Rabbi Shaul Klein שליט״א, I would be happy if this email would be posted on The Lakewood Scoop and I can have the זכות of being מציל אפילו נפש אחת מישראל. I mean that literally. I don’t need to tell you how many boys went OTD and then OD’d ר״ל and it all started because they couldn’t keep up in class because of a language issue.
You asked me a few weeks ago to send you an email with my experience with your program so I’m putting thumb to screen (what was once known as “pen to paper”).
I and my wife had been growing frustrated with our 7th grade son’s progress in his Yeshiva. He has been diagnosed with ADHD, which explains his inability to concentrate in class; however, he had another underlying problem that we were not able to pinpoint.
One on one when I would do homework with him, his concentration was good enough to be able to teach him, but his inability to read the גמרא properly was apparent. I mistakenly thought he had a קריאה issue, so I would practice קריאה with him. His קריאה (which I would later find out was really a language problem) did not improve significantly.
We met with the הנהלת הישיבה several times and they assured us that “he is fine”. He will be ”fine” but intuitively as parents, we knew that he is not fine. He’s not picking up לשון הגמרא. (When we met you we found out that he never even picked up לשון החומש ) My wife expressed her frustration to a friend of hers.
She told my wife you must see Rabbi Klein. The next day we were in your office. After your evaluation you discussed the issue with us and everything made sense.
You obviously hit the nail on the head. We started the following week with Reb Y. Kerpel in Lakewood. It was about six weeks into the program when I decided to learn with my son a little חומש רש״י (beginning of פרשת תרומה)
He טייטש’ed the word ״ידבנו״. Knowing his level I was shocked.
I asked them how do you know that word. He told me “I learned the word נדבה with Rabbi Kerpel. I even remember a picture of a צדקה פושקע and the thermometer I drew on the flash cards” (The thermometer is what you see on the sign of a building campaign to represent how much is needed and how much was collected).
I did רש״י with him and was once again shocked when he knew what the word ונטעם means. He once again told me “I learned that with Rabbi Kerpel. I even remember a picture of a tomato plant on the flash cards”
With much appreciation,
A parent who stepped back from the brink.