Eighteenth Week: SJS 1/25 & 1/28

Our star Hatikvah Singer!
Our star Hatikvah singer and SJS Vav student Alexis singing before 400 people at the Israel Cancer Relief Fund benefit last month.  We are so proud and impressed!
Message from Mr. Sherman
During our regular Tefillah sessions this week, I shared with our Gan through Heh students the importance of reading Hebrew for five minutes per day.  I have invested a lot of time and effort into finding the best Hebrew program available for a congregational school that meets the type of hours that we do.  The research I have done leads me to believe that repetition of reading this incredibly phonetic language makes a HUGE difference when it comes to reading fluency.  With our students involved in so many important things, how can we find five extra minutes?  By setting a timer on an electronic device and limiting ourselves to a specific amount of minutes, we can find these five minutes.  Now, let’s ask ourselves: Is Cantor Simon a magician when it comes to preparing students to chant Torah and Haftorah for Bar or Bat Mitzvah?  Absolutely.  Do we have many talented teachers at SJS?  Without a doubt.  Devoted madrichim?  For sure. Do we want our students to find extra comfort levels when it comes to picking up a skill to last a lifetime?  There is no question.  Do we expect our students to come out of SJS as fluent Hebrew readers who should be able to feel comfortable in synagogues all over the world?  Yes!
As the dad of two active boys, I know how hard it is to get kids into the rhythm of practicing Hebrew reading on a daily basis.  Making this a part of the daily experience will make the B’nai Mitzvah preparation SO much easier and remove SO much unnecessary stress.  Imagine if all of us studied throughout the semester instead of cramming for the big finals.  While this may be a totally new concept for some, I challenge everyone not to wait until our students receive their Haftorah to practice.  Now is the time!  Your child(ren) will read Hebrew like you wouldn’t believe. They will enjoy SJS 200% more!  I’m handing out user names and passwords to Gan students because they also want to start and are ready just as Kindergarten students learn how to read English.  Never before did we have the instrument to make it possible to practice Hebrew even if a student’s parent(s) didn’t know a single Hebrew letter or vowel.  Now we do.  Let’s make it happen.  Please see “Class Updates and Hebrew Practice Below” to get started if you haven’t already.  If you have any questions, please let me know.  Shabbat Shalom!

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