Sunday, December 14, 2014

What Happened in Grades K-2 on Sunday, December 14...


Today in Kindergarten we had an extremely exciting day! We mostly focused on Hanukkah since the holiday is coming so soon. We did fun activities such as coloring, playing dreidel, and making Hanukkah cards for family, friends, and IDF soldiers. To top it off, today was latke day! For snack, a few volunteers fried up a whole bunch of latkes for us to nosh on. After snack we went to T’filah and then back to our classroom. Mrs. Bernstein asked us to sit in a circle to talk about our plans and also our class rules. Originally, we thought we did not have art class today but Mrs. Schulgasser came in and offered to help us make Hanukkah cards. We used a ton of cools stickers and we could even make dreidels out of some pretty paper. Some of us plan to give them to family members while the rest of us are going to mail them to the IDF.

Grade 1

Today in Grade 1, we began by playing fun Hanukkah games! We played dreidel and pin the candle on the Hanukkiah! It was so much fun!! 

We then went to a very special Kehillah where Temple Emanu El’s WOTEE (Women of Temple Emanu El) and the Brotherhood made us latkes! They were so tasty! After Kehillah, we went to T’filah.

After that, we went back to the classroom where Cantor Lawrence came to teach us two of our consecration songs. We learned The Tree of Life, as well as Rabbi BenBagBag. Cantor Lawrence recommended that we listen to our consecration CDs at home to practice all our songs each day so we are ready for Consecration in February.

After, Cantor’s lesson, Mrs. Rosenblum came in to read us the story, Lots of Latkes. After the interesting story of everyone bringing latkes to one party, we got our chance to borrow our very own books from the library. It was a great day and we cannot wait for what awaits us when we come back from winter break. I hope everyone has a happy Hanukkah, a happy New Year, and a great break and we cannot see you in a few weeks!

Grade 2

Grade 2 began our day with a question: “What is the upcoming Jewish holiday”? Of course, everyone knows it’s Hanukah. We talked a bit about the history of Hanukah and why we celebrate this holiday, and why we should give thanks during it. 

Next we read some fun Hanukah stories. We read Hanukah Mice first, which was a fun book about mice celebrating Hanukah. Next we read Like A Maccabee and talked about how we could be like the Maccabees. 

 During T'filah today we recapped last week’s topic, which was Joseph. We then continued on with our new topic, Hanukah. It’s the holiday of light during the darkest time of the year. We know to do good things during this time and work hard with a good attitude. If we believe in ourselves, we can do great things. 

Back in class, Grade 2 made our flashcards. By the end of this year, we’ll know the entire Alef Bet! We practiced what letters we know with friends after finishing our cards. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

What Happened in Grades 3-6 on Sunday, December 7...

Grade 3


Today, we had Kehillah in the classrooms. Mrs. Gabay asked a few of us to come up and help lead the brachot (blessings) over our snack.

In Mrs. Gabay’s class, we explored the story of Noach (Noah). We raised questions about the text that we found interesting and hope to discuss with our peers.

Then, in Mrs. Zaas’ class, we talked about Tzedakah and charity. We got to see how many bottle tabs the grade above us collected for the Ronald McDonald house, and we plan to collect even more this year.

Back in Mrs. Zaas’ class, we discussed Acts of Loving Kindness that we do for each other, and things we could do as a community to help those in need.

As it is important to bring our learning to life, we talked about how on Tuesday we are going to decorate cookies to donate to JFSA. Our class decided that we should decorate the cookies with Chanukah themes.

Mrs. Zaas taught us what the four letters on the dreidel are, and how they mean, “A great miracle happened there.” In Israel however, the last letter is different, so it means, “A great means a great miracle happened here,” because the story of Chanukah happened in Israel.

Grade 4

We had a great day today in fourth grade! First we had T’filah and after we had Kehillah in our classroom because of a special program that the first graders were having in the Social Hall.

During Kehillah we had the option of signing up for PJ Our Way. This is a new program through the Jewish Federation of Cleveland that sends free Jewish books to kids ages 8-11 once a month. We are very excited to receive a book of our choice once a month!

After signing up for PJ Our Way, we went to art with Mrs. Schulgasser. Mrs. Schulgasser talked to us about oil lamps and how we could make our own! We rolled clay into balls, formed it into a little pot and put a wick into it. When they are all dry and ready (pun intended!) we can take them home, fill them with olive oil and have our very own oil lamps.

After art, we went with Mr. Stone to Hebrew. In Hebrew we reviewed Sh’ma and V'ahavtah. After, we got to play Hebrew hangman! It was a lot of fun. Lastly, at the end of the day, we got Chanukah candles and dreidels. We are so excited for the Retreat next week. Just remember, no class for students in Grades 3 & 4 the Sunday following the Retreat.

