No problem, start a Facebook group page and have them do this in their own time. Start small but think creatively.

This is actually what I will be posting on our Facebook school's teacher group page today:

From "Innovation from the inside out with fascination" 
(An excerpt from Mitch Diktoff  book "Awake the Wheel")

1. On a piece of paper, create three parallel headlines -- "What Fascinates Me," "People I Admire," and "What I Would Do If I Knew I Couldn't Fail."
2. Jot down at least five responses beneath each headline.
3. Look for intriguing, new connections between your responses. Any insights? Has?
4. Jot down your new ideas.
5. Circle your favorite idea and brainstorm it with a friend. Then pitch anyone who's influence can help you launch your ideas for how to bring more fascinating projects into your work life.

Let's keep the conversation going. Share the practical ways that you foster innovation and self reflection in your teachers.
Have a wonderful and fascinating day.

22 August 2011

Reflexions on becoming a 21st century supplemental Jewish school

"We can no longer stand at the end of something we visualized in detail and plan

backwards from that future. Instead we must stand at the beginning, clear in our mind, with a willingness to be involved in discovery... it asks that we participate rather than plan"

Margaret Wheatley and Kellner -Rogers.

In an recent article by Terry Kaye called: The Great Divide: Technology at Home and in the Supplementary School from Behrman House, she shares the results of a recent survey made by an independent market research firm. This survey centralized on the needs of Jewish Families: "Nearly 90% of Jewish families have high-speed Internet access at home, 99% of their children have access to at least a shared computer, and 77% of families use the Internet as an educational resource “very often.” Yet well under half of the children enrolled in Jewish supplementary schools have access to technology tools there". Those of us working in Jewish education, know that all the findings in this survey are absolutely true. Please read the rest of this interesting article at: EdJewTopia.

How to shorten the bridge between the use of technology at home and at Hebrew and Sunday school? Any answer involves a big change in the school's culture. It also requires an increase funding allocation for new resources and training. But mainly, it requires the desire to change, a will to re-learn and lastly, lots and lots of patience.

I wanted to share with you some highlights on how our Religious and Sunday School had given its first steps towards a new experiential style of learning and teaching.

For some of you, my post may not relevant information since you probably are far away up on your own journey but for those of you who are still struggling in giving your first steps, I hope you find this post of some help.

I've been the Technology and Jewish Education Resources Coordinator at
The Bernard  Alice Selevan Religious School (at The Jacksonville Jewish Center) and for the past three years I have been working hard in introducing teachers and students to 21st century technology and new Jewish education resources. The process has not been easy since we had to face and overcome  multiple challenges.
However, thinking of the easiest way to start transitioning into more technology friendly ways, my school principal, Lois Tompkins and I got together and designed a very simple plan of action:

1) Pre-planning

Teachers will contact me in any preferred format (in person, by phone, by e-mail etc) and shared with me their goals and objectives for their class at least one week in advance. Then we exchanged information on suitable web and computer resources that could enhance their lesson plan. Teaching time assigned for that lesson was the key factor in selecting and matching the right resources.

2) Reality hits hard!

When you work at a Religious or Sunday school, you know how limited teaching time we have. Dedicating specific time for teachers and students to utilize suitable technology as part of their regular time schedule was definitely very challenging.  The fact that we did not have computer savvy teachers and non existing time left for teacher training gave us not choice but to centralize our use of technology resources to the computer lab. But, as we found out, the computer lab had its own limitations, such as out of date equipment and software. I often used my personal laptop (connected to a smart board) to allow showing students different multimedia resources.

 3) Computer Lab scheduling
visits to the computer lab was required in order to take advantage of every precious minute. Lois will schedule each class visits on our yearly calendar. Each class was 45min. long and it will be divided as follows:  10 min. subject introduction/teaching (by the teacher or myself), 10 minutes of multimedia follow up support (videos, Power Point and interactive virtual tours just to mention a few) and then 25 min. of  computer student work (such as Hebrew practice, games, digital art, research time etc). Some times we would dedicate the full class time to watch a special web event or watch movie excerpts. There was very few time dedicated to teaching new technology to students so most of the projects  that required learning  new software or technology had to be done on a very brief way and students continue working at home.

4) Resources
Throughout the years we became acquainted with a great amount and high quality Jewish education resources. This has become one of my favorite part of doing this job. I am always on the look for new and high quality Jewish educational programs, websites and tools. I had selected many of the resources that had worked out for our specific needs. They will soon be posted and available on a website. Some of our favorite resources had been: virtual tours to Jewish and art museums websites, virtual tours to Israel archaeological parks. One of the students favorite had been the virtual Western Wall tunnels.
One of my favorite resources website is Berhman House.  Students were also able to attend virtual life events directly from Israel, such as the Israel's independence day ceremony.

4) Art and Technology

I am a big advocate of technology and art integration in Jewish education. This is why during the last 3 years I had worked with teachers in finding different and easy ways of integrate both in their lesson plans. Again, our limited time and resources, did not allow students and teachers to get independently involved in popular but time consuming activities such as pod-casting, story boarding and movie production.
5) Think big but do small
How? By making micro-projects. These are basically projects done with in 2 to 3 class periods (depending on the student's attendance to school.

This projects do required an excellent coordination and collaboration between the teacher, students and computer lab. The first stage of the project includes:

 a) A subject be taught and completed in the classroom

 b) Student's assignment or research completed and proofread by their teacher.

 c) Students working on a familiar web or multimedia format in order to maximize production time.

