Am Yisrael SJS Update 1/8 and 1/11, 2017

Limmud Collage 1-13-17.png

Dear Am Yisrael SJS Community,

The following topics are covered in this week’s Limmud/Education Update:

I. Special L’Hitraot (See You Later) Note from our Longtime teacher Mrs. Batyah Cohen

II. Class Updates

III. Special Programming this Fri, Jan 13 (Pardes) and Sat, Jan 14 (Bet)

IV. Chugim Open House for Gimel, Dalet, Heh, Vav and Zayin Families: Sun, Jan 15 from 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

V. WLAY Bingo Lunch: Sun, Jan 15 from 12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. (Social Hall)

VI. Shabbat Family Programming (SFP) is next weekend, Sat, Jan 21 9:30 a.m. through 12 noon with kiddish lunch to follow

VII. USY and Kadima Youth Group Event is next weekend, Sun, Jan 22 right after SJS

VIII. Calling all Shabbat Family Programming (SFP) Torah Readers for Feb 25 and Apr 22

Attachments: 

Chugim Groupings Revised 9-27-16 (in email only)

WLAY Bingo Lunch 1-15-17 (in email only)

Brand New Limmud Collage 1-13-17 (above)

I. Special L’Hitraot (See You Later) Note from our Longtime teacher Mrs. Batyah Cohen

Dear Am Yisrael SJS Community,

One of longtime teachers, Mrs. Batyah Cohen has written a heartfelt letter which she asked me to share with you, below:

__________________________________________________

Dear Dalet and Heh Class students, past and present,

I have been at Am Yisrael for fourteen years and many of you have seen my family and children grow as I have been able to see yours. After many years of being “at home” and teaching on Sundays, I had decided to go back to work full time in the classroom. I quickly realized that working six days a week was not sustainable long term.  It is with much sadness that I have chosen to leave Am Yisrael. I only feel comfortable leaving mid-year because Charlie and I worked together to find a capable replacement. Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss will be taking over the Dalet and Heh classes as well as the Musical Drama Chug. He has an extensive background in Judaic Studies, in addition to synagogue classroom experience. Our replacement teacher, Mr. S., as the students call him and I have been meeting regularly in order to help the transition go smoothly and I am confident that he will be able to continue with the curriculum seamlessly.

I have truly enjoyed my time at Am Yisrael and in the words of the great Talmudic Sage Rabbi Chanina “I have learned much from my teachers, more from my colleagues, and the most from my students” (Ta’anit 7a) and I will miss them all terribly.  I hope that you will stay in touch via my personal email: Batyah@aol.com

Thank you to everyone for your support and well wishes,

Batyah Cohen

____________________________________________________

From Mr. Sherman:

Mrs. Cohen will be greatly missed at Am Yisrael SJS and she taught literally hundreds of our students over the course of her fourteen years with us.  We are incredibly grateful to Mrs. Cohen and wish her and her husband Benji and their children many blessings.  We too are thankful that Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss has agreed to step in, as this is usually the biggest challenge of a mid-year change.  We hope that your students will do well with what we envision, as Mrs. Cohen said, will be a seamless transition.

Warm regards,

Charlie Sherman

School Director

 

Dear Am Yisrael SJS Community,

One of longtime teachers, Mrs. Batyah Cohen has written a heartfelt letter which she asked me to share with you, below:

__________________________________________________

Dear Dalet and Heh Class students, past and present,

I have been at Am Yisrael for fourteen years and many of you have seen my family and children grow as I have been able to see yours. After many years of being “at home” and teaching on Sundays, I had decided to go back to work full time in the classroom. I quickly realized that working six days a week was not sustainable long term.  It is with much sadness that I have chosen to leave Am Yisrael. I only feel comfortable leaving mid-year because Charlie and I worked together to find a capable replacement. Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss will be taking over the Dalet and Heh classes as well as the Musical Drama Chug. He has an extensive background in Judaic Studies, in addition to synagogue classroom experience. Our replacement teacher, Mr. S., as the students call him and I have been meeting regularly in order to help the transition go smoothly and I am confident that he will be able to continue with the curriculum seamlessly.

