*This article originally appeared in http://russianparentsworld.com/
Like most new parents, by the time my son was born I had already planned his life out up until middle school. Okay, maybe I wasn’t like all first time parents, I was probably a bit more extreme. I wrote down a list of activities I wanted my son to be involved in each year for the first ten years of his life. On Sundays, I allocated 3 hours for Hebrew School, because I was certain that he would go to public school (one of the best in the city, of course). Although my husband graduated from yeshiva, and I attended yeshiva for a short period of time, I didn't feel comfortable raising my son in that kind of environment. We were observant by "secular standards,” but not even close for "orthodox standards".
All this changed after we found Mazel Day School, a Jewish Day School in Brooklyn. I chose Mazel for the very simple reason that it was a warm, nurturing preschool with strong academics. After a bad experience the previous year at a secular daycare, I figured this would be a good change. For two years I planned that he would learn about Jewish traditions and enjoy his preschool years, then off he would go into public school. There was only one minor hiccup in this brilliant plan of mine, by the time he was finishing Pre-K at Mazel Day School I couldn't imagine my son anywhere else, even after he was accepted into an excellent public school.
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