Riverdale Mother-Son Talmud Team Rocks Talmud Israeli Finals – Jewish Link of Bronx, Westchester and Connecticut

Posted By on January 16, 2020

By Judy Berger | January 15, 2020

Riverdales Yardaena Osband and her son Yonah Glazer. (Credit: Yardaena Osband)

Osband and Glazer on stage following the festivities. (Credit: Talmud Olami)

Osband-Glazer team competing on Jerusalem Theater stage. (Credit: Talmud Olami)

On Sunday, December 15, Riverdale residents Yardaena Osband and her eighth-grade son, Yonah Glazer, participated in Jerusalem in Talmud Israelis Chidon Olami.

Osband first learned about the contest in the Riverdale Minyans weekly bulletin. I personally love to learn Talmud, explained Osband. I thought it would be a fun thing to do with my middle child. If we won, we would get an opportunity to go to Israel. I told him about it and we decided to do it together.

Yonah added, I thought it was very powerful learning with my mom. We had a great experience together, learning every night and then having a mother-son trip to Israel.

To reach the finals, hundreds of entrants worldwide completed a 20-question multiple-choice exam, followed by another 60-question exam. The next round was a Skype interview with Talmud Israeli. Fifteen finalists were selected to compete in Israel. Only three were foreign and coincidentally all from the New York metro region.

It was a lot of fun! exclaimed Osband. We got to learn together 30-40 minutes each night. A trip to Israel and getting to spend four days with one child is not something I normally get on my list. What is really fabulous about the Talmud Israeli program is it was developed as a program for parents to learn with their children. It is a short blurb on each Daf, sort of following the Daf Yomi cycle, and gives a short nugget which could either be something about Jewish law, a tana or emorah, or a moral/ethical lesson. What is great about this is it encourages parent-child learning. For people who dont have a lot of background in Talmud, it makes Talmud very accessible to them. It shows that Talmud is our book and it is meant to be learned by everybody and can be learned by everybody.

After this experience, Osband and an Israeli friend started a daily 10-minute podcast called Talking Talmud about something on the Daf. It is not a review of the Daf, but the idea is to spark conversation on the Daf. We have received nice feedback, she said.

One person wrote, I dont think I could do the Daf; that is not for me. But I can listen to something for 15 minutes each day, which talks about something on it, and that should be peoples goals.

Osband added, The concept Rabbi Meir Shapiro started in 1923 when he created Daf Yomi was to formalize learning, particularly for people who are busy. I dont think Daf Yomi is for everyone. Rather, it is making the commitment to say learning Torah is important to me, to our family, and carving out time each day. In todays world, we have podcasts, sefarim and all these tools. Osband also revealed that she just started the new cycle of Daf Yomi.

Osband and Yonah felt great support from the Riverdale and SAR communities. First of all, David (Osbands husband) hosted a viewing party where a lot of people came to our house to watch the competition, Osband noted. Many people from my shul told me they watched the whole thing! I felt we had my shul community and my school community really rooting for me and Yonah.

Yonah echoed his mothers sentiment: I felt very excited and privileged. I couldnt believe that I was actually there participating in this event. I felt grateful to SAR for having started Gemara in sixth grade.

Osband continued, The other thing that was special was the opportunity to represent a mother learning with her son. I credit the education I received growing up in Boston. I went to Maimonides, which always gave equal education to both boy and girl students.

Osband added, The moment I was proudest of Yonah was during an interview by an Israeli reporter who said how unusual it was learning Gemara with his mother, something people learn with their fathers. Yonah responded his Gemara teacher is a woman! I credit SAR for creating a culture where not just learning Gemara is an acceptable norm by girls and women, but teaching it is, also.

I would do it with another kid. It was a great experience! stated Osband. I am now doing the Talmud Israeli Daf Yomi together with my 10-year-old son. My 16-year-old went to the Siyum HaShas and he decided to learn Mishna Yomi every day. I think it is great for high school students to learn two mishnas a day.

Yonah added, I already joined an ongoing competition that Talmud Israeli is having between the schools.

Osband summarized, I am excited to see how this experience has permeated the entire household.

By Judy Berger

Continued here:

Riverdale Mother-Son Talmud Team Rocks Talmud Israeli Finals - Jewish Link of Bronx, Westchester and Connecticut

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