In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 29, 2005 / 24 Av, 5765

No classes until after Labor Day

By Mitch Albom

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Look, I was a kid once, and I still think like a kid, so the kid in me — and the adult in me — needs to say this right now:

School starts in September.

Not August. Not July.

Certainly not July 22, which is when certain school districts in Georgia began "fall" classes this year. July 22? You're still getting your lemonade stand set up by July 22! You're not in SCHOOL on July 22!

This is insane. I've been following this trend of pushing up the school year earlier and earlier, and it's time for the kid in all of us to say, and you can quote me here, "Yuck."

Bad enough if it were for some really good "adult" reason, like the inability to heat the building in the winter. But I hardly think that's the problem in Georgia — or Florida, where many schools began Aug. 8. If anything, the air-conditioning bills now must swallow the budget.

The reason most districts choose this summer-robbing start-up time is sad and simple: They want more time to make sure their students pass the standardized tests that, thanks to the No Child Left Behind program, now determine their funding.

In other words, summer got sold.

As I said, yuck.

Can I point out that kids need their summers? Can I point out that it's OK if a kid just lies in the grass and looks at the sky or makes licking an ice cream cone the highlight of his or her daily activities?

Can I point out that if you're a working parent and you argue that it's "easier" for you if your kid is in school, that maybe your priorities are a little more about you than they ought to be?

Can I point out that if standardized tests are the issue, why not move them back?

Can I point out that you only get to be a kid once? It is fast. It is precious. And it is gone.

Already our kids come home from school so loaded with books that you can't see their faces. Already they are buried in hours of homework, yet somehow are falling behind most of the world in basic math and science.

There is something broken in our educational system. But just as you wouldn't ask your 9-year-old to fix your flat tire, why burden kids to fix our administrative shortcomings? Why take away the rejuvenation that a summer off provides?

Pretty soon, the teacher will give out final report cards in May, pat everyone on the head and say, "See you Monday."

Summer, for kids, is a tradition. And not to put too fine a point on it, but I will. This is summer: half of June, all of July, all of August.

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You don't even THINK about back-to-school shopping until the Labor Day picnic.

Summer is camp. Summer is family vacations. Summer is a time to slow down and be lazy. I don't know what kind of teaching Georgia and Florida get accomplished in 95-degree heat and 100-percent humidity, but I'll bet they need towels for recess. If a kid gets an "A" on a spelling test, does the teacher drop an ice cube down his back?

Stop the insanity. Don't tell me kids are bored and they want to be back. That's parents talking. How is it that many of us, as kids, got through school, ranked higher in the world, and never set foot in a building before September?

It's pretty simple. We don't pay our teachers enough, we don't fund our schools enough, and we don't care about the real problems of education enough to fix them.

That's our bad performance. Why punish the kids? They're just standing by the pool, about to jump in for the first time, and wondering why the school bell is ringing.

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