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Lessons Learned

Chances are you never were a student in Mrs. Levitt’s class.

But you may have known her anyway, if by a different name and in a different place and time. For I don’t know how many hundreds of us, she was that remarkable teacher whose lessons continued to resonate through the decades and throughout our lives. For I don’t know how many hundreds of us, she became a lifelong friend and inspiration.

That’s why, when we learned that her disease was terminal and her dementia rapidly progressive, a number of us created a Facebook BookCoverPreview (2)group called “Mrs. Levitt’s Class,” where generations of her students compiled a sort of accidental anthology as a tribute, and a final “thank you.”

Over the course of her illness and beyond–a couple of years, as things turned out–the Facebook posts accumulated and formed what I think is a remarkable portrait of a remarkable person. Nearing the first anniversary of her death, we collected them all in a limited-edition book to make the commemoration more tangible, and also created an e-book version.

PhyllisToday through Saturday, that e-book is being offered for free on Amazon, and it just might strike a chord even for those who never experienced Mrs. Levitt’s English classes, or the Great Books classes she conducted in her home for a couple of decades.

Brilliant, demanding, funny, piercingly honest, tirelessly committed, she was a rare teacher, to be sure. If you are lucky, though, you may have had such a teacher yourself somewhere along the way (or, luckier still, you may even be such a teacher).

On the chance that you’ll recognize her, let her other students and me tell you about Mrs. Levitt. . .


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The Reuben Rose Poetry Contest and Voices Israel

The Reuben Rose Poetry Contest and Voices Israel

This article from the Jerusalem Post provides background on Voices Israel and Reuben Rose, whose name is honored in the annual poetry contest I was privileged to judge this year.

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December 5, 2012 · 9:11 am