Ideally, each grade teacher should be involved on the post-production stages and assume the follow through the final stage of posting and sharing the student's work.
It always works best to find a format that students are already familiar with. We use both software and on line programs for student's work creation. One of the most popular digital media creator software are Pixie and Media blender from Tech4learning.

Vuvox is an easy beautiful on line sideshow program and students love it.

I am featuring one of last year's creations called "The Story of Esther" put together by a team of middle school girl students.
This work was done when learning about Purim. Students needed to create an imaginary interview with some of the Purim story characters.

4) Featuring students work

 I am glad to say that we've opened our school's Facebook page and the positive respond by parents had been overwhelming! Sharing student's works through e-mail and monthly school's newsletters is already part of the past. We are now posting the wonderful creation made by our students right at our Facebook page.

5) Facebook and teachers Oy Vei!

Talking about Facebook and teachers, this has been one of our school's most challenging milestones yet. It has been a slow process, but Lois is really doing a great job in helping everyone to get on board. It is a big step for many teachers just to even have an e-mail account nevertheless to interact on a virtual world. We need to assure teachers that Facebook or any other social platform are just tools. These tools will represent nothing with out the teacher's knowledge and teaching experience.

What lays ahead

The 2011 school year is about to start, and with it, lots of new and exciting things are happening.
It took us almost three years to introduce teachers and students to wonderful new ways of teaching and learning.
We now have a blog, and soon our teachers will be blogging about their classroom happenings! This summer, our school principal starting blogging and using Twitter (and by the way she is great at it).
We are hopeful that one day, teachers could have their own "school laptops" and other technology tools to facilitate our own technology grow as Jewish educators living and teaching in the 21st century. We also wish that we could network with other Religious and Sunday schools to learn from each other and collaborate in mutual projects.
We still have a long way to go but we are definitely moving on the right direction.

26 May 2011

Hebrewman by Ehud Banai with subtitles

The Guest- Ha'Oreach


אם בשער יש אורח, שנחת מעבר ים
מה נציע לאורח, בבואו משם

,טנא ירוק, פרח לבן
יין אדום, פת במלח
זה מה שיש, שב איתנו כאן

שב איתנו, זה הבית
תריס פתוח למדבר
שב איתנו כבן בית
לא כהלך זר

,טנא ירוק, פרח לבן
יין אדום, פת במלח
זה מה שיש, שב איתנו כאן

,והלב הזה הפתי
שאף פעם לא יחכים
. שוב נדלק ושוב הריע אל המרחקים

, טנא ירוק, פרח לבן
יין אדום, פת במלח
זה מה שיש, שב איתנו כאן

, האורחים הולכים הביתה
תריס פתוח שוב נסגר
,השולחן נעור וריק
.וזה מה שנשאר

,טנא ירוק, פרח לבן
יין אדום, פת במלח
זה מה שיש, שב איתנו כאן

The Guest
Words and music by Naomi Shemer

If there is a guest at the gate
That landed from overseas
What will be offered to the guest?
At his arrival from there?
A green basket, a white flower
Red wine, a piece of bread with salt
That is what there is
Sit with us here
Sit with us, that’s the home
An open shutter to the desert
Sit with us as a house’s son
Not as a stranger
A green basket…
And this fool heart
That will never get wiser
Starts again and roams
To the distances.
A green basket…
Guests go home
An open shutter closes again
The table cleared and empty
And that’s what’s left.
A green basket…

The essence of this 1984 radio song is the concept of home. It does not
matter how small or modest it is («that is what there is» and «the [only
one] table remains empty») or that there is nothing special to offer to the
guest. Even if the guest may end up insulting the house by leaving, after
he has been treated as a son of the house (his heart is «foolish» for
«roaming to the distances»), the closing sentence of the last strophe
summarizes the song: «that’s what’s left», a home.
The images in the song’s lyrics are recognizable to every Israeli as an
image of the motherland. It is clear that the point is not the
simple house in the desert, but rather a metaphor for having a home, a
mythical home.
When analyzing «The Guest», it must be taken into account that the
song was written by Naomi Shemer for a communal singing-oriented pop
band, Hakol ‘Over Habibi, a context closely related to Israeli nationalism,
as explained before. With this in mind, it is understood that this home in
the desert is something more than what it might seem. Thus, the house is a
metaphor to which any listener can relate.
The ritualized context of communal singing gatherings gives the
songs’ lyrics a mythical nature. The idea of the humble house in the desert
is an idea to share with all those strangers who will listen to this song,
The house must become a metaphorical one, a myth that will unite
all those who accept it. And what is understood from the lyrics is that the
mythical home exists. It may be modest, but it does exist

09 May 2011

Call Yachol – where the disabled are able to succeed

I am proud to share with you how a 63 years young country is taking the lead on new ways of employing people with disabilities. Call Yachol is an amazing Israeli company that employs only disable people. I hope this could be a model that other companies around the world could imitate.

Call Yachol – where the disabled are able to succeed [video] | social-action

Sh'ma Israel - English - Hebrew

Nothing more appropiated for today, Israel's 63th birthday celebration.

כשהלב בוכה רק אלוהים שומע
הכאב עולה מתוך הנשמה
אדם נופל לפני שהוא שוקע
בתפילה קטנה חותך את הדממה

שמע ישראל אלוהי אתה הכל יכול
נתת לי את חיי נתת לי הכל
בעיניי דמעה הלב בוכה בשקט
וכשהלב שותק הנשמה זועקת

שמע ישראל אלוהי עכשיו אני לבד
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