Camp Am Yisrael Class Updates 2017-2018 (5778)

Camp Am Yisrael Update May 6, 2018

Dear Am Yisrael Parents, Grandparents and Friends of Am Yisrael,

Camp Am Yisrael has been assigned to bring sugar free jelly or jam for the end of the year Am Yisrael SJS Food Drive to support the clients of the Ark.  Please note that you are welcome to bring any item, we have just found that assigning specific items helps with the variety of foods that we receive for these food drives.  Cantor Simon, Mr. Marc the Madrichot (teenage assistants) and I greatly enjoyed singing songs and prayers and making Art at Camp Am Yisrael this past Sun, May 6.  We also enjoyed a great story, learning by play and hanging out together as we do every Sunday.

As I noted in my weekly Limmud/Education update, there is an amazing new resource for Jewish music streaming online, which also has free apps.  PJ Library Radio: http://pjlibraryradio.com.  We hope that those with young children will enjoy it and spread the word!

We look forward to seeing you this coming Sun, May 13.  Please note that we will have our regular programming for the remaining Sundays of the school year and on the final Sunday, immediately after class, those who wish to go into the Sanctuary to see kids reading from the brand new Torah scroll are welcome.  There is also a complementary catered Shavuot kiddush lunch.  Please be sure to RSVP if you would like to join us: http://evite.me/6NP7Pm3eVY  Written Fri, May 11, 2018

Upcoming Sessions for the rest of the academic year are as follows: May 13, May 20.

Please click here to access some of our musical highlights that can often be heard at Camp Am Yisrael sessions.

B’Shalom,

Mr. Charlie Sherman

Head of School

Camp Am Yisrael Update Apr 29, 2018

Dear Am Yisrael Parents, Grandparents and Friends of Am Yisrael,

Camp Am Yisrael has been assigned to bring sugar free jelly or jam for the end of the year Am Yisrael SJS Food Drive to support the clients of the Ark.  Please note that you are welcome to bring any item, we have just found that assigning specific items helps with the variety of foods that we receive for these food drives.  Cantor Simon, Ms. Preis, Mr. Marc and I greatly enjoyed singing songs and prayers and making Art at Camp Am Yisrael this past Sun, Apr 29.  We also enjoyed a great story, learning by play and hanging out together as we do every Sunday.  We look forward to seeing you this coming Sun, May 6.  Please note that we will have our regular programming all three of the final Sundays of the school year and on the final Sunday, immediately after class, those who wish to go into the Sanctuary to see kids reading from the brand new Torah scroll are welcome.  There is also a complementary catered Shavuot kiddush lunch.  Please be sure to RSVP if you would like to join us: http://evite.me/6NP7Pm3eVY  Written Fri, May 4, 2018

Upcoming Sessions for the rest of the academic year are as follows: May 6, May 13, May 20.

Please click here to access some of our musical highlights that can often be heard at Camp Am Yisrael sessions.

B’Shalom,

Mr. Charlie Sherman

Head of School

Camp Am Yisrael Update Apr 22, 2018

Dear Am Yisrael Parents, Grandparents and Friends of Am Yisrael,

Cantor Simon, Ms. Preis, Mr. Marc and I greatly enjoyed singing songs and prayers and making Art at Camp Am Yisrael this past Sun, Apr 22.  We also enjoyed a great story, learning by play and hanging out together as we do every Sunday.  We look forward to seeing you this coming Sun, Apr 29.  Written Thu, Apr 26, 2018

Upcoming Sessions for the rest of the academic year are as follows: Apr 29, May 6, May 13, May 20.

Please click here to access some of our musical highlights that can often be heard at Camp Am Yisrael sessions.

B’Shalom,

Mr. Charlie Sherman

Head of School

Camp Am Yisrael Update Apr 15, 2018

Dear Am Yisrael Parents, Grandparents and Friends of Am Yisrael,

Rabbi Newman Kamin greatly enjoyed reading a story at Camp Am Yisrael this past Sun, Apr 15.  It was also great to have the Camp Am Yisrael group in the All SJS photo, as the kids sat adorably in the front row as their parents had them smiling.  We look forward to the regular schedule this week.  Written Thu, Apr 19, 2018

Upcoming Sessions for the rest of the academic year are as follows: Apr 22, Apr 29, May 6, May 13, May 20.

Please click here to access some of our musical highlights that can often be heard at Camp Am Yisrael sessions.

B’Shalom,

Mr. Charlie Sherman

Head of School

Camp Am Yisrael Update Apr 8, 2018

Dear Am Yisrael Parents, Grandparents and Friends of Am Yisrael,

Rabbi Newman Kamin looks forward to reading a story at Camp Am Yisrael this coming Sun, Apr 15 when the class meets.  We continue to enjoy new students joining the class on a regular basis.

Upcoming Sessions for the rest of the academic year are as follows: Apr 15, Apr 22, Apr 29, May 6, May 13, May 20.

Please click here to access some of our musical highlights that can often be heard at Camp Am Yisrael sessions.

B’Shalom,

Mr. Charlie Sherman

Head of School

Camp Am Yisrael Update Mar 2018

Dear Am Yisrael Parents, Grandparents and Friends of Am Yisrael,

We wish you and your families a Happy and Healthy Passover holiday.  We look forward to seeing you again when we resume classes on Sunday, April 8.  Your children continue to melt our hearts with their curiosity and involvement in our activities!  We are happy that the adults get to spend this quality time together at Camp Am Yisrael as well!  Chag Sameach! 

Upcoming Sessions for the rest of the academic year are as follows: Apr 8, Apr 15, Apr 22, Apr 29, May 6, May 13, May 20.

Please click here to access some of our musical highlights that can often be heard at Camp Am Yisrael sessions.

B’Shalom,

Mr. Charlie Sherman

Head of School

csherman@amyisrael.org

Seventh Camp Am Yisrael Update Feb 2018

Dear Am Yisrael Parents, Grandparents and Friends of Am Yisrael,

We are not in session this coming Sun, Feb 18, but will be back on Sun, Feb 25 as usual.  We are excited to have new families visiting our class and checking out the fun and excitement of our weekly gatherings.  We encourage you to get in touch with me if you are interested in checking out our class.  Please note that Camp Am Yisrael meets each week that our School of Jewish Studies is in session.  The grid of how we spend our hour together can be found directly above.  The dates for our remaining sessions for this academic year can be found directly below.  Camp Am Yisrael is a grant recipient ofjBaby Chicago of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago.

Upcoming Sessions for the rest of the academic year are as follows: Feb 25, Mar 4, Mar 11, Mar 18, Apr 8, Apr 15, Apr 22, Apr 29, May 6, May 13, May 20.

Please click here to access some of our musical highlights that can often be heard at Camp Am Yisrael sessions.

B’Shalom,

Mr. Charlie Sherman

Head of School

Sixth Camp Am Yisrael Update Feb 2018

Dear Am Yisrael Parents, Grandparents and Friends of Am Yisrael,

I’m excited to share that we have been chosen by jBaby Chicago of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago as a grant recipient for our Camp Am Yisrael.  This weekly gathering, which includes Music, Tefillah, Art, Storytime, Snack and Learn-By-Play continues to grow and bring a Jewish community experience to our families with children 3.5 years old and younger and their families/caretakers.

Upcoming Sessions for the rest of the academic year are as follows: Feb 11, Feb 25, Mar 4, Mar 11, Mar 18, Apr 8, Apr 15, Apr 22, Apr 29, May 6, May 13, May 20.

Please click here to access some of our musical highlights to listen to between now and then.

B’Shalom,

Mr. Charlie Sherman

Head of School

Fifth Camp Am Yisrael Update End of Dec 2017

Dear Am Yisrael Parents, Grandparents and Friends of Am Yisrael,

We were so happy to have Rabbi Newman Kamin read a Chanukah story to our class on Sun, Dec 17.  In addition, we had spirited singing, puppets and Chanukah art projects at our weekly gatherings in the month of December.  While we will not be back in Room 2 until Sunday, Jan 14 as we go on Winter Break, please click here to access some of our musical highlights to listen to between now and then.  

Upcoming Sessions for the rest of the academic year are as follows: Jan 14, Jan 21, Jan 28, Feb 4, Feb 11, Feb 25, Mar 4, Mar 11, Mar 18, Apr 8, Apr 15, Apr 22, Apr 29, May 6, May 13, May 20.

Please know that it is not necessary be a member of the synagogue to come to Camp Am Yisrael, or to attend each session to be a part of our growing community that gives the children and their caregivers an opportunity to socialize and play in a joyous Jewish setting.

B’Shalom,

Mr. Charlie Sherman

Head of School

csherman@amyisrael.org

Fourth Camp Am Yisrael Update Nov & Dec 2017

Dear Am Yisrael Parents, Grandparents and Friends of Am Yisrael,

I’m thrilled to report that as we end our third month of our Camp Am Yisrael weekly gatherings that our class now has 17 students.  When you include the adults that accompany our newborns through toddlers, Room 2 is quite full from 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings.  We will be taking off this Sun, Nov 26 for Thanksgiving.  Enjoy the holiday!  Camp Am Yisrael will be back in session on Sun, Dec 3.  We are grateful to the family members who have taken books off their personal bookshelves and read them to our class.

Even though we have a lot of kids in Camp Am Yisrael, we still have room for more kids in Room 2.  The classrooms are quite big and we have plenty of Madrichim (teenage classroom assistants) to play with the little children, along with numerous toys to play with and books to read.  We also have several puppets for Tefillah (prayer) time together.  Please tell your friends or family to get in touch with me if they want to check out the class.

Upcoming Sessions for the rest of the academic year are as follows: Dec 3, Dec 10, Dec 17, Jan 14, Jan 21, Jan 28, Feb 4, Feb 11, Feb 25, Mar 4, Mar 11, Mar 18, Apr 8, Apr 15, Apr 22, Apr 29, May 6, May 13, May 20.

Please know that it is not necessary be a member of the synagogue to come to Camp Am Yisrael, or to attend each session to be a part of our growing community that gives the children and their caregivers an opportunity to socialize and play in a joyous Jewish setting.

B’Shalom,

Mr. Charlie Sherman

Head of School

csherman@amyisrael.org

847-446-7215 ext 12 (office)

847-708-1805 cell

Third Camp Am Yisrael Update Oct 2017

Dear Am Yisrael Parents, Grandparents and Friends of Am Yisrael,

We are now near the end of our second month of weekly gatherings.  We are extremely grateful to our congregants and SJS parents Mara Silver-Schack and Elana Carmel-Levy for leading the Tot Family Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur programming respectively.  We are also grateful to Rabbi Newman Kamin for hosting this group at her sukkah in early October.  We have developed a fantastic routine (shown above), with the help of our Madrichim and caregivers and a few of our staff members.  Please spread the word about this class which is free of charge and synagogue membership is not required.

If you are interested please contact me; all of my contact information is directly below. Please feel free to forward this information to your friends and family who might be interested in participating in this program which takes place each Sunday that Am Yisrael SJS is in session.  It is not necessary to come to each session to be a part of our growing community.  Upcoming sessions: Oct 22, Oct 29, Nov 5, Nov 12, Nov 19, Dec 3, Dec 10, Dec 17.  Camp Am Yisrael will then resume in January, following our Winter Break.

B’Shalom,

Mr. Charlie Sherman

Head of School

csherman@amyisrael.org

847-446-7215 ext 12 (office)

847-708-1805 cell

Second Camp Am Yisrael Update Sep 2017

Dear Am Yisrael Parents, Grandparents and Friends of Am Yisrael,

I’m very excited to report that we have gotten into an excellent routine in Camp Am Yisrael this school year and have fifteen children registered thus far.  Our Madrichim are doing a phenomenal job working with this group of children with their parents, grandparents and/or other caregivers.  Thus far we have had singing with Cantor Simon, Mr. Marc and myself, art projects with Ms. Preis and storytime with parents who have volunteered to read them.  Each week a different family brings in snack and families signed up for weeks that work for them.  Rabbi Newman Kamin will be hosting Camp Am Yisrael at her sukkah on Sunday, October 8 in lieu of regular class.  All details were emailed to Camp Am Yisrael families.  Please spread the word about this class which is free of charge and synagogue membership is not required.

If you are interested please contact me by calling the synagogue office at 847-446-7215 or by calling or texting my cell phone 847-708-1805 or by sending an email to csherman@amyisrael.org. Please feel free to forward this information to your friends and family who might be interested in participating in this program

G’mar Chatimah Tovah,

 

Charlie Sherman

Head of School

Written for this year’s program booklet

 

Camp Am Yisrael

Dear Am Yisrael Parents, Grandparents and Friends of Am Yisrael,

 

Last year several parents expressed interest in having a Sunday morning class for young

children (0-3) to introduce them to the concepts of Shabbat and the holidays. Am Yisrael in

Northfield is continuing its Camp Am Yisrael initiative this school year. The program is free of

charge and synagogue membership is not required. The class will begin on Sunday, September

10 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and will meet each Sunday while school is in session. This is

not a structured class; the format will be learn-by- play. A sample of a typical Sunday is listed

below.

 

• 9:30 a.m.-9:40 a.m. Families arrive kids can play freely

• 9:40 a.m.-9:50 a.m. Story about Shabbat

• 9:50 a.m.-10:00 a.m. Shabbat dinner enactment using Shabbat playset for candles, grape juice and motzi blessings

• 10:00 a.m.-10:10 a.m. Songs with the Cantor

• 10:10 a.m.-10:20 a.m. Free play and snack

• 10:20 a.m.-10:30 am. Tefillah (song based)

 

The children will learn about Shabbat/Havdalah, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Simchat

Torah, Tu B’Shevat, Purim, Passover and Yom Ha’atzmaut. Each topic will be covered for two

weeks. A special art project will be included for each topic. Just like last year special

Grandparents Days will be included in the schedule. However, we encourage grandparents and

other special guests to attend the program at any time during the school year.

Registration for this program is still open. If you are interested please contact me by calling the

synagogue office at 847-446-7215 or by calling or texting my cell phone 847-708-1805 or by

sending an email to csherman@amyisrael.org. Please feel free to forward this information to

your friends and family who might be interested in participating in this program

 

B’Shalom,

 

Charlie Sherman

Head of School

Zayin Class Updates 2017-2018 (5778)

Zayin Class Update Week of May 6, 2018

Please note that our final day of SJS for this school year is Sun, May 20.  We hope that many children will join their students.  There is also a catered Shavuot kiddush lunch.  Students who are in Zayin will be helping to lead services in the Sanctuary beginning at 9:30 a.m. sharp.  Please be sure to RSVP if you would like to join us: http://evite.me/6NP7Pm3eVY

Zayin has  been assigned to bring regular or herbal tea for the end of the year Am Yisrael SJS Food Drive to support the clients of the Ark.  Please note that you are welcome to bring any item, we have just found that assigning specific items helps with the variety of foods that we receive for these food drives.

Class Updates:

We finished the film Rashi: A Light After the Dark Ages. It presents a series of biographical vignettes about Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki) the pre-eminent commentator on the Torah and Babylonian Talmud and a major figure in European Jewish life during the Middle Ages. It sparked some interesting conversations about medieval Jewish history, the historic Jewish attitude toward education (that it should be interesting and enjoyable, rather than enforced strictly through harsh discipline), and Rashi’s life itself. Written Thu, May 10, 2018

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

Zayin Class Update Week of Apr 29, 2018

Please note that our final day of SJS for this school year is Sun, May 20.  We hope that many children will join their students.  There is also a catered Shavuot kiddush lunch.  Students who are in Zayin will be helping to lead services in the Sanctuary beginning at 9:30 a.m. sharp.  Please be sure to RSVP if you would like to join us: http://evite.me/6NP7Pm3eVY

Zayin has  been assigned to bring regular or herbal tea for the end of the year Am Yisrael SJS Food Drive to support the clients of the Ark.  Please note that you are welcome to bring any item, we have just found that assigning specific items helps with the variety of foods that we receive for these food drives.

Using a BimBam video as a jumping-off point, we learned about this week’s long double-parasha with a focus on the role of the Israelite priesthood. We discussed how leadership by hereditary priests is different from our contemporary, meritocratic model of Jewish community leadership. We also addressed the challenging story of Nadav and Avihu, the two sons of Aaron the High Priest who die after offering a “strange fire” to God in the Tabernacle. What might they have done, and why did they receive this response?  Written Thu, Apr 26, 2018

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

The students picked a city/area of Israel. They read about their area and come up with the relevant statistics (ie. population, area, climate) as well as facts for each area. We put them on cards and attached them to the map of Israel in our classroom.  Written Sun, Apr 22, 2018

 

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

 

Zayin Class Update Week of Apr 22, 2018

Using a BimBam video as a jumping-off point, we learned about this week’s long double-parasha with a focus on the role of the Israelite priesthood. We discussed how leadership by hereditary priests is different from our contemporary, meritocratic model of Jewish community leadership. We also addressed the challenging story of Nadav and Avihu, the two sons of Aaron the High Priest who die after offering a “strange fire” to God in the Tabernacle. What might they have done, and why did they receive this response?  Written Thu, Apr 26, 2018

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

The students picked a city/area of Israel. They read about their area and come up with the relevant statistics (ie. population, area, climate) as well as facts for each area. We put them on cards and attached them to the map of Israel in our classroom.  Written Sun, Apr 22, 2018

 

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

 

Zayin Class Update Week of Apr 15, 2018

The Yom Hashoah program commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, the single most important act of Jewish physical resistance during the Holocaust and the first urban rebellion anywhere in Nazi occupied Europe. The program emphasized the motivation of the ghetto fighters and the some 50,000 civilian residents still alive in the ghetto to go to their deaths resisting-to die with dignity. Since the Prozdor and Pardes classes are engaged in a unit of study focused on Jewish heroes, the program included information about two notable ones connected with the uprising. The first was Barbara Steiner who worked making weapons and tending the wounded during the rebellion. She was captured and miraculously survived Majdanek concentration camp and two slave labor camps. Mrs. Steiner and her family ultimately came to Chicago where she and other survivors founded the Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois, the forerunner of the current museum. The second hero was Mordechai Anielewicz, the Zionist leader of the uprising who sought to uphold the honor of the Jewish people but perished along with many others in the rebellion. He was the heart and soul of this act of courage. Students did a very fine job summarizing Mordechai’s short life and achievements during the commemoration, which also included a presentation by Dr. Lefkovitz, musical renditions by Cantor Simon and thoughts from Rabbi Newman Kamin. Written by Dr. Elliot Lefkovitz Thu, Apr 19, 2018

On Wednesday we had an amazing time with combined classes learning about Israel Independence Day as well as Israel Day of Remembrance. The kids got to hear part of the Israeli constitution being read.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxzR9Z-kG6Q

The short video above is the latest of a chain of “mass singing social initiative” performances in Israel, from Koolulam- founded only a few months ago by three young Israelis, who believe that “singing is believing”. They have successfully brought together hundreds, and thousands, of total strangers, of all ages and backgrounds, in performances throughout Israel, including one performance with 3,000 Jews and Arabs.

In the above video,12,000 Israelis amassed in the Nokia Stadium in Tel Aviv last week. The one-price 35 shekel tickets were sold out in 15 minutes!! President of Israel Reuven Rivlin stood among the people and sang with them one of Naomi Shemer’s greatest hits. Written by Mr. Allan Arnet Thu, Apr 19, 2018 and class facilitated by Mr. S, Mr. Arnet and Morah Sandra

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

 

 

Ta’am Yisrael 2019

In addition we learned about Ta’am Yisrael, a trip to Israel that the current Zayin students will be able to take next year.  For “Save the Date” information for Ta’am Yisrael 2019, please click here.

Here are pictures of this past year’s trip: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipMhbDEoTRT1c_yNsKqPBl1VehGNdw5b-Q2lg8QdNscrx1eBWuqQfAZI2SrbOI5eiw?key=LUY4bXJISUNFNVo4R3BZLUZWV3E3cVhtWUhGa2lB. For more information, please click on the following link: https://www.juf.org/cfje/taam_yisrael_faq.aspx

Having recently staffed this trip to Israel, I recommend it highly.  We have several students who have attended the trip and I would be happy to connect you with them or to speak with you about the trip if you are interested in learning more about it.  Written by Mr. Charlie Sherman, Head of School   Fri, Apr 20, 2018

 

Zayin Class Updates Weeks of Apr 8, 2018

We watched video about Gerta Weisman’s Account of life before, during and after events of the Holocaust.  Her family was educated in Poland, invaded by the German’s and sent off in differing directions. Ms. Weisman was liberated by the man she married.  Here is a link to the video: https://www.tolerance.org/classroom-resources/tolerance-lessons/one-survivor-remembers-intolerance-today.

