Sydelle Shulkin said she never thought she’d see “somebody like her” in person.
“It was so exciting,” she said. “To think that the prime minister of Israel was at Fourth Street School!”
Shulkin was a student teacher when Prime Minister Golda Meier visited her former elementary school, back in 1969. Now, Shulkin is a resident at Ovation Communities, and more than 50 years later, she remembers the day with glee.
“We made headbands. They had a Jewish star on all of them,” she recalled.
A teacher had asked Shulkin to make the headbands with the class, to greet Meir, and a photo of it became international news. “It was in Time Magazine!” Shulkin said.
“I remember it so well,” Shulkin said. “She was wearing a suit, herringbone.”
As a student teacher at Fourth Street School, renamed Golda Meir School, Shulkin thought about the kids. “I was so excited that my little kids get to meet somebody so bigger than life,” she said.
Shulkin was a student teacher at 37, graduating after 10 years of one-class-at-a-time semesters. After kicking off her career with prepping her class for the Israeli prime minister’s visit, she worked for 13 years as an elementary school teacher at various Milwaukee Public schools.
During the Prime Minister’s visit, the kids sang Israeli songs and songs in Yiddish for her.
“She was just overcome by all that,” Shulkin said. “It affected her so much to see all this. She had a very serene look on her face.”
Shulkin said she cares deeply about Israel.
“Israel is a remarkable country,” she said. “The people are dedicated to democracy. The people a sincere feeling of togetherness and strength and they overcome all obstacles.”