Mr. Sherman’s Blog

Am Yisrael SJS Limmud/Education Update 2-10-17

limmud-collage-2-10-17

Dear Am Yisrael SJS Community,

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

I. Welcome to our Am Yisrael SJS Community, Mr. Allan Arnet

II. Class Updates Sun, Feb 5 & Wed, Feb 8

III. Special Info for this weekend:

a) Mitzvah Opportunity: Please Help The Ark

b) Camp Am Yisrael 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. meets in Room 2 of the SJS building

c) Gan, Aleph and Bet help lead services Fri, Feb 10 6:00 p.m.-6:40 p.m.

d) HIAS Program: The Global Refugee Crisis and the Jewish Call to Action Sun, Feb 12 10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.   

e) Chicago Community Tu Bishvat at Rochelle Zell Jewish High School 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

IV. Special Info for next weekend:

a) SJS is not in session on Sun, Feb 19.  SJS teachers will be attending a professional development seminar.

V. Hebrew Step-By-Step and Jewish Interactive Website and Ji Tap App

VI. Looking Ahead

a) 6th-8th Grade CHUSY Regional Kadima Day is Sun, Feb 26

b) Next Shabbat Family Programming (SFP) is Sat, Feb 25 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

c) Scouting out Intolerance is Sun, Feb 26: Scouts & Prospective Scouts (grade 3 – age 18)

d) Purim Megillah Reading and Carnival is Sun, Mar 12; Details TBA

VII. Calling all Purim Megillah Readers for Sun, Mar 12 and Shabbat Family Programming (SFP) Torah Readers for Sat, Feb 25 and Sat, Apr 22

VIII. Mazal Tov to Jayden Fogel and Mike Fogel as they are called to the Torah as B’nai Mitzvah.

I. Welcome to our Am Yisrael SJS Community, Mr. Allan Arnet

I’m pleased to announce that Mr. Allan Arnet has joined our Am Yisrael SJS Faculty.  His teaching responsibilities include the Vav, Zayin and Prozdor classes on Sundays.  Mr. Arnet has been teaching in the Chicago Jewish community for the past 20 years and is a welcome addition to our teaching team.

II. Class Updates: Sun, Feb 5 & Wed Feb 8

Camp Am Yisrael: Learn-By-Play (0-3 year olds)

Upcoming: Our next Gan SJS is Sun, Feb 12 beginning in Room 2 on main level of SJS building at 9:30 a.m.

We had our first session last Sunday and the turnout was awesome!  Cantor Simon sang with the children and their parents and I led Tefillah with them.  In between the singing of Jewish songs and prayers we had all kinds of toys and books available for the children.  If you know of anyone who may be interested in joining our group for any of the next eight weeks, or if any of the parents (or other friends/relatives) of our new Camp Am Yisrael have a great story that they want to read to the class, they should please send me an email csherman@amyisrael.org or give me a call in the synagogue office 847-446-7215 ext. 12, via cell phone (talk or text) 847-708-1805.   We look forward to seeing those who attended last Sunday and a few new families this coming Sun, Feb 12.    -Mr. Sherman

Gan (3-6 year olds)

Upcoming: Our next Gan SJS is Sun, Feb 12 beginning in Room 1 on main level of SJS building at 9:15 a.m.  PLEASE NOTE: We will be calling up our Gan, Aleph and Bet students onto the bimah tonight, Fri, Feb 10 for our 6:00 p.m.-6:40 p.m. service.

In Gan this week we had fun talking about Tu B’Shvat. We made a “Treemendous” Growth mural on paper where everyone got to decorate and color in their very own tree. Each tree is beautiful and unique!  We also enjoyed Shira (Music) with Cantor Simon and Tefillah (Prayer) with Mr. Sherman and Mr. Marc.   -Miss Preis and Miss Serota

Aleph (1st Grade)

Upcoming: Our next Aleph SJS is Sun, Feb 12 beginning in Room 3 on main level of SJS building at 9:15 a.m.  NOTE: We are moving our class to Room 3 for at least the next 8 weeks while the Camp Am Yisrael: Learn-By-Play class for 0-3 year olds meets in Room 2.  FINALLY: We will be calling up our Gan, Aleph and Bet students onto the bimah tonight, Fri, Feb 10 for our 6:00 p.m.-6:40 p.m. service.