Grade 5

During T'filah today, we discussed the upcoming holiday, Chanukah. We learned about miracles, how there are three types of them, and how a miracle was portrayed in the story of Chanukah

We had Kehillah in our classrooms, but were still able to sing HaTikvah! We also had the option of signing up for PJ Our Way. This is a new program through the Jewish Federation of Cleveland that sends free Jewish books to kids ages 8-11 once a month. We are very excited to receive a book of our choice once a month!

In Mrs. Zamir’s class, we began by playing a game. The object was to count to ten with each of us saying one number. The trick was that we couldn't decide ahead of time who was going to say which number, so we had to read each other's body language and be aware of those around us. This activity will help us as we delve into our Philosophical Inquiry discussions, which mirror those discussions the Rabbis had two thousand years ago!

Last week, we talked about blessings. Today's discussions was about curses! We talked about how there are good curses and bad curses, and what we’ve been cursed with during our lives. 


In Ms. Silverstein's class we became prophets. We read articles with situations on them, then we had to figure out what we would do to solve whatever the problem was

Did you know that different movements in Judaism say some prayers slightly different? We learned about this while studying the G'vurot in Hebrew with Mrs. Zamir. In the G'vurot, some congregation say "gives life to all" and some say "gives life to the dead." We talked about how these two phrases are different and what we think the prayer should say.

Grade 6

While practicing our everyday Hebrew phrases to start off Mr. Solomon’s class, Emma had the opportunity to show off her skills. In this picture, Mr. Solomon was telling Emma to spin using Hebrew! 

As our curriculum is focusing on the Torah service, we worked today in class on better understanding how to show Kavod while in T'filah. Some of the ideas were about the importance of using our siddurim and showing respect to the clergy.

As it turned out, our class had a lot of questions about Rabbi Denker's sermon from T'filah. While it wasn't a part of our originally planned lesson, Mr. Solomon took the time to answer our questions about the miracles of Chanukah.

Ms. Killam wasn't hear today because last night she became Mrs. Potash! In her class, our substitute teacher,  Mrs. Barasch, had us take a survey on items that we think we may find if we were to visit Israel. The state of Israel actually has everything listed on the survey!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

What Happened in Grades K-2 on Sunday, November 23...


Did you know that it is now the month of Kislev? Did you know that we celebrate Chanukah during Kislev? Today, as we waited for all of our friends to arrive, we spent some time coloring pictures for Chanukah.

It is also November, and in November, we celebrate Thanksgiving! Being thankful is one of the themes in the prayers that we recite every Sunday morning, so in T'filah, we took some time to talk about what we are thankful for.

In our classroom, we continued to explore how being thankful is a Jewish value. We made cards to express what we are thankful for, which helped us connect Judaism to the American holiday of Thanksgiving!

Grade 1

Did you know that it is now the month of Kislev? Did you know that we celebrate Chanukah during Kislev? Today, as we waited for all of our friends to arrive, we spent some time coloring pictures for Chanukah.

We read a story about Chanukah and learned all about King Antiochus and how he told the Jews that they couldn't been Jewish any more. We learned about how the Jews fought a war to protect their right to be Jewish and about how after they won, they light the menorah and the oil lasted for eight days. After the story, we got to make masks so that we can pretend to be either one of the Judah Maccabees fellow soldiers or one of King Antiouchus' men. Now we can act the story out at home!

After the mask making, we went to Art with Mrs. Shulgasser where we learned about oil candles for Chanukah. We made bowls out of clay with wicks coming out of them so we can fill our  bowls with oil and use them as an oil lamp. We will take them home with us the next time we are at Religious School, Sunday, December 7, which is also the day of our Consecration family program!

Grade 2

The first thing we did today was read a story with our teacher. It was really fun! It was called The Golden Calf, and it was about how when Moses and went to the top of Mount Sinai the Jewish people made a golden calf. We learned that this was not a good decision! 

Next, we did an activity called Solving the Problem. Our teacher counted us off by threes, then we got into groups. We read the paper for our group to discuss, then we brainstormed, and finally we talked about the problems that God, Moses and the Israelites faced. Each group got the chance to help God, Moses or the Israelites solve a different problem.

We had Kehillah during class today! While we ate our goldfish and drank our water, we continued to talk about the story and the problems within it. We discussed how the Israelites reacted to Moses’ absence by making an idol, how God became angry, and then, how Moses smashed the Ten Commandments in the end. 

During T'filah today, two of our madrachim helped out. We had a lot of fun saying the prayers. Rabbi told us a story about this week’s Torah portion, which is about Jacob. 

After T'filah, we learned about the letter alef. Ask us what sound it makes! (it's a trick question!)

In Library, we read a story about the letter nun, which is the letter we’ll be learning about next week, We also read another story book about Moses and the Ten Commandments. It was fun to see how two different books told the same story with different pictures and in slightly different ways!