From a learning challenge to the cutting edge
Samuel Gawronsky didn’t allow being dyslexic to get in his way of finishing matric earlier than he was meant to. And he did it as well as completing an apprenticeship in shechita (kosher slaughter) that his school, Cape Town Torah High (CTTH), created for him.
“CTTH is a wonderful school,” Gawronsky says, at the school from Grade 8 to matric. “The students are more of a family than classmates. As the classes are small, you get individual attention. The school allows you to study at your own pace in subjects that interest you. It follows an American curriculum, and you write SATs which give you the option to study overseas if you so wish.
He enjoyed all the kodesh classes, and his favourite “secular” subject was maths. “As an extra mural, I participated in an enjoyable weekly game of futsal, which took place every Wednesday, rain or shine. The main challenge during my years at CTTH was dyslexia, but I got the necessary concessions, such as extra time in exams and a reader in major exams, which made it lot less of a challenge. The fact that I was doing courses that I enjoyed also helped.
“In my matric year, I was given the opportunity to work shadow Rabbi Yochanan Ziegler, a shochet (ritual slaughterer). We went every Monday to the abattoir, and I studied shechita. I learned a lot. I’m now going to yeshiva in Israel to study more. Hopefully, when I return to Cape Town, I’ll get some more practical experience and be able to become a shochet. I’m grateful to CTTH for this opportunity as well as Rabbi Ziegler for teaching me.”
He says his biggest matric achievement was to “complete my work and an extra one-year Boston College course in app development, which I completed in less than six months. I’m thankful to CTTH for being able to incorporate this course into my matric curriculum.”