This week the Aleph students were wrapped up in all things Tu B’Shvat. The students went to art to create planting boxes, created their own pots filled with parsley, and began to make their own Tu B’Shvat Haggadah. The students also watched an episode of Shaboom called Bal Tashchit — Waste Not!  Finally, our students discussed ways in which we would be able to reduce, reuse and recycle.   -Mrs. Berlow

Bet (2nd Grade)

Upcoming: Our next Bet SJS is Sun, Feb 5 beginning in Room 8 on upper level of SJS building at 9:15 a.m.  NOTE: Starting this week, Feb 12, we are moving our class to Room 8 (upstairs) for at least the next 8 weeks to make room for our new Camp Am Yisrael: Learn-By-Play class for 0-3 year olds.  FINALLY: We will be calling up our Gan, Aleph and Bet students onto the bimah tonight, Fri, Feb 10 for our 6:00 p.m.-6:40 p.m. service. 

This week the Bet students were wrapped up in all things Tu B’Shvat. The students went to art to create planting boxes, created their own pots filled with parsley, and began to make their own Tu B’Shvat Haggadah. The students also watched an episode of Shaboom called Bal Tashchit — Waste Not!  Finally, our students discussed ways in which we would be able to reduce, reuse and recycle.    -Mrs. Berlow

Gimel (3rd Grade)

Upcoming: Our next Gimel SJS is Sun, Feb 12 beginning in Room 5 on upper level of SJS building at 9:15 a.m. 

This week the Gimel class reviewed their Hebrew letters and vowels through a variety of fun games.  Additionally, they participated in the family brunch and education with Rabbi Newman Kamin.  The Rabbi spoke with the yeladim and their families about our value of Achrayut (Doing what we can to make the world a better place) as it relates to the 10 commandments.
B’Shalom,
Mrs. Sender and Morah Myra

      

Dalet (4th Grade)

Upcoming: Our next Dalet SJS is Sun, Feb 12 beginning in Room 7 on upper level of SJS building at 9:15 a.m.

 

Continuing our study of deveikut, the cultivation of our personal relationship with God, we began to examine the relationship between God and Moses. Moses, we learned, was the last prophet to have a panim el panim (face-to-face) relationship with God. We discussed how a face-to-face relationship with God would change our views, and in particular how it would affect the things we are not confident we can say about God.  In addition, in a special combined class between Dalet and Heh, we searched for connections between the two classes’ curricula. Dalet is currently studying deveikut, the cultivation of a personal relationship with God, and in particular the concept of Moses’ unique face-to-face relationship with God. Heh is studying the obligation to feed the hungry, and with it some of the details of food insecurity in the United States.  Confronted with the question “Do you know anyone who is or has been food insecure,” most of us said no. We considered that the real number may be higher because people who have trouble making ends meet are often uncomfortable advertising this fact, and because not all students are necessarily aware of their elderly relatives’ experiences with immigration, the Great Depression, and other hardships. Integrating the two concepts, students agreed that having a personal, face-to-face connection with someone experiencing food insecurity would likely change one’s approach to the problem, since it would result in increased empathy and greater awareness of the realities of the problem.           -Hazzan Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)
This week we focused on Tu B’Shvat and the very important lesson of the Mitzvah of planting trees. We discussed the seven species that  G-d blessed the land.  The students also learned about how Tu B’Shvat gets its name (a lesson in gematria of Hebrew letters equalling numbers).  As always, please continue to practice the prayers at home.  To access the prayers, please go to the “Practicing Tefillah” page of our website: https://www.amyisrael.org/practicing-tefillah.html and click on the 10th prayer “Vayomer.”  Please Click on the name of the prayer to listen to the mp3 and the page number in our Siddur Lev Shalem is listed.  For easy access, if you do not have a copy of our Siddur with you, please click next to the name of the prayer on the word “Text” for a PDF of the page in the Am Yisrael SJS Siddur, that we use in our classes in the School of Jewish Studies. -Mrs. Moustakis
          

Heh (5th Grade)

Upcoming: Our next Heh SJS is Sun, Feb 12 beginning in the Sanctuary in the synagogue building at 9:15 a.m.

