Thursday, November 30, 2017

Oct 30th, Beginning Your Child's Jewish Journey: Consecration Class 2017

This morning we had a very special program for our first grade families. We gathered together and discussed Consecration, which will be a very special day for our friends in February!

We met for breakfast, and did several special projects including decorating our own Kippot! We also received instructions for making our own Torah cover.

Each family was assigned a square of a special banner that we use to represent our whole class. It was great to see all of our families working together on something so special.

Monday, February 20, 2017

2/12/17 - Grade 5

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To begin the day, grade 5 had T'filah. During this time, we said and chanted our prayers, and Rabbi Denker told us this week's Torah portion is named Yithro, who wasn't a Jew. His daughter married Moses's son. In this story, as Moses and half a million Jewish people were going to Israel, which was a lot of people to for one person to lead. He answered their questions, offered aid, and served as a judge and jury. Yithro suggested he break up the group and appoint each a easer, and that way things could be resolved much easier- only the bigger issues would need to come to Moses. He was to appoint people who spoke the truth and weren't greedy. Over the centuries, we have been given ideas from not just the Jewish people, but everyone in order to become who we are today.
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Next, for kehilah, we began with Havdalah. The sixth graders carried the candle, the wine and the spices around the circle we were in. After saying the blessings over bread and water, we had a snack of pretzels.
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In class, Mrs. Zamir passed out some papers. These papers were about Tu B'shevat. There are 4 levels of living:
1. Assiyah - physical (doing) - winter
2. Yetzirah - formation (emotion) - spring
3. Briyah - creation - summer
4. Atzilut - nobility - fall
Each of these refers to foods we eat on this holiday. Assiyah refers to nuts- hard on the outside, soft on the inside. For this, Mrs. Zamir gave us pumpkin seeds as we began to create our own little Tu B'shevat snack. Next we talked about yetzirah, which refers to some fruits- soft on the outside, hard on the inside. For this, we were given dates to add to our snack. Briyah refers to soft fruit- through and through, they are soft, and make one think of happy things. For this we were given figs. We were given 2 crackers to represent wheat. At the last level, atzilut, everything comes together and is in harmony.
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For Hebrew, Mrs. Zamir taught us a song in Hebrew. We learned it through repeating her, and while we did we stood up to pay better attention. After our fun song, we chanted the prayer we are working on, Avot V'imahot, as a class.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

January 29th, 2017. Fifth Grade.

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To begin our day, grade 5 had T'filah. During this time, Rabbi told us that we're in the story of Exodus in the Torah. This exodus didn't happen only once though. The first Jew was Abraham, so the first Jew to go to Egypt was him as well.

The Jews were in Egypt for more than 400 years, and they did well there, but there came a time where there was a new pharaoh who didn't want anyone "different" in Egypt, in his land. Eventually this caused the Jews to become slaves, and these slaves needed G-d's help to escape. In those days, no one would have told the pharaoh he was wrong because people saw him as a god. Had someone told him beforehand, a ton of suffering could have been avoided. From this, we learned that if we say "stop" before anything bad can happen, we can avoid the consequences.

Next we had Kehilah. To get our attention, Cantor played a little Simon Says with us, but he only spoke in Hebrew! This helps us to familiarize ourselves with the Hebrew language in a way that isn't rehearsing prayers. We also had a "time-dividing ceremony", or Havdalah. By doing this we are dividing Shabbat from the rest of the week. Our snack for today was goldfish and water.
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Back in class we were assigned new seats, then we collected tzedakah. Then Mrs. Zamir put up "red words" on the board. As a continuation of what we discussed last week, our first phrase was "Don't separate yourself from the community".

As our teacher continued to put words on the board, all of which connected in some way, we attempted to guess thwart the Hebrew words meant in English.

Next, we were asked if the Tanakh can be explained as anything other than the literal explanation, and it can be, but it then becomes Midrachim, or commentary on the Tanakh. In our lesson today, we need to realize that our actions don't just effect us.
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We then split into groups of four. In these groups, we were given envelopes. Inside them were pieces of a puzzle. The objective was to make 5 perfect squares of the same size with only the pieces provided, with no communication whatsoever. The meaning of this exercise was to show how difficult accomplishing anything can be without help from a community.
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Next, we had Hebrew. Before we began, we were told we will be working the duck pond at the Purim carnival, which we will begin working on next week. Our lesson in Hebrew today began with us saying, in Hebrew, what the weather is like today. We were able to say that today is Sunday and it's snowy, and the temperature is very low outside. Our workbook page was 41, which talked about the Amidah. In it, the word givurot is prominent- it means strength and power. This prayer' purpose is to show that strength and power can help us achieve things, but it isn't the only nor the best option we have.