In addition we learned about Ta’am Yisrael, a trip to Israel that the current Zayin students will be able to take next year.  For “Save the Date” information for Ta’am Yisrael 2019, please click here.

Here are pictures of this past year’s trip: https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipMhbDEoTRT1c_yNsKqPBl1VehGNdw5b-Q2lg8QdNscrx1eBWuqQfAZI2SrbOI5eiw?key=LUY4bXJISUNFNVo4R3BZLUZWV3E3cVhtWUhGa2lB. For more information, please click on the following link: https://www.juf.org/cfje/taam_yisrael_faq.aspx

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

Following Part I of our Yom HaShoah presentation, we spent our time together on independent practice with some work also being done on the practical side of mitzvah projects.  Many of our post-B’nai Mitzvah students worked as Madrichim during our time together.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Zayin Class Updates Weeks of Mar 11 & 18, 2018

This Week:

We cannot begin to tell you how proud we are of the Zayin students for their phenomenal Mitzvah Project Presentations to our Gimel through Prozdor Am Yisrael SJS community.  There were several students and parents who took notes of the projects and were inspired to think of the projects in a new way.

Mr. Charlie Sherman

csherman@amyisrael.org

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

Last Week:

Most of the kids were working on their mitzvah boards and those who completed there project were king enough to lend a hand and guidance to those who needed help.  Afterwards, I took the kids who completed there project and we saw a quick video about paying it forward. Watch the link below  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUBTAdI7zuY  We then started our unit on Passover with a recap on how the Joseph got to Egypt and how he became second in command. We will continue our unit next week.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

The annual Mitzvah Projects Presentation is being held on Sun, Mar 18 from 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in the Sanctuary. We have updated our website with a direct link to the assignment that outlines the expectations for the presentation and most specifically the trifold project assignment. While we certainly don’t expect our Zayin students to work on this over the winter vacation, we wanted to send the assignment to you prior to the vacation so that our Zayin students would have it in the event that they have a couple of hours over the vacation to spend on this.
Here is the direct link:
I’m also attaching the information that is in this link as a two page printable PDF. Now in the 5th year of this program, we have found that most of our students do 90% of this trifold project at home. For those who thrive on having the extra support from our educators, we provide a couple of hours at SJS in the month leading up to the presentation letting the students work on trifolds. In addition, we will work with the students on their bimah presentations this winter prior to Sun, Mar 18.

 

 

Zayin Class Updates Weeks of Mar 4, 2018

Most of the kids were working on their mitzvah boards and those who completed there project were king enough to lend a hand and guidance to those who needed help.  Afterwards, I took the kids who completed there project and we saw a quick video about paying it forward. Watch the link below  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUBTAdI7zuY  We then started our unit on Passover with a recap on how the Joseph got to Egypt and how he became second in command. We will continue our unit next week.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

The annual Mitzvah Projects Presentation is being held on Sun, Mar 18 from 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in the Sanctuary. We have updated our website with a direct link to the assignment that outlines the expectations for the presentation and most specifically the trifold project assignment. While we certainly don’t expect our Zayin students to work on this over the winter vacation, we wanted to send the assignment to you prior to the vacation so that our Zayin students would have it in the event that they have a couple of hours over the vacation to spend on this.
Here is the direct link:
I’m also attaching the information that is in this link as a two page printable PDF. Now in the 5th year of this program, we have found that most of our students do 90% of this trifold project at home. For those who thrive on having the extra support from our educators, we provide a couple of hours at SJS in the month leading up to the presentation letting the students work on trifolds. In addition, we will work with the students on their bimah presentations this winter prior to Sun, Mar 18.

 

 

Zayin Class Updates Weeks of Feb 25, 2018

We began with our usual individualized B’nai Mitzvah practice during the first hour of SJS.  The second part of class we watched a video introduction this week’s parasha, Tetzaveh, which focuses largely on the garments worn by the high priest and other priests. This sparked an interesting discussion. Since the hereditary priesthood is not a major presence in Jewish life today, students were eager to learn more about what priests (kohanim) did, how they became priests, and how they interacted with rabbis and other community leaders.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

The students are making tremendous progress with their mitzvah boards and projects!  They are pasting the texts of their D’var Torah write-ups, dialoguing on their mitzvah projects, completing their wordles and getting ready for the March 18 Mitzvah Projects Presentation.  We are extremely proud of the Zayin students for their strong efforts and we cannot wait to see the students take center-stage in the Sanctuary on Sun, Mar 18 at 11:30 a.m., when they will have the opportunity to help inspire our entire SJS community with their Mitzvah Projects.

Mr. Charlie Sherman, Head of School

csherman@amyisrael.org

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Zayin Class Updates Weeks of Feb 11, 2018

SJS Regular Hebrew Reading/Tefillah Practice

Please click here to access is a link to a new Tefillah grid that has a list of all of the prayers that the students are expected to learn in the process of becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  There are also links to printable PDFs of the prayers and to many of the tunes and/or nusach that we use at Am Yisrael.  We strongly encourage that each student spends between 5-10 minutes per day practicing these prayers.  Thank you.

 

The students are making tremendous progress with their mitzvah boards and projects!  They are pasting the texts of their D’var Torah write-ups, dialoguing on their mitzvah projects, completing their wordles and getting ready for the March 18 Mitzvah Projects Presentation.  We are extremely proud of the Zayin students for their strong efforts and we cannot wait to see the students take center-stage in the Sanctuary on Sun, Mar 18 at 11:30 a.m., when they will have the opportunity to help inspire our entire SJS community with their Mitzvah Projects.

Mr. Charlie Sherman, Head of School

csherman@amyisrael.org

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

The annual Mitzvah Projects Presentation is being held on Sun, Mar 18 from 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in the Sanctuary. We have updated our website with a direct link to the assignment that outlines the expectations for the presentation and most specifically the trifold project assignment. While we certainly don’t expect our Zayin students to work on this over the winter vacation, we wanted to send the assignment to you prior to the vacation so that our Zayin students would have it in the event that they have a couple of hours over the vacation to spend on this.
Here is the direct link:
I’m also attaching the information that is in this link as a two page printable PDF. Now in the 5th year of this program, we have found that most of our students do 90% of this trifold project at home. For those who thrive on having the extra support from our educators, we provide a couple of hours at SJS in the month leading up to the presentation letting the students work on trifolds. In addition, we will work with the students on their bimah presentations this winter prior to Sun, Mar 18.

 

Zayin Class Updates Weeks of Feb 4, 2018

SJS Regular Hebrew Reading/Tefillah Practice

Please click here to access is a link to a new Tefillah grid that has a list of all of the prayers that the students are expected to learn in the process of becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  There are also links to printable PDFs of the prayers and to many of the tunes and/or nusach that we use at Am Yisrael.  We strongly encourage that each student spends between 5-10 minutes per day practicing these prayers.  Thank you.

After focusing on self-directed practice for the first period, we looked at this week’s Torah reading, Mishpatim. Early in the parasha there is a set of rules that seem to a modern eye to endorse slavery. We learned that, taken from the perspective of its original ancient Middle Eastern audience, these rules represent a progressive regulation of an existing institution. More conceptually, we saw that the Torah can make more sense, both intellectually and morally, when considered in its own context.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

The annual Mitzvah Projects Presentation is being held on Sun, Mar 18 from 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in the Sanctuary. We have updated our website with a direct link to the assignment that outlines the expectations for the presentation and most specifically the trifold project assignment. While we certainly don’t expect our Zayin students to work on this over the winter vacation, we wanted to send the assignment to you prior to the vacation so that our Zayin students would have it in the event that they have a couple of hours over the vacation to spend on this.
Here is the direct link:
I’m also attaching the information that is in this link as a two page printable PDF. Now in the 5th year of this program, we have found that most of our students do 90% of this trifold project at home. For those who thrive on having the extra support from our educators, we provide a couple of hours at SJS in the month leading up to the presentation letting the students work on trifolds. In addition, we will work with the students on their bimah presentations this winter prior to Sun, Mar 18.

 

 

Zayin Class Updates Weeks of Jan 21 & 28, 2018

In honor of National Holocaust Remembrance Day, we discussed how bullying leads to hurtful actions. Have you ever talked about prejudices, stereotyping, etc.? Next, how and when does this happen? The class read a story called “Sticks and Stones” by Stephen Kessler. It is a story about four boys picking on a boy when they thought that he was gay. They talked about how this led to gun violence and there was a pyramid of hatred. Prejudiced attitudes lead to genocides.

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

The annual Mitzvah Projects Presentation is being held on Sun, Mar 18 from 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in the Sanctuary. We have updated our website with a direct link to the assignment that outlines the expectations for the presentation and most specifically the trifold project assignment. While we certainly don’t expect our Zayin students to work on this over the winter vacation, we wanted to send the assignment to you prior to the vacation so that our Zayin students would have it in the event that they have a couple of hours over the vacation to spend on this.
Here is the direct link:
I’m also attaching the information that is in this link as a two page printable PDF. Now in the 5th year of this program, we have found that most of our students do 90% of this trifold project at home. For those who thrive on having the extra support from our educators, we provide a couple of hours at SJS in the month leading up to the presentation letting the students work on trifolds. In addition, we will work with the students on their bimah presentations this winter prior to Sun, Mar 18.

 

This week we began class as we have been doing all year: self-directed study for bat/bar mitzvah preparation and for general improvement in tefillah skills. During the second half of class we had a special session on the Ten Commandments, which are found in Parashat Yitro (this week’s Torah reading). What exactly are they, why do some religious groups divide them up differently than we do, and what does “covet” mean, anyway? This was a great chance to get Zayin students studying Torah directly from the Chumash!

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Zayin Class Updates Weeks of Jan 10 & 14, 2018

The Vav and Zayin of SJS gathered together in the library for a special learning session on the week’s Torah reading, Va’era. This section of the Torah, which includes Moses’ first confrontations with Pharaoh and most of the Ten Plagues. We considered why this story, which is one of the most famous in the world, still has to be told twice every year: once in the winter when we read it from the Torah, and once in the spring when we relive it during Pesach. We also learned about Moses’ unusual leadership role, and the ways in which he succeeded as a leader of thousands despite, or perhaps because of, his difficulty with speech.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

The annual Mitzvah Projects Presentation is being held on Sun, Mar 18 from 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in the Sanctuary. We have updated our website with a direct link to the assignment that outlines the expectations for the presentation and most specifically the trifold project assignment. While we certainly don’t expect our Zayin students to work on this over the winter vacation, we wanted to send the assignment to you prior to the vacation so that our Zayin students would have it in the event that they have a couple of hours over the vacation to spend on this.
Here is the direct link:
I’m also attaching the information that is in this link as a two page printable PDF. Now in the 5th year of this program, we have found that most of our students do 90% of this trifold project at home. For those who thrive on having the extra support from our educators, we provide a couple of hours at SJS in the month leading up to the presentation letting the students work on trifolds. In addition, we will work with the students on their bimah presentations this winter prior to Sun, Mar 18.

Zayin Class Updates Week of Dec 17, 2017

The annual Mitzvah Projects Presentation is being held on Sun, Mar 18 from 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in the Sanctuary. We have updated our website with a direct link to the assignment that outlines the expectations for the presentation and most specifically the trifold project assignment. While we certainly don’t expect our Zayin students to work on this over the winter vacation, we wanted to send the assignment to you prior to the vacation so that our Zayin students would have it in the event that they have a couple of hours over the vacation to spend on this.
Here is the direct link:
I’m also attaching the information that is in this link as a two page printable PDF. Now in the 5th year of this program, we have found that most of our students do 90% of this trifold project at home. For those who thrive on having the extra support from our educators, we provide a couple of hours at SJS in the month leading up to the presentation letting the students work on trifolds. In addition, we will work with the students on their bimah presentations this winter prior to Sun, Mar 18.

Zayin Class Updates Week of Nov 12, 2017

Rabbi Newman Kamin did an Ask the Rabbi session during our Family Education and Brunch.  We had an excellent turnout and also learned more about the new Torah that is being written for our community in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Am Yisrael.  In addition, this week we team-taught the Vav and Zayin Classes.  We began with the question “What makes a person righteous?  We watched a video on Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  We focused on the concepts of upstanders and “paying it forward.”  In addition, we brought in the story of Honi and the idea of “planting trees that will be enjoyed by others.”

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

 

This week Morah Sandra and Mr. Arnet team taught as I was out of SJS.  Please see their message above.  Thank you.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

Zayin Class Updates Week of Nov 5, 2017

We prepared a list of questions for our upcoming Brunch and Family Education with Rabbi Newman Kamin.  We discussed topics that we wanted to learn through a Jewish lens from our Rabbi.  We very much look forward to this session.

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

During the first half of the evening students were self-directed, working toward whichever skills they felt were most necessary for their upcoming bat or bar mitzvah. Some worked on prayers in the siddur, some practiced Torah or haftarah readings, and some worked on divrei Torah. Our few students who have already become benot mitzvah acted as tutors and advisors for those who have not yet completed the process.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Zayin Class Updates Week of Oct 15, 2017

We brainstormed mitzvah project ideas as well continued our discussions of gift giving Tzedakah.  We watched videos of people who gave gifts in different capacities.  We discussed what level on Rambam’s ladder for each scenario and why it was so important.

We discussed Rambam’s ladder of gift giving and how we would prioritize the level of gift giving and why.  We talked about knowing your recipient and had phenomenal moments in which students realized that it does not matter whether we like or even know our recipients.  There are benefits to knowing recipients and not knowing them.  Any way we give is necessary and crucial.

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

During the first half of the evening students were self-directed, working toward whichever skills they felt were most necessary for their upcoming bat or bar mitzvah. Some worked on prayers in the siddur, some practiced Torah or haftarah readings, and some worked on divrei Torah. Our few students who have already become benot mitzvah acted as tutors and advisors for those who have not yet completed the process.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Zayin Class Updates Week of Oct 8, 2017

This week we reordered Rambam’s rungs of Tzedakah. We discussed the difference between ‘charity’ and ‘tzedakah.’ Giving in various ways to help make the world more ‘just’ is so crucial.

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

Class was a beit midrash-style session devoted to bat- and bar-mitzvah preparation. Students focused on the siddur, their Torah and haftarah readings, and other important synagogue skills and duties, while periodically consulting their teacher or madricha. It was great to hear so many different kinds of work happening in one class!

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Zayin Class Updates Week of Sep 24, 2017

In our Moving Traditions curriculum we did an activity called “Hot Chocolate River.”  We are focused on the metaphor of crossing over from one part of our lives to another.  How can we maneuver these rites of passage?  We demonstrated how we are supported through our Jewish traditions and we set up a covenant for how we will learn with each other throughout the year.  The first step of this passage of time is reflecting on our childhoods.

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

Class was a beit midrash-style session devoted to bat- and bar-mitzvah preparation. Students focused on the siddur, their Torah and haftarah readings, and other important synagogue skills and duties, while periodically consulting their teacher or madricha. It was great to hear so many different kinds of work happening in one class!

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

Zayin Class Updates Weeks of Sep 10 & 17, 2017

Hi, my name is Lawrence Szenes-Strauss and your children call me Mr. S. for short.  I teach your children on Wednesdays once again this year.  In keeping with the spirit of the season, we began class with an exploration of the concept of teshuvah(repentance) and how it relates to asking forgiveness, but is not the same thing. We talked about concrete examples of teshuvah and learned about Maimonides’s test for whether someone has successfully done teshuvah.  For the second half of class we divided up into pairs, each of which worked on a presentation to teach two or three important vocabulary words from the siddur to the rest of the class. Over the course of the year we hope to develop a strong working vocabulary of the most common Hebrew words that occur in our services.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

Hi, my name is Sandra Mieli Kamm and I teach your children on Sundays and Wednesdays once again this year.  This Wednesday our Zayin students took part in a world wide initiative called character day.   We were introduced to the “periodic table of character strengths.”  From this table, we discussed what character strengths we possess and how we can incorporate those strengths to improve our daily lives and our communities.  We talked about how are personalities are evolving and that we can improve upon various strengths by “exercising” them daily.  We ended by asking the question “How can we utilize our strengths to improve our lives, families and communities in a meaningful way each day?”

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

Pardes Class Updates 2017-2018 (5778)

Pardes Class Update 5-6-18

Please note that our final day of SJS for this school year is Sun, May 20.  We hope that you will all join their us for that day when we celebrate our congregation’s 50th Anniversary.  We will be having a catered Shavuot kiddush lunch.  Please be sure to RSVP if you would like to join us: http://evite.me/6NP7Pm3eVY

Pardes has been assigned to bring sugar free jelly peaches and pears for the end of the year Am Yisrael SJS Food Drive to support the clients of the Ark.  Please note that you are welcome to bring any item, we have just found that assigning specific items helps with the variety of foods that we receive for these food drives.

Class Update:

This past Sunday, Prozdor and Pardes students made us proud with their presentations on Jewish Heroes.  Students were articulate, well-prepared and equipped with sophisticated media to enhance their presentations.  This educational exercise allowed students to learn while they were doing research, hone their presentation skills and absorb valuable information from each other during the process. Thu, May 10, 2018

Cantor Stuart Simon

cantorsimon@amyisrael.org

Pardes Class Update 4-29-18

1. Please note that our final day of SJS for this school year is Sun, May 20.  We hope that you will all join their us for that day when we celebrate our congregation’s 50th Anniversary.  We will be having a catered Shavuot kiddush lunch.  Please be sure to RSVP if you would like to join us: http://evite.me/6NP7Pm3eVY

2. Pardes has been assigned to bring sugar free jelly peaches and pears for the end of the year Am Yisrael SJS Food Drive to support the clients of the Ark.  Please note that you are welcome to bring any item, we have just found that assigning specific items helps with the variety of foods that we receive for these food drives.

3.Prozdor and Pardes students will be presenting their Jewish Heroes presentations on Sun, May 6 in the Sanctuary. All Prozdor and Pardes students, regardless of Madrichim assignments, should report to the Sanctuary at 10:15 a.m. sharp dressed in Shabbat-type synagogue clothing to work with Cantor Simon and Mr. Arnet on the presentations.  Written on Fri, May 4, 2018

Cantor Stuart Simon

cantorsimon@amyisrael.org

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

To review, here is the project overview:

Jewish Heroes – May 6, 2018 – Prozdor and Pardes Students

  • Amanda Alpert: Deborah Lipstadt
  • David Bodansky: Elie Wiesel
  • Jacob Brodsky: Nicholas Winton
  • Alexis Burton: Oskar Schindler
  • Joshua Doherty: Jan Zabinski
  • Jayden Fogel: Chiune Sugihara
  • Gabi Froum: Jonas Salk
  • Daphna Gerber: Maurice Sendak
  • Joshua Grossman: Chanah Senesh
  • Ava Kelber: Niels Bohr
  • Daniel Himmelfarb: Eli Cohen
  • Sophie Himmelfarb: Irena Sendler
  • Helen Lerner: Michael Levin
  • Evan Lieber: Yoni Netanyahu
  • Sarah Lieber: Golda Meir
  • Greta Loewenthal: Albert Einstein
  • Markus Tam: Hannah Arendt
  • Blair Weiss: Anne Frank
  • Ellie Witzel: Aly Raisman

Pardes Class Update 4-22-18

1. On Sun, April 22, students in Prozdor and Pardes (8th-10th Grade students/madrichim) spent a portion of the class with Rabbi Newman Kamin, concentrating on the Israeli Declaration of Independence, as the new piece of art in the lobby of the school building includes all of the words of this text.

 

2. Second, Prozdor and Pardes students continued to work on their Jewish Heroes presentations. Mr. Arnet and I reviewed many of them, and all students will practice in front of their peers next week, before their formal presentations on May 6. This is an outstanding educational exercise for the students, one which should be repeated regularly in years to come.  Written by Cantor Simon on Sun, Apr 22, 2018

 

Cantor Stuart Simon

cantorsimon@amyisrael.org

 

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

 

To review, here is the project overview:

 

Jewish Heroes – May 6, 2018 – Prozdor and Pardes Students

Choose your hero from these categories:

 

1. Biblical Heroes

2. Rabbinic Heroes

3. Modern American Heroes

4. Modern Israeli Heroes

5. Holocaust Heroes

6. Righteous Gentile Who Saved Jews

 

When did he or she live?