In a special combined class between Dalet and Heh, we searched for connections between the two classes’ curricula. Dalet is currently studying deveikut, the cultivation of a personal relationship with God, and in particular the concept of Moses’ unique face-to-face relationship with God. Heh is studying the obligation to feed the hungry, and with it some of the details of food insecurity in the United States.  Confronted with the question “Do you know anyone who is or has been food insecure,” most of us said no. We considered that the real number may be higher because people who have trouble making ends meet are often uncomfortable advertising this fact, and because not all students are necessarily aware of their elderly relatives’ experiences with immigration, the Great Depression, and other hardships. Integrating the two concepts, students agreed that having a personal, face-to-face connection with someone experiencing food insecurity would likely change one’s approach to the problem, since it would result in increased empathy and greater awareness of the realities of the problem.-Hazzan Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

 

This week we focused on Tu B’Shvat and the very important lesson of the Mitzvah of planting trees. We discussed the seven species that  G-d blessed the land.  The students also learned about how Tu B’Shvat gets its name (a lesson in gematria of Hebrew letters equalling numbers).  As always, please continue to practice the prayers at home.  To access the prayers, please go to the “Practicing Tefillah” page of our website: https://www.amyisrael.org/practicing-tefillah.html and click on the 10th prayer “Vayomer.”  Please Click on the name of the prayer to listen to the mp3 and the page number in our Siddur Lev Shalem is listed.  For easy access, if you do not have a copy of our Siddur with you, please click next to the name of the prayer on the word “Text” for a PDF of the page in the Am Yisrael SJS Siddur, that we use in our classes in the School of Jewish Studies. -Mrs. Moustakis

We had a short review of the prayers in the student’s folders and read a simple Hebrew story. In addition, we played a tic-tac-toe game with teams using words from the siddur.     -Ms. Rosenfeld

In Torah trope this past week, we continued to work on Torah trope, including learning to read ST”aM font, that is used in a Sefer Torah. -Mr. Lerner

 

Vav (6th Grade)

Upcoming: Our next Vav SJS is Sun, Feb 12 beginning in the Sanctuary in the synagogue building at 9:15 a.m.  PLEASE NOTE: Our Vav, Zayin, Prozdor, Pardes and Tichon classes will all be attending the HIAS Chicago session this Sun, Feb 12 from 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in the Sanctuary.

In B’nai Mitzvah Academy this past week, we continued to work on Torah trope, moving on to the third paragraph of the Sh’ma.     -Mr. Lerner

This week we took a look at the closing words of the Hagaddah, “Next Year in Jerusalem”. It is easy to understand why we would say those words, pre-1948 before Israel was re-established as a state. However, is there still a need to say those words today?  Ask your kids about the conversations that took place. -Mr. Arnet

We joined with the Zayin class to work on personally targeted areas in Tefillah, with the goal of strengthening our Hebrew reading ability and knowledge of the Siddur. Working in the Sanctuary, we broke up into pairs or small groups led by Zayin students and progressed through a checklist of important prayers to work on. Anyone who felt confident they had mastered a particular text was able to ask a staff member to check them and mark their tracking paper as appropriate. -Hazzan Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

I gave a short introduction to the video The Wave and showed it. We had a very interesting discussion afterwards and the students wrote their reactions to the movie.  Morah Sandra will do a lot of follow-up with this very important part of the Holocaust Studies curriculum in the Vav Class.  -Ms. Rosenfeld

Zayin (7th Grade)

Upcoming: Our next Zayin SJS is Sun, Feb 12 beginning in the Sanctuary in the synagogue building at 9:15 a.m.  PLEASE NOTE: Our Vav, Zayin, Prozdor, Pardes and Tichon classes will all be attending the HIAS Chicago session this Sun, Feb 12 from 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in the Sanctuary. 

