Two educators from New York City have initiated a program to assist children in Israel by offering them online tutoring via Zoom, especially when they are unable to attend school. Tamar Lindenfeld, an educator and private tutor, conceived the idea when she noticed that her relatives in Israel were unable to go to school. “I understood that this is precisely my area of expertise. I can definitely offer my assistance,” she stated. She promptly sent out emails to acquaintances and professional contacts who she believed would be interested in participating. The feedback was astonishingly positive. “I can’t explain how my initial 30 emails led to receiving over 700 replies. It’s been an incredible experience,” she noted.
Her associate, Jamie Meltsner, also a tutor and ex-educator, eagerly joined her to manage the initiative. They organized a color-coded table to match tutors with students in need. “Currently, Tamar and I are coordinating schedules for more than 55 students, arranging three to four separate sessions with a total of 150 tutors. It’s a significant amount of work, but we find it extremely rewarding,” Meltsner commented.
So far, in excess of 500 tutors have registered, including Ashley Grossman, who recently conducted a session with a young male student. When she inquired about his day, the young boy, located thousands of miles away in Israel, responded that it wasn’t going well. He attributed this to the ongoing rocket attacks. “It’s easy to feel somewhat powerless. What actions can I take? How can I be of assistance?” Grossman expressed. “Therefore, I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend my time than engaging with these children and their families.”
Many volunteers are accommodating unusual hours to bridge the time zone gap. “The willingness of individuals to rise as early as five in the morning for a session, or to conduct sessions from 5:30 to 6:30, is truly remarkable to me. Especially considering that most educators are usually exhausted by nine in the evening,” Lindenfeld observed.