My Torah Tutor is here to assist you with your child’s Judaic Studies needs, specializing in bar / bat mitzvah preparation, Hebrew School at Home, and academic support. My Torah Tutor is able to assist students in public schools, private schools, and yeshiva day schools. My Torah Tutor has supported students with learning differences and students with limited background in Judaism. My Torah Tutor aims to build rapport with students and generate anticipation throughout the preparation process.
My Torah Tutor Teaching Methodologies
My Torah Tutor incorporates multiple approaches to teaching torah chanting (also known as leining). Students make their own hand symbols to represent each of the trop (cantillation) notes, which the student and teacher use while learning new verses until the student has achieved proficiency. Students will observe where the notes are in relation to each word – above, below, or to either side. In the learning process, students will pick colors for each note, and these colors will be used consistently in each verse that the student prepares. Students will also learn how to emphasize the syllable in each word with the trop (cantillation) note. Students receive access to a quizlet featuring flashcards and games with each of the individual notes, including with the teacher singing each note in isolation. Students become familiar with both the individual notes as well as with high-frequency combinations of notes, or “leining phrases”.
When learning new material, My Torah Tutor’s approach is to have the student first read the verse, focusing on pronunciation accuracy, then sing the notes by themselves, and finally incorporate it all together by chanting the verse, emphasizing the syllable in each word with a note. If a student wants extra support, the tutor will chant the new material first, then the student will sing with the teacher, and finally the student will chant the material independently. When students encounter the same words in different verses with different notes, My Torah Tutor will employ a compare / contrast model to help students remember how the same word is sung in each verse. As students become more proficient with the material, the students will begin to practice from a tikkun, where the text is laid out as it will appear in the torah scroll.
For homework, students receive recordings of the teacher chanting the material that was studied that day, and the students in turn make their own recordings of themselves practicing the material and email them to the teacher during the week.
Bar / Bat Mitzvah Preparation
My Torah Tutor has prepared over 50 bar / bat mitzvah students in a variety of settings, from synagogues to ad hoc services in various locations, and from different streams of Judaism. My Torah Tutor works closely with the rabbinical and cantorial staff at the student’s congregation to help make a meaningful experience both for the student and the family. My Torah Tutor has prepared students in both Ashkenaz and Western Sephardic musical traditions (also known as nusach), for torah, haftarah, megillot (scrolls), and prayers. The content is presented in a scaffolded manner to allow students to experience torah chanting success even in the first session. My Torah Tutor also assists in preparing the content of a speech (also known as a devar torah) and practicing the delivery. My Torah Tutor aims to build rapport with the student and help build anticipation throughout the preparation process.
My Torah Tutor has helped prepare students with language-based learning differences (e.g. dyslexia) as well as students who either have never learned to read in Hebrew or need a significant refresher for letter and vowel recognition and formation of sound blends. My Torah Tutor has strived to make the bar / bat mitzvah preparation experience be relevant and meaningful for the student and the family.
Hebrew School at Home
My Torah Tutor provides Hebrew School at Home for students who are either in public or private school who would like to learn more about their Jewish heritage. My Torah Tutor customizes the curriculum based on the student’s age, background, and academic goals. My Torah Tutor aims to make the material be relevant and meaningful to the student.
Academic Support for Judaic Studies
My Torah Tutor provides academic support for Judaic Studies. My Torah Tutor connects with the student’s parents, teachers, and support team to try different strategies for academic progress. My Torah Tutor aims to build rapport with the student so the student will hopefully trust the process. My Torah Tutor aims to help each student experience growth and progress at their own pace.
Each session is an hour to facilitate greater connection with the content. During each session, students will review material that was previously taught, learn new material, and explore topics in greater depth. Bar / bat mitzvah students will both learn the skill of chanting the torah as well as understand the meaning of the text, with the goal of developing their own ideas to share. Students begin each session by listening to recordings they made of previous material, which they check for accuracy, then they chant these verses, learn new material, and, at the close of each session, the teacher chants the old and new material as the student follows along.
Student who are receiving academic support will have educational game breaks to pace the academic learning. For example, a student with language processing issues might play “20 questions” in Hebrew to strengthen receptive and expressive language. Or the teacher might tell a story in Hebrew and the student will then draw a picture describing the narrative and retell it in his / her own words.
Students experiencing Hebrew School at home will have the subject switch every 15-20 minutes, and the topics can vary based on parent input. Some topics can include Hebrew reading / Hebrew language, weekly torah portion (known as parsha), central prayers, learning about Jewish holidays, etc.
The My Torah Tutor Team
Yehudit Robinson has been involved in Jewish education since 1999. After graduating Stern College with a degree in English, she completed the HaShaar new teacher program at the Drisha Institute in 2000. From there, she taught at several New York day schools, including Manhattan Day School (for 11 years). During those years, she completed a masters in Humanities and Social Thought at NYU as well as a certificate in teaching Hebrew as a second language from Hebrew College. She has been a Judaic Studies tutor since 2003.
Scheduling and Contact Information
My Torah Tutor is currently learning with students over Zoom, on Monday – Thursday afternoons. My Torah Tutor offers a complimentary consultation to prospective families. Please use the form below to contact founder and director Yehudit Robinson for scheduling information.