This week the yeladim looked at some current events as it relates to the Chicagoland Jewish community: the anti-Semitic graffiti and damage that effected the Chicago Loop Synagogue and the Skokie Holocaust Museum.  The yeladim discussed what actions they could take as Jewish young-adults in our community.
B’Shalom,
Mrs. Sender

This week we took a look at the  closing words of the Hagaddah, “Next Year in Jerusalem.” It is easy to understand why we would say those words, pre-1948 before Israel was re-established as a state. However, is there still a need to say those words today?  Ask your kids about the conversations that took place. -Mr. Arnet

We read and compared two poems, one written in the third person about young Israeli soldiers, and one written by a man to his Holocaust survivor wife on the occasion of their fiftieth anniversary. Students discussed the different ways in which gevurah (heroism) is treated in these two poems, and how that reflects on the diversity of heroism. We also watched a video about the Hanukkah story that presented yet another variety of heroism, and treated the military victory of Hanukkah almost as an aside.  In addition, Zayin students joined with the Vav class to work on personally targeted areas in Tefillah, with the goal of strengthening our Hebrew reading ability and knowledge of the Siddur. Working in the Sanctuary, we broke up into pairs or small groups led by Zayin students and progressed through a checklist of important prayers to work on. Anyone who felt confident they had mastered a particular text was able to ask a staff member to check them and mark their tracking paper as appropriate. -Hazzan Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

Prozdor (8th Grade)

Upcoming: Our next Prozdor SJS is Sun, Feb 12 beginning in the Sanctuary in the synagogue building at 10:15 a.m.(fifteen minutes earlier than usual and one hour later than the majority of the classes in SJS).  PLEASE NOTE: Our Vav, Zayin, Prozdor, Pardes and Tichon classes will all be attending the HIAS Chicago session this Sun, Feb 12 from 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in the Sanctuary. 

In our Israel unit we started learning about the Shalosh R’ga’lim (Three pilgrimage holidays) and how they relate to Israel. We also started to learn what the actual Hebrew words Shalosh R’ga’lim mean and which holiday’s they are. We also spoke about the Bait Hamikdash (Holy Temple) and how it was the point of destination for all Jews for the Shalosh R’ga’lim. This was something very fascinating for the kids who went on to ask some great questions. Please ask your child about the class discussions each week. Feel free to email me any comments or questions at aarnet@amyisrael.org. -Mr. Arnet

Pardes (9th-10th Grades)

Upcoming: Our next Pardes SJS is Feb 12 beginning in the Sanctuary in the synagogue building at 10:15 a.m.(fifteen minutes earlier than usual and one hour later than the majority of the classes in SJS).  PLEASE NOTE: Our Vav, Zayin, Prozdor, Pardes and Tichon classes will all be attending the HIAS Chicago session this Sun, Feb 12 from 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in the Sanctuary. 

Last Sunday, we had an open and candid discussion about President Trump’s immigration ban.  We discussed participation in peaceful marches as a sign of unity with Muslims, and potential conflicts when sponsors of such marches may have philosophical beliefs that are diametrically opposed to our own.  The debated question was if we unite in our mutual interest – fighting injustice to immigrants – or opt not to participate due to unrelated issues of disagreement.       -Cantor Stuart Simon

III. Special Info for this weekend:

a) Mitzvah Opportunity: Please Help The Ark

The Ark is in need of items for its pantry.   Please bring in the following kosher items, knowing that these are only the suggested items, as sadly there is a great need of many additional items at all times.  We have a bin by the elevator off the synagogue lobby and there are additional bins in the school lobby to drop off these much needed items during regular business hours.  Thank you in advance.

-vegetarian baked beans

-pineapple slices

-soups (not broth) such as chicken noodle and mushroom barley

-crunchy peanut butter

-tea, both regular and herbal

-baby wipes

-dish soap

-adult diapers

-incontinence pads

b) Camp Am Yisrael 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. meets in Room 2 of the SJS building

Several parents were interested in having a Sunday morning class introducing the kids to Shabbat, the holidays and with plenty of play.   Am Yisrael in Northfield is re-starting its Camp Am Yisrael initiative. The class will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings and will focus on kids ages 0-3. This is not a regular structured class, but rather a learn-by-play style class. A sample Sunday might look like this:

 

9:30 – 9:40       Families arrive, kids can play freely

9:40 – 9:50       Story about Shabbat

9:50 – 10:00     Play pretend Shabbat dinner (using a Shabbat playset to do candles, wine, motzi, etc.)