I have truly enjoyed my time at Am Yisrael and in the words of the great Talmudic Sage Rabbi Chanina “I have learned much from my teachers, more from my colleagues, and the most from my students” (Ta’anit 7a) and I will miss them all terribly.  I hope that you will stay in touch via my personal email: Batyah@aol.com

Thank you to everyone for your support and well wishes,

Batyah Cohen

____________________________________________________

From Mr. Sherman:

Mrs. Cohen will be greatly missed at Am Yisrael SJS and she taught literally hundreds of our students over the course of her fourteen years with us.  We are incredibly grateful to Mrs. Cohen and wish her and her husband Benji and their children many blessings.  We too are thankful that Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss has agreed to step in, as this is usually the biggest challenge of a mid-year change.  We hope that your students will do well with what we envision, as Mrs. Cohen said, will be a seamless transition.

Warm regards,

Charlie Sherman

School Director

Gan (3.5-5 year olds)

Upcoming: Sun, Jan 15 Gan SJS begins in Room 1 on main level of SJS building at 9:15 a.m.

It was so much fun to be with the Gan students this week.  We had a good time reading about Sabah (Zayde) and Savta.  The students learned the days of the week in Ivrit (Hebrew) connected with the Creation story.  We sang songs in Ivrit (Hebrew) and we danced.  In Hebrew Through Movement we practiced the parts of the body rosh, yad, etc. according to the song Yadaim Lemala, al ha-rosh.  Finally, we had Tefillah, snack & Art and we talked about the Jewish value of chesed – kindness.

-Mrs. Moustakis

Aleph (1st Grade)

Upcoming: Sun, Jan 15 Aleph SJS begins in Room 2 on main level of SJS building at 9:15 a.m.

This week the Aleph students reviewed their Hebrew Letters and added the letter Tet. We also focused on the Torah stories related to Joseph’s family. We learned about who Joseph’s father and mother were and why Jacob loved them so much. We learned about how Joseph was able to help the Pharaoh and forgive his brothers. -Mrs. Berlow

Bet (2nd Grade)

Upcoming: Sun, Jan 15 Bet SJS begins in Room 3 on main level of SJS building at 9:15 a.m.

It was awesome to see everyone as Kitah Bet jumped right back into the learning after our winter break. First we had Omanut (Art) and put the finishing touches on the Havdalah project with Miss Preis and Miss Serota in the art room. After snack we talked about Havdalah and practiced reciting the blessings. Magic glasses helped us see special lights in the candle flames.  The Havdalah sets look gorgeous and I can’t wait to see everyone this Sat, Jan 14 at 5:30 pm in the Sanctuary for the Bet Havdalah services.   -Morah Anna

Gimel (3rd Grade)

Upcoming: Sun, Jan 15 Gimel SJS begins in Room 5 on upper level of SJS building at 9:15 a.m.

In the past few weeks we have discussed others who have inner strength and have helped themselves and the community, but we wrapped up this unit on Gevurah with a focus on what we as individuals can do. We started with a review of what we have learned so far and then asked the students to look inward.

Recap:

  • Students should now know several types of strength: inner strength, physical strength, personal strengths, and strength of community.
  • Students discussed the ways in which God has Gevurahand how we can use those strengths in our own lives
  • Students learned about how Hanukkah is celebrated in Israel

 

Table Talk: What are each of our strengths in our family? How can we use our strengths to help the world? What project will we do as a family to help our community?

MyShalomLearning Activity for next week: 3.4.1 Achrayut

1)     Take the Wrap-Up questions for Gevurah

2)     Take the Kick-Off Questions for Achrayut, Week 1

3)     Watch the “Responsibility Rap”

What are 2-3 ways that the characters talked about being responsible? 

Next class: We begin our unit of Achrayut, responsibility! In this unit students will be asked to volunteer somewhere in your community. This can be a very informal, small project or you are welcome to partner with an organization if that is possible.

Additionally, please have your student bring in at least 2 kosher-canned items for the Ark.  The Ark is very low on peanut butter as well, if students can please bring in hechshured items it would be greatly appreciated.  Students that bring in at least 2 kosher items will be rewarded in a special reward!

In Ivrit (Hebrew), the yeladim completed every letter of the aleph-bet!  This week the yeladim finished with learning about the letters Gimel and Tzadee.  Please be sure that your student(s) continue to practice their Ivrit at home.

Mrs. Sender and Morah Myra

Dalet (4th Grade)

Upcoming: Sun, Jan 15 Dalet SJS begins in Room 7 on upper level of SJS building at 9:15 a.m.

