Sunday, October 27, 2013

What Happened in Grades K-2 on Sunday, October 27...


Did you know that each week our Kindergarten class begins with everyone having a chance to give Tzedakah? Giving Tzedakah is a great way to love your neighbor as yourself and we all try to give some each week. Don't forget to send your child with even just a penny or two - every little bit helps!

Instead of T'filah today, we had a special guest visit us from GUCI, a Jewish overnight camp. We watched a special video all about what it is like to be a camper at GUCI.

Then, we learned to sing a song and dance a special dance. Here, we are dancing and singing Fudgy the Whale.

Back in class, our madrichah (teacher's assistant), Megan, read us a special story called The Very Best Place for a Penny. It is a great book!

In the story, we learned that a Tzedakah box is the very best place for a penny. So today in class, we made our very own Tzedakah boxes.

To end class, we learned about different ways that you can give Tzedakah. Did you know that giving Tzedakah doesn't just mean giving money? Some of us even tried to act out the different ways that we can give Tzedakah.

Grade 1

Today, in Grade 1, we started learning about Havdallah, the special ceremony that ends Shabbat. We talked about how we say "goodbye" to Shabbat during Havdallah and learned about how a Havdallah candle is different from other types of candles. Our madrich (teacher's assistant), Adam, helped us learn the brachot (blessings) for Havdallah by playing them for us on his phone. 

Instead of T'filah today, we had a special guest visit us from GUCI, a Jewish overnight camp. We learned two songs. One of them was called Fudgy the Whale and the other song was called Joe's Button Factory. It was really fun!

Back in class, we made our very own Havdallah candles out of beeswax. We can't wait to use them this coming Saturday night to say goodbye to Shabbat.

To end our day, Cantor Yomtov came into our classroom to help us learn three very special songs that we will sing during our Consecration ceremony. When you come to the Beginning Your Child's Jewish Journey program on November 24, you'll get a CD and a sheet with lyrics so that you can help us practice during the week.

Grade 2

Today in Grade 2, we learned a new letter! It is called Aleph. It doesn't make any sound at all.

To practice the letter Aleph, we wrote it in our workbooks.

Instead of T'filah today, we had a special guest visit us from GUCI, a Jewish overnight camp. He told us a story about a King who planted flowers and earned his own money instead of using his inheritance.

Back in class, we reviewed the Hebrew letters and vowels that we've learned so far. Ask your child what letter he or she sees written on the white board in this picture!

Then, we put the letters that we've learned together to form two words - Shabbat Shalom.

We colored in the letters and labeled them. We can't believe that we've learned enough Hebrew to spell two whole words!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

What Happened in Grades 3-6 on Sunday, October 20...

Grade 3

Today, Grade 3 had Art. We made our very own Chanukiot (Chanukah menorot - "menorahs"). The first step was to sand our block of wood until it became smooth.

After that, we drew on our block with stencils in the shape of chanukiot, dreidels, and the Magen David (Star of David).

Then we got watercolor paints and added lots of color!

In Hebrew class, we learned some new Modern Hebrew words. If you want someone to come towards you, you say "bo-ee." If you want someone to give you something you say "ten-li."

We also learned how to talk about different types of candles (nerot). For example, to talk about a Chanukah candle, you would say "ner shel Chanukah." To talk about a Shabbat candle, you would say "ner shel Shabbat." Knowing this will help us with the brachah (blessing) over the candles for Chanukah and Shabbat!

Grade 4

After, a presentation by Camp Wise, Grade 4 students headed off to Judaics. In Mrs. Abrams' class, we discussed the importance of tzedakah, focusing on why everyone should bring tzedakah and how every little bit will help. Then, we did a skit where two students were chosen to play God or Abraham. The skit acted out God telling Abraham how God was going to destroy all of the people in Sodom and Gomorrah, but then Abraham begs God to find at least 10 righteous people and then all of the people can be spared. Ask your student how the story ends and how this is an example of a Lo Aleicha moment.

Mr. Feinberg’s class had a guest, Dr. Jen Glaser. Dr. Glaser and Mr. Feinberg helped us explore what makes something “good.” We considered questions like if a plane that was safe in the air is good, or if a table that is old and scratched but is just the right height at which one can sit comfortably is good.The discussion then moved into one about what makes someone good and what actions are good and not good. All of our discussions today help us better understand what is meant in parshat Bereshit when God calls creation "good."