2/5/17 Grade 2

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This morning a woman from the shelter our proceeds from the food drive went to came in to tell us where the food will go and why people might need it. She began by asking us what humans need to survive. One we came up with was shelter, and she told us that Abraham and Sarah lived in a tent, the sides always open to welcome someone who didn't have their own shelter. This is a good deed, and that wasn't the only thing that Abraham and Sarah did.

A huge story of mitzvah about Abraham is when he is ill, and speaking to G-d. Even though he was sick and speaking to G-d, he left the tent to go help the people who were walking past the tent. This is what the donated food and our tzedakah goes toward, to make people happy and keep them safe.

An interesting thing about this particular shelter is they also assist with school. If a child can't get to school, they provide transportation! After that, we told Mrs. Galili, the woman who came to visit, our process of beginning the food drive. We made the posters, went from class to class to spread the word, and we put the decorated boxes to put the food in all around temple. 

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Next we had kehilah. Cantor Lawrence came in and we played a little bit of Simon Says in Hebrew! We then sang Hatikva, then the sixth graders went around the circle as we began Havdalah. For snack we had pretzels and water. 

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After, we had T'filah. We said what we were thankful for, like breakfast and and our families, then we began our prayers for this morning. During this time, though, we had a fire drill! It was very cold, but we stuck together, listened closely, and jumped around a little to stay warm. What we learned from it was that we should be prepared for any situation, even if it's scary. 

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Back in class, Mora Julie gave us a little candy treat for being so good throughout the drill. Ms. Dassi came to visit our class as well, and we told her all about what Mrs. Galili told us this morning. She told us "Tiskulah mitzvot" which means continue to do good deeds. 

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Next we got a word search. It had words pertaining to the upcoming Jewish holiday, Tu B'shevat. In the social hall, we had four stations to go to. 

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Our first station was making Tu B'shevat trail mix. In it was crackers, dates, apricots, and raisins. 

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The second station was a matching game where we flipped cards with Tu B'shevat terms on them and matched them from memory. 

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The third station was where we put stickers of foods that grow on plants on a bookmark. 

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Last but not least, we planted some parsley seeds to take home! We can have them with our Tu B'shevat Seder.

Monday, January 23, 2017

January 22nd: 2nd and 5th grade

To begin our day, grade two went to a presentation in the social hall. During this presentation, two camps came to visit. One was a sports camp, offering a wide spread of sports to indulge in. The other camp was a science camp that promises fun, crazy experiments pertaining to the different fields of science. Each incorporates Judaism, and prayers are said before meals.

Next we had a snack of pretzels and water for kehilah, after saying the blessings over our food of course.

During t'filah today, cantor told us about a story that comes every year: the story of Passover. That being said, the next upcoming Jewish holiday is Pasach. During this holiday we discuss slavery, G-d's ten plagues, and the Jewish people's trip from Egypt to Israel.

Back in class, Mora Julie gave us chocolate and coloring pages. The coloring pages were of Hay, our Hebrew letter for today.

Today we had art. During the beginning, the art teacher had us tell her about Gimilut Chasadim, and how we're running the food drive to exemplify this. Our topic in art was tzedakah, which is collecting and donating money to those in need. We collect tzedakah every Sunday in our class. Our project today was a tzedakah box, so we can collect money at home too.

Sunday, January 22nd: 1st grade

We start the day, by sharing what made our week exciting with the rest of the class. Then we go to have services ( kahilah) with the Cantor, where most of us along with the kindergarteners and second graders go up in the front to sit with the cantor. Then we get to think of the things we are thankful for this week like the clothes on our body  and for having loving families.
We talk with the cantor about Passover and each of he plagues.  Cantor asks us to wonder why god made it so difficult for the Israelites to leave, we so come up with a few answers of why we think he did this including: wanting them to learn a lesson such as to not be greedy and appreciate what they get or if you want to get something done you have to work hard for it. Cantor tells us he thinks that God wanted the people to understand how powerful he is and that the Israelites should be worshipping him because he can do so much and be incredibly helpful if hey are nice to him.

We get to stick around with the Cantor because we get to be a part of a special ceremony in a few weeks, our consecration. It is so special, because there was once a time when we couldn't freely sing out that we were Jewish. Since our consecration will be on tubishvat, we learn a song about the trees through each season.

Cantor brings out a Torah for us, and we realize, it's made out of wood, which comes from trees! We talk about what else trees can give you, including paper, shelter, and things to build houses with. As we notice, trees can give us a lot of stuff which we will end up having  a song about. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

5th&6th Grade Retreat-Prep Session!

Yesterday, we got to explore a giant map of Israel!
Ziv (our Israeli friend) sent us on a mission to discover a little more about this country.....

Sometimes we had to work together and some times we had to include everyone to accomplish the task.

It was a lot of fun! We learned about Israel's geography and some of the different cultures that live there too. In the end, we also got to sample some different types of Israeli Chocolate that Ziv brought for us!