Sunday, March 9, 2014

What Happened in Grades 3-6 on Sunday, March 9...

Grade 3

Today we had Havdallah during Kehillah. Our Madrichim held the candle, spice box and Kiddush cup because our Grade 6 classmates had the day off (they spent the weekend at Camp Wise for their Retreat!).

In Mrs. Zaas' Judaics class, we had a discussion about where we think we should donate the Tzedakah that we've collected this year. We decided to donate it to an animal shelter. We've already raised around $50!

In Mrs. Gabay's Judaics class, we began exploring the questions that we raised around the text from the Torah that tells the story of the Hebrews crossing Yam Souf (the Sea of Reeds, often mistranslated as the Red Sea). In particular, our discussion looked at courage. We talked about the midrash that tells the story of Nachson, the first Hebrew to go into the sea. We looked at modern day examples, such as the Olympic gymnast Kerri Strug who completed her vault with a broken ankle. 

Back with Mrs. Zaas, we worked on posters for the Purim Carnival Sock Tree Booth that we'll be staffing next week. We're excited to fulfill the mitzvah of collecting goods for the needy.

Grade 4

Today we had a combined Judaics class that looked at the story of Purim and helped us consider the concept of secrets. First, Mrs. Abrams helped us look at the part of the Purim story where Esther keeps her Jewish identity secret.

Then, we looked at worksheets that had lists of reasons why we might choose to share a secret with others. We worked in small groups to decide whether or not the examples on our worksheets were good reasons to share a secret.

In Mr. Feinberg's Hebrew class, we created skits that had to do with different emotions.

For example, when someone falls down, we might feel sorry for them and ask them if they need help.

This set induction activity helped us think about prayer in terms of whether an emotion needs to accompany a prayer or if the words are enough. In Hebrew, the emotional connection is called kavanah and the words are called keva.

Grade 5 & 6 Retreat

Grades 5 & 6 had an amazing time on their Retreat! Once we all arrived at Camp Wise, we had Shabbat dinner, followed by T'filah.

Then, we played a "get to know you" game. The teachers put stickers on our heads and we had to figure out who we were and who our partner was by asking only yes or no questions to the rest of the group. Once we found our partners, we shared three communities that we belong to as a way to get to know our partners better.

Then, we were each given a puzzle piece. First, we had to find the group to which our piece belonged, and then we had to put our puzzle together. Each puzzle was a quote from a Jewish text that focused on a unique aspect of community.

We discussed the quote...

...and then created a skit about our quote. When we performed our skit, the other groups had to try to figure out which quote was ours.

Afterwards, half of us went on a night hike and half of us brainstormed with Mrs. Milgrom about what TEE should give away as "send off" gifts when we go to summer camp this summer. We then switched activities, so that everyone got to do a night hike and everyone got to give input about "send off" gifts. Once we were all back together, we enjoyed smores before bed!

On Saturday morning, after breakfast, we had T'filah. Shabbat morning services were really special. We divided into groups and each group got to choose how to lead one of the prayers in the Shabbat morning service. Some of us chose to chant, others to read the Hebrew and others to read the English or an interpretive reading.

After services, we pretended to be part of a Jewish community with a struggling budget. Each group went on a scavenger hunt that took us around Camp Wise to learn about a variety of institutions that exist within the Jewish community. Then, we had to decide how to divide up our budget and which institutions should receive funding. We presented our cases to Rabbi Denker and Ms. Killam, who were the final judges. Rabbi Denker also talked to us about his visit to the Jewish community in the Republic of Georgia.

Next was free time!

After free time, we made groggers to donate to the community's Purim celebration for Holocaust survivors and we made a special Retreat table cloth that TEE will use on all of our Retreats. We'll put the table cloth down as a cover on top of which we can put the Torah for Shabbat morning services. We ended our Retreat with a beautiful Havdallah ceremony. What an amazing weekend!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

What Happened in Grades K-2 on Sunday, March 2...

Our blog is missing pictures!

This weekend, our teens participated in NFTY-NEL's Winter Kallah. This amazing youth group event was SO well attended by TEE teens, that we didn't have anyone available to take pictures of classes today! Nevertheless, here is what the Grade K-2 students did today...


Our Kindergarten students welcomed a new friend today! We were very excited to have a new student in the class and to practice "loving our neighbor as ourselves" by welcoming our new student the way that we would want to be welcomed if we were new somewhere. We also spent time perfecting the Purim costumes and crowns that we started working on last Sunday. They came in handy when we participated in an interactive Purim story activity. Want to know more about the Purim story? Join us for our Family Megillah Reading (10 am) and Purim Carnival (11 am) on Sunday, March 16!

Grade 1

Today, the Grade 1 students read a book about the story of Purim. We talked about how Esther and Mordechai were Jewish heroes for telling King Ahashverosh the truth and saving the Jewish people. In Art, Grade 1 made puppets of the people in the Purim story using popsicle sticks and paper. Want to know more about the Purim story? Join us for our Family Megillah Reading (10 am) and Purim Carnival (11 am) on Sunday, March 16!

Grade 2

Grade 2 had an exciting day! We started learning a new letter - gimmel. We practiced gimmel by playing a letter matching game. During Kehillah, which was in our classroom, we talked about the Religious School Restaurant Fundraiser at Buffalo Wild Wings on March 19. Everyone was excited to take home the flyer! Afterwards, we made huge maps of Israel by covering our tables in butcher block paper. The students labeled all of the major cities and topographical features and each group selected 3 different cities to label in Hebrew. We also enjoyed coloring in the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. What a great day!