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To Yaffa Ben-David: There has to be a better way

Striking the last week of school undermines your cause: it hurts the children, who just need routine, and your own dedicated teachers, who can't close the year
Illustrative: An empty classroom at Cramim school in Beit Hakerem, Jerusalem, on October 21, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Illustrative: An empty classroom at Cramim school in Beit Hakerem, Jerusalem, on October 21, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Dear Yaffa,

I want to wish you mazal tov on your son’s wedding last week! In fact, the whole country wishes you mazal tov. You’re a public figure, as head of Israel’s Teachers Union, so for better or for worse, we see you.

But it’s become clear you don’t see us.

You don’t see the parents torn between working and parenting. You don’t see the single mom cancel her hours for the day because her toddler needs constant attention. You know, not everyone has grandparents who can pinch hit on short notice.

You don’t see the teachers who are losing the opportunity to give their students closure after a long and difficult school year. You don’t see their pain as they read angry messages from parents with whom they used to enjoy respectful and pleasant relationships but who now lash out in anger and defeat.

Most tragic of all, dear Yaffa, is that you don’t see the children. Sweet souls who have had inconsistent, even chaotic, school experiences over the last three years of the coronavirus pandemic. Children who have been made to feel insignificant and invisible. As these children finally begin to adjust to normality, they find themselves again set aside as a korban (sacrifice) for something they have no control over.

I am an educator. I know first-hand the challenges teachers face and the low wages that accompany the hard work and long days. I see that the system has to change.

We are all looking at you, Yaffa, to facilitate this change. But please, look at us, all of us, too. There has to be a better way.

Best wishes,
Sarah

About the Author
Sarah Golubtchik is Jewish educator who works with students of all ages. She holds a Master's degree in Education and is a graduate of the Morot L'Halakha program at Matan HaSharon. Sarah is passionate about all aspects of education, in Israel and abroad. She lives with her family in Ra'anana.
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