Krav Maga by Nina Steinberg, Manhattan Day School, 7G

This year, the seventh grad girls got a special treat by having their amazing fifth grade teacher return to them. Ms. Berkowitz now teaches the seventh grade a brand new class, Zionism. Last week, the 6th and 7th grade boys and girls had a special visitor as part of our Zionism class. This was not just any other visitor, but Ms. Berkowitz's cousin, Moshe Katz, a fourth degree black belt, who trains people in martial arts in Israel. We had the privilege of being taught by this professional. In our class, we were learning a unit about the Israeli army. Mr. Katz spoke to us about the importance of Jews being able to defend themselves. He mentioned that we should strive to be like David HaMelech ( King David). He was a man who was kind and loved to learn Torah, but when he had to fight, he did it strongly. He mentioned to us the training that takes place for soldiers in the Israeli army. Then it was time t o teach us the techniques that are taught to soldiers in the Israeli army! We went to the gym and everyone chose a partner. Then, one by one, we learned awesome ways to defend ourselves or hurt our opponent. We carefully practiced on our partners and did our best not to hurt them. For example, we learned how to protect ourselves against someone bigger than us, with just one finger! This was a great experience for the entire sixth and seventh grades, and we hope to see Ms. Berkowitz's cousin again soon. If ever we need to defend ourselves, we will be prepared! (Reprinted from the MDS Messenger December 9