Home > Books, Israel, San Diego, United States of America > Mirik Snir, Israeli children’s author, guest teaches in San Diego

Mirik Snir, Israeli children’s author, guest teaches in San Diego

November 14, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

By Jennie Starr

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)–With an abundance of energy, and instant engagement with her audience, Israeli children’s author Mirik Snir captivated the children and adults of the Tarbuton and Kef Li San Diego on Monday, November 11 in classes in the Carmel Valley neighborhood and afterwards in a Shaat Sipur (Storytime) that was open to the general public. 

Mirik Snir is a prolific author with over 80 books to her name and four more coming out this coming month.  She has worked with more than 40 illustrators to create a rich set of stories that Israelis young and old can recall and recite in many cases from memory.  While the majority of her books are in Hebrew, and a few in Spanish, her first English book has been selected to be included in the PJ Library collection for young children which San Diego families are lucky enough to take part in through a generous grant by the Viterbi Family Foundation. 

When my daughter was 2, on a visit to Israel we picked up our first two books written by Mirik Snir:  Miryam v’Ha Yam and Kufsat Karton; two books with beautiful illustrations and simple but engaging stories.  I read both books to my children’s pre-school and Kindergarten classes at Congregation Beth Am and at the San Diego Jewish Academy, and now enjoy watching my daughter read them to her younger brother with great animation and heart. 

Mirik’s stories bring great fun to the experience of learning Hebrew. They are filled with every day experiences in the lives of young Israelis, they can be told through short plays and with activities.  Kufsat Karton, a story of several young children using a cardboard box to create a home, was the ideal platform for an activity in the classroom in which we quite literally had the children act out the story with their own cardboard boxes. 

“You have to teach Hebrew so children will love Hebrew.  Love all that is related to Hebrew. It’s important.” Snir said to a group of adults in our Tarbuton Ulpan on Monday night. In the group of Ulpan students were parents of children in our Tarbuton classes as well as several Jewish educators.  Snir takes time these days to visit Jewish Schools outside of Israel to help share the value of classic Israeli children’s stories in teaching Hebrew. She shares her stories, and works with students, teachers and Jewish educators world-wide.  The experience is sheer magic.  The kids respond beautifully, fully engaged, and enjoy the active role playing and performance.  If they begin with trepidation, it quickly melts as they work with Snir and begin to enjoy the imaginary world she takes them into.  And they happily, even enthusiastically learn to speak Hebrew. Snir hopes this is a model teachers will adopt bringing fun into the experience of learning Hebrew.

As night fell, Snir gracefully finished out the evening with a group of primarily Israeli parents and children living in San Diego.  As the kids gleefully stepped forward to participate in her reenactment of several stories, and a few parents too, I was struck by the audience’s ability to recite the stories along with Snir by memory.  Her stories were ingrained in their hearts and in their minds and we relived them with our children.  We were for a moment, all of us, in Israel but together and with a very special visitor transporting us home. 

With gratitude to the San Diego Jewish Academy who brought Snir to San Diego to work with their teachers , we know the teachers who attended the AJE’s workshop, the parents who attended an informal gathering in a private home, and the faculty and students of the San Diego Jewish Academy all were blessed with a treat this week. 

If you’d like to see her in action with the children and adults in the Tarbuton visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlqP5lVnnCg   Visit her web site to learn more about her at: http://mirik-snir.com/pages/hebrew/english.php  You can purchase her books online at her web site as well. 

Anyone interested in providing facility space and/or support for the Tarbuton can reach me at jennie@Tarbuton.org  or 858-245-9375.  The Tarbuton is a CA non-profit.  Anyone interested in our programs can find more information, videos and pictures on our web site: http://www.Tarbuton.org

Preceding provided by The Tarbuton.




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