"Life is a complicated lesson that only great, creative, open-minded, full of love, positive energy teachers can make |
simple enough to live and enjoy. Gail, to me, you are that teacher. I will not use the past tense
when I talk about you, as you are still very much alive to those who know you.
May Allah rest your pure, generous, warm and giving soul in peace, habeebti."
Huda Abu Arquob from Hebron
| "You will be missed deeply. |
There are not many peace warriors like you around.
You touched us in a very special way and you will live in our hearts.
You will be watching from above."
Sandra Kahn and David Leventhal ~ San Mateo, California
"You will always be my pillar of strength, to love and cherish." |
Elias Botto ~ San Mateo, California
"Gail, you have been in my mind and my heart. It has been a great pleasure to know you. |
You are a brave and courageous woman and I am so appreciative of the humanity you've
shown to so many people here and in Palestine/Israel.
You've made the world a better place."
Judy Serebrin ~ Redwood City, California
"What can I say? As much as I am happy that I was able to see you one week before you died, |
I still am sad that you are gone and left me alone in this life. You were a Mother, a teacher, and an inspiring person for me.
Your love and passion will stay with me forever. I will keep praying for you and your family. May Allah rest your soul in peace."
Mohammed Abufayyad ~ Gaza, Palestine
| "Gail, I met you here a few times when you came to teach in Israel and Palestine |
how to write and tell life stories as a way to build relationships and learn language. You came with a cancer in your body.
It looked like it should have won you a long long time ago. But with your great powers you lived more and more and kept teaching and traveling around the world.
You gave so many powers to me. I was thinking of you so many times. You inspire me when I am weak. When I think that things are too hard, then
you appear in my mind and tell me nothing is impossible. Dear Gail, your vision and inspiration is with me always."
Elad Vazana ~ Tel Aviv, Israel
2007 Palestinian-Jewish Family Peacemakers Camp
| "In Gail, I saw what it is to truly live fearlessly. |
That was an immensely precious gift."
Janet Egiziano ~ Pacifica, California
"Her loss is deeply felt by me personally and by the ESL community of teachers and trainers in Pennsylvania. |
Over the last four years we have had many treasured memories of our work with Gail
modeling writing learners' narratives and mentoring trainers."
Carol Shefrin ~ Lewistown, Pennsylvania
"Gail taught teachers to honor and respect students' lives and stories, and|
this allowed us to create community within the classroom.
My students write me and tell me that the classes (based on Gail's curriculum) brought them
close friendships, affirmation and support for the difficult process of adapting to a new culture, and
faith in the importance of their own life experiences.
My students never met her, but her work impacted their lives tremendously."
Willow Barnosky ~ Buenos Aires, Argentina
| "I was fortunate for many years to go on hikes with Gail into beautiful and wild places. |
Even when she was getting chemo and radiation she would go on walks into the outdoors -- and smile throughout!
She took great delight in everything natural: the flowers, the vistas, the rushing streams, the ferns and the healthy exercise.
She always joked that she was a "ferret" out to explore hidden landscapes.
In the future when I come across a colorful butterfly I will say to it,
'Hi Gail. Good to see you again.'"
Peter Kirby ~ Sacramento, California
"Like a soft breeze that caresses your hair and is gone, Gail touched my life deeply but briefly. |
She was one of the first teachers I observed when I was a grad student at Penn in 1983. I still remember vivid details about
her classroom demeanor, her love for her students, and her ability to elicit critical thinking even when her students struggled to learn English.
She was an inspiration and a mentor for me as a beginning teacher. We became good friends for a while, and then,
sadly, we lost touch until I ran into her at TESOL in Baltimore a few years ago.
Knowing all the work she did to promote peace in the Middle East,
I feel privileged to have known her."
Barbar Acosta ~ Silver Spring, Maryland
| "Gail will always be missed.|
Her endless courage and passion for life will always inspire me.
I met her with her in conferences in the States, in Israel and in Palestine. We worked together
developing a training program for Palestinian teachers on developing learning units based on learner's lives.
In the last 2 years we co-authored a chapter in a book that will be published in 2011.
