Grapa-Cielak is the author of the Yiddish set of Workbooks
for beginners ARELE and author of the commemorative 40 year
history book about the Yiddish School in Mexico City, named
Nuevo Colegio Israelita I.L.Peretz. The book is called:
El Libro del Recuerdo, 40 años de la Naye
dedicated to the school where she studied, worked and collaborated,
the school for which she felt such a deep affection for.
An affection and love that her parents, cofounders of the
school and dedicated activists, transmitted to her. Born
in Mexico City, she grew up in a Yiddish speaking home,
attended Yiddish Day School where she had the luck of having
been a student of the well known Yiddish writer and pedagogue,
Prof. Abraham Golomb, who influenced her life as did, also
the well known Lerers Yosef Rotenberg and Leybl Bayon.
Since she was a child she decided,
that she was going to be a Lererke. She pursued her
dreams and fullfilled her goal by studying at the Jewish
Seminar for teachers and by returning as a Yiddish teacher
to her childhood school.
For more than two decades, her life was centered
on her family and this Naye Yiddishe Shul. Besides
being a student and and Yiddish teacher, a mother and a
collaborator at that school, she was the founder and organizer
of the Audiovisual Center and the Children's Library. Both
were named "Julio Grapa" in memory of her father, as they
were donated to the school by her husband Moises Cielak
and her mother, Esther Markuchamer-Grapa.
It was here, at the Audiovisual Center and
at the time that her youngest son was starting to learn
how to read and write Yiddish, that she ventured into trying
to create a new kind of Yiddish learning material. One that
could compare to those existing for the teaching of other
languages, something modern and attractive. ARELE
was the result of such an endeavor. She dedicated ARELE
first to her son David who was then in first grade, and
then -when printed, to her family: husband, 3 sons and parents.
than 20 years have passed since the first edition and to her
great satisfaction hundreds of children and adults have profited
from it and enjoyed it. Among them she is thrilled to count
her own grandchildren, too! Frida is now getting ready for
the fourth edition as her workbooks keep up their freshness,
the gratifying results and enjoyment among students and teachers
in many parts of the world.
The author, Frida Grapa-Cielak, Freydl in Yiddish,
has put a lot of herself and her life into her workbook but
she has other interests as well which include: her husband,
her 3 sons, one daughter-in-law and 3 beautiful grandchildren
that she enjoys immensely. She has many hobbies: gardening
and growing Bonsai trees; traveling; bridge; creating, through
the Internet the International Club of Pen-Pals called: Yiddishe
Briv Fraynd; genealogy and the edition of a family newsletter;
gymnastics; reading; learning; music and trying to improve
her skills in computers. She is always on the road of learning,
doing and mainly of looking at life in a positive way!