It was so nice being able to see the students back in class after such an extended break. It was a pleasure to note that during our Hebrew reading time, many of the students have progressed beyond the packets and are now reading out of the siddur and practicing their tefilot (prayers).  In concluding our Zikaron unit, the students are busy preparing visual representations of their family interviews. The Dalet class is hoping to present a “Zikaron Wax Museum” in a few weeks to which you will all be invited… more information coming soon. Next Unit: Deveikut – Ask your child what “glue” might have to do with our connection to G-d.  On a separate note: By now your student has told you that this was my last Sunday at Am Yisrael. It has been a pleasure getting to know and teaching your student. Mr. S will be taking over my responsibilities and is looking forward to having the same wonderful experiences I’ve had.
-Mrs. Cohen

Dear Parents,

Today we wrapped up our B’tzelem Elohim unit.  We recapped everything we had done throughout the unit and summarized the unit (just as we had done with Teshuvah) to present at the end of the year.

Recap:

  • Students should understand that being created Btzelem Elohim leads us to help others.
  • Students learned the importance of balancing their own needs with the needs of others.
  • Students made a plan for and put into practice acting B’tzelem Elohim in their schools

My.ShalomLearning.org Activity for next week: 4.4.1 Achrayut Week 1  

|  Make sure to do the kickoff questions for Achrayut

Next week: 

Next week we will begin our unit on Achrayut and will start to examine our responsibilities to the previous generations who thought ahead for our benefit.

Have a great week!

Sincerely,

Marc Sender

Dalet Class
It is so great to be back with my Dalet students after almost three weeks away from them.
We practiced reading  Baruch SheAmar and Yotzer Or.  We also practiced reading Ahavah Rabbah and worked on the meaning of the Tefillah (Prayer) line-by-line.  We learn that we must listen, study, teach, understand and keep the Mitzvot = commandments.  Please make sure to practice at home.  I would like to take this time to give thanks to all the parents for the generous and thoughtful Hanukah gift.   -Mrs. Moustakis

Heh (5th Grade)

Upcoming: Sun, Jan 15 Heh SJS begins in Sanctuary in the synagogue building at 9:15 a.m.

In today’s class we reviewed the concept of Tochecha (Rebuke) and how the Torah gives us advice on how to both give and receive criticism. We discussed how in the next unit we cover, we will be discussing gratitude and ways we, as Jews, show gratitude.  On a separate note: By now your student has told you that this was my last Sunday at Am Yisrael. It has been a pleasure getting to know and teaching your student.  Mr. S will be taking over my responsibilities and is looking forward to having the same wonderful experiences I’ve had.

Mrs. Cohen

Dear Parents,

  • Today we wrapped up our b’tzelem Elohim unit.  We recapped everything we had done throughout the unit and summarized the unit (just as we had done with Teshuvah) to present at the end of the year.

Recap:

  • We recognized that there is a difference between being equal and being the same
  • We discussed Jewish diversity – both external in terms of how people look, and internal – in terms of varying talents and creative abilities
  • We realized that we can learn and grow from people who are different than us
  • We recognized that tefilot(prayers) and berachot (blessings) can remind us to include and support people with special needs.

Table Talk: Discuss the things you have tried at school to act more in the image of G-d. How did it make you feel to help others in this way?

MyShalomLearning Activity:

What did you learn about people being created b’tzelem Elohim?

|  Don’t forget to take the WRAP UP questions for b’tzelem Elohim! (5.2.4, B’tzelem Elohim Week 4)

|  Make sure to do the kickoff questions for Achrayut

Next week: We start the unit of “achrayut” אחריות  which is about responsibility.
Have a great week!

Sincerely,

Marc Sender

Heh

It was so nice to be back and to continue teaching my students.  We practiced reading Ma’Ariv  Aravim at the same time we looked at basic words from the Creation story.  G-d is in control of nature. day- night, light – darkness, seasons, and with wisdom opens the gates of heaven.  Important for every student to practice this Tefillah on page 14.  I am very pleased with the student’s progress.  We also started practicing Ahavat Olam.  I would like to take this time to thank the parents for the generous and thoughtful gift for Hanukah.
-Mrs. Moustakis

In our first back class after winter break, the Heh students reviewed the three basic Torah trope melodies.  I’m glad to report that all the students remembered their past studies, and are ready to move forward this coming week. -Mr. Lerner

Vav (6th Grade)

Upcoming: Sun, Jan 15 Vav SJS begins in Sanctuary in the synagogue building at 9:15 a.m.

