We’re proud of our students, both bar/bat mitzvah students and adult learners!
M.'s mother just told me that M. chanted the Torah and haftarah I taught him for his rabbi, in advance of his bar mitzvah. It was the first time mom heard her son do this, and she was moved to tears when she heard how well he did it. I was moved to hear this, too. ... See MoreSee Less
After I successfully taught her older sister, F.'s parents asked me to prepare F. for her bat mitzvah too. The celebration took place last Shabat afternoon, and Dad was very pleased:
"F. performed admirably at her bat mitzvah and I just wanted to thank you for everything you've done for our family -- would not have been possible without your patient guiding hand." ... See MoreSee Less
At the beginning of a lesson, an adult student sadly told me of her daughter who is estranged from Judaism. Later in the lesson, I taught her Birkat Hamazon, the Grace after Meals. That same evening, my student wrote to me:
"My husband, daughter, and I sang the first part of the birkat mazon after dinner last night (I told them about our class session and filled my daughter in on my learning). She knew the prayer from day school but hadn’t chanted it for years. She requested candles and four benchers to take home to share with her growing circle of Jewish friends and plans to host Shabbat every Friday!!
I am so loving this renewed circle of learning, l’dor v’dor, and am grateful to you for helping make it happen." ... See MoreSee Less
Never having had any Jewish education or bar mitzvah, A watched his children celebrate theirs nine years ago. A has now decided he would like to learn more about Judaism, and celebrate his own bar mitzvah. He is booked for an adult bar mitzvah at the Western Wall in the fall. My job is to prepare him. I love life long learners! ... See MoreSee Less
Lucky to have you as his teacher. Isn't this amazing...how tech has allowed you to teach internationally on line. Unforeseeable just a few years ago!
A proud mother just wrote to me:
"I also wanted to thank you again for your guidance with Matthew. He came such a long way in such a short time- all because of you. It was such a proud moment to watch him recite Torah and then get lifted in the chair during the Hora."
What joy! Mazal tov! ... See MoreSee Less
I taught him. Rabbi Miller did the bar mitzvah.Mazel Tov to Cruz and his family! Cruz did a wonderful job at his bar mitzvah in Scottsdale, Arizona this past Shabbat.
#barmitzvah #mitzvah #barmitzvahs #celebrate #mazeltov #mitzvahrabbi #jewish ... See MoreSee Less
One of my students celebrated his bar mitzvah last Saturday. His dad wrote to me:
"The Bar Mitzvah went great, C. did fantastic, and the Celebration was filled with a lot of love. Thank you so much for teaching C. Hebrew and all of your tutoring of the past year and a half."
Watch for upcoming pictures! ... See MoreSee Less
You prepared him VERY well and it truly was an awesome bar mitzvah! I love working with you Bettina... one of these days we'll have to meet in person!
The mother of a student of 2 1/2 months wrote to me: Madison said she has learned more working with you than she did the whole time she was in Sunday School (3 years I guess). ... See MoreSee Less
Yes! If you are a physical learner just reading the lesson goes through one ear and out the other. Her classes are priceless. I could not do it alone.
100%! I get this all the time. The Hebrew School model is broken. You can't beat 1:1 tutoring. When people argue that 1:1 Hebrew and B/B Mitzvah tutoring doesn't offer the social benefits, I say that's where youth groups and summer camps play a vital role.
Kol HaKavod! Well deserved
When A was prevented last minute from traveling from Scotland to Montreal to celebrate his bar mitzvah, he and his family got creative: They found a local Torah, and joined the Montreal service via zoom! Well done!
Mazal tov! ... See MoreSee Less
One of my students lives in the Northwest Territories in Canada. His family has a unique way of publicising the Chanukah miracle in their front yard. They call it their Ice Chanukiah! ... See MoreSee Less
Happy eighth night of Hanukkah! ... See MoreSee Less
Oh my goodness that is so beautiful You can just see the illumination of the holy Spirit I need to get me a menara!
World's largest mezuzah? Makes sense at Ben Gurion Airport, as you enter the Jewish home-land. ... See MoreSee Less
Home sweet home
So glad to see pics from my student D.'s bar mitzvah! Dad wrote to me afterwards:
"The Bar Mitzvah went great and D. did really well.
Thank you again for your hard work in preparing D."