Give biography.

What heroic act(s) did he or she perform?

If lives were saved, how and how many?

Any memorials remaining in honor of this person?

Can use pictures, videos, etc.

Presentation should be 4-5 minutes.

 

Don’t feel limited. Be creative. A hero could be a doctor, scientist, social activist or an exemplary athlete. It can also be someone unknown to most of the world.

 

Ask questions of Mr. Arnet or Cantor Simon, and let them review your presentations prior to May 6.

 

As there are still a few students who haven’t committed to a hero, here are the heroes who have been selected for this project. We do not want any redundancy.

  • Amanda Alpert: Deborah Lipstadt
  • David Bodansky: Elie Wiesel
  • Jacob Brodsky: Nicholas Winton
  • Alexis Burton: Oskar Schindler
  • Joshua Doherty: Jan Zabinski
  • Jayden Fogel: Chiune Sugihara
  • Gabi Froum: Jonas Salk
  • Daphna Gerber: Maurice Sendak
  • Joshua Grossman: Chanah Senesh
  • Ava Kelber: Niels Bohr
  • Daniel Himmelfarb: Eli Cohen
  • Sophie Himmelfarb: Irena Sendler
  • Helen Lerner: Michael Levin
  • Evan Lieber: Yoni Netanyahu
  • Sarah Lieber: Golda Meir
  • Greta Loewenthal: Albert Einstein
  • Markus Tam: Hannah Arendt
  • Blair Weiss: Anne Frank
  • Ellie Witzel: Aly Raisman

 

Pardes Class Update 4-15-18

The Yom Hashoah program commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, the single most important act of Jewish physical resistance during the Holocaust and the first urban rebellion anywhere in Nazi occupied Europe. The program emphasized the motivation of the ghetto fighters and the some 50,000 civilian residents still alive in the ghetto to go to their deaths resisting-to die with dignity. Since the Prozdor and Pardes classes are engaged in a unit of study focused on Jewish heroes, the program included information about two notable ones connected with the uprising. The first was Barbara Steiner who worked making weapons and tending the wounded during the rebellion. She was captured and miraculously survived Majdanek concentration camp and two slave labor camps. Mrs. Steiner and her family ultimately came to Chicago where she and other survivors founded the Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois, the forerunner of the current museum. The second hero was Mordechai Anielewicz, the Zionist leader of the uprising who sought to uphold the honor of the Jewish people but perished along with many others in the rebellion. He was the heart and soul of this act of courage. Students did a very fine job summarizing Mordechai’s short life and achievements during the commemoration, which also included a presentation by Dr. Lefkovitz, musical renditions by Cantor Simon and thoughts from Rabbi Newman Kamin. Written by Dr. Elliot Lefkovitz Thu, Apr 19, 2018

1. This past Sunday we took a one week break from the Heroes Project, since the students were at the congregational Yom HaShoah program. During our next session, this Sun, April 22, students in Prozdor and Pardes (8th-10th Grade students/madrichim) will spend a portion of the class with Rabbi Newman Kamin, concentrating on the Israeli Declaration of Independence, as the new piece of art in the lobby of the school building includes all of the words of this text.

 

2. Second, the Prozdor and Pardes students will continue their work on the Heroes Project with Cantor Simon and Mr. Arnet. All Prozdor and Pardes students should report to Room 6 at 10:30 a.m. with tablets or phones to class to access information about their chosen subjects.

 

To review, here is the project overview:

 

Jewish Heroes – May 6, 2018 – Prozdor and Pardes Students

Choose your hero from these categories:

 

1. Biblical Heroes

2. Rabbinic Heroes

3. Modern American Heroes

4. Modern Israeli Heroes

5. Holocaust Heroes

6. Righteous Gentile Who Saved Jews

 

When did he or she live?

Give biography.

What heroic act(s) did he or she perform?

If lives were saved, how and how many?

Any memorials remaining in honor of this person?

Can use pictures, videos, etc.

Presentation should be 4-5 minutes.

 

Don’t feel limited. Be creative. A hero could be a doctor, scientist, social activist or an exemplary athlete. It can also be someone unknown to most of the world.

 

Ask questions of Mr. Arnet or Cantor Simon, and let them review your presentations prior to May 6.

 

As there are still a few students who haven’t committed to a hero, here are the heroes who have been selected for this project. We do not want any redundancy.

  • Amanda Alpert: Deborah Lipstadt
  • David Bodansky: Elie Wiesel
  • Jacob Brodsky: Nicholas Winton
  • Alexis Burton: Oskar Schindler
  • Joshua Doherty: Chanah Senesh
  • Jayden Fogel: Chiune Sugihara
  • Gabi Froum: Jonas Salk
  • Daphna Gerber: Maurice Sendak
  • Ava Kelber: Niels Bohr
  • Daniel Himmelfarb: Eli Cohen
  • Sophie Himmelfarb: Rosa Luxemburg
  • Helen Lerner: Michael Levin
  • Evan Lieber: Yoni Netanyahu
  • Sarah Lieber: Golda Meir
  • Greta Loewenthal: Albert Einstein
  • Markus Tam: Hannah Arendt
  • Blair Weiss: Anne Frank
  • Ellie Witzel: Aly Raisman

​Chag Ha’atzmaut Sameach,​

Mr. Charlie Sherman

Head of School

Pardes Class Update 4-8-18

We continued working on our hero’s project. The students are really doing a nice job. Please ask your student to talk to you about the hero they choose and why. We really want the students to be inspired by their choice as they journey down the road to becoming hero’s themselves.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Pardes Class Update 3-11-18 & 3-18-18

This Week:

The students began their Heroes Project, as each student chose a Jewish Hero to research.  They will be sharing their research at a special program on Sun, May 6.  Stay tuned…

Last Week:

Last Sunday, Pardes students attended the JUF brunch and witnessed a very memorable presentation. The guest speaker, Izzy Ezaqui, captivated the audience with his story of bravery. He discussed how as an American, he decided to join the IDF after visiting Israel on Birthright.  He lost an arm on the battlefield, and returned to active service 2 months after the tragedy. It was a story of heroism, perseverance and strength.

Cantor Stuart Simon

cantorsimon@amyisrael.org

Two Weeks Ago:

Shalom, my name is Dr. Elliot Lefkovitz and while Cantor Simon was leading a presentation for the Congregation on the prayer service, I introduced a Heroes project in the Pardes Class this week.  Each student defined the word “hero,” including the qualities that a hero possesses.  We then discussed “good” and “bad” heroes, Jewish heroes, Biblical heroes, Rabbinic heroes, Israeli heroes, Holocaust heroes and American Jewish heroes.  We look forward to taking the next steps of this study in the upcoming weeks.

 

Pardes Class Update 3-4-18

Shalom, my name is Dr. Elliot Lefkovitz and while Cantor Simon was leading a presentation for the Congregation on the prayer service, I introduced a Heroes project in the Pardes Class this week.  Each student defined the word “hero,” including the qualities that a hero possesses.  We then discussed “good” and “bad” heroes, Jewish heroes, Biblical heroes, Rabbinic heroes, Israeli heroes, Holocaust heroes and American Jewish heroes.  We look forward to taking the next steps of this study in the upcoming weeks.

Pardes Class Update 2-11-18

Shalom, my name is Mr. Michael Aberman and this week I served as the substitute teacher for Cantor Simon.  We took five Jewish concepts, (a) avoiding animal cruelty, (b) striving for health, (c) freeing prisoners, (d) seeking peace and (e) taking care of the widow and orphans. It was interesting to see how the students ranked the order of importance, with very little common order aside from health being the top priority for most of the students. The laws of not embarrassing others or standing by idly led to a long conversation about bullying and things we may have done wrong in the past but have learned from and corrected for future endeavors. I hope you have a great week.

Mr. Michael Aberman

Pardes Class Update 2-4-18

Over the last 3 weeks, Pardes students watched the movie, “The Zookeeper’s Wife.” In this true story, the zookeeper and his wife who ran the Warsaw Zoo hid and saved over 300 Jews from extermination. It was one of those rare Holocaust films that had a relatively happy ending, as the protagonists survived and thrived and were ultimately honored at Yad Vashem in Israel.

Cantor Stuart Simon

Pardes Class Update 12-10-17

After President Trump’s controversial public pronouncement that Jerusalem is accepted by the United States as Israel’s capital, our Pardes students expressed their opinions.  They were clear and thoughtful, and as a group weighed the benefits versus the possible dangers of the decision in a high level, intellectual discussion.

Cantor Stuart Simon

cantorsimon@amyisrael.org

Pardes Class Update 12-3-17

Pardes students watched the movie “Nicky’s Family” the last 2 Sundays.  This was the story of Sir Nicholas Winton, a remarkable man who lived to the ripe old age of 106, a man who was personally responsible for saving the lives of over 600 Jewish children during WW2 by having them transported to England by train and adopted by British families.  The scenes of separation from their parents were heartbreaking, but the story as a whole was inspirational and encouraged everyone to positively impact as many lives as one can.

Cantor Stuart Simon

cantorsimon@amyisrael.org

Pardes Class Update 11-12-17

Pardes students discussed Kristallnacht, The Night of Broken Glass, a major catastrophic event leading up to the Holocaust.  We discussed pre-Holocaust Jewish life in Europe and the sickening symbolism of the marchers in Charlottesville that rekindled the memories of Nazi Germany.

Cantor Stuart Simon

cantorsimon@amyisrael.org

Pardes Class Update 11-5-17

Pardes students concluded watching the movie, “School Ties” on Sunday. Beyond the initial subject of anti-Semitism, the discussion evolved into how so much lying occurred in the film, what the Jewish perspective on spewing falsehoods is, and ultimately how prominent and powerful leaders of our country lie so frequently without giving it a second thought.

Cantor Stuart Simon

cantorsimon@amyisrael.org

Pardes Class Update 10-22-17

Last week, Pardes watched the movie “School Ties,” with the conclusion being shown this week, followed by an in depth discussion.  The movie shows antisemitism at a New England college preparatory school in the 1950’s.  The question will be, given the recent march in Charlottesville, how much has our country and the world changed since the 1950’s.

Cantor Stuart Simon

cantorsimon@amyisrael.org

Pardes Class Update 10-15-17

On Sunday, October 15, Pardes viewed a drama, The Writing on the Wall.  The theme was that acts of apparent anti-Semitism are sometimes born of ignorance and can be eradicated through education. This topic will be discussed over the next few weeks.

Cantor Stuart Simon

cantorsimon@amyisrael.org

Pardes Class Update 10-8-17

In light of the recent negative news in Charlotteville, S.C., I decided to show the documentary “Not in our Town,” which left Pardes students with a feeling of hope and belief in the human spirit.  It told the story of Billings, Montana in the 1990’s, as the townspeople displayed solidarity with the Jewish community which was under assault by skinheads.

Cantor Stuart Simon

cantorsimon@amyisrael.org

Pardes Class Update 9-24-17

Hi, my name is Michael Aberman and I was the substitute teacher for your students this week.  While Prozdor and Pardes will typically meet as separate classes this year, we combined the classes for this one additional week.  For Prozdor/Pardes we discussed the second text of the Chai Mitzvah curriculum text focused on the idea that if the Torah had not been given we may have learned lessons from animals. It took an interesting turn when one of the children said like the loyalty of a shark.  We then discussed what animals are known for doing and what we can learn from specific attributes of animals.

Mr. Michael Aberman

Class Updates 9-10-17

Hi, my name is Eytan Dallal and I was the substitute teacher for your students this week.  While Prozdor and Pardes will typically meet as separate classes this year, with special programming taking place, including Cantor Simon singing the national anthem at the White Sox game, we combined the classes for a part of the time.  The Prozdor/Pardes class discussed aspects of Rosh Hashanah, including the main commandment of the day, the Shofar.  We discussed three reasons for the shofar, three themes of the Chazzan’s (Cantor’s) service and their meaning, as well as different foods that are customarily eaten on Rosh Hashanah (including apples and honey!).

Mr. Eytan Dallal

Hi, my name is Elliot Lefkovitz and I was the substitute teacher for your students for a portion of the time this past Sunday.  We spent a portion of the time discussing the recent hurricanes and relatives in harm’s way.  We also reviewed basic information on the High Holidays and Siddur vocabulary.  We concluded with a current event articles of Jewish interest. Since there were several articles that interested students this took some time.  Finally, we discussed the important role that High Schoolers play at Am Yisrael’s School of Jewish Studies.

Dr. Elliot Lefkovitz

At its core, Pardes can be looked at as a preparatory course on a couple of levels. Too many people go through life without a sense of history. How can you analyze the present and impact the future with no knowledge of the past? In Pardes we study the history of anti-Semitism, as it existed in ancient times up to modern day. We discuss recognizing it and combating all types of prejudice, as it affects us and all people. We reach out to other ethnic groups, celebrate our commonalities and respect the traits that make us unique. Pardes will promote college-readiness and prepare students for life thereafter.

The curriculum for Pardes is very fluid. Dramatic movies and documentaries are integrated into the class, while field trips, Tikkun Olam projects and inspiring lectures are key components. If a museum exhibit, Jewish-themed movie or an opportunity for interfaith dialog occurs, a quick shift in our schedule will be likely, all in the interest of providing the highest quality educational experience.

Rabbi Newman Kamin and Cantor Simon alternate teaching the final 45 minutes of the Sunday class, as the Madrichim join in. While the Rabbi discusses Jewish values, tailored to the perspective of teenagers, the Cantor promotes worldliness through his current events discussion, incorporating Israeli, domestic and international news.

Cantor Stuart Simon

cantorsimon@amyisrael.org

Prozdor Class Updates 2017-2018 (5778)

Prozdor Class Update 5-6-18

Please note that our final day of SJS for this school year is Sun, May 20.  We hope that you will all join their us for that day when we celebrate our congregation’s 50th Anniversary.  We will be having a catered Shavuot kiddush lunch.  Please be sure to RSVP if you would like to join us: http://evite.me/6NP7Pm3eVY

Prozdor has been assigned to bring honey for the end of the year Am Yisrael SJS Food Drive to support the clients of the Ark.  Please note that you are welcome to bring any item, we have just found that assigning specific items helps with the variety of foods that we receive for these food drives.

Class Update:

This past Sunday, Prozdor and Pardes students made us proud with their presentations on Jewish Heroes.  Students were articulate, well-prepared and equipped with sophisticated media to enhance their presentations.  This educational exercise allowed students to learn while they were doing research, hone their presentation skills and absorb valuable information from each other during the process. Thu, May 10, 2018

Cantor Stuart Simon

cantorsimon@amyisrael.org

Prozdor Class Update 4-29-18

1. Please note that our final day of SJS for this school year is Sun, May 20.  We hope that you will all join their us for that day when we celebrate our congregation’s 50th Anniversary.  We will be having a catered Shavuot kiddush lunch.  Please be sure to RSVP if you would like to join us: http://evite.me/6NP7Pm3eVY

 

2. Prozdor has been assigned to bring honey for the end of the year Am Yisrael SJS Food Drive to support the clients of the Ark.  Please note that you are welcome to bring any item, we have just found that assigning specific items helps with the variety of foods that we receive for these food drives.

 

3. Prozdor and Pardes students will be presenting their Jewish Heroes presentations on Sun, May 6 in the Sanctuary. All Prozdor and Pardes students, regardless of Madrichim assignments, should report to the Sanctuary at 10:15 a.m. sharp dressed in Shabbat-type synagogue clothing to work with Cantor Simon and Mr. Arnet on the presentations.  Written on Fri, May 4, 2018

 

Cantor Stuart Simon

cantorsimon@amyisrael.org

 

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

 

To review, here is the project overview:

 

Jewish Heroes – May 6, 2018 – Prozdor and Pardes Students

  • Amanda Alpert: Deborah Lipstadt
  • David Bodansky: Elie Wiesel
  • Jacob Brodsky: Nicholas Winton
  • Alexis Burton: Oskar Schindler
  • Joshua Doherty: Jan Zabinski
  • Jayden Fogel: Chiune Sugihara
  • Gabi Froum: Jonas Salk
  • Daphna Gerber: Maurice Sendak
  • Joshua Grossman: Chanah Senesh
  • Ava Kelber: Niels Bohr
  • Daniel Himmelfarb: Eli Cohen
  • Sophie Himmelfarb: Irena Sendler
  • Helen Lerner: Michael Levin
  • Evan Lieber: Yoni Netanyahu
  • Sarah Lieber: Golda Meir
  • Greta Loewenthal: Albert Einstein
  • Markus Tam: Hannah Arendt
  • Blair Weiss: Anne Frank
  • Ellie Witzel: Aly Raisman

Prozdor Class Update 4-22-18

1. On Sun, April 22, students in Prozdor and Pardes (8th-10th Grade students/madrichim) spent a portion of the class with Rabbi Newman Kamin, concentrating on the Israeli Declaration of Independence, as the new piece of art in the lobby of the school building includes all of the words of this text.

 

2. Second, Prozdor and Pardes students continued to work on their Jewish Heroes presentations. Mr. Arnet and I reviewed many of them, and all students will practice in front of their peers next week, before their formal presentations on May 6. This is an outstanding educational exercise for the students, one which should be repeated regularly in years to come.  Written by Cantor Simon on Sun, Apr 22, 2018

 

Cantor Stuart Simon

cantorsimon@amyisrael.org

 

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

 

To review, here is the project overview:

 

Jewish Heroes – May 6, 2018 – Prozdor and Pardes Students

Choose your hero from these categories:

 

1. Biblical Heroes

2. Rabbinic Heroes

3. Modern American Heroes

4. Modern Israeli Heroes

5. Holocaust Heroes

6. Righteous Gentile Who Saved Jews

 

When did he or she live?

Give biography.

What heroic act(s) did he or she perform?

If lives were saved, how and how many?

Any memorials remaining in honor of this person?

Can use pictures, videos, etc.

Presentation should be 4-5 minutes.

 

Don’t feel limited. Be creative. A hero could be a doctor, scientist, social activist or an exemplary athlete. It can also be someone unknown to most of the world.

 

Ask questions of Mr. Arnet or Cantor Simon, and let them review your presentations prior to May 6.

 

As there are still a few students who haven’t committed to a hero, here are the heroes who have been selected for this project. We do not want any redundancy.

  • Amanda Alpert: Deborah Lipstadt
  • David Bodansky: Elie Wiesel
  • Jacob Brodsky: Nicholas Winton
  • Alexis Burton: Oskar Schindler
  • Joshua Doherty: Jan Zabinski
  • Jayden Fogel: Chiune Sugihara
  • Gabi Froum: Jonas Salk
  • Daphna Gerber: Maurice Sendak
  • Joshua Grossman: Chanah Senesh
  • Ava Kelber: Niels Bohr
  • Daniel Himmelfarb: Eli Cohen
  • Sophie Himmelfarb: Irena Sendler
  • Helen Lerner: Michael Levin
  • Evan Lieber: Yoni Netanyahu
  • Sarah Lieber: Golda Meir
  • Greta Loewenthal: Albert Einstein
  • Markus Tam: Hannah Arendt
  • Blair Weiss: Anne Frank
  • Ellie Witzel: Aly Raisman

NOTE: Please click here to read Prozdor updates from previous weeks.  Thank you.

Prozdor Class Update 4-15-18

The Yom Hashoah program commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, the single most important act of Jewish physical resistance during the Holocaust and the first urban rebellion anywhere in Nazi occupied Europe. The program emphasized the motivation of the ghetto fighters and the some 50,000 civilian residents still alive in the ghetto to go to their deaths resisting-to die with dignity. Since the Prozdor and Pardes classes are engaged in a unit of study focused on Jewish heroes, the program included information about two notable ones connected with the uprising. The first was Barbara Steiner who worked making weapons and tending the wounded during the rebellion. She was captured and miraculously survived Majdanek concentration camp and two slave labor camps. Mrs. Steiner and her family ultimately came to Chicago where she and other survivors founded the Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois, the forerunner of the current museum. The second hero was Mordechai Anielewicz, the Zionist leader of the uprising who sought to uphold the honor of the Jewish people but perished along with many others in the rebellion. He was the heart and soul of this act of courage. Students did a very fine job summarizing Mordechai’s short life and achievements during the commemoration, which also included a presentation by Dr. Lefkovitz, musical renditions by Cantor Simon and thoughts from Rabbi Newman Kamin. Written by Dr. Elliot Lefkovitz Thu, Apr 19, 2018

1. This past Sunday we took a one week break from the Heroes Project, since the students were at the congregational Yom HaShoah program. During our next session, this Sun, April 22, students in Prozdor and Pardes (8th-10th Grade students/madrichim) will spend a portion of the class with Rabbi Newman Kamin, concentrating on the Israeli Declaration of Independence, as the new piece of art in the lobby of the school building includes all of the words of this text.

