Educator Testimonials

Dori Weinstein’s presentation was as much fun as her books. Our students (grades 2-5) were highly engaged, asking questions, listening, and laughing for 45 minutes.  One teacher had been unsure that an “author visit” would be worthwhile for her students, but afterwards she was so glad to have made the time. The kids want to read all the YaYa and YoYo books now – and some want to write their own Jewish stories!
Naomi Wilensky
Education Director
Congregation Tikkun v’Or
Ithaca, New York

“So glad Dori Weintein came to visit our third through fifth graders! Her personality, presentation and honesty kept students engaged throughout. Dori really helps students understand the writing process. Carmella, who had read “Sliding Into the New Year” and loved it, remarked that she liked how “Dori explained where she got her ideas and how the publishing process works, including how many times she had to rewrite!” Caleb, a fifth grader, called her “inspiring” and can’t wait to read all of her books! Now when our students pull Dori’s books off of the library shelves, they are excited to know a real live, published author!”

Britton Cook
Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School
Minneapolis, Minnesota

“Dori Weinstein is a breath of fresh air. She came to our school on a Thursday afternoon. It was the end of the week, and our students were probably thinking about the weekend that loomed ahead. Even so, Dori drew them into her presentation. As I surveyed the room, all eyes were on Dori. There was a buzz in the room as Dori swept them up in her story of how she came to be a writer of chapter books. Dori was open and engaging. One could see and feel that she was excited about what she does as an author. She was so authentic, a real down to earth person, and our students just followed her, leaning in to hear her words. She inspired the students to think by asking them the kinds of questions that they wanted to answer. She was able to connect her characters, YoYo and YaYa to our students. I think most of our students were able to see themselves in the lives of YoYo and YaYa. Dori helped to make that Thursday a great day! Thanks, Dori.”
Noreen Leibson
Director of Education and Family Engagement
Temple Beth Abraham
Nashua, New Hampshire

“Dori Weinstein was a fabulous speaker for our school. She prepared and delivered different age-appropriate presentations for each of our age groups, kindergarten through eighth grade. Both the teachers and students were engaged and interested in reading about YaYa and YoYo and hearing about the author herself, her inspiration, writing process, and journey. It was such a treat for our students to hear from a Jewish author of children’s literature.”
Emily Ellentuck
Teacher and Program Coordinator
Tucson Hebrew Academy
Tucson, Arizona

“Author Dori Weinstein gave a fabulous virtual presentation to our 4th grade students at The Davis Academy. Students enjoyed learning about her journey as a writer and the value of being persistent to achieve one’s goals. She intertwined details about her personal family in a way in which our students could relate to not only her professional experiences as an author but also how her writing milestones influenced her personal life so positively. Her books are filled with adventure and humor so that Jewish children can relate to the characters’ everyday lives. I recommend inviting Dori into your school, in person or virtually, as we have had the pleasure of experiencing her visits in both these forums over the years.”
Stacy Brown
21st Century Learning Coordinator
The Alfred and Adele Davis Academy
Atlanta, Georgia

“Just when we were hitting our stride with in-person learning late last fall, we reluctantly switched
back to virtual learning temporarily. It was around that time that I ran into Jewish author Dori Weinstein on Facebook. She was offering an author’s talk on her series of books based on the Jewish adventures of YaYa and YoYo. So we set up a Zoom session for our students and their parents to hear all about how her books came to be.

Dori told the story about her journey to becoming not just an author, but a Jewish author, after finding a dearth of engaging Jewish stories for middle schoolers. Our students were enthralled with her story as they asked questions about her story and her plans for future publications. 
Hearing Dori tell her story was a great experience for our students, meeting a Jewish author and learning that there is a process to achieving your dreams and that if you see the world needs something, you can provide it!”
Stella Jeruzalmi Stanway

Temple Beth Miriam Religious School
Elberon, New Jersey

“We were blessed to have Dori Weinstein join us virtually! The students and staff enjoyed her Zoom visit with us and we can’t wait to read the rest of her books and the newest one coming.”
Rebecca Charhon
Religious School Director
Congregations Temple Beth El and Shaaray Tefila
Glens Falls, New York