Mazal tov! ... See MoreSee Less
Mazal tov to Jesse on his bar mitzvah!
His mom wrote to me:
"He did so great I was so surprised that he read with such ease. Thanks to you!" ... See MoreSee Less
After studying with me for about a year and a half, C was ready to celebrate her bat mitzvah. She read parshat Noach in St Andrew's, Scotland, with family and a pandemic-appropriate number of friends present. I can see how happy she looks! Mazal tov!
I will be starting to tutor her younger sister shortly. ... See MoreSee Less
After a year of studying with me, Brandon was eminently well prepared for his bar mitzvah.This is how happy he looked when he celebrated yesterday. His father wrote to me:
"It was a wonderful day. Thank you again for everything."
Mazal tov, Brandon! I knew you would shine! ... See MoreSee Less
Brandon was awesome!
Bra jobbat, Bettina
B is this great kid I have been working with for a year. He will celebrate his bar mitzvah this week. B is eminently well prepared. His father just wrote to me:
"I wanted to take the time to thank you for all of your hard work in preparing Brandon for his Bar-Mitzvah. He has enjoyed the time he has spent with you."
I wrote back, saying I'd be interested in seeing whatever pics or movies he wants to share from the happy event. I'm excited to hear/see how it went.
Stay tuned for updates from B's bar mitzvah service!
Mazal tov to B! ... See MoreSee Less
I helped L get ready to read Torah at his son's bar mitzvah. L wrote to me after the event:
"I feel very good about my Aliyah. Thank you so much for all your help. I couldn't have done it without you. Looking forward to working with you again for my next son."
I'm glad it went so well, and looking forward to the next bar mitzvah! Mazal Tov! ... See MoreSee Less
H. converted to Judaism a few years ago, and learned the Hebrew alfabet. With me, he studied really hard to learn seven aliyot (!) to chant at his adult bar mitzvah on zoom. He also led some of the prayers. So proud of my student who worked so hard! Mazal tov! ... See MoreSee Less
You are the best tutor!! And mazal tov to H!
Mazel Tov, a wonderful accomplishment to be proud of!!
Chag Purim sameach!
Read megillah on Zoom, in front of 70 screens. ... See MoreSee Less
You do it so well, with all the emphasis,intonation and passion, as I remember. Unusual but certainly breaths life into the ceremony. Regards.
And here is my student Jacob.
Bar mitzvah in Covid times.
He read Torah beautifully. So proud of him!
Jacob continues to learn about modern Israel, as well as conversational Hebrew with me.
His little sister is preparing for her bat mitzvah with me, too. ... See MoreSee Less
"You are a real miracle worker," said the father of an upcoming bar mitzvah boy to me. Wow! ... See MoreSee Less
I am tutoring K. in Hebrew, as a complement to her studies with Rosen School of Hebrew. K. sent me a message today:
"I am so glad I have you as a tutor.
I had my 2nd Rosen class this week, and if it weren't for practice with you, I know I would have been lost.
Your tutoring is worth every penny."
Thank you, K! ... See MoreSee Less
Sophie's mother contacted me ten days before the bat mitzvah, in a panic, telling me the cantor was threatening to cut her haftarah, because Sophie didn't know it well enough. We set to work in emergency mode, practising everyday. Sophie's mother wrote to me after the celebration:
"I just wanted to let you know Sophie did an amazing job. She was flawless and confident. We couldn't have done it without your help! Many, many thanks!"
I'm so glad for Sophie! Well done! Mazal tov! ... See MoreSee Less
The father of a bar mitzvah student of mine just sent me these beautiful pictures: "Due to covid, we didn't have any guests come in from out of town. He did great putting on his tallit, tefillin, and making the brachot before and after the Torah reading." Mazal tov! I'm so proud of him! ... See MoreSee Less
מזל טוב שאני שמחה לראות שאנשים מוצאים פתרונות. כל הכבוד
Positive comments from mothers of bat mitzvah students make me happy:
"F. is not easy to motivate but she never complains about having to do lessons with you, so i know she is enjoying them. Thank you for what you do." ... See MoreSee Less
"She is enjoying your lessons!" says the mother of the non-Jewish 11 year old girl who is studying Hebrew with me.