 

2. Second, the Prozdor and Pardes students will continue their work on the Heroes Project with Cantor Simon and Mr. Arnet. All Prozdor and Pardes students should report to Room 6 at 10:30 a.m. with tablets or phones to class to access information about their chosen subjects.

 

To review, here is the project overview:

 

Jewish Heroes – May 6, 2018 – Prozdor and Pardes Students

Choose your hero from these categories:

 

1. Biblical Heroes

2. Rabbinic Heroes

3. Modern American Heroes

4. Modern Israeli Heroes

5. Holocaust Heroes

6. Righteous Gentile Who Saved Jews

 

When did he or she live?

Give biography.

What heroic act(s) did he or she perform?

If lives were saved, how and how many?

Any memorials remaining in honor of this person?

Can use pictures, videos, etc.

Presentation should be 4-5 minutes.

 

Don’t feel limited. Be creative. A hero could be a doctor, scientist, social activist or an exemplary athlete. It can also be someone unknown to most of the world.

 

Ask questions of Mr. Arnet or Cantor Simon, and let them review your presentations prior to May 6.

 

As there are still a few students who haven’t committed to a hero, here are the heroes who have been selected for this project. We do not want any redundancy.

  • Amanda Alpert: Deborah Lipstadt
  • David Bodansky: Elie Wiesel
  • Jacob Brodsky: Nicholas Winton
  • Alexis Burton: Oskar Schindler
  • Joshua Doherty: Chanah Senesh
  • Jayden Fogel: Chiune Sugihara
  • Gabi Froum: Jonas Salk
  • Daphna Gerber: Maurice Sendak
  • Ava Kelber: Niels Bohr
  • Daniel Himmelfarb: Eli Cohen
  • Sophie Himmelfarb: Rosa Luxemburg
  • Helen Lerner: Michael Levin
  • Evan Lieber: Yoni Netanyahu
  • Sarah Lieber: Golda Meir
  • Greta Loewenthal: Albert Einstein
  • Markus Tam: Hannah Arendt
  • Blair Weiss: Anne Frank
  • Ellie Witzel: Aly Raisman
​Chag Ha’atzmaut Sameach,​
Mr. Charlie Sherman
Head of School

Prozdor Class Updates 4-8-18

We continued working on our hero’s project. The students are really doing a nice job. Please ask your student to talk to you about the hero they choose and why. We really want the students to be inspired by their choice as they journey down the road to becoming hero’s themselves.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Prozdor Class Updates 3-11-18 & 3-18-18

This Week:

The students began their Heroes Project, as each student chose a Jewish Hero to research.  They will be sharing their research at a special program on Sun, May 6.  Stay tuned…

Last Week:

We started off class reading the passage at the beginning of the Haggadah that says “All Who Are Hungry Come and Eat” and ends off saying “This Year We Are Slaves Next Year May We Be Free.”  I asked the kids to explain why the Haggadah is saying “We Are Slaves” and what that means.

Two Weeks Ago:

Shalom, my name is Dr. Elliot Lefkovitz and I introduced a Heroes project in class this week.  Each student defined the word “hero,” including the qualities that a hero possesses.  We then discussed “good” and “bad” heroes, Jewish heroes, Biblical heroes, Rabbinic heroes, Israeli heroes, Holocaust heroes and American Jewish heroes.  We look forward to taking the next steps of this study in the upcoming weeks.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Prozdor Class Update 3-4-18

Shalom, my name is Dr. Elliot Lefkovitz and I introduced a Heroes project in class this week.  Each student defined the word “hero,” including the qualities that a hero possesses.  We then discussed “good” and “bad” heroes, Jewish heroes, Biblical heroes, Rabbinic heroes, Israeli heroes, Holocaust heroes and American Jewish heroes.  We look forward to taking the next steps of this study in the upcoming weeks.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Prozdor Class Update 2-11-18

We reviewed Purim and the fascinating twists and turns the story in the Megillah takes.  We also learned about the Knesset in Israel what it is and what it does.

Shabbat Shalom,

Mr. Allan Arnet

Prozdor Class Update 2-4-18

We spoke about my trip to Israel but we focused on one place in particular. Being the case we are learning about Israel 1948 I thought the Ayalon Institute would be a perfect fit. Please take a moment and watch the link below. It was a fascinating place that was responsible for helping Israel become what it is today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQNw5MA3DII

Mr. Allan Arnet

Prozdor Class Update 1-28-18

Shalom, my name is Mr. Michael Aberman and I was the substitute teacher for Mr. Allan Arnet this week.  In Prozdor we discussed the holiday of Tu Bishvat with the date and meaning behind the name of the holiday. The pages in the book that were studied had pictures of the building of Israel. From looking at people on a kibbutz, to people clearing away swamp land It gave a vision of what it was like to build the land of Israel into what it is today. We ended with a game of bingo and covered the different fruits and grains that are known to be produced in the land of Israel.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Prozdor Class Update 1-14-18

On Sunday, January 14, Prozdor and Pardes students listened to a presentation by representatives of A Wider Bridge.  A Wider Bridge is the North American LGBTQ organization building support for Israel and its LGBTQ community. Students were attentive and mature, and were pleased that the same efforts toward inclusiveness and understanding that we experience in the United States are also being made in our Jewish homeland.

Cantor Stuart Simon

cantorsimon@amyisrael.org

Prozdor Class Update 12-17-17

In class we discussed why we celebrate Chanukah for 8 days if the actual miracle was seven days. The oil was supposed to burn one day so that does not factor into the miracle. Please ask your child and see if they remember.  We learned about Joseph becoming ruler of Egypt and what that must have been like. We also spoke about the brothers coming back together.  Chanukah Sameach!

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Prozdor Class Update 12-3-17

This week in class I showed the Prozdor students a video about making a difference in the world and how at any age, we have the power to make change. Here is the video I showed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuKqMoWHt54Wecontinued on with the formation of the State of Israel. We looked at and read about the different types of Zionism. We spoke about the concept of a kibbutz and why we thought they did not work. I asked the kids to see what form of Zionism to which they could most relate.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Prozdor Class Update 11-12-17

This week in class I showed the Prozdor students a video about making a difference in the world and how at any age, we have the power to make change. Here is the video I showed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuKqMoWHt54Wecontinued on with the formation of the State of Israel. We looked at and read about the different types of Zionism. We spoke about the concept of a kibbutz and why we thought they did not work. I asked the kids to see what form of Zionism to which they could most relate.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Prozdor Class Update 11-5-17

It was so nice to have breakfast with the Rabbi and learn very insightful life lessons from her taken from last week’s Torah portion.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Class Update and overall Prozdor Overview 10-29-17

On the whole so far this year we have learned the importance of having a Jewish homeland.  We have focused on what the difference is between a gift and a promise.  We have also learned what the different types of Zionism are and how the students relate to them.  With our new Parashat HaChodesh program focused on preparing the students for Shabbat Family Programming (SFP), we have learned about opening up our homes and welcoming people on an 8th Grade level. In addition, we have learned the importance of standing up for what we feel is right no matter who or what we are up against. Finally, we have learned about the power of one.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Class Update 10-22-17

On Sunday morning, November 5th, Rabbi Newman Kamin will join the Prozdor class from 10:30 am until 11:25 am for a class Brunch.  Now that your students are older, Rabbi Newman Kamin prefers the opportunity to meet with them for the brunches on their own, without parents.  This brunch affords her this opportunity.

http://evite.me/UEBARwTNJr

Please respond to the evite by Tuesday, October 31st, noting what you will send with your Prozdor student(s) for the brunch in the “comment section” of your evite response.  There are 12 students, 1 teacher and of course Rabbi Newman Kamin.  Food items must include no peanuts, peanut oil or traces of nut nut products.  In addition, food items must have an approved hechsher.  The following are suggested items for the brunch:

▪   fruit salad

▪   juice

▪   cups, plates, napkins and plasticware

▪   yogurt with hechsher (kosher symbol)

▪   mini bagels

▪   cream cheese with hechsher

▪   sweets with a hechsher

Link to Kashrut hechshershttp://www.crcweb.org/agency_list.php

We continued our discussion between a promise and a gift and which one we feel is more valuable. We also spoke about the parasha and how we can relate it to our lives today and how we need to speak up when we see something we know is wrong.  Please ask your student what the power of one means.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Class Update 10-15-17

We discussed what the difference is between a promise and a gift. We started learning about the land of Israel and where we see that it was promised to Avraham.  We also had a very special guest speak to the class.  The sofer, Rabbi Salazar, came to discuss how he will be writing the Torah for Am Yisrael and everything that goes into writing a Torah.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Class Update 10-8-17

Hi, my name is Allan Arnet and this past Sunday, October 8 was my first session with Prozdor for this school year.  It was so nice to be in the classroom with your children on Sunday. I am so happy to be back.  In class we reviewed the chag Simchat Torah and why we do not let a moment go by without starting to read the Torah over again. Please ask your child why it is important to start reading again.  We also spoke about being created in G-d’s image and I had the kids create what they felt was the perfect person. Please ask your child about their creation.  We also visited the Sukkah and had snack outside.

Chag Sameach!

Class Update 9-24-17

Hi, my name is Michael Aberman and I was the substitute teacher for your students this week.  While Prozdor and Pardes will typically meet as separate classes this year, we combined the classes for this one additional week.  For Prozdor/Pardes we discussed the second text of the Chai Mitzvah curriculum text focused on the idea that if the Torah had not been given we may have learned lessons from animals. It took an interesting turn when one of the children said like the loyalty of a shark.  We then discussed what animals are known for doing and what we can learn from specific attributes of animals.

Mr. Michael Aberman

Class Update 9-17-17

Hi, my name is Michael Aberman and I was the substitute teacher for your students this week.  We utilized the Chai Mitzvah curriculum and how Ben Zoma asked “Who is wise?” One who learns from every person. We also discussed situations where the students have learned concepts from their parents, their siblings and strangers. This led to discussing the Pirke Avot and how if we follow the examples of ancestors from the past and their teachings we can avoid making mistakes that earlier generations made.

Mr. Michael Aberman

Class Update 9-10-17

Hi, my name is Eytan Dallal and I was the substitute teacher for your students this week. While Prozdor and Pardes will typically meet as separate classes this year, with special programming taking place, including Cantor Simon singing the national anthem at the White Sox game, we combined the classes for a part of the time. The Prozdor/Pardes class discussed aspects of Rosh Hashanah, including the main commandment of the day, the Shofar. We discussed three reasons for the shofar, three themes of the Chazzan’s (Cantor’s) service and their meaning, as well as different foods that are customarily eaten on Rosh Hashanah (including apples and honey!).

Mr. Eytan Dallal

Vav Class Updates 2017-2018 (5778)

Vav Class Update Week of May 6, 2018

Please note that our final day of SJS for this school year is Sun, May 20.  We hope that many children will join their students.  There is also a catered Shavuot kiddush lunch.  Students who are in Vav will be helping to lead services in the Sanctuary beginning at 9:30 a.m. sharp.  Please be sure to RSVP if you would like to join us: http://evite.me/6NP7Pm3eVY

Vav has been assigned to bring spaghetti or elbows pasta for the end of the year Am Yisrael SJS Food Drive to support the clients of the Ark.  Please note that you are welcome to bring any item, we have just found that assigning specific items helps with the variety of foods that we receive for these food drives.

 

Class Updates:

We continued practicing our reading. It is so amazing to see how much all the kids have progressed with their reading. It is so true when they say, a little work goes a long way. We practiced the Friday night kiddush as well. Tomorrow nite at your Shabbot table, please have you child recite the kiddush, it will be excellent practice.  Lastly, we have been working on class building activities to help all the kids become more cohesive as a grade and not individual groups. Written Thu, May 10, 2018

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

We reviewed the concept of Kadosh and what the word Kiddush comes from and how Borei Prei Hagfen is about the vine and its fruits.  We then read in groups. Written Sun, May 6, 2018

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

 

Vav Class Update Week of Apr 29, 2018

Please note that our final day of SJS for this school year is Sun, May 20.  We hope that many children will join their students.  There is also a catered Shavuot kiddush lunch.  Students who are in Vav will be helping to lead services in the Sanctuary beginning at 9:30 a.m. sharp.  Please be sure to RSVP if you would like to join us: http://evite.me/6NP7Pm3eVY

Vav has been assigned to bring spaghetti or elbows pasta for the end of the year Am Yisrael SJS Food Drive to support the clients of the Ark.  Please note that you are welcome to bring any item, we have just found that assigning specific items helps with the variety of foods that we receive for these food drives.

We began with a Torah Assembly with Rabbi Salazar, our scribe.   We worked on the concept of Kaddosh. Separation makes us holy.  As Jews we need to be including and also separating from the inappropriate non-holy things in life. True winners learn how to separate themselves from bad things. Like eating right. Those who eat right… separate.  We then went into the concept of Kaddosh and Kedoshim and the role of the Kohen and the division of Kohen, Levi and Yisrael.  We discussed the jobs of the Kohen when there was a Temple.  The students were really interested.  Our student Aliza talked about her Bat Mitzvah parasha.  Written Sun, Apr 29, 2018

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Vav Class Update Week of Apr 22, 2018

We went outside and had a great time having 10 Commandment Relay races.  We then practiced our Hebrew reading. It is amazing how far the kids have come with their Hebrew reading skills.

Written Thu, Apr 26, 2018

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

 

We began by discussing how many Amidot are recited in a week.  We then did some reading of the Amidot.  We then spent the rest focused on Israel in honor of its 70th birthday.  We listened to a video from Israel21 about an 8 year old girl and what she likes to do and why she is excited about Israel’s Independence Day, Yom Ha’Atzmaut.  This was a lead in to some Spotify songs I chose of typical Israeli songs, including some raps in Hebrew, Songs like Maahapecha shel simcha etc… they even heard a version of Golden Boy in Hebrew.  The students then learned about agriculture in Israel how it has affected the world.

Written Sun, Apr 22, 2018

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Vav Class Update Week of Apr 15, 2018

The Yom Hashoah program commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, the single most important act of Jewish physical resistance during the Holocaust and the first urban rebellion anywhere in Nazi occupied Europe. The program emphasized the motivation of the ghetto fighters and the some 50,000 civilian residents still alive in the ghetto to go to their deaths resisting-to die with dignity. Since the Prozdor and Pardes classes are engaged in a unit of study focused on Jewish heroes, the program included information about two notable ones connected with the uprising. The first was Barbara Steiner who worked making weapons and tending the wounded during the rebellion. She was captured and miraculously survived Majdanek concentration camp and two slave labor camps. Mrs. Steiner and her family ultimately came to Chicago where she and other survivors founded the Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois, the forerunner of the current museum. The second hero was Mordechai Anielewicz, the Zionist leader of the uprising who sought to uphold the honor of the Jewish people but perished along with many others in the rebellion. He was the heart and soul of this act of courage. Students did a very fine job summarizing Mordechai’s short life and achievements during the commemoration, which also included a presentation by Dr. Lefkovitz, musical renditions by Cantor Simon and thoughts from Rabbi Newman Kamin.  Written by Dr. Elliot Lefkovitz Thu, Apr 19, 2018

On Wednesday we had an amazing time with combined classes learning about Israel Independence Day as well as Israel Day of Remembrance. The kids got to hear part of the Israeli constitution being read.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxzR9Z-kG6Q

The short video above is the latest of a chain of “mass singing social initiative” performances in Israel, from Koolulam- founded only a few months ago by three young Israelis, who believe that “singing is believing”.  They have successfully brought together hundreds, and thousands, of total strangers, of all ages and backgrounds, in performances throughout Israel, including one performance with 3,000 Jews and Arabs.

In the above video,12,000 Israelis amassed in the Nokia Stadium in Tel Aviv last week. The one-price 35 shekel tickets were sold out in 15 minutes!! President of Israel Reuven Rivlin stood among the people and sang with them one of Naomi Shemer’s greatest hits. Written by Mr. Allan Arnet Thu, Apr 19, 2018 and class facilitated by Mr. S, Mr. Arnet and Morah Sandra

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

We worked on the Modeh/Modah Ani. Many kids knew the basic tune and words but I had them talk about the concept of waking as well as the soul being active at night.  We then moved into the concept of the self-being Kadosh (holy) and how we have to be thankful to G-d for our waking in the morning.  We concluded by painting a Tzedakah box with one of the upcoming Bat Mitzvah students from the Zayin Class. Written Sun, Apr 8, 2018

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

 

Vav Class Update Week of Apr 8, 2018

This Week:

We had a very moving service for Yom HaShoah. When we got back to the class, we spoke about the importance of never forgetting. We also spoke about how this is the last generation that will have first hand account of what really happened in the camps. How it is of utmost importance to try and hear a survivor speak because hearing it live is much different then from a book or movie.  We also spoke about the 49 days leading up to the holiday of Shavuot and why we count these days. Please ask your child how many days there are between Passover and Shavuot and why.  Lastly we went outside and enjoyed a fun game of Hebrew freeze tag.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

We concluded our Passover studies by using a supplement from HIAS.  We focused on the concept of helping people look for a safe home connected to the Jewish people and brought it back to the discussions from our Passover seders: Exodus from Egypt.  We also talked about how this has also happened with Africans, Egyptians and Russians over the years.  This lead to an excellent discussion on immigration, hatred and xenophobia.  Finally, we focused on refugees seeking asylum in different countries.

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

During the second half of class we talked about the importance of imagining oneself in the time of the Mishnah (approximately 0 to 200 CE), when the modern Passover seder was taking shape. At that time most Jews ate a very limited diet: mostly bland bread with a few condiments, some gathered or farmed vegetables, small amounts of dairy and some meat on occasion. What must the seder have looked like to them, and how would they have reacted differently than we, who are accustomed to multi-course meals, react to it? Students were asked to think of ways to make the seder interesting, and even impressive, today.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

We worked on the Modeh/Modah Ani. Many kids knew the basic tune and words but I had them talk about the concept of waking as well as the soul being active at night.  We then moved into the concept of the self-being Kadosh (holy) and how we have to be thankful to G-d for our waking in the morning.  We concluded by painting a Tzedakah box with one of the upcoming Bat Mitzvah students from the Zayin Class.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Vav Class Updates Weeks of Mar 11 & 18, 2018

This Week:

We had an amazing for our Pesach learning. We had a Passover Breakout box. What a fantastic way to learn and review for Passover. The kids were broken out into three teams. Each team had the same exact clues on the table that needed to be solved. There were different activities at each table. Once an activity was completed correctly, based on following the clues, it revealed a combination for one of the four locks on the breakout box. The idea was to be the first team to solve all four activities and unlock the breakout box to find the special reward inside.  Everyone one had a GREAT time!   Special thanks to the Marshall Jewish Learning Center/JTeach.org of our local Board of Jewish Education of Metropolitan Chicago for creating this Breakout box which mirrors what a lot of our students study in their schools where they learn during the day.  Have a Chag K’sher V’Sameach!

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Mr. Marc Sender

msender@amyisrael.org

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Last Week:

During the second half of class we talked about the importance of imagining oneself in the time of the Mishnah (approximately 0 to 200 CE), when the modern Passover seder was taking shape. At that time most Jews ate a very limited diet: mostly bland bread with a few condiments, some gathered or farmed vegetables, small amounts of dairy and some meat on occasion. What must the seder have looked like to them, and how would they have reacted differently than we, who are accustomed to multi-course meals, react to it? Students were asked to think of ways to make the seder interesting, and even impressive, today.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

 

Finally, we had an intensive of Hebrew reading.  This time we added the Pesach Haggadah (along with the Siddur[prayerbook] and Chumash [Torah book]) to our repertoire, as the ability for an 11 or 12 year old to participate and feel comfortable at a Pesach Seder is a primary goal of ours at Am Yisrael SJS.  We continued to make great progress with the students Hebrew reading.  Whether they are starting to practice their B’nai Mitzvah materials from Cantor Simon, getting ready for an upcoming Torah or Megillah reading at the synagogue for SFP or Purim, Intergenerational Torah reading or a Shavuot Torah reading, or practicing the Tefillot (prayers) at the link above, spending time on Hebrew reading each and every day is essential to the process.  Thank you to all of the families who team up with us this way to help give your children the best possible experience.