“Dori was wonderful to work with from start to finish. She was professional and polished, yes, but she really knew how to connect with students in while presenting. Whether it was a large group, a small group or individual students, Dori’s warmth and passion shone through and inspired our students. Thank you for sharing with us, Dori!”
Victoria Rothenberg
Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School of the Nation’s Capital

Washington, DC

“Dori captivated and involved our students as our author-in-residence. It was amazing to see the personal, age appropriate attention that she gave each group, including some of our own lower school student authors. She conveyed that it takes dedication, hard work and fun to become an author. Dori’s enthusiasm for her craft is infectious. We certainly appreciate her willingness to give multiple presentations and her flexibility with unforeseen schedule changes.”
Sonia Kozlovsky
Krieger Schechter Day School
Baltimore, Maryland

“Dori visited our school, Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, and mesmerized our students! She captivated kindergarten through 6th grade with her high energy presentations. Each presentation was unique and perfectly geared to the ages of the students. Dori’s 5th/6th grade writer’s workshop was an opportunity for our students to learn and practice the process of writing with a published author which was inspiring. In fact, a majority of students opted out of going to lunch and chose to eat and continue writing with Dori in the classroom. Even some of our more hesitant writers enjoyed the workshop. As a former day school teacher, we knew Dori would be great, but she far exceeded our expectations.”
Jessica Kyanka-Maggart, Lower School and Middle School Principal
Elisa Pener, Member of HBHA Administrative Staff
Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy
Overland Park, Kansas

“Dori was an amazing and inspirational speaker for our students. Her program was funny while giving students information and ideas for their own writing. Our students have been waiting in line to check out her books from the library and can not wait to read more. Our teachers were so excited to have her visit and are using her books as mentor texts for developing characters and using details in writing.”
Nancy Penchev
Lower School Media and Instructional Tech Coordinator
Scheck Hillel Community School
North Miami Beach, Florida

“Invite Mrs. Weinstein to your school if you want your students to become enthusiastic about writing. Her strength lies in the passion she has for story telling. During her Writer’s Workshop at Friedel Jewish Academy, she had my 3-6th Graders eager to put their ideas on paper, so much so I had to abandon my lesson plans for the rest of the day so the classes could stay “in the zone.” It’s always a great pleasure to observe students writing when they really think of themselves as writers.”
Bob Goetschkes, M. ED

Friedel Jewish Academy
Omaha, Nebraska

“We loved having Dori Weinstein come and talk to our students about how her fantastic books came to life! From our 1st Grade students to our 8th Grade students and parents alike, she engaged us all with the history of YaYa and YoYo. And what a delight for the children to realize that there do exist chapter books where the characters are Jewish! We all loved hearing about Dori’s family and how the books reflected elements of their lives, as well as understanding the process of writing, editing, and publishing children’s books. In an age where children are all too eager to choose screens over books, it was so refreshing to see the students excited to read the books now that they had a personal connection to the author. I would encourage any Jewish institution looking to engage Jewish children and families to bring Dori and her wonderful presentation to their community.”
Deganit Ruben

Coastal Judaic Study Group
Savannah, Georgia

“Dori visited Hannah Senesh Community Day school last year.  Our students were thrilled to welcome Dori back for another author’s visit and they couldn’t wait to hear excerpts from her new book.  They were fascinated to learn about Dori’s writing process as it mirrors the process our students follow in writing workshop – brainstorming ideas, drafting, revising and editing.  The children were curious to know what Dori’s next book will be about and insisted she return next year for another visit.”
Shelley Fogelson
Lower School Director
Hannah Senesh Community Day School
Brooklyn, New York

“Our Grade 3-7 students, at Temple Shalom Religious School in Medford, truly enjoyed Dori Weinstein’s book program about YaYa and YoYo; they were interested and attentive during her Power point presentation, and they were engaged during the question period that followed. This was our first author program, scheduled on a weekday afternoon, which is a difficult time of day for public school students, since it is after a full day of learning. The students clearly enjoyed Dori’s energetic and friendly manner and her easy going, natural way of interacting with children. As a Jewish educator, I was delighted to expose our students to a Jewish book author of a fun and age-appropriate Jewish middle school book series. Todah (thank you), Dori”
Andrea Katz

