My precious Moishy. Even as a little baby, his eyes danced with life. He was always ready to play and laugh. We watched in awed wonder as his baby talk progressed to words and then sentences, as he sat, stood, and took his first proud steps. In playgroup, his morahs were full of praise. “Moishy shares so nicely with the other children. May you have much nachas from him!” At his upsherin, so proud of his new yarmulke and payos. Then the big day – a real cheder yingel, going to yeshiva like his big brothers. Learning the alef – bais, then the nekudos. Mommy and Tatty, Bubby and Zeidy, are elated.
Primary, kitah alef, kitah bais. Somewhere along the way, Moishy’s excitement wanes a bit. The light in his eyes dims somewhat. His is very bright, say his rebbeim; brighter than most. He is well – liked and gets along with all the boys. Somehow, though, his reading is not up to par. Although he is keeping up with the subject matter, he is ashamed to be called upon to read a posuk, and never wants to be the chazzan. But don’t worry; he’ll catch up.
Kitah gimel, kitah daled, kitah hey. The upper grades, mesivta. Moishy goes through the classes, goes through the motions. His exuberance, his ebullience, his pure simchas hachaim, seem to have gotten lost somewhere along the way. I pray that nothing else gets lost. I look at his baby pictures, and my heart breaks. Where is my Moishy???
The above narrative is all too common. We all know of children who have fallen through the cracks. But it need not be that way! Many smart boys, and even very smart boys, have difficulty with kriah, kesiva, or both due to atypical “wiring” in their brain. Some children have vision problems, some have hearing issues, all entirely rectifiable. Some children need glasses, some need tubes inserted in their ears. And children with learning challenges, with the proper help, can progress just as well as anyone else.
There has been so much progress and so many advances made in the field of special education. Specialists have learned to target the difficulties in the brain, and, with research – based methods, to correct the imbalance. Mrs. Rivky Katz, a special educator of many years’ standing, was convinced that the methods used to teach learning – disabled children to read and write English can be adapted to kriah and kesiva as well. After many years of working with current and advanced research in remediation available in the secular world, she developed the Multi-Sensory Kriah and Kesiva course, a technique uniquely created to guide children from aleph – bais all the way through reading Rashi fluently.
Now in its 17th year, the course’s success has been astounding. Given to participants across the globe, the women’s course, given by Mrs. Katz herself, is extremely popular. This popularity has quickly spread to the men’s course, given by Rabbi Tzvi Fischer, a talented educator in his own right. It is pretty safe to say that the men’s course is even more crucial than the women’s course, due to the centrality of kriah in Torah learning.
We owe it to our children. Every parent, rebbe, and menahel can ensure that no child is left behind. Every student can become fluent in kriah, the foundation of their future learning, davening, and growing in avodas Hashem. All we need is the proper tools. Can we forgive ourselves if we did not take advantage of them?
There are still several slots available in the upcoming men’s course, scheduled to be given from July 31st through August 8th. Do not let this opportunity slip away. To enroll, please call (845) 422 – 3922, or email [email protected]. You’ll be glad you did!