Good thing to do in quarantine! ... See MoreSee Less
C. is working towards converting to Judaism. She has been taking Hebrew reading lessons with me.
"Bettina is very knowledgeable and patient with her students! She uses a great text that makes it easy to approach the language (that also has some online supplement materials through the publisher that are helpful for own your own practice.) I would definitely recommend Bettina!" ... See MoreSee Less
"Thanks for being such a good teacher," wrote a student who has been with me for 3 years. ... See MoreSee Less
From the mother of siblings I tutored in Sweden: "We are so grateful for all the fantastic lessons, and the children have had such a positive experience with you!" ... See MoreSee Less
Shabbat shalom! ... See MoreSee Less
I just received a nice comment from the father of a bar mitzvah boy: "We are very thankful for your work in preparing S. to be able to take this next step. He loved working with you and he would not be able to go forward with this without you and your lessons. We appreciate everything you did for us and for
him." ... See MoreSee Less
What with social distancing measures everywhere, I feel very lucky to be able to continue my work exactly as usual. If you're stuck at home, why not sign up for some lessons? ... See MoreSee Less
After celebrating her bat mitzvah, a student sent me this wonderful letter: "שלום Bettina!...Somehow, you managed to make me be completely able to read and... understand Hebrew...For me it is a huge accomplishment to read Hebrew, and now I sometimes do Duolingo to stay good at it. I can't put into words how much you helped me with that because I've been wanting to learn how to read Hebrew for a while now. I also enjoyed learning about the stories on the Torah, which I found very interesting and intriguing. You are an amazing bat mitzvah teacher.... Thank you so much for being a great teacher. " Aren't these kinds of letters what keep us going? ... See MoreSee Less
The very best tutor!!!
This is the first time I'm teaching the younger sister of a student I prepared for her bat mitzvah. It's interesting to learn how siblings are similar but not the same. I'm glad to have repeat customers like this family! ... See MoreSee Less
Happy third night of Chanukah from Edmonton, Alberta! ... See MoreSee Less
I'm so proud of my newest bat mitzvah student from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. The family traveled to Calgary, Alberta to celebrate, since Yellowknife doesn't have a Jewish community. Her mom sent me these pictures: "Yes we are still basking in the glow of nachas from the Bat Mitzvah! I’m so proud!! Thank you again for the amazing work you did with T." Mazal tov, T! ... See MoreSee Less
Amazing!! Julia is doing hers in Israel!
A happy father of a bar mitzvah boy: "Thank you very much for working with Paul, he did really well and the Rabbi was happy with your prep work." ... See MoreSee Less
P clearly had a blast at his bar mitzvah recently. I was so glad to hear his father tell me I had prepared P really well. It looks like it was a really beautiful outdoor service. Mazal tov, P! ... See MoreSee Less
After studying with me for 15 months, R celebrated her bat mitzvah last Saturday. Her mom reported to me:
"She was amazing. The whole thing was perfect. I will send you pics and video as soon as I get them. Thank you so much for all your hard work. She couldn’t have been better prepared." ... See MoreSee Less
“I have found Bettina to be a patient, gentle and encouraging teacher full of relevant and effective techniques customized for me as a learner. I would highly recommend her to anyone who studies Modern Hebrew at the graduate level.” - rabbinical student ... See MoreSee Less
Right now, I am excited, because this week, parshat Lech lecha, I have not one, but TWO students who will become bat mitzvah! It's such a great parsha, and I can't wait to hear about my students reading it. (Not surprisingly, after spending months teaching this parsha, I felt very comfortable volunteering to read Torah at my own synagogue this week!) ... See MoreSee Less
V. and M. are a 16 year old sister, and 11 year old brother. They live in the medieval university town of Uppsala, Sweden. It has no organized Jewish community. Together, they are studying with me to become b'nai mitzvah. Even though their English is good, they are happy to have found a tutor who can speak to them in their native Swedish. They are learning the Hebrew alef bet, and Torah stories in English. Soon, we will start to study their Torah portion. I couldn't be more thrilled to teach this pair of enthusiastic, lovable kids! ... See MoreSee Less
Great! This couldn't have been possible without the internet.