Temple Shalom Religious School
Medford, Massachusetts

“Dori Weinstein came to our school to talk to us about her books and writing. The elements she spoke about supported what we have been teaching our students about reading and writing. The students have referred back to what she said as we continue to discuss books and write stories.”
Elly Alexander
Librarian, Teacher, Department Head
Albert Einstein Academy Jewish Day School
Wilmington, Delaware

“Dori’s warmth, genuineness and the gifts she brings to students is awesome. What a very worthwhile event for our students! Dori’s presentation was engaging and informative. The visuals in her presentation further pulled us into her story. Dori’s powerpoint presentation gave us a glimpse into her world and what motivated her to start writing. It was so well done and her personal story was told in such an interesting and inspiring manner, that it captivated the audience (our students). Dori helped the students see, up close and personal, how a ‘regular’ person can be a writer. (I think she appeared to have celebrity status.)”
Heidi Tarshish
Director of Education
George Kaplan Afternoon School, Talmud Torah of St. Paul
Saint Paul, Minnesota

“It was a true pleasure and delight to host Dori Weinstein at Hillel Community Day School. Our students grades 3-7 got to see first-hand the process and the great rewards of writing a book. Dori was so warm, engaging, humorous and educational, our students were completely enthralled by her. We chose 2 different presentations, one for grades 3 and 4 and one for grades 5,6 and 7. Dori worked together with our teachers to tailor make a presentation that would be perfect for our kids. I would highly encourage any principal, head of school or school director to incorporate Ms. Weinstein’s presentation into their school enrichment offerings.”
Sharon Polatoff
Coordinator of Judaic Studies
Hillel Community Day School
Rochester, New York

“We invited Dori to join our community and she exceeded all expectations. Her personal and professional nature managed to capture the hearts and minds of both the young and old. A master educator and brilliant author, we consider Dori’s visit to be a blessing which we will not soon forget.”
Rabbi Joseph Robinson
Director of Congregational Learning
Temple Beth-El
Birmingham, Alabama

“Dori gave an incredible, interactive presentation that took students at The Epstein School on her personal journey of becoming an author. Through humor, anecdotes and questions, Dori engaged the students and created a warm, energetic environment for sharing and exploring ideas. Students and teachers were left with her sense of passion for writing and for the entire writing process. In a genre largely dominated by historical fiction and characters dealing with extreme adversity, it is very refreshing and appreciated to have an author who provides characters that our students can relate to and enjoy. Since her visit, her books have been in constant circulation!”
Michelle Epstein
Media Director
The Epstein School
Atlanta, Georgia

“Dori presented a fantastic slide show about the evolution of her YaYa & YoYo series. Our students were captivated and couldn’t wait to purchase the books after class. Thanks, Dori, for a great morning.”
Sharon Landay
Educator & Interim Religious School Director
Congregation Or Tzion
Scottsdale, Arizona

“Dori came to our school last April and made a wonderful presentation about her journey on becoming an author! Our students had such a great time getting to know Dori and getting a personal dedication on their books. Thank you for your time and inspiration!
בהצלחה בהמשך דרכך!”
Saleit Faleschini
Religious School Director
Temple of Israel
Wilmington, North Carolina

 “It was a pleasure meeting you. We enjoyed learning about the steps you took to write your books. It was amazing to learn how long it took to go from an initial idea to a published book. We were impressed to know that you never gave up on the process. 
We can’t wait to read more about YaYa & YoYo! Maybe one day we will have our works published too! We enjoyed your visit immensely.”
The students of SSA and 
Barbara Wolfe
Head of School
Solomon Schechter Academy
New London, Connecticut

“Dori’s visit to the Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community school was a huge hit! It was wonderful to see the kids so engaged. Dori’s presentation reached kids at so many different “entry points,” and it was just great. Dori was engaging, energetic, and charming. She is an inspiration for our budding Jewish authors. She even invited the students to email her with their writing questions. What a joy to have a role model like Dori visit our community. We believe it was an experience our students will not soon forget.”
Tammy Arnow and Mindy Horwitz
PTO Co-chairs
Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School
Saint Louis, Missouri