Mr. Charlie Sherman, Head of School

csherman@amyisrael.org

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

 

We continued our Pesach study and talked about the concept that one of the reasons the Jewish people do not eat leavened bread during Pesach is that the Egyptians were excellent bread makers and this was a way of getting away from their slavery modes. We also discussed the four questions and answered what that meant for us as young people to ask questions of our parents and grandparents as well as understanding our heritage. We talked about each plague and how it affected our society.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Vav Class Updates Week of Mar 4, 2018

For the second week in a row, we had an intensive of Hebrew reading.  This time we added the Pesach Haggadah (along with the Siddur [prayerbook] and Chumash [Torah book]) to our repertoire, as the ability for an 11 or 12 year old to participate and feel comfortable at a Pesach Seder is a primary goal of ours at Am Yisrael SJS.  We continued to make great progress with the students Hebrew reading.  Whether they are starting to practice their B’nai Mitzvah materials from Cantor Simon, getting ready for an upcoming Torah or Megillah reading at the synagogue for SFP or Purim, Intergenerational Torah reading or a Shavuot Torah reading, or practicing the Tefillot (prayers) at the link above, spending time on Hebrew reading each and every day is essential to the process.  Thank you to all of the families who team up with us this way to help give your children the best possible experience.

Mr. Charlie Sherman, Head of School

csherman@amyisrael.org

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Vav Class Updates Week of Feb 4, 2018

SJS Regular Hebrew Reading/Tefillah Practice

Please click here to access is a link to a new Tefillah grid that has a list of all of the prayers that the students are expected to learn in the process of becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  There are also links to printable PDFs of the prayers and to many of the tunes and/or nusach that we use at Am Yisrael.  We strongly encourage that each student spends between 5-10 minutes per day practicing these prayers.  Thank you.

 

This week we tried something new.  We matched our Vav students with teachers and/or madrichim to practice Hebrew reading out of the Siddur and the Chumash.  The students thrived as the largest group was four students with one teacher.  Most students had one-on-one or two-on-one practice.  It is imperative that you read the new “SJS Regular Hebrew Reading/Tefillah Practice” box directly above and have your students practice their Hebrew reading at home.  It truly makes all the difference.

Mr. Charlie Sherman, Head of School

csherman@amyisrael.org

Shalom, my name is Mr. Michael Aberman and I was the substitute teacher this week for Mr. Gelbart.  We began with the discussion of what קדש means and how we can make something Holy or remove the holiness from it. The class next worked on their Haftorah packets. Some of the kids really spent a lot of time trying to get the blessing down correctly while others spent their time trying to fill out the questions. After snack we worked on the Tefilot packet that Mr. Sherman made. There was a lot of interest this week in going over the prayer of Ashrei. Some of the kids were able to sing the song but they had to try and search to actually point to the words that they were reciting.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

 

Vav Class Updates Week of Jan 28, 2018

In honor of National Holocaust Remembrance Day, we discussed how bullying leads to hurtful actions. Have you ever talked about prejudices, stereotyping, etc.? Next, how and when does this happen? The class read a story called “Sticks and Stones” by Stephen Kessler. It is a story about four boys picking on a boy when they thought that he was gay. They talked about how this led to gun violence and there was a pyramid of hatred. Prejudiced attitudes lead to genocides.

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

This week we first started with an introduction to the concept of Dan Lakav Sechoot from the base of Kadosh. This led to questions about Esav and Ya’akov from the Torah and about whether they were giving each other the benefit of the doubt related to the birthright.  We then transitioned to the new packet on the Haftorah and we introduced the concept of Torah, N’vi’im and K’tuvim (Torah, Prophets and Writings, otherwise known as the Hebrew Bible or the Tanakh.  We then divided into groups to read the blessings before and after the Haftorah.  Finally, just a reminder from Conferences that students are expected to practice their Hebrew reading three times a week for five minutes at a time with the prayers, using the following link:  https://www.amyisrael.org/sjstefillahformastery.  Being diligent about practicing these prayers on a regular difference will make all the difference once it is time to work with Cantor Simon for weekly meetings to prepare for Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Vav Class Updates Week of Jan 21, 2018

This week at our Vav Brunch and Family Education with Rabbi Newman Kamin we introduced a new program called Moving Traditions that looks at different responsibilities in life.  What does it mean to become a teen?  All of this, of course, is through a Jewish lens.  We discussed what the teenage years are all about and how we “cross the bridge” from childhood to the teenage years.  We reflected on childhood by discussing events and important milestones and examined the meaning of becoming Bar and Bat Mitzvah.  We also continued to practice Tefillah this week.  The Vav divided into groups for reading and recording the prayers.   Please have your student spend 10 minutes per night practicing the prayers using the following link: https://www.amyisrael.org/practicing-tefillah.html Being diligent about practicing these prayers on a regular difference will make all the difference once it is time to work with Cantor Simon for weekly meetings to prepare for Bar/Bat Mitzvah.

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Mr. Allan Arnet

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

 

Vav Class Updates Week of Jan 14, 2018

The Vav and Zayin of SJS gathered together in the library for a special learning session on the week’s Torah reading, Va’era. This section of the Torah, which includes Moses’ first confrontations with Pharaoh and most of the Ten Plagues. We considered why this story, which is one of the most famous in the world, still has to be told twice every year: once in the winter when we read it from the Torah, and once in the spring when we relive it during Pesach. We also learned about Moses’ unusual leadership role, and the ways in which he succeeded as a leader of thousands despite, or perhaps because of, his difficulty with speech.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Mr. Allan Arnet

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

 

The Vav divided into groups for reading and recording the prayers.   Please have your student spend 10 minutes per night practicing the prayers using the following link: https://www.amyisrael.org/practicing-tefillah.html Being diligent about practicing these prayers on a regular difference will make all the difference once it is time to work with Cantor Simon for weekly meetings to prepare for Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  Once on this webpage, 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.  We spent a short period of time working in groups continuing with our project focused on the concept “Ben Adam L’Chavei’ro” (the way people treat one another).

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Vav Class Updates Week of Dec 10, 2017

We reviewed the concept of Kadosh (Holiness) and how we work in a concentric circle outward from the individual to family to community to groups to the Jewish people etc.  We continued our focus with how we have a responsibility to be Kadosh and create a Kehilah Kedosha (a Holy Community).  This week we introduced the concept of Halvanat Panim (Causing Distress Through Words or Literally: Turning Someone’s Face White) and how it is similar as the Talmud says to spilling blood.  We then went to the Sanctuary and divided into groups.  The students continued reading and chanting prayers, vocabulary andbrachot (blessings) for Chanukah.  The students did a great job and are progressing well.  Chag Urim Sameach (Happy Festival of Lights).

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

I look forward to resuming classes with the students after Thanksgiving.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

We reviewed Chanukah ie when to make the blessings for the candles, which way to load the chanukiah and which way to light. We also learned why we eat fried food and enjoyed fresh sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts). We also played Chanukah Jeopardy.  At the end of the school day we all gathered in the Sanctuary to light the chanukiah and sing Chanukah songs.

Chanukah Sameach and Shabbat Shalom!

Mr. Allan Arnet

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

Vav Class Updates Week of Dec 3, 2017

We began the Vav Class this week by dividing up into groups and working to set a format to our studies on Dan L’kaf Z’khut (Giving the Benefit of the Doubt) and Kedu’shat kehilah (a Holy Community).   We reviewed as a group experiences the students have had of Ben Adam Lamakom (People’s experiences with God) and Ben Adam L’haveyro (People’s experiences within society) in preparation for the kehillah kedosha (sacred community) studies.  We then did an exercise in the Sanctuary of reading the blessings for Chanukah and recording them to a) learn the pronunciation, b) learning the meaning of the words and c) learning the significance including the fact of She’he’che’yanu being recited only on the first day and when and how we recite this blessing on other ocassions.  There were groups who finished all three blessings in Hebrew and English and were able to read the Shalom Aleichem and Lecha Dodi.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

I look forward to resuming classes with the students after Thanksgiving.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

This week we team-taught the Vav and Zayin Classes.  We began with the question “What makes a person righteous?  We watched a video on Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  We focused on the concepts of upstanders and “paying it forward.”  In addition, we brought in the story of Honi and the idea of “planting trees that will be enjoyed by others.”
Mr. Allan Arnet

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

Vav Class Updates Week of Nov 19, 2017

This week we began with the siddur and the L’cha Dodi.  The students asked some very good questions about Tefilot and we focused on our goal to be able to recognize the service and be able to participate in any service in the world.   We then went on to learn the concept of Kadosh (Holy) and how the Temple and the Mishkan as well as the ark were Kadosh (Holy). We then viewed some drawings of the Bet Hamkidash with the Kohanim moving around and working to understand what was going on. We explained about the Cherubim and the Kodesh Kodashim as well as the courtyard and where the Western Wall is located in relation to all these other things now. The students were very interested.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

I look forward to resuming classes with the students after Thanksgiving.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

This week we team-taught the Vav and Zayin Classes.  We began with the question “What makes a person righteous?  We watched a video on Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  We focused on the concepts of upstanders and “paying it forward.”  In addition, we brought in the story of Honi and the idea of “planting trees that will be enjoyed by others.”
Mr. Allan Arnet

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

Vav Class Summaries Week of Nov 12, 2017

We reviewed the main concepts of V’ahavta Le’rei’ah’kha Ka’mo’kha (Love Your Neighbor as Yourself) and Kedoshim Ti’he’yoo (Be Holy).  We then went into the concept of Mitzvot of Ben adam lamkom (Laws Between People and God) and Ben adam lahavero (Laws Between People).  We did some exercises with that to be sure that the students fully understand these concepts.  We also discussed and broke down the idea of the 248 positive mitzvot and the 365 negative mitzvot, equaling a total of 613 mitzvot.  We then divided into groups to develop examples of dan lkaf zechut “judging favorably.”

Some great examples and challenging situations were discussed which lead to a great discussion.  We then did a project using the role card sheets for the concepts of cheating and stealing in personal and business life and looked at how it is written in the Torah.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Mr. Arnet substitute taught for me this week.  Please see his notes directly below.  Thank you.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

This week we team-taught the Vav and Zayin Classes.  We began with the question “What makes a person righteous?  We watched a video on Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  We focused on the concepts of upstanders and “paying it forward.”  In addition, we brought in the story of Honi and the idea of “planting trees that will be enjoyed by others.”
Mr. Allan Arnet

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

Vav Class Summaries Week of Nov 5, 2017

We accomplished a great deal this week.  We covered the Love your Neighbor concept and everyone wrote on the board WHO the felt this meant and it was the full gamete which it should be. We then transitioned into different forms of love thy neighbor including Dan L’kaf zechut — “judging favorably.” I had students write on a “Dan lkaf zechut” sheet, an example how they have done this in the past as well as talked about Dan L’kaf zechut with regards to bullying and how to react to it.

We also learned the days of the week in Hebrew and they understood the concept of Yom R’ve’ee starts Tuesday night and ends Wednesday evening and that this is why Shabbat starts Friday night and continues until Saturday night. They also now understand the concept of Yom Ree’shone being on Sunday.

We also spend a short time on the Siddur with the Shochen Ahd prayer.  We focused on understanding why the sentence before starts the festival prayers and Shochen Ahd is Shabbat as well as ready the prayer.  Please click here to listen to Cantor Simon chanting Shochen Ahd.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

We concluded our Betzelem Elohim unit with a video and discussion about displaced persons and refugees. We talked about why societies tend to focus on people who are superficially more like that society’s members, and the effect that this tendency has on world affairs. We then got a sneak preview of the next unit, Gevurah (strength) and the different things that “strength” can mean.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

This week in class we learned about the word “righteous.” We are applying that word to a person to try and understand what makes a person “righteous.” Please ask your child what makes a person righteous.  We also took a moment to learn about the Israeli Judo champion that took the gold medal in the last tournament in Abu Dhabi and the unfortunate event that took place at the medal ceremony.  We spent some time talking about the need to recognize everyone. We cannot expect peace to prevail when we cannot recognize one another.
Mr. Allan Arnet

This week we discussed interpersonal relationships from a Jewish perspective.  We then discussed what it means to honor our parents.  Finally, we read a story about how things may happen to those who benefited from outcomes of supporting one another.

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

Vav Class Summaries Week of Oct 29, 2017

The students participated in the discussion and exercise I gave to them. We talked about the concept of Mitzvot, what the word means and how it translates Ben Adam Leh-havero and Ben Adam Lamakom. The students talked about the idea of societies needing rules.  We talked about the Tower of Babel and how they had no rules and what happened (we have a Noach in the class so it fit in well). The students concluded on their own that we need rules and systems (mitzvot – commandments not just rules) to exist.
In the Siddur I had the students listen to the Cantor one time and we focused on Kehl Adon. Please click here to listen to the Cantor chanting the prayer and open a new tab and click here to follow along with the text.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Continuing our betzelem Elohim unit, we learned about traditional Jewish notions of responsibility. The phrase kol Yisrael arevim zeh lazeh, was introduced and explored through a series of rabbinic texts and questions about students’ own priorities. We also touched on the notion of Jewish peoplehood, and how it makes Judaism different from many other faith communities.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

We brainstormed mitzvah project ideas as well continued our discussions of gift giving Tzedakah.  We watched videos of people who gave gifts in different capacities.  We discussed what level on Rambam’s ladder for each scenario and why it was so important.

We discussed Rambam’s ladder of gift giving and how we would prioritize the level of gift giving and why.  We talked about knowing your recipient and had phenomenal moments in which students realized that it does not matter whether we like or even know our recipients.  There are benefits to knowing recipients and not knowing them.  Any way we give is necessary and crucial.

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

Vav Class Summaries Week of Oct 22, 2017

We started with the siddur (prayerbook) to see the level of the student’s Hebrew reading. We then differentiated the concept of festivals, holidays and minor holidays.   We then delved into a whole lesson of the students working out the three festivals of Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot.  Will incorporated some games and contests to ensure the new material was learned.

We then reviewed the concept of why do we study Hebrew and why do we learn prayers. The crux of the discussion led to how are able to follow services in any synagogue in Hebrew anywhere in the world.  The students seem to get the concept once I shared with them two stories of my experiences.

By the time we finished all the above we had only about 10 minutes left in during the time we re-introduce the concept of holiness as far as “Love thy neighbor as thy self.”  We focused on what the word ‘neighbor’ means. Is it an actual neighbor, friend, a stranger, a non-Jew, etc.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

 

We picked up on our Shalom Learning curriculum on Betzelem Elohim, focusing on the “people boxes” game. In this game people begin sorted into superficial categories (by social class, race, style of clothing, etc.) and are then asked to identify themselves based on more personal categories. We also studied selected texts from the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds about the respect people owe each other that emanates from owing respect to God.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

We brainstormed mitzvah project ideas as well continued our discussions of gift giving Tzedakah.  We watched videos of people who gave gifts in different capacities.  We discussed what level on Rambam’s ladder for each scenario and why it was so important.

We discussed Rambam’s ladder of gift giving and how we would prioritize the level of gift giving and why.  We talked about knowing your recipient and had phenomenal moments in which students realized that it does not matter whether we like or even know our recipients.  There are benefits to knowing recipients and not knowing them.  Any way we give is necessary and crucial.

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

Vav Class Weeks of Oct 15, 2017

We started with the siddur (prayerbook) to see the level of the student’s Hebrew reading. We then differentiated the concept of festivals, holidays and minor holidays.   We then delved into a whole lesson of the students working out the three festivals of Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot.  Will incorporated some games and contests to ensure the new material was learned.

We then reviewed the concept of why do we study Hebrew and why do we learn prayers. The crux of the discussion led to how are able to follow services in any synagogue in Hebrew anywhere in the world.  The students seem to get the concept once I shared with them two stories of my experiences.

By the time we finished all the above we had only about 10 minutes left in during the time we re-introduce the concept of holiness as far as “Love thy neighbor as thy self.”  We focused on what the word ‘neighbor’ means. Is it an actual neighbor, friend, a stranger, a non-Jew, etc.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

 

We began a new unit on the notion that all people are created betzelem Elohim, “in the image of God.” We explored the origin of this expression, and different possible understandings of what it might mean. Due to erev Sukkot services beginning at 5:30, this was a short class. Next time we will continue to explore the divine element of all humans and how this can guide our interactions with other people, and our understanding of ourselves.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

We brainstormed mitzvah project ideas as well continued our discussions of gift giving Tzedakah.  We watched videos of people who gave gifts in different capacities.  We discussed what level on Rambam’s ladder for each scenario and why it was so important.

We discussed Rambam’s ladder of gift giving and how we would prioritize the level of gift giving and why.  We talked about knowing your recipient and had phenomenal moments in which students realized that it does not matter whether we like or even know our recipients.  There are benefits to knowing recipients and not knowing them.  Any way we give is necessary and crucial.

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

 

Vav Class Weeks of Oct 8, 2017

We began a new unit on the notion that all people are created betzelem Elohim, “in the image of God.” We explored the origin of this expression, and different possible understandings of what it might mean. Due to erev Sukkot services beginning at 5:30, this was a short class. Next time we will continue to explore the divine element of all humans and how this can guide our interactions with other people, and our understanding of ourselves.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

We brainstormed mitzvah project ideas as well continued our discussions of gift giving Tzedakah.  We watched videos of people who gave gifts in different capacities.  We discussed what level on Rambam’s ladder for each scenario and why it was so important.

 

Hi, my name is Michael Aberman and I have done some recent substitute teaching with your students.  We went in to the succah, snack and recited the blessing for the lulav. Next, we watched a one minute clip of Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs where a student is made fun of in class and we discussed not only who was at fault, but also got into a discussion about the inaction of the teacher, which may be worse than the bullying itself. We also came up with solutions to this problem and how  when we embarrass or bully or do anything wrong we diminish our holiness.  When we help or apologize we make ourselves holy.

Mr. Michael Aberman

 

Class Update

Hi, my name is Dennis Gelbart and I teach your children on Sundays.  I have also substitute taught the past two Wednesdays.  We have reviewed the basic class covenant between the students and teacher.  Thus far we have focused on the concept of Kadosh and Kedoshim Teheyoo, You will be holy!  We viewed a short video reaction to people who are different: “Are they holy”? Why and why not?  We discussed the idea of Safe Space and Sacred Space.  We also reviewed key Hebrew words in this section including Kadosh and how to develop the root of a Hebrew word.  We then listed some of the places and ideas that make something Holy.  The students discussed their feelings and came up with some very interesting ideas on Holy Places and things… such as “my cat in my lap.”  More to come.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Vav Class Weeks of Sep 10, 17 & 24, 2017

Hi, my name is Sandra Mieli Kamm and I teach your children on Wednesdays.  This Wednesday our Vav students took part in a world wide initiative called Character Day.   We were introduced to the “Periodic table of character strengths.”  From this table, we discussed what character strengths we possess and how we can incorporate those strengths to improve our daily lives and our communities.  We talked about how our personalities are evolving and that we can improve upon various strengths by “exercising” them daily.  We ended by asking the question “How can we utilize our strengths to improve our lives, families and communities in a meaningful way each day?”

 

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

Heh Class Updates 2017-2018 (5778)

Heh Class Update from Week of May 6, 2018

Please note that our final day of SJS for this school year is Sun, May 20.  We hope that many children will join their students.  There is also a catered Shavuot kiddush lunch.  Students who are in Heh will be helping to lead services in the Sanctuary beginning at 9:30 a.m. sharp.  Please be sure to RSVP if you would like to join us: http://evite.me/6NP7Pm3eVY

Heh has been assigned to bring meat-free pasta sauce for the end of the year Am Yisrael SJS Food Drive to support the clients of the Ark.  Please note that you are welcome to bring any item, we have just found that assigning specific items helps with the variety of foods that we receive for these food drives.

Class Updates:

This past week was week 3 of our Shalom unit, we learned about how Theodor Herzl is a role model for his determination and perseverance to create Shalom.

Recap:

· Students learned the history and rituals of the holiday of Shavuot, including the book of Ruth

· Students explored why rules help foster peace between people, and related this to the Torah as a book of rules

· Students reviewed and worked to understand the Ten Commandments

Table Talk:

What do you value about the Torah? Which Torah values do we express in our family?

ShalomLearning.org Activity 5.7.4

Scenario: You are in the school cafeteria and listening to two of your friends fighting . . . again.  One of them wants to get together on Sunday to get some pizza, and the other one wants to go ice skating.  They never seem to get along!  You just want to start yelling at them for never agreeing . . .

