Wendy Fine's Exhibit

Twinning “Mom” Raises School’s Awareness of Ethiopian Jews

The four PTA display cases around Maimonides School’s Saval Campus and Brener Lower Elementary Building may become landmarks of inspiration and motivation, through exhibits of students' bar and bat mitzvah tzedakah projects. “Ideally, to have a tzedakah project writeups and materials and to share them with the school could be part of the Maimonides educational experience,” said Wendy Fine, who is working with Iris Frisch to coordinate the outreach for PTA. Mrs. Fine established the model with displays of crafts, photographs and historical and cultural descriptions representing the Ethiopian community that also were exhibited at her son Stevie’s bar mitzvah. Stevie Fine included in his bar mitzvah last fall a (NACOEJ) “twinning” with an Ethiopian-Israeli boy, arranged through the North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry, said Mrs. Fine. Last summer Stevie and his mother traveled to Israel and not only visited Stevie’s “twin” but also delivered school and recreational supplies to the child’s school classroom. They also had the opportunity to visit a nearby absorption center for new Ethiopian immigrants.

“We learned a lot about the different challenges facing Ethiopian immigrants as they learn to live independently in Israeli society,” said Mrs. Fine. As part of his dvar Torah for Parashat Bereshit, she said, “Stevie wrote about how participation in this project helped him understand our obligation to all Jews, especially those in need.” From Maimonides School newsletter “KOL RAMBAM”, January 2006 Tevet 5766, Boston, MA