She was amazing in everything she did. Though she was going through hard medications,
she submitted the final edits on this chapter two weeks before she passed away.
Gail dedicated her life to so many people around the world, and believe
she affected each one of us in so many ways.
May God bless her soul to rest in Peace."
Inas Deeb ~ Jerusalem
"I am amazed at the wonderful accomplishments done by Gail. |
I met her through another medium that we both loved, swing dancing.
We last had a dance only this November 13th. She was an excellent dancer and a fun partner.
I'll miss her."
David Blood ~ Oakland, California
| "I first met Gail in 2006.|
She joined us in the park as the Jewish Palestinian Dialogue was celebrating its 13th year of meeting.
Bald under her multi-colored hat, Gail's cheerful, upbeat presence in the midst of newfound cancer left me in awe.
Gail brought into the group a joy of life, friendliness, openness, excitement, and spirit that was contagious.
For five years she participated with curiosity and integrity, modeling for us the best listening skills.
Her acceptance of others holding very contrary views to her own will be a lasting, living example to me.
Gail was a true dialoguer, always listening to learn.
I miss her and won't forget all that she taught me
through her beautiful state of being and how
she made the most of what life presented her.
Gail lived life to the fullest."
Libby Traubman ~ San Mateo, California
| "As I read over and over again your beautiful memorial tribute to Gail I remembered the night that we met at her house. |
She had planned a gathering for Gene and myself -- her parents -- to meet many of her friends from different facets of her life.
There she was lying on the couch as we all talked and laughed and got to know one another.
As I kept looking at her I realized how desperately ill she was at that time, and marvelled how
our daughter could be so focused on caring for us and making us a part of her whole life while she was feeling so ill.
I remember how as we sat next to Len, he expressed his feelings towards Gail and it was so pleasing to my ears and I couldn't agree more.
What I didn't realize was how much Gail's loving care of us was something that she also offered to so many people in her life.
Our grief at the loss of our daughter and our longing for her will never go away, but
the many tributes to her spirit that you have expressed makes it more bearable.
So Gene and I thank you for keeping that wonderful person alive for us."
Bea Weinstein ~ Roslyn Heights, New York
"I had the incredible honor and fortune to work with Gail over the last 2 years. |
Gail's work was very influential in my professional life, beginning as a graduate student working with pre-literate adult ESL students.
When I became a TESOL Professor and we finally met, I felt like I was in the presence of a rock star, but
she told me how excited she was to meet ME (as the newly appointed Editor of the TESOL Journal).
My two years working with Gail have so enriched my life. I am sad that she is not with us, but
her legacy will endure and her spirit will live on in those of us who touched so profoundly."
Margo DelliCarpini ~ Bronx, New York
| "Gail, thank you for modeling such a successful life.|
Thank you for showing me that the greatest joys come from
attending to others, and from the simple choice to notice all there is to be enjoyed.
Your lessons will live long after your passing. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for your presence in my life;
for your kindness, attentiveness, and boundless generosity; for being like a second mother to me when I so needed it. I miss you.
In Gratitude and Grief,"
Geneva Hickey ~ Tucson, Arizona
"I had the privilege of knowing Gail from our participation in the Jewish-Palestinian Dialogue Group of San Mateo. |
More of Gail's distinctive qualities: she was modest and unpretentious.
She listened, she heard, she took others' stories to heart. I will miss her."
Miriam Zimmerman ~ San Mateo, California
"We remember Gail Weinstein's beautiful nehama (soul). |
May she continue her work in other realms."
Abby Caplin and Ami Goodman ~ San Francisco, California
| "Gail, you taught us how to help build communities through language teaching. |
You taught us that you can tie generations together
through a new language and, perhaps paradoxically, keep traditional ties strong as well.
You taught us that our TEFL/TESL field - perhaps beyond all other educational fields - can
emphasize deep, positive values that celebrate our differences and similarities.
You taught us that our lives are valuable stories, and that
these stories, and the dreams they inspire, survive even after reading 'the end.'"