How can you be a peacemaker here?  Share your answers and discuss with other students on the discussion board!

Next Week: We have our last class! We learn about the “Shalom Prize” Winners—great people in Jewish history and how they contributed to Shalom, peace.

 

***Announcement for next week’s class!***

 

In Jewish tradition, we will end a section of study by sharing a sweet treat so that our learning lingers “as sweet as honey on our tongues”. Feel free to send your child with a small treat to share with the class. Please make sure it is kosher and nut free. Then we will say together, “Chazak, chazak, v’nitchazek, may you be strengthened and may we strengthen one another,” to close our year as we would close our study of a section of Torah. Written Thu, May 10, 2018

Mr. Marc Sender

 

msender@amyisrael.org 

 

We are in the home stretch! We had a couple of great tefillah presentations, and many more are ready to roll as soon as we begin class this coming Sunday. I am looking forward to these, and I hope all the students are excited about the deeper knowledge of the siddur that they’ve developed during this unit. Written Thu, May 10, 2018 

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

Heh Class Update from Week of Apr 29, 2018

Please note that our final day of SJS for this school year is Sun, May 20.  We hope that many children will join their students.  There is also a catered Shavuot kiddush lunch.  Students who are in Heh will be helping to lead services in the Sanctuary beginning at 9:30 a.m. sharp.  Please be sure to RSVP if you would like to join us: http://evite.me/6NP7Pm3eVY

Heh has been assigned to bring meat-free pasta sauce for the end of the year Am Yisrael SJS Food Drive to support the clients of the Ark.  Please note that you are welcome to bring any item, we have just found that assigning specific items helps with the variety of foods that we receive for these food drives.

We are in full presentation mode! Over the next two weeks students will continue to present their work on parts of the siddur whose meanings they have researched. These will take the form of sketches, dialogues, videos, and visual artwork, among others.  Written Thu, May 3, 2018 

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Heh Class Update from Week of Apr 22, 2018

This picture, taken during a Wednesday Tefillah session at SJS, includes Kitah Heh and Kitah Dalet, as these two classes joined together twice this year to lead Friday evening services.  They will be on the bimah this Fri, Apr 27.   Please RSVP if you haven’t already: http://evite.me/wPMrf7fkxu  Written by Mr. Charlie Sherman, Head of School Thu, Apr 26, 2018

 

We heard several presentations from student groups about prayers that they had decided to study and elucidate for us! Selections included Adon Olam, Veshamru, Shema, and formats ranged from live performances to videos to illustrations. After those students who were ready to present had finished, they divided up among the groups that were still working in order to provide assistance and move things along.  Written Thu, Apr 26, 2018

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

We started talking about Shavout. I asked the kids if they could imagine agreeing to do something without knowing in advance what it was? That is what we read in the Torah that the Jewish people did at Har Sinai by saying “N’aseh V’nishma” (we will do and we will listen) when G-d offered us the Torah. Written Thu, Apr 26, 2018

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

 

NOTE: Please click here to read Heh updates from previous weeks.  Thank you.

Heh Class Update from Week of Apr 15, 2018

Kitah Dalet did a beautiful job leading the singing at SJS for Israel’s 70th Birthday.  This picture above also includes Kitah Heh, as these two classes joined together twice this year to lead Friday evening services, including Fri, Apr 27.   Please RSVP if you haven’t already: http://evite.me/wPMrf7fkxu  Written by Mr. Charlie Sherman, Head of School Thu, Apr 19, 2018

As a follow-up to Dr. Lefkovitz’s session on the Holocaust, we spoke about why we need to remember not only good things but the bad as well. We need to make sure that the past does not repeat itself. Written Thu, Apr 19, 2018

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

 

We are finishing up our creative projects on different passages from the siddur! This is independent student work with occasional teacher involvement and facilitation, and the range of artwork, writing, and video projects is really impressive. Some will be ready to present next week! Written Thu, Apr 12, 2018

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

Heh Class Update from Week of Apr 8, 2018

We watched a short video about the Streits matzah factory and how matzah is made. We all found it fascinating, here is the link if you would like to watch https://www.facebook.com/daniel.hechtman.7/posts/1614827375299638. We also discussed the upcoming holidays and commemorations.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

We are finishing up our creative projects on different passages from the siddur! This is independent student work with occasional teacher involvement and facilitation, and the range of artwork, writing, and video projects is really impressive. Some will be ready to present next week!

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

NOTE: Please click here to read Heh updates from previous weeks.  Thank you.

Heh Class Updates from Weeks of Mar 11 & 18, 2018

We had an amazing for our Pesach learning. We had a Passover Breakout box. What a fantastic way to learn and review for Passover. The kids were broken out into three teams. Each team had the same exact clues on the table that needed to be solved. There were different activities at each table. Once an activity was completed correctly, based on following the clues, it revealed a combination for one of the four locks on the breakout box. The idea was to be the first team to solve all four activities and unlock the breakout box to find the special reward inside.  Everyone one had a GREAT time!   Special thanks to the Marshall Jewish Learning Center/JTeach.org of our local Board of Jewish Education of Metropolitan Chicago for creating this Breakout box which mirrors what a lot of our students study in their schools where they learn during the day.  Have a Chag K’sher V’Sameach!

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Mr. Marc Sender

msender@amyisrael.org

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

Students spent this period working on presentations, both independently and in groups, on different sections of the siddur that interest them. They began with a brief summary provided to them of the meaning and purpose of the prayer they chose, and continued to learn more by looking up translations in various siddurim in our library. It was wonderful to see so many students thoroughly engaged in hands-on learning.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

Heh Class Updates from Week of Mar 4, 2018

We started off the class with a lesson in “pay it forward”. Watch the link below and be inspired.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUBTAdI7zuY  We started our unit on Passover. I asked the kids how was it possible that the Jews went from being the most important well respected people in Egypt to being slaves. Wait until they find out that the Jews actually volunteered to be slaves. More to come next week.  Shabbat Shalom.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Dear Parents,

This past weeks 3rd lesson on Hakarat Hatov was that part of “recognizing the good” is recognizing how to be, and how to choose a good friend.

Recap:

•        Students learned to look for the good in every situation

•        Students practiced judging favorably

•        Students considered which characteristics to look for in a friend. 

Table Talk: Each person at the table should name someone who has been a blessing in your family’s life.  Discuss with your family: How have we/ should we express our hakarat hatov to them?

ShalomLearning.org Activity:

Watch a video on shalomlearning.org that shows a “dan l’kaf zechut” scene.

Find it on ShalomLearning.org Hakarat hatov week 4!

Next Week: When we change our perspective, we can have hakarat hatov even when things are tough.

Have a great week!

Sincerely,

Mr. Marc Sender

msender@amyisrael.org

 

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Heh Class Updates from Week of Feb 11, 2018

This week we had the Heh Class Brunch and Family Education.  Thank you to all of the parents who partner with us in your children’s Jewish Education.  We hope that you enjoyed your time together this week and that the parents enjoyed meeting with our sofer, Rabbi Salazar, while Rabbi Newman Kamin taught the students.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Mr. Marc Sender

msender@amyisrael.org

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Heh Class Updates from Week of Feb 4, 2018

SJS Regular Hebrew Reading/Tefillah Practice

Please click here to access is a link to a new Tefillah grid that has a list of all of the prayers that the students are expected to learn in the process of becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  There are page numbers to the prayers in Siddur Lev Shalem, which the Heh students received two years ago as Gimel students.  There are also links to printable PDFs of the prayers and to many of the tunes and/or nusach that we use at Am Yisrael.  We strongly encourage that each student spends between 5-10 minutes per day practicing these prayers.  Thank you.

 

Continuing with our brit (covenant) curriculum, we examined several different Jewish naming ceremonies. Students were given an outline for a ceremony and asked to construct their own within that framework. Next week we will share some of these ceremony outlines to see how different students imagined a formal entrance into the covenant.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

This week we discussed places I went in my recent trip to Israel and how the Torah really comes to life when we go to Israel.  We also discussed last week’s Torah portion of Yitro.  In addition, we read the Torah portion of Yitro that has the Ten Commandments in it. I asked each child to come up with an 11th commandment that would apply now in 2018 that might not have been thought of in biblical times. The kids really came up with some nice ideas.  Please ask your child who Yitro was and what makes the Torah portion named after him so special.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Heh Class Updates from Week of Jan 28, 2018

SJS Regular Hebrew Reading/Tefillah Practice

Please click here to access is a link to a new Tefillah grid that has a list of all of the prayers that the students are expected to learn in the process of becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  There are page numbers to the prayers in Siddur Lev Shalem, which the Heh students received two years ago as Gimel students.  There are also links to printable PDFs of the prayers and to many of the tunes and/or nusach that we use at Am Yisrael.  We strongly encourage that each student spends between 5-10 minutes per day practicing these prayers.  Thank you.

This past week was our third week of Achrayut and we learned that sometimes you need to act even when others tell you it is none of your business.

Recap:

•     Students learned the story of Amos.

•     Students learned about Amos and other prophets as role models for taking action against injustice even when others tell them not to act.

•     Students discussed contemporary figures who act against injustice as following in the steps of the prophets.  One specific one was the story of Malala.

•     Students learned to see themselves as heirs to a tradition of ethical sensitivity and action against injustice and considered how they can use their own unique gifts to continue this tradition.

Table Talk: Who are some of our family’s role models of people who worked against injustice?  What can our family do to fight against injustice in our community or the world?  What project can we do together that will make a difference?

ShalomLearning.org Activity:

Next Week we are going to speak about building a society that takes responsibility for everyone.

Imagine you were building a community on a desert island…  You want to build a perfect society where everyone cared for everyone else.

What would be three rules you would make for this society?  Why these rules?

List them on the discussion board on ShalomLearning.org Achrayut week 4!

Next Week:  How can the value of achrayut come to life in our communities?

Have a great week!

Sincerely,

Marc Sender

Mr. Marc Sender

msender@amyisrael.org

Taking a break from our usual curriculum, we learned about the earliest origins of Tu Bishvat as a literal “birthday for the trees.” On Tu Bishvat each tree is considered to grow one year older, which is surprisingly important if you’re following the Torah’s rules for agriculture in the Land of Israel. Students finished the period by sketching out “tree birthday” celebrations that they felt would be personally meaningful.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Shalom, my name is Mr. Michael Aberman and I was the substitute teacher for Mr. Allan Arnet this week.  We discussed the date and the meaning behind the holiday of Tu Bishvat. We discussed what it was like to begin to plant and grow trees in Israel in a land that’s filled with deserts and mountains. We then discussed all the fruits and grains that were located on the bingo board which they got to select to place on their own board before we began to play the game.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Heh Class Updates from Week of Jan 21, 2018

Dear Parents,

It was a pleasure meeting with so many of you last week for conferences. This week we worked on the second lesson of Achrayut, responsibility.  We also spent some time practicing for our Friday night service that we will be leading this week.  I am very excited and proud for the students to be able to help lead services for the whole Am Yisrael community.  Below is a little summary of what students learned about in this week’s lesson on Achrayut.

Recap: Achrayut requires that we ‘step up’ and ‘stand up’ when we are confronted with an injustice to ourselves or to another person.  The biblical prophet is a prime exemplar of a person who calls out for justice no matter the cost.  The prophets spoke truth to power, defended the vulnerable, and did so publically at great personal risk.  A goal of Jewish enculturation must be to empower another generation of passionate defenders of justice who take the responsibility to act as a moral imperative.

Table Talk: In what ways can you stand up to injustice?

ShalomLearning Activity:

People who act like prophets aren’t always adults.

Watch the video about the girl who silenced the UN to see an example.

Find it on ShalomLearning.org Achrayut week 3

Next Week: Sometimes you need to act even when others tell you it is none of your business.

Mr. Marc Sender

msender@amyisrael.org

 

We studied liturgies from different Jewish naming ceremonies. We saw how boys are generally given names as they are welcomed into the brit (covenant) of Abraham, and how naming ceremonies for girls are increasingly using the same language. We also spent some time examining our own names and their meanings, both in the sense of what they mean in various languages and also where they come from.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Heh Class Updates from Week of Jan 14, 2018

Our unit on Jewish names brought us to a discussion of names connected with the brit, or covenant, between God and Abraham. As we learned about when and how different people receive their Jewish names, it came up that a few of the students had been born outside of Jewish families and brought into the covenant as infants. This led to an extended conversation about the role of the mikveh, or ritual bath, in conversion to Judaism. Most students had no prior exposure to this ritual (and the few who had experienced it had been too young to remember), so it proved to be a fascinating and engaging talk.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

In Heh this week we continued with the Torah topic “What makes a good leader and why was Moses chosen to lead the Jewish people?”  Please ask your child what qualities they feel are needed to be a good leader. Once they finish, ask them if they feel Moses fits into that mold. Have a Wonderful Shabbat!  Mr A

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Heh Class Updates from Week of Dec 10, 2017

This week we went to perform Chanukah songs at the Lieberman Center for Health and Rehabilitation (CJE).  In addition, the students played bingo with the senior citizens.  We received incredible feedback and everyone involved seemed to have an extremely positive experience.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

I did not teach Heh this week since they were at Lieberman (see Mr. S’ note above).

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Dear Parents,

In this past week’s lesson about Gevurah, we learned that one of the characteristics of leading a meaningful life and a Jewish meaningful life is to train oneself to have “mindfulness” and act with an “intention.”  That is one reason for using berakhot, a blessing or a benediction before an action or activity.  In terms of gevurah, being of good courage in peer situations requires a thoughtful process of weighing choices and being deliberate in one’s actions.

Recap:

•        Students became more aware of how peer pressure affects their choices.

•        Students explored the interplay between spiritual courage and physical courage.

•        Students analyzed the social costs of a situation requiring a courageous intervention—and still follow through.

•        Students shared strategies to minimize the social costs and to heighten their leverage to act with courage.

Table Talk: When is a time you stood up to peer pressure?

MyShalomLearning Activity: Watch two videos that have to do with friendship, in gevurah week 3

1. Maccabeat’s smart way to live

Discussion question: The Maccabeats suggest some ideas in this video about “smart ways to live.”  Add your own two suggestions to the discussion board below on how to be a good friend.

2. Bike 4 Friendship

Discussion question: In Bike 4 Friendship, Jewish students bike cross-country to raise money for programs for children with special needs. What is the most YOU have ever done for friendship?

Next Week: Being a good friend sometimes requires gevurah.

Have a great week!

Sincerely,

Marc Sender

Mr. Marc Sender

msender@amyisrael.org

NOTE: Please click here to read Heh updates from previous weeks.  Thank you.

Heh Class Updates from Week of Dec 3, 2017

The students learned that in the תַּנַ”ך (TaNaKh) and in our other stories, names often tell us something about the nature of a person. This principle is called כִשְׁמוֹ כֶּן־הוּא (ki shmo ken hu): “What he is called, that is what he is.”  Students listened to a talmudic story about כִּשְׁמוֹ כֶּן־הוּא (kishmo ken hu), and debated the assertion that names reveal what a person is.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

My name is Mr. Eytan Dallal and I substitute taught for Mr. Allan Arnet this week.  The Heh students ramped up their Chanukkah studies by discussing the concept of a miracle. We defined ‘miracle’ and gave a few personal examples.  In the coming weeks, we’ll understand more about the miracle of Chanukkah and why it’s the basis of our celebration each year.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Dear Parents,

In this past week’s lesson about Gevurah, we learned that one of the characteristics of leading a meaningful life and a Jewish meaningful life is to train oneself to have “mindfulness” and act with an “intention.”  That is one reason for using berakhot, a blessing or a benediction before an action or activity.  In terms of gevurah, being of good courage in peer situations requires a thoughtful process of weighing choices and being deliberate in one’s actions.

Recap:

•        Students became more aware of how peer pressure affects their choices.

•        Students explored the interplay between spiritual courage and physical courage.

•        Students analyzed the social costs of a situation requiring a courageous intervention—and still follow through.

•        Students shared strategies to minimize the social costs and to heighten their leverage to act with courage.

 

Table Talk: When is a time you stood up to peer pressure?

 

MyShalomLearning Activity: Watch two videos that have to do with friendship, in gevurah week 3

1. Maccabeat’s smart way to live

Discussion question: The Maccabeats suggest some ideas in this video about “smart ways to live.”  Add your own two suggestions to the discussion board below on how to be a good friend.

2. Bike 4 Friendship

Discussion question: In Bike 4 Friendship, Jewish students bike cross-country to raise money for programs for children with special needs. What is the most YOU have ever done for friendship?

Next Week: Being a good friend sometimes requires gevurah.

Have a great week!

Sincerely,

Marc Sender

 

Mr. Marc Sender

msender@amyisrael.org

 

Heh Class Updates from Week of Nov 19, 2017

The students learned that in the תַּנַ”ך (TaNaKh) and in our other stories, names often tell us something about the nature of a person. This principle is called כִשְׁמוֹ כֶּן־הוּא (ki shmo ken hu): “What he is called, that is what he is.”  Students listened to a talmudic story about כִּשְׁמוֹ כֶּן־הוּא (kishmo ken hu), and debated the assertion that names reveal what a person is.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

My name is Mr. Eytan Dallal and I substitute taught for Mr. Allan Arnet this wekk.  The Heh students ramped up their Chanukkah studies by discussing the concept of a miracle. We defined ‘miracle’ and gave a few personal examples.  In the coming weeks, we’ll understand more about the miracle of Chanukkah and why it’s the basis of our celebration each year.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Dear Parents,

This past week we discussed the question: What are some things we can do to treat people with disabilities with dignity?

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

Table Talk: Discuss one major thing you learned about being created in the image of G-d

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)

– After Thanksgving we’re starting GEVURAH (strength). Take the KICKOFF questions on shalomlearning.orgGevurah week 1 (5.3)

Next Week: We will be off for Thanksgiving. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. When we return: We start the next unit:Gevurahגבורה (Inner strength). Get Excited!!!

Have a great week!

Sincerely,

Marc Sender

Mr. Marc Sender

msender@amyisrael.org

Heh Class Updates from Week of Nov 12, 2017

For the second part of class, the students learned that in the תַּנַ”ך (TaNaKh) and in our other stories, names often tell us something about the nature of a person. This principle is called כִשְׁמוֹ כֶּן־הוּא (ki shmo ken hu): “What he is called, that is what he is.”  Students listened to a talmudic story about כִּשְׁמוֹ כֶּן־הוּא (kishmo ken hu), and debated the assertion that names reveal what a person is.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

This week in class I showed the kids a video about making a difference in the world and how at any age, we have the power to make change. Here is the clip I showed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuKqMoWHt54.  I asked the students why they feel it was important for the Jewish people to have a homeland. What benefit is there and is there a need for it.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Dear Parents,

This past week we spent our time appreciating b’tzelem Elohim in those that have different challenges than us.

IMPORTANT: For next class please send your child with a small wallet size picture of themselves (it can be printed out or actual photograph, it can also be a slightly different size, whatever you have around).  We will be using the picture for a fun activity to be displayed in the synagogue.  Please do not send a picture that needs to be returned.

Recap:

•     Students experienced a simulation to help foster empathy and motivate them to help others.

•       Students learned classic Jewish statements that reinforced the value of treating every person with dignity and use them to argue for inclusion.

•     Students learned about the relationship between Moses and Aaron as an exemplar in Jewish tradition for a peer helping someone to function to his or her full potential.

•      Students assessed the synagogue and made recommendations for greater accessibility.

 

Table Talk:

See below under MyShalomLearning Activity

MyShalomLearning  Activity: 5.2.4

•        Watch a video about Aaron Fothingham and what he can do with his wheelchair. In MyShalomLearning B’Tzelem Elohim Week 4

What did you learn from this video?  How can you use the lessons you learned from this video in your own life? Answer in the Discussion Thread!!

•         Today we looked at barriers to accessibility in the synagogue. Write a letter to the synagogue board or have a discussion with your parents talking about your plan to help increase accessibility in the synagogue and your ideas to make the synagogue more accessible.

Report back here next week to let the class know how your conversations with your parents went or post the letter that you wrote.

Next Week: 

Everyone is unique!

Have a great week!

Sincerely,

Marc Sender

Mr. Marc Sender

msender@amyisrael.org

 

Heh Class Updates from Week of Nov 5, 2017

We continued working on bowl designs for an Empty Bowls meal. Students who had finished this phase of the project broke into small groups and planned out the logistics of such a meal, providing us with a number of different possible menus, venues, and economic models. I was impressed by the creativity expressed in both phases of the project!