I was a substitute teacher this past Wednesday.  We had a final look at Chanukkah, but from a more mature perspective.  Is the story of the oil lasting eight days true?  Is it appropriate to give gifts on Chanukkah, when this is clearly imitating the gift giving of Christmas? -Mr. Lerner

Continuing our work on fluent reading of morning prayers, we divided up into groups and worked on the morning blessings and the early parts of Pesukei Dezimra, the preliminary service. Our emphasis was on careful reading, and especially on ensuring that we were not repeating and reinforcing any learned mispronunciations.  Students who finished with this portion moved on to Yishtabach, the end of Pesukei Dezimra. -Hazzan Szenes-Strauss

Zayin (7th Grade)

Upcoming: Sun, Jan 15 Zayin SJS begins in Sanctuary in the synagogue building at 9:15 a.m.

I was a substitute teacher for the Zayin class for one half hour this past Sunday.  We looked closely at the text of the Sh’ma.  Is the Sh’ma a prayer?  As the first line concludes …Adonai echad, does echad mean “one” or “only”? -Mr. Lerner

We are exploring gevurah, “strength” or “heroism,” as a Jewish value. We reviewed a video about the prophet Deborah, and studied the related passage in the Book of Judges. After learning the story in more depth, we considered who in the story displayed true heroism, and how we should determine what that means.-Hazzan Szenes-Strauss

This week the Zayin class focused their learning and discussions around current events.  The yeladim looked at the UN’s vote, declaring the settlements in Israel to be illegal and the United States decision to abstain from the vote.  The students looked at the history of Israel’s boarders, and the settlements.  The students also looked at Benjamin Netanyahu’s politics and a variety of US president’s relationships with Israel (i.e. Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton).  -Mrs. Sender

We continued our study of the Jewish calendar by focusing on “Today in Jewish History.”  Since Sunday’s Hebrew date was the 10th of Tevet, the class learned about the three major dates related to the destruction of the Holy Temple.  On the 10th of Tevet, the city of Jerusalem was surrounded by our enemies; on the 17th of Tammuz, the walls of the city were breached.  On the 9th of Av, the Temples were destroyed.  We discussed how many people fast and add additional prayers on those days as a sign of mourning and to seek forgiveness for our wrongdoing as a nation.  We discussed the importance of identifying and heeding early warning signs, and learning to change behaviors before they have negative impacts on our lives, whether it means taking care of our health, studying for tests, or fixing a leaky pipe.-Mr. Dallal

Prozdor (8th Grade)

Upcoming: Sun, Jan 15 Prozdor SJS begins in Room 9 on upper level of SJS building at 10:30 a.m.(one hour, 15 minutes later than the majority of the classes in SJS) 

We continued our study of the Jewish calendar by focusing on “Today in Jewish History.”  Since Sunday’s Hebrew date was the 10th of Tevet, the class learned about the three major dates related to the destruction of the holy Temple.  On the 10th of Tevet, the city of Jerusalem was surrounded by our enemies; on the 17th of Tammuz, the walls of the city were breached.  On the 9th of Av, the Temples were destroyed.  We discussed how many people fast and add additional prayers on those days as a sign of mourning and to seek forgiveness for our wrongdoing as a nation.  We discussed the importance of identifying and heeding early warning signs, and learning to change behaviors before they have negative impacts on our lives, whether it means taking care of our health, studying for tests, or fixing a leaky pipe. -Mr. Dallal

Pardes (9th-10th Grades)

Upcoming: Fri, Jan 13 Pardes has a special program taking place at Am Yisrael this Friday night and will serve as this week’s session, in lieu of regular Sunday SJS for Pardes this week. Our service will begin at 6:00 p.m. We will be joined by students and chaperones from Church of the Holy Spirit, Lake Forest. After a quick meal, our students will make 2 to 3 minute presentations.

 

III. Special Programming this Fri, Jan 13 (Pardes) and Sat, Jan 14 (Bet)

(a) Fri, Jan 13 (Pardes) 

Special thanks to Cantor Simon for planning and facilitating a special program taking place at Am Yisrael this Friday night and will serve as this week’s session, in lieu of regular Sunday SJS for Pardes this week.  Our service will begin at 6:00 p.m. We will be joined by students and chaperones from Church of the Holy Spirit, Lake Forest.  After a quick meal, the students below will make a 2 to 3 minute presentation on the assigned subjects, as follows:

Becky Jacobson – Kashruth

Markus Tam – Jewish ritual items (i.e. tefillin, tallit, candles, Eternal Light, menorah, Havdalah set, etc.)

