Monday, February 27, 2017

February 26th, 2017 - Grade 2

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To begin the day, grade 2 had Judaics. We began lesson 2 on page 5 of our workbooks, and we read as a class about praise and how it makes us feel good. Next we had to either draw a picture or write down why we can praise G-d. Some examples we came up with are G-d made us and G-d made the world. After, we wrote down what we think G-d has done for the world, like make us places to stay and the friends we have. On the next page, there was a picture with lots of colors! We brainstormed some of the miracles that G-d has done which we could see in the picture. Some of them were the creation of the world and Noah's ark. As we continued reading, we saw that we praise G-d by singing and speaking. Our lesson was to learn about praising G-d. Last, we read that "Baruch atah Adonai," which we say at the beginning of many prayers, means "Praised is our G-d."

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Today in Kehilah, we noticed 3rd and 4th grade wasn't here today. This was because they had a retreat this weekend. Next year, we'll have the same opportunity! To separate Shabbat from the rest of the week, we had Havdalah. For snack, we had goldfish and water.

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Next we had T'filah. We began by saying what we're thankful for, like being ourselves. When Rabbi joined us in the sanctuary, he did something a little silly. He jumped up the stairs! He then told us that Trumah is a Hebrew word that means to go up.  He then brought up Mishkan, which is a temporary place where we meet G-d and there is Kadosh. In this week's Torah portion, G-d told Moses to go to the Israelites and ask for supplies to build a Mishkan. They brought ordinary supplies, but in the Mishkan, it was called Trumah. This is because it's holy. Anything can become Trumah if it's become holy or if it's a mitzvah.

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Back in class, we were given numbers. With these numbers, we formed groups. There were 3 groups and each received a big piece of paper. On this paper, we traced one of our group members. We filled this outline with what reminds us in the temple of the body part it's in.

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After our fun project, we took out our Hebrew workbooks and began a new letter, Vav. We traced the letter to learn to write it, then we all took turns saying words with Vav in them.

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.