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

In class this week we spoke about prayer and why we pray. I asked the kids a question,  “If you pray for something and you do not receive what you prayed for, was your prayer answered?”  Please ask you kids about this question and what they answered.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Dear Parents,

This past week we spent our time appreciating b’tzelem Elohim in those that have different challenges than us.

IMPORTANT: For next class please send your child with a small wallet size picture of themselves (it can be printed out or actual photograph, it can also be a slightly different size, whatever you have around).  We will be using the picture for a fun activity to be displayed in the synagogue.  Please do not send a picture that needs to be returned.

Recap:

•     Students experienced a simulation to help foster empathy and motivate them to help others.

•       Students learned classic Jewish statements that reinforced the value of treating every person with dignity and use them to argue for inclusion.

•     Students learned about the relationship between Moses and Aaron as an exemplar in Jewish tradition for a peer helping someone to function to his or her full potential.

•      Students assessed the synagogue and made recommendations for greater accessibility.

Table Talk:

See below under MyShalomLearning Activity

MyShalomLearning  Activity: 5.2.4

•        Watch a video about Aaron Fothingham and what he can do with his wheelchair. In MyShalomLearning B’Tzelem Elohim Week 4

What did you learn from this video?  How can you use the lessons you learned from this video in your own life? Answer in the Discussion Thread!!

•         Today we looked at barriers to accessibility in the synagogue. Write a letter to the synagogue board or have a discussion with your parents talking about your plan to help increase accessibility in the synagogue and your ideas to make the synagogue more accessible.

 

Report back here next week to let the class know how your conversations with your parents went or post the letter that you wrote.

Next Week: 

Everyone is unique!

Have a great week!

Sincerely,

Marc Sender

 

Mr. Marc Sender

msender@amyisrael.org

Heh Class Updates from Week of Oct 29, 2017

We continued our first parasha in our Parashat HaChodesh series. In the beginning of the Torah portion Vayera G-d sends one of His angels to tell Avraham that he is going to destroy Sodom. The reaction from Avraham is one which I feel we can all learn. Please ask your child.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Dear Parents,

This past week we spent our time appreciating b’tzelem Elohim in those that have different challenges than us.

IMPORTANT: For next class please send your child with a small wallet size picture of themselves (it can be printed out or actual photograph, it can also be a slightly different size, whatever you have around).  We will be using the picture for a fun activity to be displayed in the synagogue.  Please do not send a picture that needs to be returned.  

Recap:

•     Students experienced a simulation to help foster empathy and motivate them to help others.

•       Students learned classic Jewish statements that reinforced the value of treating every person with dignity and use them to argue for inclusion.

•     Students learned about the relationship between Moses and Aaron as an exemplar in Jewish tradition for a peer helping someone to function to his or her full potential.

•      Students assessed the synagogue and made recommendations for greater accessibility.

Table Talk:

See below under MyShalomLearning Activity

MyShalomLearning  Activity: 5.2.4

•        Watch a video about Aaron Fothingham and what he can do with his wheelchair. In MyShalomLearning B’Tzelem Elohim Week 4

What did you learn from this video?  How can you use the lessons you learned from this video in your own life? Answer in the Discussion Thread!!

•         Today we looked at barriers to accessibility in the synagogue. Write a letter to the synagogue board or have a discussion with your parents talking about your plan to help increase accessibility in the synagogue and your ideas to make the synagogue more accessible.

Report back here next week to let the class know how your conversations with your parents went or post the letter that you wrote.

Next Week: 

Everyone is unique!

Have a great week!

Sincerely,

Marc Sender

Mr. Marc Sender

msender@amyisrael.org

We were introduced to the Empty Bowls Project, an approach to raising funds to fight hunger through a craft project and community meal. Students designed bowls that they would like to create as part of this project. Stay tuned for further details!

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Class Updates from Week of Oct 22, 2017

We continued our first parasha in our Parashat HaChodesh series. In the beginning of the Torah portion Vayera G-d sends one of His angels to tell Avraham that he is going to destroy Sodom. The reaction from Avraham is one which I feel we can all learn. Please ask your child.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Dear Parents,

Today in class we continued our unit on B’tzelem Elohim: in th image of God. We discussed how since everyone has equal worth, we need to treat everyone (no matter their appearance or abilities) with dignity.

 

Recap:

•       Students encountered classic Jewish stories and the phrases that reinforce the value of treating every person with dignity: not being judgmental and realizing that every person is valuable even if they are not your friend or look the same as you.

•       Students connected these behavioral norms to the idea of all humans beings created in God’s image.

•       Students learned that recognizing that each person has worth and dignity can help them navigate difficult social situations.

 

Table Talk:

How does knowing that we are all created b’tzelem Elohim-לוהים  א בצלם impact how I treat my family, peers and teachers?

 

MyShalomLearning Activity: 5.2.3

This week’s MyShalomLearning Activity asks students to look around them and find a person who epitomizes the quality of realizing people are created b’tzelem Elohim.

Representing B’tzelem Elohim:

Think of a person that you know that really epitomizes the idea of treating everyone like a B’tzelem Elohim.  Take a picture of them, upload it!

Write why you chose this person.  How do they act in a way that shows that they look at each person as a tzelem Elohim?

 

Next week:

We look at appreciating b’tzelem Elohim in those that have different challenges than us.

 

Have a great week!

Sincerely,

Marc Sender

 

Mr. Marc Sender

msender@amyisrael.org

 

We took this time to learn about modern Jewish responses to hunger, beginning with an advocacy video from Hazon. Students saw an example of Jewish organizers working to make school lunches more accessible to low-income kids in Minneapolis. From there we segued to a story about a millionaire restauranteur who decided to take the Food Stamp Challenge in 2014, spending no more than $4.50 per day on food for himself.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Class Updates from Week of Oct 15, 2017

Dear Parents,

Wednesday we began our first lesson in the study of B’tzelem Elohim, which translates to “in G-d’s image.”

Recap:

• Students learned the term “in the image of God” to mean that each person is valuable.

• Students examined the statements from the creation story in Genesis 1 and 2 that require humans, created in Gods image, to behave responsibly toward all of creation.

• Students realized that it is the responsibility of each person to recognize the humanity of every person and to try to help them and alleviate their suffering.

Table Talk: How does the concept of B’Tzelem Elohim apply to those who are very different than us?

MyShalomLearning Activity:

• Watch the video on MyShalomLearning.org B’Tzelem Elohim week 2 about Israelis who travel across the world to help people in Nepal.

• Answer the discussion questions!

Next Week: We discuss what it takes to treat everyone with dignity.

We ended our class with a Heblish sentence to keep up to date on our Hebrew skills.

Have a great week!

Sincerely,

Marc

Mr. Marc Sender

msender@amyisrael.org

Our shortened session took place immediately after the students met with Rabbi Yochanan Salazar, the sofer who is writing Am Yisrael’s new sefer Torah. Rather than switch topics, we continued to learn the art and craft of writing sifrei Torah by watching a video and asking questions based on that prompt. (I have limited training in Torah repair and maintenance, so I have basis on which to answer questions.) Students were fascinated by the video of a sofer writing the letters of a Torah, a process quite unlike the handwriting with which they are familiar.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Today in class we started our first parasha in our Parashat haChodesh series. In the beginning of the Torah portion Vayera G-d comes to visit Avram. Please ask your child what important mitzvah we learn from this. We also learned about welcoming guests when the 3 strangers came walking towards Avram.  Lastly, we learned about standing up for what we believe is right.  Please ask your child what Avram did when he found out G-d wanted to destroy Sodom.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Class Updates from Week of Oct 8, 2017

Dear Parents,

In our last lesson for the Teshuva unit, the focus was on reflecting on how our behavior can impact the people around us.

Recap:

· Students appreciated the importance of areyvut (responsibility) for the whole group, instead of judging success by individual merit.

• We understand that Jonah had an obligation to assume areyvut for others, and that when he did so he provided an opportunity for the entire city of Nineveh to do teshuvah.

• We assess our own ability to change the behavior of the group.

MyShalomLearning Activity & Table Talk:

Students should do wrap up questions on myshalomlearning.com Teshuva week 4. Next students should go on to week 1 of B’tzelem Elohim. Students should complete the kickoff questions first. Next interview someone in your family or one of your friends. Have you ever had to stand up for something that was right, even if it was hard? What was the situation? Post answer on the discussion board!

Wrap-Up Questions

The students should take the unit Wrap-Up Questions survey online. Remind them that we are checking for learning and that they are not being graded.

Next Week: We start the next unit on B’tzelem Elohim! (in the image of G-d)

Have a great week!

Sincerely,

Marc

Mr. Marc Sender

msender@amyisrael.org

Continuing our exploration of Jewish responses to food insecurity, we examined four photographs from Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio’s Hungry Planet: What the World Eats. The photos featured an affluent family in Brisbane, Australia; a middle class family in a Paris suburb; a middle-class family in Texas; and a Darfuri refugee family in Dar-es-Salaam Refugee Camp, Chad. In each picture, the family was surrounded by the amount and type of food that they eat in one week. We were able to use these pictures to distinguish between obvious types of food distress (the refugees’ UNHCR rations were tiny compared with everyone else’s groceries) and less obvious types (who is reliant on how much processed food, who can afford more fresh fruits and vegetables, etc.).

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Hi, my name is Allan Arnet and I will be teaching the Heh students every Sunday morning from 9:55 a.m.-10:30 a.m.  It was so nice to be in the classroom with your children on Sunday. I am so happy to be back.  We learned about Simchat Torah and finishing reading and starting over the Torah again. We learned the importance of never completing the Torah so that we always remember there is more to learn. We also learned that at different stages in our life, different parts of the Torah will resonate more with us.

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Class Updates from Week of Sep 24, 2017

Dear Parents,

Judaica Update:

Today we spent our time continuing to explore the concept of Teshuva for the 3rd lesson in this unit.

Recap:

• Students were introduced to Sukkot through the lens of “hospitality,” and learned the steps of performing hachnasat orchim (welcoming guests) in ways that highlight planning for the needs and comfort of others.

• Students learned Sukkot rituals such as building a Sukkah and waving the four species and connected them to the concepts of trust and inclusivity

• Students learned about inviting Ushpizin (guests) from Jewish history and the important lessons we can learn from them.

Table Talk: What is something we can do as a family this year to celebrate Sukkot in a meaningful way? If we have a sukkah, whom should we invite? If we go to a sukkah, how can we be good guests?

MyShalomLearning Activity:

Over the course of the next week, students should prepare a meal for their families- from choosing foods they know their family will enjoy, to making a shopping list, to shopping for food, to food preparation, to serving and cleaning up. Have parents play the role of guests.

After the meal, discuss what went well and what challenges were encountered. What have you learned about how to do the mitzvah of hachnasat orchim, welcoming guests that you will use in the future?

Upload a picture of your meal to our discussion board on MyshalomLearning.com, Teshuva week 4!

Update: In this week we began to explore some of the games on jitap.net. Later in the year we will be asking for students to bring in IPads if they own them. jitap.net is a site that is an open source and Judaica lesson and game site. Any person in the world can create a Hebrew game to have on the site and anybody else can play the game. We are beginning by just playing the games but eventually will be creating games ourselves with the different tefillot that we are working on in class. Currently, the creation part of the site only operates on an IPad (though the games can be played from any device). If you are looking for some extra Hebrew or Judaica fun with your child feel free to visit the jitap.net site and check it out.

Next Week: When we reflect on how to be more sensitive to othersneeds we can prevent missteps in our interactions and relationships.

Have a great week!

Sincerely,

Marc

Mr. Marc Sender

msender@amyisrael.org

 

Hi, my name is Michael Aberman and I was a substitute teacher for the Heh Class this past Sunday.  For the fifth grade we did the Center for Israel education curriculum and we’re discussing how we stay connected to Israel and our traditions in several ways. First, we talked about Rosh Hashana and how we celebrate it the same day every year according to Hebrew calendar which differs from an English calendar. We discussed the difference between a solar and a lunar calendar. This of course changed to the holiday of Hanukkah as they were discussing how sometimes it falls during Christmas and other times it has fallen during Thanksgiving.

Mr. Michael Aberman

 

Class Updates from Week of Sep 17, 2017

Dear Parents,

This week in class we learned that being a member of a group gives you the responsibility to recognize and speak up when the group’s behavior has gone astray and this requires reflection and change.

Recap:

•     Students explored what it means to be a good friend and how you can act as a friend.

•       Students learned some of the rituals of Yom Kippur and connected these rituals to introspection and teshuvah. Students learned to recognize that apologizing and forgiving on Yom Kippur can lead to stronger friendships.

•    Students applied Hillel’s phrase to their own social interactions “In a place where there are no worthy people, strive to be a worthy person.”

Table Talk: What is something you can do this week to right a wrong? Discuss!

MyShalomLearning Activity:

This week we learned about the great Rabbi Hillel and his advice:

Avot 2:6:

“Hillel said: In a place where there are no worthy people strive to be a worthy person

Listen to “Hillel’s Song” by Mah Tovu and read the lyrics.  Choose one line from the song and explain why you think it is the most important line from the song to really understand what Hillel meant.

 

Next Week: We will look at how the holidays can help us be more considerate of others.

 

Have a great week!

 

Sincerely,

Marc

msender@amyisrael.org

 

Class Updates from Week of Sep 10, 2017

Dear Parents,

My name is Marc Sender and I teach your children on Wednesdays.  This week in class we learned that being a member of a group gives you the responsibility to recognize and speak up when the group’s behavior has gone astray and this requires reflection and change.

Recap:

•     Students explored what it means to be a good friend and how you can act as a friend.

•      Students learned some of the rituals of Yom Kippur and connected these rituals to introspection and teshuvah. Students learned to recognize that apologizing and forgiving on Yom Kippur can lead to stronger friendships.

•    Students applied Hillel’s phrase to their own social interactions “In a place where there are no worthy people, strive to be a worthy person.”

Table Talk: What is something you can do this week to right a wrong? Discuss!

 

MyShalomLearning Activity:

This week we learned about the great Rabbi Hillel and his advice:

Avot 2:6.  Rabbi Hillel said: “In a place where there are no worthy people strive to be a worthy person.”

Listen to “Hillel’s Song” by Mah Tovu and read the lyrics.  Choose one line from the song and explain why you think it is the most important line from the song to really understand what Hillel meant.

Next Week: We will look at how the holidays can help us be more considerate of others.

Have a great week!

Sincerely,

Marc

Mr. Marc Sender

msender@amyisrael.org

 

Hi, my name is Lawrence Szenes-Strauss and I teach your children once again on Sundays.  We spend some of our time combined with the Dalet Class on Sundays.  During this time we began a unit on the importance of feeding the hungry from a Jewish perspective. After watching a short news report on the problem of food insecurity in America, we talked as a class about how this affects individuals and families in different ways. In future classes we will explore Jewish texts on hunger, and formulate plans to help the hungry and food-insecure in our area.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

Hi, my name is Eytan Dallal and I was a substitute teacher for the Heh Class this past Sunday.  The Heh class began learning the origins of the Land of Israel as it relates to Biblical sources.  The class read passages from Genesis highlighting G-d’s promise to Abraham that the land would be given to his descendants forever, provided that they keep G-d’s statues and obey the commandments. We discussed how this prophecy was fulfilled with the Jewish people dwelling in the land of Israel and subsequently exiled.  We also gave examples of conditional gifts in our own lives.

Mr. Eytan Dallal

Dalet Class Updates 2017-2018 (5778)

Dalet Class Updates Week of 5-6-18

Dalet students will be singing songs to celebrate Israel’s 70th Birthday on the Sanctuary bimah this Sun, May 6.  All students should come dressed in blue and white.  We hope that all parents of Dalet students will join us for this in the Sanctuary by 11:50 a.m.

Dalet has been assigned to bring meat free tomato sauce for the end of the year Am Yisrael SJS Food Drive to support the clients of the Ark.  Please note that you are welcome to bring any item, we have just found that assigning specific items helps with the variety of foods that we receive for these food drives.

Please note that our final day of SJS for this school year is Sun, May 20.  We hope that many children will join their students for all or part of SJS for some time in the classroom and in the Sanctuary.  There is also a catered Shavuot kiddush lunch.  Please be sure to RSVP if you would like to join us: http://evite.me/6NP7Pm3eVY

Class Updates:

We are in the home stretch! We had a couple of great tefillah presentations, and many more are ready to roll as soon as we begin class this coming Sunday. I am looking forward to these, and I hope all the students are excited about the deeper knowledge of the siddur that they’ve developed during this unit. Written Thu, May 10, 2018 

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

We started with Tefilah in the court yard.  The students enjoyed getting the chance to pray outside.  In class , we start talking about the Parasha of this week  Behar – B’chokotai and about the concept of the 7 years, six years to work and on the seventh to let the land rest.  G-d  created the world in 6 days and on the seventh day G-d rested and gave us a day to rest.   He had a major review of Hebrew reading through all kind of ways to motivate the students.  They took the work very seriously, worked very hard and did a good job. I am very proud to see the student’s progress at the end of the year. Written Wed, May 9, 2018 

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

 

Today we reviewed the concept of Kadosh and what the word Kiddush comes from and how “Borei P’ree Ha’ga’fen is about the vine and its fruits.  We then read the Kiddush in groups.  Written Sun, May 6, 2018

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

 

Ongoing:

Please listen to the songs that Dalet learned in honor of Israel:

1. Am Yisrael Chaihttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMWtN4FMz0k

2. L’Ar’tzee Yesh Yom Huledet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wBYST0W9Ns

3. Kol Ha’Olam Kulo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WnEAxa1tFc

4. Amar Rabbi Akiva: V’Ahavta L’Reacha: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmSC_MUNty4

Here is the information for you to access in between classes, as we strongly recommend that your child reads Hebrew every day for approximately 10-15 minutes:

1. Please click here to access the text for the Blessings after the Haftorah.  It is important that the students focus on reading prior to chanting.  Please click here to access the mp3 for the blessings after the Haftorah.  I asked the students to record themselves reading or singing the blessing before the Haftorah and to send it to me to tmoustakis@amyisrael.org.

2. Please click here to access the text for Adon Olam.  Please click here to access the mp3 for Adon Olam.  For the Hamilton fans out there, please click here to access the mp3 for Cantor Simon singing this version of Adon Olam.

3. For the celebration of the 70th birthday of Israel the students are learning to read and then sing several songs.  Please click here to access the assignment sheet that we handed out for the major Israel Project that we are doing this semester in honor of Israel’s 70th Birthday.  Please click here to access the packet of Hebrew songs that the students are using in class to practice for the Israel’s 70th Birthday celebration.

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

Dalet Class Updates Week of 4-29-18

Dalet students will be singing songs to celebrate Israel’s 70th Birthday on the Sanctuary bimah this Sun, May 6.  All students should come dressed in blue and white.  We hope that all parents of Dalet students will join us for this in the Sanctuary by 11:50 a.m.

Dalet has been assigned to bring meat free tomato sauce for the end of the year Am Yisrael SJS Food Drive to support the clients of the Ark.  Please note that you are welcome to bring any item, we have just found that assigning specific items helps with the variety of foods that we receive for these food drives.

Please note that our final day of SJS for this school year is Sun, May 20.  We hope that many children will join their students for all or part of SJS for some time in the classroom and in the Sanctuary.  There is also a catered Shavuot kiddush lunch.  Please be sure to RSVP if you would like to join us: http://evite.me/6NP7Pm3eVY

We had a short class this week due to the Torah assembly in the morning. Picking up on last week’s “ner tamid” discussion, we took the time to discuss other features of synagogues. With the list we made this week, we will explore other possible metaphors for God next week.  We are in full presentation mode! Over the next two weeks students will continue to present their work on parts of the siddur whose meanings they have researched. These will take the form of sketches, dialogues, videos, and visual artwork, among others.  Written Thu, May 3, 2018 

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

We start our Wednesday session with Tefillah in the court yard, talked about Lag Ba’omer and celebrated it with some games.  In class we reviewed reading of prayers through games.  The last half of class we practiced the songs for Israel’s 70th Birthday with Cantor Simon on the Sanctuary bimah. Written Wed, May 2, 2018 

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

 

This week we worked on the Kiddush with a background in the concept of Kaddosh, Kidoshim Tehyoo and Keedush.  We discussed how these words come from the same source and how they build on each other.  We then learned about the different parts of the Amidah and how it is different on weekdays vs. Shabbat. We got the students to see the different prayer services: Mincha – afternoon before Shabbat, Kabbalat Shabbat, Maariv like every night yet slightly different for Shabbat, Kiddush Friday night, the Shabbat morning service, Shacharit and Musaf.  Written Sun, Apr 29, 2018

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

 

Ongoing:

Please listen to the songs that Dalet learned in honor of Israel:

1. Am Yisrael Chaihttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMWtN4FMz0k

2. L’Ar’tzee Yesh Yom Huledet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wBYST0W9Ns

3. Kol Ha’Olam Kulo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WnEAxa1tFc

4. Amar Rabbi Akiva: V’Ahavta L’Reacha: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmSC_MUNty4

Here is the information for you to access in between classes, as we strongly recommend that your child reads Hebrew every day for approximately 10-15 minutes:

1. Please click here to access the text for the Blessings after the Haftorah.  It is important that the students focus on reading prior to chanting.  Please click here to access the mp3 for the blessings after the Haftorah.  I asked the students to record themselves reading or singing the blessing before the Haftorah and to send it to me to tmoustakis@amyisrael.org.

