Students, parents, faculty pitch in to help the dogs of late Akiva Academy Hebrew teacher
By Denise Dick
When Akiva Academy Hebrew teacher Rhoda Mostov and her husband died last year, they left their two rescue dogs as orphans.
That prompted students, teachers and parents to act.
“She loved her animals,” teacher Cathy Doslovic said.
Seventh-graders Maddi Graham, 13, and Courtney Wade, 12, and sixth-grader Abigail Scharf, 11, said Mostov often talked about her pets when a day’s Hebrew lessons were finished.
The girls said Mostov was a great teacher, too.
“She wouldn’t let you leave the room until you learned what you needed to learn,” Courtney said. “She really cared.”
Mostov was ill for nearly a year before she died in a nursing home last November. Her husband, Marv, who also had been ill, died a few hours before his wife.
Abigail visited Mostov in the nursing home.
“She was one of the best Hebrew teachers Akiva has ever had or ever will have,” she said.
Maddi’s mother also learned Hebrew from Mostov.
Mostov “was excited when she found out I was my mother’s daughter,” she said.
Dickens, a 6-year-old Bedlington terrier Mostov rescued from a Texas animal shelter, was adopted quickly by a Columbus family.
But Dahlia, a 7-year-old Dalmatian the teacher rescued from the Mahoning County Dog Pound, still needed a home.
Mahoning Valley shelters they contacted wouldn’t take the dog because they were full.
Doslovic found Close to Home, based in Mentor, to accept Dahlia. While the rescue group searched for a foster home, Dahlia stayed at Wags ’n Wiggles Resort in Canfield.
The organization paid for the dog’s medical care and provided food until she found a home.
They set up a jar at school with a picture of Dahlia propped inside for people to bring in change. Because Mostov was a teacher for 20 years at Akiva and even longer at Congregation Rodef Sholom, some current students’ parents learned Hebrew from her.
“They brought in money and change and dog toys and treats,” Doslovic said. “It was students and teachers and parents.”
The school raised more than $300 that was donated to the rescue organization.
Dahlia, who lived in a foster home for a couple of months, found a home.
“They said it’s like she’s always been there,” Doslovic said. “The little boy loves her because he’s 71/2 and she’s 71/2 and they have the same birthday.”