Jewish Values: Meet Our New Student from Israel

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47 p.
The good news is that here is a book without an axe to grind against Israel. Its author makes clear the 3,000-year-long connection between the State of Israel of today and the ancient history of the area. Also, there is recognition that guarding against terrorism is a part of daily life for Israelis. The bad news is that that, like so many other series books, it has a few, albeit relatively minor, errors. Written as a first-person account by a third grader in Colorado, whose class is learning about Israel in preparation for the arrival of a new student from Tiberias, the last chapter shows Ziv’s arrival. His new classmates, having studied up on Israel, greet him with “shalom” and “boker tov.” He feels welcome and tells them a bit about himself. This is a satisfying conclusion to a book with enough information about Israeli life and culture to make it a serviceable source for “country” reports. The additions of a hummus recipe and an Israeli craft project for the welcome party the class gives to new students are nice extras, as is the short bibliography of books and websites.
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