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I am Hava: A Song's Story of Love, Hope & Joy

Written by Freda Lewkowicz, Illustrated by Siona Benjamin

Intergalactic Afikoman, November 2021    


I am Hava: A Song's Story of Love, Hope & Joy recounts the history of this Jewish anthem beginning with its roots as a niggun in Sadagora, Ukraine in the 1800’s. Its journey around the world is described, always acting as a antidote to hardships the Jewish people faced.


 I hope I have brought the song’s history to life. It is the sound track to Jewish lives and celebrations. It’s been recorded hundreds of times and also made its joyful way to sports and the Olympics. Although Hava Nagila is as Jewish as chicken soup, its melody floats across borders, religions and cultures. Today it embraces everyone.

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The Shackles of Memory Loss Give Way to Magical Tales

By Freda Lewkowicz, Special to The Globe and Mail


                                                        Image by Danielle Fishel, Globe and Mail

“William,” my mother-in-law, Elizabeth, commanded, “please be a gentleman and open the door for Mrs. Higgins. Do you remember when she lived next door to us on 24th Avenue in Lachine?”

With courteous smiles, my husband, Peter, and I both turned to greet Mrs. Higgins, but as we suspected, there was no one there. We were long accustomed to the imaginary meet-and-greet of phantom visitors that appeared at Elizabeth’s door and so with no hesitation or confusion we stood and replied in unison, “Hello, Mrs. Higgins.”


School Selfies: Teachers,Parents,Students and Bandwagons

Do You Recognize These Parents?

Defense Lawyer Parents

Report Card Rage Parents

Wikipedia Parents                                                           

My Child Doesn't Lie Parents

Artificial Support Parents


Do You Know These Students?


Dishonesty Brokers

Stranger Danger Students

Blackboard Jungle Students

I Know My Right Students

I Gave It to Her, She Lost It Scapegoaters


School Selfies: Teachers,Parents,Students and Bandwagons is the book that parents, teachers, students, administrators and the general public should read. It reveals what is really wrong with public education, and it's NOT incompetent teachers. School Selfies presents some inconvenient truths that some readers may find uncomfortable and harsh. But the truth sometimes hurts. Doesn't it?


I believe that it is important to paint a realistic picture of public education that is free of gobbledygook and verbiage. How else can we fix what’s broken if we cannot be frank about school problems? Enough of endless research studies by those who know little about real kids, classrooms, teachers or parents. I know that these theorists, who may not have stepped into a classroom in years, cannot accurately describe the blackboard/smartboard jungle and what occurs behind school doors. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to fixing what’s broken.


Here is the truth about teaching that few others have had the courage or experience to reveal. I hope that I will unlock doors and reveal the good, the bad and the ugly not only to society, parents, students and teachers but also to the idealistic teachers of tomorrow and their professors at teachers’ colleges. It is important to extend a practical helping hand (emphasis on practical and real) to all, and this is my intention.

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