Am Yisrael SJS Highlights: Week of March 5, 2017

Limmud Collage 3-10-17

Class Updates: Sun, Mar 5 & Wed, Mar 8

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

We are consistently getting to see lots of parents and tots each Sunday.  This Sunday the fun continued with Cantor Simon, Mr. Marc and I getting a chance to sing with the families in between the story and playtime.  We look forward to celebrating Purim on Sunday and hope that parents and tots will come to Am Yisrael wearing fun costumes. -Mr. Sherman

Gan (3-6 year olds)

We reviewed the story of Purim with a lively discussion.  The children created their very own hamantaschen people, which turned out terrific.  Shira was filled with lots of ruach (spirit) by the children and Cantor Simon.  Tefillah was a big hit as always with Mr. Sherman and Mr. Marc.  -Morah Lynn

Aleph (1st Grade)

This week the Aleph class continued learning about Purim. They learned about the town  of Shushan, in which the story of Purim took place, what the Hebrew date of Purim is (14th of Adar), and how the date of Purim was chosen (it was the day that Haman wanted to get back at Mordecai for not bowing down to him). Students also finished their packet and continued to learn about the different types of mitzvot we can perform on Purim. We look forward to celebrating Purim next! Remember to dress up for the costume contest!                  -Mrs. Berlow

Bet (2nd Grade)

Shalom,  Kitah Bet had a very fun and productive day. We continued learning about Purim, made a classroom Megillah and learned about the four mitzvot of Purim. The students enjoyed playing Purim Trivia, sang their harts out during Tefillah and did an awesome job during the Hebrew Step-by-Step segment of the day.  The easiest way to access Hebrew Step-By-Step is by clicking on this link: https://www.amyisrael.org/hebrew-step-by-step.html. The Purim Carnival is taking place this Sunday, March 12.  Please get ready to have fun, play games and I can’t wait to see all of the costumes.  Be Happy its Adar!             -Morah Anna

Gimel (3rd Grade) 

The Gimel Class had a huge milestone this past week.  The students were up on the bimah with Mrs. Sender and Morah Myra singing their hearts out at Friday evening services.  At the end of the service, the Rabbi, Cantor, teachers and I presented the students with their own copy of Siddur Lev Shalem.  We hope and pray that the students will continue to grown in their knowledge of the prayers, which have contemporary commentaries for many years to come.  Please go to the “Practicing Tefillah” page of our website: https://www.amyisrael.org/practicing-tefillah.html and 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.    -Mr. Sherman

On Wednesday afternoon I met individually with students who are slated to help us read Megillat Ester on Sunday morning in order to evaluate their work and provide them with some last-minute coaching. I was quite impressed with the progress made by these young people, many of whom have never read megillah before. Looking forward to Sunday morning! -Hazzan Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.) 

Dalet (4th Grade)

Following up on a conversation from our past deveykut session, we watched the scene from The Prince of Egypt in which Moses encounters the burning bush. We used this as a jumping off point to discuss what God was trying to communicate and why God chose this symbol. For art, the students created their own renditions of the symbol they would have chosen for the same purpose.  On Wednesday afternoon I met individually with students who are slated to help us read Megillat Ester on Sunday morning in order to evaluate their work and provide them with some last-minute coaching. I was quite impressed with the progress made by these young people, many of whom have never read megillah before. Looking forward to Sunday morning!  -Hazzan Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

The students saw a video of the Purim Play the our students performed three years ago.   Here is a link to the play: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTjxRoJymSI   Toby was happy to see his sister Helen in the play. We then discussed the danger that they Jews faced outside of their own land.  The name of G-d is not mentioned in the Megilah.  There is a power of prayer and Kavanah.  Finally, we practiced the Ashrei.  As always, please continue to practice the prayers at home.  To access “Ashrei,” please go to the “Practicing Tefillah” page of our website: https://www.amyisrael.org/practicing-tefillah.html and click on the 18th prayer “Ashrei.”  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)

Kitah Heh had a lovely Brunch and Family Education with Rabbi Newman Kamin this past week.  The families continued the discussions that the class has been having related to the concept of Achrayut, the responsibility that we have to make the world a better place.  Thank you to all of the families for bringing in food for the potluck brunch.                                -Mr. Sherman

Students spent their time in havruta studying a passage from the Book of Proverbs and a rabbinic commentary on it, both describing what one ought to give to God. The key item, whether literal or metaphorical is “your first crops.” Based on the worksheet’s questions, students engaged with this instruction and its possible range of meanings while relating it back to our study of Ruth a few weeks ago.  On Wednesday afternoon I met individually with students who are slated to help us read Megillat Ester on Sunday morning in order to evaluate their work and provide them with some last-minute coaching. I was quite impressed with the progress made by these young people, many of whom have never read megillah before. Looking forward to Sunday morning! -Hazzan Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

For the easiest access to review the Hebrew letters and sounds, please go to the Hebrew Step-By-Step page of our website: https://www.amyisrael.org/hebrew-step-by-step.html  Thank you, Morah Anna & Ms. Rosenfeld

The students came from Mr. Sender’s class learning about Achdut-אחדות I connected to the Achdut of the people at Shushan to Fast & pray with Esther to save all the Jews.  The students saw a video of the Purim Play that our students performed three years ago.   Here is a link to the play: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTjxRoJymSILauren, Roan, Ethan and  Jeremy were so happy to see their siblings in the play.  I want to wish everyone a Healthy, Happy and safe Purim. -Mrs. Moustakis

Vav (6th Grade)

This past week in B’nai Mitzvah Academy, we continue our study of Torah trope.  We also briefly discussed the story of Purim, asking the question:  Is this story Fact?  Fiction?  Historical Fiction? -Mr. Lerner

We took out a little time to review about Rosh Chodesh as well as the story of Purim. The kids seem so mesmerized by Purim even though I am sure they learn about it each year. We also continued along in our Israel unit. We started to learn about Zionism and what it means to have a homeland. Please ask your child what the definition of home is. See you at the Megillah Reading and Carnival! -Mr. Arnet

On Wednesday afternoon I met individually with students who are slated to help us read Megillat Ester on Sunday morning in order to evaluate their work and provide them with some last-minute coaching. I was quite impressed with the progress made by these young people, many of whom have never read megillah before. Looking forward to Sunday morning! -Hazzan Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

Zayin (7th Grade)

We took out a little time to review about Rosh Chodesh as well as the story of Purim. The kids seem so mesmerized by Purim even though I am sure they learn about it each year. We also continued along in our Israel unit. We started to learn about Zionism and what it means to have a homeland. Please ask your child what the definition of home is. See you at the Megillah Reading and Carnival! -Mr. Arnet

On Wednesday afternoon I met individually with students who are slated to help us read Megillat Ester on Sunday morning in order to evaluate their work and provide them with some last-minute coaching. I was quite impressed with the progress made by these young people, many of whom have never read megillah before. Looking forward to Sunday morning! -Hazzan Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

Prozdor (8th Grade)

We took out a little time to review about Rosh Chodesh as well as the story of Purim. We also continued along in our Israel unit. We started to learn about Zionism and what it means to have a homeland. Please ask your child what the definition of home is.See you at the Megillah Reading and Carnival! -Mr. Arnet

Pardes (9th-10th Grades)

As we watched a film about the history of Maxwell Street in Chicago, we talked about the immigrant population that settled in that area and made a living there.  It opened the door to a discussion of the students’ ancestors, where they came from and how they supported themselves when they first arrived.  Shockingly many of the students had no idea.  So, parents, please talk to your children and tell them their family histories.  It will hopefully give them an appreciation for all they have.  -Cantor Simon

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