Mazal tov to P! After studying with me for several months, P. was ready for his bar mitzvah. His dad wrote to me : "Everything went great. P. was very well prepared and everyone had a great time. I will send you some pictures later." Watch for pictures. ... See MoreSee Less
R. was born in the US, to Iraqi born Israeli parents who sometimes spoke Hebrew at home. Now in his 40s, he is great at initiating a Hebrew conversation, (with a great accent,) but gets stuck when people answer him, because he doesn't understand them. He is now taking Hebrew conversation lessons with me. We started at the beginning of the textbook, but are progressing very fast, since he is not a total beginner. I predict great success for R! ... See MoreSee Less
S. is a doctor in his fifties, who used to read Torah as a teenager. Now, he wants a refresher course in Torah trope. Together, we go over the different notes, and apply them to the text. He is learning fast. Fun! ... See MoreSee Less
Last week, I attended the adult bat mitzvah ceremony of Sylvia Silberg, in the liberal synagogue of The Hague, Netherlands. I had tutored her for ten months, and she did a fantastic job, reading Torah and Haftarah! We can both be seen in this picture, up on Bimah during the Torah reading. Here is what she writes:
When I turned 12 in 1974 there was absolutely no possibility for me to do a Bat Mitzwa. At that time my family was a member of the only synagogue in Munich , Germany and that was an orthodox one. Women and girls sat upstairs behind bars and followed the services from up there. Although I was told girls have other responsibilities that are also important, it never quite felt a fair deal. Boys and men were not only allowed to read Torah but could also give their view and interpretation of the Torah portion. Their contributions were celebrated and boys were seen as
“real “ members of the community.
It is that last aspect in particular that motivated me , now 45 years later to do my Bat Mitzwa.I felt women may have a different view on the scriptures and it was therefore important to combine both male and female interpretations to have a more complete body of meaning. In my current conservative synagogue in The Hague , the Netherlands, the services are completely egalitarian and we also have a female Rabbi. So everything is possible for women to do.
Bettina was an excellent teacher, patient and supportive in those moments when I thought I would never pull through. She also accommodated to my work schedule and provided me with excellent recordings of her own beautiful voice. All sessions were done on Skype and that was no problem at all.
Being 57 years old and a psychologist as well as a student of literature allowed me to integrate the Torah into a wealth of knowledge I had no access to as a 12 year old. As we find new interpretations of the Haggadah every Seder Pessach so the Torah portions will light up our intellect as we go through life, every period or year highlighting other aspects of our then present life situations.
I would recommend fellow women who like me were not able to go through this rite of passage in puberty to still take the step up the Bimah now. It is not only a personal enrichment but also allows the community to really receive what women have to offer as well.
Bettina is a great example and a mentor of having studied to become a cantor herself as well as supporting you in all aspects in your delving into your Jewish heritage and your journey towards personal and communal meaning. I can strongly recommend this so enriching process. ... See MoreSee Less
בהצלחה ומזל טוב לשניכם.
"Eli and Zoe were just beaming. When they read from the Torah there wasn't a closed mouth or a dry eye in the room. We couldn't have done it without you," reports a happy grandmother from Florida.
Another set of twins successfully brought into the community of Jewish adults. ... See MoreSee Less
Over 200 likes on my Facebook page. Woohoo! Thank you all! ... See MoreSee Less
Great choice of text to display!
"You encourage, support, give wonderful expertise and show interest and compassion. Through you, my E. and Z. have been introduced to the 'ways' of Judaism and I will be forever grateful." The words of a happy grandmother. ... See MoreSee Less
The mother of a teenager I tutor wrote to me: "I love your website. If I know anyone looking for a tutor, I will pass your information along to them. So you know, A. LOVES working with you. She talks about you and looks forward to her lessons every week." So nice to hear! ... See MoreSee Less
Visiting the israel pavilion at the Edmonton Heritage Festival. ... See MoreSee Less
...and part two of this twin bar/bat mitzvah in Israel! Mazal tov! ... See MoreSee Less
I recently taught N. and L., twin brother and sister, for their bar and bat mitzvah, which they did on the top of Masada in Israel. Their father wrote, "L. and N. did a fantastic job on their Torah portions... Thank you so much for helping prepare them! " ... See MoreSee Less
Wow! Right on top of Masada!
As summer break starts, many people go on vacation. But if you take online lessons, Jewish learning doesn't have to stop. I will connect with you, wherever you are! Happy summer! ... See MoreSee Less