Sunday, January 25, 2015

What Happened in Grades K-2 on Sunday, January 25...


Today in Kehillah, we celebrated birthdays in January, but there is another birthday this month, for the Trees! This birthday is called Tu b'Shevat. (on the English calendar, Tu b'Shevat is in February, but the current Hebrew month is Shevat, and that is the month in which we celebrate Tu b'Shevat!)

Then, back in the classroom we played musical chairs while listening to music about Tu b'Shevat.

In our version of musical chairs, when somebody gets out, they get to answer a question about being kind to others, which is our theme for the year.

After that, we read a story about Tu b'Shevat.

In this story, a child and his grandfather plant a tree, and it grows and grows. The apples from this tree grew seeds, which were planted to become more trees.

Then, we started making decorations for our Tu b'Shevat party next week. (every good birthday party needs decorations!)

Some of the kids made Shrek masks for fun, as part of their arts and crafts.

Grade 1

The first graders began their day by sharing what they did this week to make them a Jewish Hero.  Sammi shared that she helped her mom take her cat to the vet!

The class continued their morning in T’filah, sitting front and center, praying with Cantor Rick.  

After T'filah, we stayed in the Sanctuary to rehearse for Consecration. Cantor Rick helped us with our songs and how the ceremony is going to happen. Everyone is very excited!

After rehearsal, we went back to the classroom to learn about Tu b'Shevat, otherwise known as the “New Year of the Trees.”  Mrs. Levy read the class Sammy Spider’s First Tu b’Shevat so we could learn more about the upcoming holiday!

Grade 2


During T'filah, Cantor Lawrence taught us about this week's Torah portion, Beshalah. To learn more, go to

Today, in class, we learned the letters nun and hey. It was fun to add two new letters to our aleph bet repertoire!

Then, in Art, we made Aleph Bet Wheels. these will help us practice our letters and vowels at home!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

What Happened in Grades 3-6 on Sunday, January 11...

Grade 3

Today, Mrs. Zaas started off by asking us if as Jews, we are obligated to give Tzedakah, or if it is a choice. Did you know that we are obligated?! This is because it is on us to help make our world a more just place by assisting those who are less fortunate than us. Mrs. Zaas then taught us about three different organizations that help out different types of people. We voted to give our class' Tzedakah to the Make A Wish Foundation.

In Mrs. Gabay's class, we started studying a new text, Parshat Lech Lecha. In this text, Avram's name is changed to Avraham and God tells him to go to the land of Israel. We found a lot of interesting questions in the text about why God would tell someone to go somewhere and what it means when your name changes.

Then, we worked on a project for the Jewish National Fund, which will be used at their annual JNF celebration. We answered the question "Israel is..." How might you answer this question?

In Hebrew, we reviewed the letters and vowels we know by creating our very own Hebrew word searches! You could play them by trying to find the sounds that match with the letters, or by trying to find look alike letters.

Grade 4

Grade 4 had a great first day back from break! First we had T’fillah which was followed by Havdallah during Kehillah. After our Havdallah and snack we went back to our classrooms. In Mr. Stone’s Judaics class, we reviewed the Torah story that we learned before break and revisited the idea of kibud av v'em. Then, we discussed LaShon HaRa (Gossip). Judaism has some very particular rules about what we can and can't say about other people and when. After playing a few rounds of "telephone," we read a story called, “The Pebble,” to teach us how a story,might seem small and insignificant, but it is still powerful, much like a pebble breaking a window.

Meanwhile, in Mrs. Abrams’ class we continued our topic of upstanders vs. bystanders. We split into two groups and received either the Cleveland Jewish News or the Cleveland Plain Dealer and found two articles showing an upstander and two articles showing a bystander. We then presented to each other. 

In Hebrew with Mr. Stone, since we had such a long break, we decided to do review jeopardy. We split into two teams - boys vs. girls. There were four categories - Vowels, Letters, Prayers and Roots. It was a great review after having been gone for so many weeks!

Grade 5

During T'filah, we talked about how last week, we began the Book of Shemot (Exodus). The Cantor told us all about how this meant we can make amazing discoveries and teach them to others, and we can carry out missions and do unto others as we want them to do unto us. During Kehillah, we talked about how we finished Shabbat and it is time for Havdallah! Our snack was animal crackers and water - yum!

Back in class with Mrs. Zamir, we went over our B'rit. We added more rules, and talked about which ones we could improve on for this semester. 

Afterward, we reviewed what we did before break (which was discuss blessings and curses), then we went further in depth about blessings. We discussed questions like, "Who can give blessings? Just God, or can people too?"

In class with Ms. Silverstein, we reviewed the prophets that we studied before break. We then talked about the story of Isaiah and Amos. Working in chevrutah (partners) we looked at texts from both prophets and answered questions about what the people were doing wrong in each text, what they should have been doing instead and how the prophet handled it. We then came up with our own alternative ideas to fix the problems. 

When we all came together in Mrs. Zamir’s Hebrew class, we did a warm up that had to do with vowel sounds. The vowel sounds we focused on today were "Oo" and "Oh." Students worked in chevrutah and read the worksheet, answering questions along the way. 

After our warm up we did a Kedushah exercise. Mrs. Zamir gave us a cheat sheet that told us what every word in the prayer meant, then we read through it trying to interpret it. 

Grade 6

Grade 6 had art class today in which we came up with metaphors for Israel (similar to how the United States is described as a melting pot). Some ideas the class came up with were beach, puzzle, salad, pizza, and tye-dye. 

We then began to find images to create a collage in the shape of the State of Israel. This group of boys was finding toppings to create their pizza representation of Israel. 

Hannah helped her group glue their Israeli salad collage together. 

After our art project, we had a guest speaker talk to us about Israel. Matt Cohen made Aliyah and served in the IDF (Israel Defense Force). We discussed the meaning of Aliyah (the act of going up, or emigrating to Israel) and talked about the “law of return,” meaning all Jews have the right to be an Israeli citizen and that it will always be our home.