10:00 – 10:10   Songs with the Cantor

10:10 – 10: 20  Free play and snack

10:20 – 10:30   Tefillah (song-based as well)

The camp runs 9 weeks,  and focuses on one holiday for two weeks including an age-appropriate art project every other week. Kids will learn about Shabbat/Havdallah, Tu B’Shvat, Purim, and Passover. On the 9th week, the grandparents can come see what these kids have been up to.  Please let Mr. Sherman know if you are interested.    

c) Gan, Aleph and Bet help lead services Fri, Feb 10 6:00 p.m.-6:40 p.m.: Please RSVP to csherman@amyisrael.org so that we know how many people to expect.  Thank you.

d) HIAS Program: The Global Refugee Crisis and the Jewish Call to Action Sun, Feb 12 10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.   We invite everyone to attend (parents and other relatives of our students).  Vav, Zayin, Prozdor and Pardes will attend this program.

FILM SCREENING: SALAM NEIGHBOR  Salam Neighbor is an award-winning film that connects viewers to refugees. Filmmakers Chris and Zach were the first to be registered and given a tent inside a refugee camp and through their lens, we can immerse ourselves into the life of a Syrian refugee.  Discussion will follow with Jessica Schaffer, Director of HIAS Chicago.

e) Chicago Community Tu Bishvat at Rochelle Zell Jewish High School 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

IV. Special Info for this weekend:

a) SJS is not in session on Sun, Feb 19.  SJS teachers will be attending a professional development seminar.

V. Hebrew Step-By-Step and Jewish Interactive Website and Ji Tap App

One of the most versatile tools we can provide our students to help them foster a connection to Judaism is the ability to decode (read) Hebrew words.  Above each packet are the Hebrew letters and vowels introduced within that packet. Letters and vowels are reinforced through the remaining packets once they are introduced.  Thank you to Rae Antonoff for teaming with us in this endeavor with the Hebrew Step-By-Step program.  While some of the activities are in theory meant for writing, we recommend that while accessing this material with a screen that you use this program for reading.  I can send you the PDF’s via email or printout for the writing exercises.

https://www.amyisrael.org/hebrew-step-by-step.html

In addition, there is an amazing relatively new website (can connect to the app with this website as well) that I can’t recommend highly enough.  More information will be shared on this, but in the meantime, please check it out:

http://www.jewishinteractive.org

 

VI. Looking Ahead

a) 6th-8th Grade CHUSY Regional Kadima Day is Sun, Feb 26

b) Next Shabbat Family Programming (SFP) is Sat, Feb 25 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

c) Scouting out Intolerance is Sun, Feb 26: Scouts & Prospective Scouts (grade 3 – age 18) are invited to visit the  third largest Holocaust Museum in the world for *FREE. – Two meaningful, educational, and empowering programs will be offered.  (Flyer is attached to Limmud/Education Update 2-10-17)

d) Purim Megillah Reading and Carnival is Sun, Mar 12; Details TBA

VII. Calling all Purim Megillah Readers for Sun, Mar 12 and Shabbat Family Programming (SFP) Torah Readers for Sat, Feb 25 and Sat, Apr 22

We are looking for Megillah readers to chant anywhere from 1, 2 or 3 verses to an entire chapter of Megillah on Sun, Mar 12.  Cantor Simon or I will be sending you your readings soon after you request them.  We are also quickly filling up our Torah reading line-ups for 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.

VII. Mazal Tov to Jayden Fogel and Mike Fogel as they are called to the Torah as B’nai Mitzvah

Mazal tov to Jayden’s mom/Mike’s wife, Wendy Schiffman, Jayden’s brother/Mike’s son Ethan and the entire family.

Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom,

Charlie Sherman

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