In Hebrew with Mr. Feinberg, we read a story in our workbooks called, Benjamin the Sheppard. The story was about the Bejamin and the brachah (blessing) that he said.

The story served as an introductory activity for us to begin to learn what makes something a brachah.

  Lastly, we worked in chevrutah (pairs) on an activity in our workbook that helped us practice identifying different brachot (blessings).

Grade 5


Today, instead of T'filah, we had a special visit from Camp Wise. They taught us a song and dance called "Eyegezumba Warriors" and we watched a video all about what it is like to go to Camp Wise. For more information on Jewish summer camps or for scholarship information, contact Beth Mann.

In Judaics class, we started with a round of Zen Counting. This activity helps us focus on being aware of the other students around us and how we can engage in a discussion where everyone feels respected and has a chance to participate. 

Using Popsicle sticks as a talking tool, we continued with our exploration of parshat Bereshit. Today we tried to decide what the difference is between making something from scratch and making something new from something that has already been made.

With Ms. Silverstein in Hebrew, we continued working on the first part of the Amidah - the Avot v'Imahot. We worked on decoding and chanting the prayer and also looked at the translation to gain a better understanding of how God is described in this prayer and what God's relationship was like with our ancestors - Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah.

Grade 6

Today, instead of T'filah, we had a special visit from Camp Wise. They taught us a song and dance called "Eyegezumba Warriors" and we watched a video all about what it is like to go to Camp Wise. For more information on Jewish summer camps or for scholarship information, contact Beth Mann. 

We started Hebrew class with TPR (Total Physical Response). Mr. Solomon is teaching us different commands in Hebrew, for example, in this picture we are mastering la-rutz (run).

We practiced decoding phrases from the beginning of the Torah service, specifically, the part of the service where we take the Torah out of the Ark.

In Judaics, we finished up our Count Me In unit. We looked how we earn a name for ourselves through the different professions we choose and reputations earn. We are really excited for the community wide Count Me In program next Sunday, October 27 from 9:00 am - 12:00 pm at Gross Schechter Day School.

Some of us got to enjoy doughnuts today and some of us got to eat ice cream cake! Why? Each class chose the treat that they wanted to celebrate having filled our marble jar. We earn marbles each week when we meet all of our classroom expectations. Fulfilling our brit (agreement) is super sweet!!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

What Happened in Grades K-2 on Sunday, October 13...


We had quite an exciting day today! Everyone got to go outside because we had a fire drill.

When we got to Art class, Mrs. Schulgasser had us sit around a long piece of paper. She told us that we were going to draw pictures that made us think of loving our neighbors as ourselves (our theme for this year).

We loved drawing our pictures and Mrs. Schulgasser told us that she is going to roll up our big piece of paper and turn it into a scroll - just like the Torah!!!

 Grade 1

Grade 1 started our day in T'filah.

Rabbi Denker asked us questions about Abraham and Sarah. We talked about how Abraham and Sarah fulfilled the mitzvah of Hachnasat Orchim (Welcoming the Stranger) by welcoming people into their tent.

In our classroom, we learned about Shabbat. Ms. Levy asked us what we do on Shabbat and how Shabbat is different from all of the other days of the week.

We practiced saying the brachot (blessings) over the candles, grape juice and challah.

Mrs. Rosenthal read us a story about Shabbat called Sammy Spider's First Shabbat

Afterwards, we got to visit the library and check out books!

Grade 2

Grade 2 started our morning with a discussion about the fire drill that we would be participating in later on during the day. Afterwards, we had goldfish in Kehillah and then went to T'filah. Do you know what bracha we say over goldfish? Ask us and hopefully we'll be able to tell you!

After T'filah, we reviewed the aleph bet letters that we have learned so far.


Mrs. Ehrenreich created a tic-tack-toe game for us to play that helped us review the letters.

Our curriculum this year focuses on the book of Shemot (Exodus) and we started to learn a little bit about this part of the Torah today.

We colored pictures of the burning bush after talking about this part of the biblical story.