“Dori engaged our students in three age appropriate sessions on the writing process and how to find inspiration when writing. Dori showed her strength as an educator and author by reaching out to each student in a way that would be personally meaningful. It only took Dori a moment or two to learn the names of the students in order to draw each into the writing process and the formation of her stories. Not only did students walk away with a desire to read Dori’s books, but also to begin writing their own stories.”
Daniel R. Weiss
Head of School
Solomon Schechter Day School of Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nevada

“We thoroughly enjoyed having author Dori Weinstein visit our school. Her presentation added a unique element to our Jewish book month celebration. It was interesting for us to learn about the inspiration behind her books as well as to get to know YoYo and YaYa, whom we could relate to as modern day Jewish day school students. We continue to be able to tie the themes that were a part of Dori’s presentations into our own curriculum.”  
Stacy Brown
21st Century Learning Coordinator
The Davis Academy
Atlanta, Georgia

“Dori Weinstein is a warm and engaging speaker.  Ms. Weinstein knows how to speak to young audiences and listen to what they have to say. Dori is not just another author, her messages are positive and powerful. Her books are meant to reach children in grades three through six but her messages are enjoyable for those hard to reach preteens/tweens as well. I look forward to working with Dori again because she is a delight to work with and certainly is a great new strong voice in literature for the tween audience.”
Laura Weissman-Rothschild
Gerrard Berman Day School
Oakland, New Jersey

“Thank you so much for taking the time to visit our school. All of the children at Schechter School of Long Island absolutely LOVED meeting you. Your warm, lively, and upbeat personality was a treat for everyone. From your very first words to your last everyone (students and faculty) was mesmerized by your story and they were completely engaged when you read the excerpts from your books. We have had many authors visit our school and some are better for the younger students and some relate more to the older students. You were such a dynamic speaker that you were able to capture everyone’s interest. More importantly, the faculty all agreed that you inspired tremendous interest in our students and ignited a spark for them to write down their own personal stories. We look forward to another visit whenever you are in New York.” 
Sandi Swerdloff
Assistant Principal
Solomon Schechter School of Long Island
Jericho, New York

“Dori Weinstein’s visit and book talk truly enhanced the reading and writing programs at CJDS. By sharing her own processes, and integrating students’ thought and ideas, we were able to see our 3rd-5th graders’ ideas blossom, and writing in general become that much more accessible to them. Dori is engaging and approachable for students of all ages. We can’t wait to welcome her to CJDS again!”
Emily Crane
Director of Student Services
Team Leader, Grades 3-5
Chicago Jewish Day School
Chicago, Illinois

“Our entire community thoroughly enjoyed Dori’s visit! She ran a very animated and engaging book club discussion for our 3rd-6th graders, then followed it with formal presentations to all of the children (K-6th grade) in our Religious School the next day. Our teens and adults also loved hearing about the writing process! The kids loved her books so much that they were laughing out loud reading them for hours after classes ended!”
Rabbi Suzanne Brody
Director of Education and Youth Programming
Temple Beth-El
Ithaca, New York

“Dori’s presentation had our students completely engaged! They enjoyed learning about the writing and publishing process, getting to know Ya-ya and Yo-yo, and hearing about the inspiration for the characters and stories. Our students are looking forward to devouring a new series – especially one that incorporates Jewish life!” 
Rebecca Butcher
Library Media Specialist
Atlanta Jewish Academy
Atlanta, Georgia

“We definitely enjoyed Dori’s presentation, and I think the kids particularly benefited from hearing her talk about her many revisions and how long it took to publish the first book. We’re really encouraging them to focus on the writing process and on trying again in general, so the presentation worked right into our themes!”
Beth Meister
Milwaukee Jewish Day School
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

“Thank you so much for your recent visit to the Jewish Academy (of Orlando). It was amazing how your presentation fascinated and educated our students from First Grade all the way up to Eighth! I know they loved hearing how you came up with your ideas for your books. I can’t wait to read more about YaYa & YoYo!”
Reba Gordon
Jewish Academy of Orlando
Maitland, Florida