Jonathan Brown – Shabbat, customs and how you observed it in camp

Josh Doherty – holidays on the Hebrew calendar

Zachary Salberg – Why Israel matters to Jews

Adina Grossman – Denominations of Judaism (Orthodox, Conservative & Reform) and how they differ

Nathan Brodkin – What is the Jewish Bible – explain Tanach in a simple overview

(b) Sat, Jan 14 (Bet)

Bet Havdalah will be taking place in the Sanctuary from 5:30 p.m.-6:15 p.m.  Thank you to Morah Anna for preparing the Bet students to sing Havdalah and to Miss Preis and Miss Serota for working with the Bet students to create such beautiful Havdalah sets.

IV. Chugim Open House for Gimel, Dalet, Heh, Vav and Zayin Families: Sun, Jan 15 from 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

This Sun, Jan 15 we are excited to host our first-ever Chugim (Electives) Open House during the final 45 minutes of this week’s SJS: 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.  This event was originally scheduled for last month and was postponed due to inclement weather.   The Chugim Open House differs greatly from the Chugim Presentations of the past and will take place in the classrooms in the SJS building.  Parents with students in the Gimel, Dalet, Heh, Vav and Zayin classes and in Omanut (Art) Chug (Lower Level Art Room and mini-murals down the hall), Band Chug (Lower Level Library), Kadima Board Chug (Room 10), Multimedia Production Chug (Room 5) and Musical Drama Chug (Room 7) are encouraged to attend. 

Please see the attached Chugim list to make sure you know which Chug your 3rd through 7th grader is in.  Those parents whose student(s) are not in the Chugim listed above (i.e. Madrichim-In-Training, or have student(s) younger or older than Gimel through Zayin) are welcome to attend, knowing that your student(s) will not be performing and/or in the midst of discussions/activities related to a Chug.  The Gan, Aleph and Bet classes will rotate through the Chugim Open House as additional special guests and to serve as a preview for what they will get to experience once they reach the Gimel (3rd Grade) year. 

 

SPECIAL ADDED NOTE: An additional email was sent this week beyond the weekly Limmud/Education Update wSince the Chugim Open House was not on the original SJS Calendar and was added relatively recently, we wanted to make sure that this information did not get lost in the shuffle.

V. WLAY Bingo Lunch: Sun, Jan 15 from 12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. (Social Hall)

Lunch, a raffle, and BINGO (and PRIZES) for all ages.  This event was originally scheduled to take place last month and was postponed due to inclement weather.  Please see attached flyer for all details.

VI. Shabbat Family Programming (SFP) is next weekend, Sat, Jan 21 9:30 a.m. through 12 noon with kiddish lunch to follow

Thank you to our Torah readers for working so diligently to prepare for your honors: Sammy Froum (Heh), Rachel Gordon (Bet), Jack Himmelfarb (Gimel), Hallie Horwich (Bet), Levi Jagher (Gimel), Zoe Jagher (Vav), Jordan Kreiner (Gimel), Rachel Kreiner (Heh), Esther Loewenthal (Heh), Greta Loewenthal (Pardes), Jamie Loewenthal (Bet), Ben Legator (Dalet), Etai Weisberg (Vav), Noam Weisberg (Dalet), Henry Weller (Dalet) and Marcus Weller (Gimel).

VII. USY and Kadima Youth Group Event is next weekend, Sun, Jan 22 right after SJS

Color Me Mine
1855 Tower Drive
(Glen Town Center)
Glenview, Illinois 60026
We will be leaving from Room 10 shortly after SJS.  Pickup will be at the Glen at 3:00 p.m.
Cost is $25.00, which includes art piece, painting fee and food.  NOTE: More expensive pottery pieces can be purchased at time of program for additional cost.  Please contact our Kadima and USY Advisor, Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm via email smielikamm@amyisrael.org or cell phone (847) 721-2137 call/text to RSVP or with any questions.

VIII. Calling all Shabbat Family Programming (SFP) Torah Readers for Feb 25 and Apr 22

We have several students who are in the midst of preparing to chant from the Torah scrolls at SFP on Sat, Jan 21. It is now time to get our Sat, Feb 25 and Sat, Apr 22 SFP Torah reading line-up set.  I will send one verse Torah readings for the library service or three verses of Torah readings for the Sanctuary service.  While our SJS students are learning Torah trope formally starting in the Heh year, I will be sending mp3’s to all SJS and Day School students who sign up, unless families specifically request to only receive the text without the recording.  Please let me know via email csherman@amyisrael.org or cell phone (847) 708-1805 call/text which date(s) work for your family and I will assign the Torah reading(s).  Thank you in advance.
 

 

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