David Fay ~ Lima, Peru
"I am shocked and struck with grief and disbelief.|
Just months ago we saw, heard, and communicated with Gail at
her marvelous workshop for our St. Petersburg English Language Teachers' Association (SPELTA).
I still visit practically every day her brilliant on-line project and course -- Community-Based Curriculum Development.
We were really lucky to get familiar with Gail, to communicate with her, and to participate in her brilliant, really creative and practical project!
Seeds Gail planted in Russia and many other countries are already turning into small, fresh flowers full of new teaching ideas, techniques, and inspiration within our teachers.
Gails' dreams are already coming true here. This process has already started, in our souls, minds and teaching practices.
We are popularizing Gail's experience, knowledge, and teaching aspirations at SPELTA, NATE, and other teachers' conferences.
We will always remember her strong and creative personality, and of her profound teaching experience. energy, and enthusiasm.
We will help Gail's dreams and expectations coming true in our teaching reality more and more.
It's the main thing which we can in our work and teaching activities
today, tomorrow, in a week, in a year, constantly and everywhere.
It's our teacher's spiritual and moral duty towards Gail."
Olga 'Olya' Muranova ~ St. Petersburg, Russia
| "This is such sad news. |
When I met Gail, I was a new Russia Fellow and
she helped me so much to improve one of my first presentations.
Her advice and praise gave me so much confidence. I will miss her.
One of my presentations which I give frequently was inspired by
a workshop she gave in St. Petersburg."
John Mark King ~ Alexandria, Virginia
Kaliningrad, Russia ~ November 2009
"Her vision of what a lesson of English should really be about |
transformed my own understanding of a teacher's role in an ESL classroom.
Gail looked as a female tower of strength and optimism and love. She evoked love in everything she touched.
I am grateful for having been able to have her as a mentor in my life and just meeting her.
She IS a guiding light for me in many respects.
Kate Nechaeva ~ Senior Instructor ~ Kirov, Russia
"I feel absolutely shocked.
Difficult to believe, hard to speak.
I absolutely fell in love with Gail Weinstein in St. Petersburg and got lots of inspiration during her seminar at the SPELTA Conference.
Her "Learners' Lives as Curriculum" project turned out to be challenging, even thrilling. My students keep reaping the benefits of it till nowadays.
My second meeting with Gail was in March 2010 at the TESOL Conference in Boston -- now as close friends,
feeling very happy to see each other, planning our future cooperation.
She will stay in my memory as a wonderful, very enthusiastic teacher,
charming woman, real friend.
Irina Grishenkova ~ Russia
"We shared a love of the outdoors. I felt a connection to Gail the minute I met her. |
The four of us: Gail, Peter Kirby, my husband Ralph and I took several hikes together -- usually with Gail in the lead.
We also shared many wonderful meals. Gail was a beautiful person and she will be missed."
Susan and Ralph Alcorn ~ San Francsico, California
| "Gail Weinstein was my professor, mentor, and friend. |
I cried when I saw this website, and bawled when I read her short story, The Tattoo. I remember hearing this story in class.
I had spoken to Gail just two weeks before her death; we were arranging for her to
come to Morocco to do a workshop to train students as literacy tutors for women.
Like Hannah, my hamsa (here, the "Hand of Fatima") is on a necklace that I wear.
I will always be reminded of you both when I look down on it.
Thank you for that."
Sara Maderious ~ Ifrane, Morocco
2006 Palestinian-Jewish Family Peacemakers Camp,with Hannah
"Gail, you did no less than conceive and birth into education and social science that which teaches, humanizes, heals, and unifies people, nations, Earth.|
You championed and taught worldwide "The Power of Personal Stories in Learner-Centered Teaching"
all about the student -- what matters to a person, what energizes learning:
giving voice to everyone, being heard, dignifing each person's narrative.
"Learners' Lives as Curriculum" will forever define the entry point into relevant education.
Your endless energy, genius-with-humility, and intimate ways will live in me forever.
Gail, your face will remind my face to always-always turn toward the Light.
I love you and thank you."
Len Traubman ~ San Mateo, California
| "Gail's work goes on -- as she hoped it would." |
Valerie and Philip Jakar ~ Jerusalem, Israel