“Author Dori Weinstein visited Kinneret Day School in Riverdale, New York Friday, May 20th.  Grades two and three have been reading her first novel Sliding Into the New Year and are loving it!!  Dori’s power point presentation on the writing process and her personal experiences was an inspiration to all of us.  Her upbeat and solicitous approach to the students was amazing!  She entertained numerous questions, signed books, and provided KDS’ students with a wonderful pre-Shabbat afternoon.  We can’t wait for her to return with her new book next year.”
Carmala Geller
Kinneret Day School
Riverdale, New York

“Thank you so much for visiting our school and inspiring our students with your wonderful presentation. You clearly explained the process of creating a book from inspiration to completion in a way in which they were able to integrate and understand it. Your Power Point presentation and style of asking questions kept the students completely engaged throughout your visit, this was evidenced by the fact that they did not want to let you go. I look forward to completing the book with them and continuing the conversation that you started via emails and maybe a video chat. As a librarian in a Jewish Day School, I am grateful for your series as it fills this gap in fiction for middle grade students, and I eagerly anticipate the subsequent adventures of YaYa and YoYo.”
Beryl Bresgi
Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County
New Milford, New Jersey

“Bravo! The interview was great! The students all left with smiles on their faces and new stories to tell.”
Linda Asher
Golda Och Academy
West Orange, New Jersey

“Dori entertained our 3-6th grade students with stories and photos of her own children, who influenced her writing a great deal. She enthusiastically read excerpts from her books, engaging our students and making connections in a meaningful way. (It was wonderful to bring in a Jewish author who writes books with a Jewish setting.)”
Joan Freedman
Director of Curriculum and Library
Hillel Day School
Farmington Hills, Michigan

“A great example of true integration of celebrating Jewish life and making literacy come alive!”
Hilary Gollis
Lander-Grinspoon Academy
Northhampton, Massachusetts

“Our third graders benefited greatly from Dori Weinstein’s presentation!  The students loved every minute of the book during our “Read Aloud” time in school, and it was very exciting for them to actually speak with the author and ask questions.  They have been practicing the writing process all year, and it was extremely powerful for them to see that real authors apply the same strategies and techniques to publish a book.  In addition to hearing about Dori’s personal experiences with revisions and edits, it was fascinating for all of us to hear how her book started with an idea and grew into a beautiful story that all of our students related to in so many ways.”
Jeff Aronow, Jennifer Coats and Roz Kaplan
Grade 3 Team
Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School
Saint Louis Park, Minnesota

 “It was great to have this opportunity to introduce our children to a Jewish literature series and now they can look forward to book number three!”
Tali Edry
Judaic Director
Heritage Academy
Longmeadow, Massachusetts

“The children were very engaged as they responded to Dori’s questions and asked some of their own. They were so excited to meet the author in person. Dori even learned all their names and addressed them by name throughout her presentation.”
Mary Baumgarten
Talmud Torah of Minneapolis
Saint Louis Park, Minnesota

“Our mother/daughter book club invited Dori to our book club discussion about Sliding Into The New Year. It was wonderful to speak about the book with the author right there! The girls enjoyed Dori’s insight into the characters and loved hearing about her plans for these characters in her future books. As an educator and a mom, Dori has an amazing ability to speak to kids and really captivate them!”
Lauren Kaplan
Minnetonka, Minnesota

“The children were so engaged, and loved you and your story.”
Lisa Schwartz
Shorashim Religious School 
Temple Israel Center
White Plains, New York

“Thanks for providing our children and teachers with an exceptional program!”
Lauren Life
Head of School
Heritage Academy
Longmeadow, Massachusetts

“When I first heard about Dori, I was so excited to bring her in. She sounded like a perfect fit for our community, a Modern Orthodox synagogue in Washington DC. When she came, the children were so enthralled by her story. Her presentation was dynamic and interactive, and she engaged the children in a personal and meaningful way. I loved the way she asked everyone’s names at the beginning, and then used them throughout the afternoon to call on the children. After her talk, they were so excited to hear excerpts from her books, and many children purchased them! A few weeks later, one family came back and said they loved it so much, and wanted to know if I had any more of her books and if they could borrow them. Coincidentally, the one that Dori gifted the synagogue was not the one that family had purchased and they were so excited to borrow my copy! I would highly recommend Dori for a visit to your school or community! She was wonderful!”
Lisa Redisch
Youth & Family Programs Director
Ohev Sholom–The National Synagogue
Washington, DC