Metro area teachers start grassroots online classes for kids in Israeli

Nike Silberstein has been watching footage of the war between Israel and Hamas in horror.

"If I was a parent... I don't know how I would deal with it. I think being a parent is maybe one of the hardest things to do, and especially right now in situations like that," Silberstein said.

She knew she had to do something.

For many kids in Israel, going to school is just not feasible right now, in large part due to the number of teachers who are also reservists in the IDF.

So Silberstein— an educator who spent the past decade teaching in Israel who’s now back in New Rochelle with her mother—decided to create an online school.

"When this call went out, teachers from all over the world reached out from South Africa, from Singapore, from Australia, from Belgium, from Germany, from the UK, from different states in the U.S," Silberstein said.


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Volunteer teachers focus on everything from the academic to extracurricular, including music and even karate. She’s vetted more than 40 teachers who are so far on the roster to teach Zoom classes. But hundreds more have reached out offering help.

The desire to help also hit Matthew Friedman, his wife, and two of their friends, who have collectively started their own grassroots tutoring sessions on zoom.

"We don't know how long [schools] are going to be closed," Friedman said. "We don't want kids to ever stop learning."

They've connected with ten families in Israel who have already started tutoring.

"And I'm one of the tutors, and I've been working with a third grade girl in Israel, and it's going great," Friedman added.


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How to help:

If you’d like to help Silberstein’s online school, which she is calling Sha’agat Arieh, you can email

If you’d like to reach Matthew Friedman to assist with tutoring efforts, you can email