By The Jewish Home
Even though Perutz Etz Jacob Hebrew Academy was forced to close its doors a year ago due to lack of funding, its administration refused to give up on their commitment to ensure a Jewish education for each Jewish child. Recently, Perutz Etz Jacob, with the generous help of the Ganzweig family, who offered their building on Beverly Boulevard, reopened its doors in its new role as an educational center, providing educational support for Jewish families and adhering to its motto of “no Jewish child left behind.”Open to all members of the Jewish community, the educational center supports parents in developing a customized curriculum for their child, both in Judaic and secular studies. The center caters both to homeschoolers and to those who prefer traditional schools. The center offers group davening with a minyan, as well as small group and individual tutoring. The center is committed to supporting every Jewish child in achieving their full potential, independent of their abilities and financial circumstances.Rabbi Shlomo Harrosh, former principal of Perutz Etz Jacob and head of the center, explains that any Jewish child can learn Torah and should be provided with an opportunity to do so.Rabbi Avi Harrosh, assistant to Rabbi Shlomo Harrosh, adds that while most children are able to succeed in a traditional classroom environment, many school age children perform much better when provided individual attention. “We help good, intelligent kids who are unable to intake information in a traditional classroom setting, for whatever reason.” The reasons are varied, ranging from a medical diagnosis, such as ADHD, visual issues, or various disabilities, to difficult family situations that affect the child’s ability to learn.At the center, each of these issues are addressed by customizing each student’s curriculum and providing them with individual or small group instruction. For example, children with visual processing issues use audiobooks. Computer programs with gamification help children absorb information, as well as providing both students and their parents with feedback. “Kids can see progress,” says Rabbi Avi. “They are rewarded. They feel the sense of success.”Rabbi Avi explains that the administration consults with experts in education, who help design a curriculum to circumvent the issues in traditional classrooms. Rabbi Harrosh adds that each child is evaluated before they begin
learning at the center, and an individualized program is created for each child.“All children have the ability to learn given the right setting,” says Rabbi Harrosh. As an example, he describes a boy who had trouble learning Gemara. With individual attention, he gained confidence in learning Gemara.Both students and their parents have tremendous appreciation for the center’s work. Ross Begun, parent of a third grader, finds the center welcoming and caring, providing a “high level of expertise and attention needed to be able to support my son’s growth and learning.” He explains, “Being here has allowed my son to flourish. His classroom is small enough to keep him comfortable and focused enough to be able to absorb the material. The teacher is able to spend one on one time with him to make sure he stays on track. He is loved by the rest of the students. A kid who had to attend a non-Jewish specialty school in kindergarten, because of his challenges, can now read in Hebrew and English, learn halachah reading by himself, and daven baal peh. This is what the center is doing for my son and my family.”The center also helps parents who need specific services for their children, directing families to the services available in our community. “We offer a wide spectrum of services,” says Rabbi Harrosh.Most of the center’s activities take place in their new location on Beverly Boulevard. For students who are unable to come to the center due to medical conditions or disability, teachers are sent to students’ homes for individual tutoring.For more information, the center can be contacted at 323-655-5766.