2. Please click here to access the text for Adon Olam.  Please click here to access the mp3 for Adon Olam.  For the Hamilton fans out there, please click here to access the mp3 for Cantor Simon singing this version of Adon Olam.

3. For the celebration of the 70th birthday of Israel the students are learning to read and then sing several songs.  Please click here to access the assignment sheet that we handed out for the major Israel Project that we are doing this semester in honor of Israel’s 70th Birthday.  Please click here to access the packet of Hebrew songs that the students are using in class to practice for the Israel’s 70th Birthday celebration.

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

Dalet Class Updates Week of 4-22-18

This picture, taken during a Wednesday Tefillah session at SJS, includes Kitah Heh and Kitah Dalet, as these two classes joined together twice this year to lead Friday evening services.  They will be on the bimah this Fri, Apr 27.   Please RSVP if you haven’t already: http://evite.me/wPMrf7fkxu  Written by Mr. Charlie Sherman, Head of School Thu, Apr 26, 2018

 

Returning to the video of Anna Brooks’s “Shema,” we focused on a the metaphor of “ner tamid” (eternal light) that the songwriter uses to describe God. Using assorted images and our own classroom, which contains an ark, we learned about the practice of having a light always on directly over an ark containing a Torah scroll. We then discussed why someone might use this light as a metaphor for God and what that metaphor would indicate about one’s relationship with God.  We heard several presentations from student groups about prayers that they had decided to study and elucidate for us! Selections included Adon Olam, Veshamru, Shema, and formats ranged from live performances to videos to illustrations. After those students who were ready to present had finished, they divided up among the groups that were still working in order to provide assistance and move things along.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

It is nice to see the progress in Tefilah.  The prayers sound very good. It is important for every student to read the words and not memorize from hearing only.  In class we make sure that the students read the prayers.  Please make sure your child practices at least 10 minutes every day from the prayers and the songs.  Written Wed, Apr 25, 2018 

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

 

This week we reviewed the concept of the Amidah standing for standing and the different services in a day and how we recite 22 Amidot in a week.  We then read the Amidah and practiced our reading.  Written Sun, Apr 22, 2018

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

 

Ongoing:

Please listen to the songs that Dalet learned in honor of Israel:

1. Am Yisrael Chaihttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMWtN4FMz0k

2. L’Ar’tzee Yesh Yom Huledet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wBYST0W9Ns

3. Kol Ha’Olam Kulo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WnEAxa1tFc

4. Amar Rabbi Akiva: V’Ahavta L’Reacha: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmSC_MUNty4

Here is the information for you to access in between classes, as we strongly recommend that your child reads Hebrew every day for approximately 10-15 minutes:

1. Please click here to access the text for the Blessings after the Haftorah.  It is important that the students focus on reading prior to chanting.  Please click here to access the mp3 for the blessings after the Haftorah.  I asked the students to record themselves reading or singing the blessing before the Haftorah and to send it to me to tmoustakis@amyisrael.org.

2. Please click here to access the text for Adon Olam.  Please click here to access the mp3 for Adon Olam.  For the Hamilton fans out there, please click here to access the mp3 for Cantor Simon singing this version of Adon Olam.

3. For the celebration of the 70th birthday of Israel the students are learning to read and then sing several songs.  Please click here to access the assignment sheet that we handed out for the major Israel Project that we are doing this semester in honor of Israel’s 70th Birthday.  Please click here to access the packet of Hebrew songs that the students are using in class to practice for the Israel’s 70th Birthday celebration.

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

 

NOTE: Please click here to read Dalet updates from previous weeks.  Thank you.

Dalet Class Updates Week of 4-15-18

Kitah Dalet did a beautiful job leading the singing at SJS for Israel’s 70th Birthday.  This picture above also includes Kitah Heh, as these two classes joined together twice this year to lead Friday evening services, including Fri, Apr 27.  Please RSVP if you haven’t already: http://evite.me/wPMrf7fkxu  Written by Mr. Charlie Sherman, Head of School Thu, Apr 19, 2018

 

On Wednesday we focused on the memory of our soldiers in Israel.  We focused the entire session on Israel and reviewed the songs so that we would be able to sing with Cantor Simon.  The class led the singing for the entire school and helped make it a very meaningul day.

חג עצמאות שמח ישראל     Emoji  Written by Mrs. Tikva Moustakis Wed, Apr 18, 2018

We had an excellent discussion about what the Amidah means why we stand.  We also talked about the Amidah’s relation to Kings and Queens   We also reviewed the process of taking three steps forward and three steps back at the beginning of the Amidah.  We spent the rest of our time together reading the Amidah in small groups.  Our three Madrichim were incredibly helpful with this process.  Written Thu, Apr 19, 2018

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

After a hiatus of several weeks (due to the class brunch and Passover) we returned to our unit on devekut, or one’s personal relationship with God. We re-viewed the music video that spurred our discussion: Anna Brooks’s “Shema Yisrael.” Several students have begun to observe nuances in the video that they had not noticed originally, such as the woodland setting and the choice to depict the songwriter alone at times and with groups of people other times. We talked about what this might imply about the meaning of the song, and of the songwriter’s relationship with God.

We are finishing up our creative projects on different passages from the siddur! This is independent student work with occasional teacher involvement and facilitation, and the range of artwork, writing, and video projects is really impressive. Some will be ready to present next week!  Written Thu, Apr 12, 2018

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

Ongoing:

Please listen to the songs that Dalet learned in honor of Israel:

1. Am Yisrael Chaihttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMWtN4FMz0k

2. L’Ar’tzee Yesh Yom Huledet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wBYST0W9Ns

3. Kol Ha’Olam Kulo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WnEAxa1tFc

4. Amar Rabbi Akiva: V’Ahavta L’Reacha: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmSC_MUNty4

Here is the information for you to access in between classes, as we strongly recommend that your child reads Hebrew every day for approximately 10-15 minutes:

1. Please click here to access the text for the Blessings after the Haftorah.  It is important that the students focus on reading prior to chanting.  Please click here to access the mp3 for the blessings after the Haftorah.  I asked the students to record themselves reading or singing the blessing before the Haftorah and to send it to me to tmoustakis@amyisrael.org.

2. Please click here to access the text for Adon Olam.  Please click here to access the mp3 for Adon Olam.  For the Hamilton fans out there, please click here to access the mp3 for Cantor Simon singing this version of Adon Olam.

3. For the celebration of the 70th birthday of Israel the students are learning to read and then sing several songs.  Please click here to access the assignment sheet that we handed out for the major Israel Project that we are doing this semester in honor of Israel’s 70th Birthday.  Please click here to access the packet of Hebrew songs that the students are using in class to practice for the Israel’s 70th Birthday celebration.

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

Dalet Class Updates Weeks of 4-8-18

Dr. Lefkovitz led an inspiring program about Yom Hashanah Remembrance day in the Sanctuary.  Afterwards we counted the Omer.  In class we continued to practice Hebrew reading. I am asking every parent to make sure that your child practices at home at least 10 minutes every day.  I am happy to see that most of the students worked nicely on their Israeli projects and brought them in to SJS this past Wed, Apr 11 (and earlier).  We learned about some of the projects during class and will learn about the rest of them next week. These projects are now on display on the first level of the school.  We encourage you to come check them out.

Kitah Dalet has been asked to lead the singing at SJS for Israel’s 70th Birthday.  Please listen to these songs on a regular basis:

1. Am Yisrael Chaihttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMWtN4FMz0k

2. L’Ar’tzee Yesh Yom Huledet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wBYST0W9Ns

3. Kol Ha’Olam Kulo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WnEAxa1tFc

4. Amar Rabbi Akiva: V’Ahavta L’Reacha: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmSC_MUNty4

Here is the information for you to access in between classes, as we strongly recommend that your child reads Hebrew every day for approximately 10-15 minutes:

1. Please click here to access the text for the Blessings after the Haftorah.  It is important that the students focus on reading prior to chanting.  Please click here to access the mp3 for the blessings after the Haftorah.  I asked the students to record themselves reading or singing the blessing before the Haftorah and to send it to me to tmoustakis@amyisrael.org.

2. We are preparing our students to be able to participate in a Pesach seder.  As part of this process, I feel that it is essential for the students to know these key vocabulary words:

Seder =  סדר = order, Hagadah = הגדה= telling, Chametz =  חמץ = unleavened- without yeast, Shehechianu ( chai =  חי = life or alive.  We covered many key texts in the Haggadah up to the 10 plagues.

3. Please click here to access the text for Adon Olam.  Please click here to access the mp3 for Adon Olam.  For the Hamilton fans out there, please click here to access the mp3 for Cantor Simon singing this version of Adon Olam.

4. For the celebration of the 70th birthday of Israel the students are learning to read and then sing several songs.  Please click here to access the assignment sheet that we handed out for the major Israel Project that we are doing this semester in honor of Israel’s 70th Birthday.  Please click here to access the packet of Hebrew songs that the students are using in class to practice for the Israel’s 70th Birthday celebration.

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

After a hiatus of several weeks (due to the class brunch and Passover) we returned to our unit on devekut, or one’s personal relationship with God. We re-viewed the music video that spurred our discussion: Anna Brooks’s “Shema Yisrael.” Several students have begun to observe nuances in the video that they had not noticed originally, such as the woodland setting and the choice to depict the songwriter alone at times and with groups of people other times. We talked about what this might imply about the meaning of the song, and of the songwriter’s relationship with God.

We are finishing up our creative projects on different passages from the siddur! This is independent student work with occasional teacher involvement and facilitation, and the range of artwork, writing, and video projects is really impressive. Some will be ready to present next week!

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

This week we started with a prayer everyone was familiar with to get the students warmed up again to SJS: The Modeh/Modah Ani.  We then asked the students to read in groups the Elokai Neshama and we talked about the meaning of our soul going up to heaven for our “REM” sleeping cycle.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

NOTE: Please click here to read Dalet updates from previous weeks.  Thank you.

Dalet Class Updates Weeks of 3-11-18 and 3-18-18

This week:

This week we started in the Beit Kenesset (Sanctuary) learning about Pesach: 1. Echad Mi Yodea “Who Knows One” in Ivrit (Hebrew); 2. We learned about and sang a part of Hallel.  In class we review reading the blessing before and after the Haftorah.  We practiced reading Ahava Raba  אהבה רבה אהבתנו page  62 and  VaYomer  ויאמר  page 66.  Please make sure your child practice these two prayers.  I wish you a Hag Sameach  חג שמח (Happy Holiday)  Please make sure your child greats you with these 2 words in Hebrew.

Last Week:

Kitah Dalet learned about the going out of Egypt and the route taken from Egypt to the Sinai desert, the order of the plagues and the reason that G-d started with blood and finished with the slaying of the first born.  We navigated through the Haggadah and learned the importance of freedom and how we have to treat strangers with respect and compassion.  Please ask your child: 1. Why did G-d sent the first plague, blood?  2. Why did G-d end the plagues with the slaying of the first born?  3. Why is there parsley on the Seder plate?  4.  How many names does the holiday have and what are they called?

Kitah Dalet has been asked to lead the singing at SJS for Israel’s 70th Birthday.  Please listen to these songs on a regular basis:

1. Am Yisrael Chaihttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMWtN4FMz0k

2. L’Ar’tzee Yesh Yom Huledet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wBYST0W9Ns

3. Kol Ha’Olam Kulo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WnEAxa1tFc

4. Amar Rabbi Akiva: V’Ahavta L’Reacha: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmSC_MUNty4

Here is the information for you to access in between classes, as we strongly recommend that your child reads Hebrew every day for approximately 10-15 minutes:

1. Please click here to access the text for the Blessings after the Haftorah.  It is important that the students focus on reading prior to chanting.  Please click here to access the mp3 for the blessings after the Haftorah.  I asked the students to record themselves reading or singing the blessing before the Haftorah and to send it to me to tmoustakis@amyisrael.org.

2. We are preparing our students to be able to participate in a Pesach seder.  As part of this process, I feel that it is essential for the students to know these key vocabulary words:

Seder =  סדר = order, Hagadah = הגדה= telling, Chametz =  חמץ = unleavened- without yeast, Shehechianu ( chai =  חי = life or alive.  We covered many key texts in the Haggadah up to the 10 plagues.

3. Please click here to access the text for Adon Olam.  Please click here to access the mp3 for Adon Olam.  For the Hamilton fans out there, please click here to access the mp3 for Cantor Simon singing this version of Adon Olam.

4. For the celebration of the 70th birthday of Israel the students are learning to read and then sing several songs.  Please click here to access the assignment sheet that we handed out for the major Israel Project that we are doing this semester in honor of Israel’s 70th Birthday.  Please click here to access the packet of Hebrew songs that the students are using in class to practice for the Israel’s 70th Birthday celebration.

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

 

Students spent this period working on presentations, both independently and in groups, on different sections of the siddur that interest them. They began with a brief summary provided to them of the meaning and purpose of the prayer they chose, and continued to learn more by looking up translations in various siddurim in our library. It was wonderful to see so many students thoroughly engaged in hands-on learning.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

We focused on the Pesach curriculum. This led into a discussions about the Seder. The students concluded the class by reading the Four Questions in Hebrew.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Dalet Class Updates Week of 3-4-18

I brought in my own real Megillat Esther and had the students look at the script and in groups read as much as they could from the actual scroll.  I also showed the students some laws about the scroll for the Megillah and the Torah. We also talked about the difference between the Torah and the Megilah and about why we try and insure we are using the exact words in every scroll and every Torah.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Our students are putting forth fantastic effort to master Hebrew reading.  Thank you to those families who have set aside time each day to have your child practice his/her Hebrew reading.  It makes all the difference.  Here are my specific recommendations:

1. The blessings before the Haftorah and the first part of the blessings after the reading of the Haftorah.  It is very important to spend time at home to review the reading of the blessings before and after the Haftorah.  Please make sure your child practices his/her Hebrew reading every day for approximately 10-15 minutes.  Please click here to access the text for the Blessings after the Haftorah.  It is important that the students focus on reading prior to chanting.  Please click here to access the mp3 for the blessings after the Haftorah.  I asked the students to record themselves reading or singing the blessing before the Haftorah and to send it to me to tmoustakis@amyisrael.org.

2. We are preparing our students to be able to participate in a Pesach seder.  As part of this process, I feel that it is essential for the students to know these key vocabulary words:

Seder =  סדר = order, Hagadah = הגדה= telling, Chametz =  חמץ = unleavened- with out yeast, Shehechianue ( chai =  חי = life or alive.  We covered many key texts in the Haggadah up to the 10 plagues.

3. Please click here to access the text for Adon Olam.  Please click here to access the mp3 for Adon Olam.  For the Hamilton fans out there, please click here to access the mp3 for Cantor Simon singing this version of Adon Olam.

4. For the celebration of the 70th birthday of Israel the students are learning to read and then sing several songs.  Please clickhere to access the assignment sheet that we handed out for the major Israel Project that we are doing this semester in honor of Israel’s 70th Birthday.  Please click here to access the packet of Hebrew songs that the students are using in class to practice for the Israel’s 70th Birthday celebration.

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

Dalet Class Updates Week of 2-25-18

Our students are putting forth fantastic effort to master Hebrew reading.  Thank you to those families who have set aside time each day to have your child practice his/her Hebrew reading.  It makes all the difference.  Here are my specific recommendations:

1. The blessings before the Haftorah and the first part of the blessings after the reading of the Haftorah.  It is very important to spend time at home to review the reading of the blessings before and after the Haftorah.  Please make sure your child practices his/her Hebrew reading every day for approximately 10-15 minutes.  Please click here to access the text for the Blessings after the Haftorah.  It is important that the students focus on reading prior to chanting.  Please click here to access the mp3 for the blessings after the Haftorah.  I asked the students to record themselves reading or singing the blessing before the Haftorah and to send it to me to tmoustakis@amyisrael.org.

2. We are preparing our students to be able to participate in a Pesach seder.  As part of this process, I feel that it is essential for the students to know these key vocabulary words:

Seder =  סדר = order, Hagadah = הגדה= telling, Chametz =  חמץ = unleavened- with out yeast, Shehechianue ( chai =  חי = life or alive.  We covered many key texts in the Haggadah up to the 10 plagues.

3. Please click here to access the text for Adon Olam.  Please click here to access the mp3 for Adon Olam.  For the Hamilton fans out there, please click here to access the mp3 for Cantor Simon singing this version of Adon Olam.

4. For the celebration of the 70th birthday of Israel the students are learning to read and then sing several songs.  Please clickhere to access the assignment sheet that we handed out for the major Israel Project that we are doing this semester in honor of Israel’s 70th Birthday.  Please click here to access the packet of Hebrew songs that the students are using in class to practice for the Israel’s 70th Birthday celebration.

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

 

Dalet Class Updates Week of 2-11-18

Several Jewish holidays are coming.  We discussed Purim, sang a Purim song and worked on reading it accurately and fluently.  During Tefilah we started our study of Pesach; the names of the holiday, what we are celebrating, what is a seder, the order of the seder and what the word seder means.  We also discussed the importance of the Shehecheyanu and how we thank G-d for helping us reach another year.  We also discussed the Kiddush and what we are making holy.  Please ask your child the meaning of the following words: sederhagadahkiddish (Kaddosh) and chai.  I asked the students to record themselves reading or singing the blessing before the Haftorah and to send it to me to tmoustakis@amyisrael.org.

Thank you to those families who have set aside time each day to have your child practice his/her Hebrew reading.  It makes all the difference.  Here are my specific recommendations:

1. The blessings before the Haftorah and the first part of the blessings after the reading of the Haftorah.  It is very important to spend time at home to review the reading of the blessings before and after the Haftorah.  Please make sure your child practices his/her Hebrew reading every day for approximately 10 minutes.  Please click here to access the text for the Blessings after the Haftorah.  Please click here to access the mp3 for the blessings after the Haftorah.

2. Please click here to access the text for Adon Olam.  Please click here to access the mp3 for Adon Olam.  For the Hamilton fans out there, please click here to access the mp3 for Cantor Simon singing this version of Adon Olam.

3. For the celebration of the 70th birthday of Israel the students are learning to read and then sing several songs.  Please clickhere to access the assignment sheet that we handed out for the major Israel Project that we are doing this semester in honor of Israel’s 70th Birthday.  Please click here to access the packet of Hebrew songs that the students are using in class to practice for the Israel’s 70th Birthday celebration.

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

This week Mr. Aberman started with the Dalet Class and had them read Shalom Aleichem and to become familiar with the words. We had a good number of Madrichim and assistants so that many students were individually taught.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Dalet Class Updates Week of 2-4-18

Thank you to those families who have set aside time each day to have your child practice his/her Hebrew reading.  It makes all the difference.  Here are my specific recommendations:

1. The blessings before the Haftorah and the first part of the blessings after the reading of the Haftorah.  It is very important to spend time at home to review the reading of the blessings before and after the Haftorah.  Please make sure your child practices his/her Hebrew reading every day for approximately 10 minutes.  Please click here to access the text for the Blessings after the Haftorah.  Please click here to access the mp3 for the blessings after the Haftorah.

2. Please click here to access the text for Adon Olam.  Please click here to access the mp3 for Adon Olam.  For the Hamilton fans out there, please click here to access the mp3 for Cantor Simon singing this version of Adon Olam.

3. For the celebration of the 70th birthday of Israel the students are learning to read and then sing several songs.  Please clickhere to access the assignment sheet that we handed out for the major Israel Project that we are doing this semester in honor of Israel’s 70th Birthday.  Please click here to access the packet of Hebrew songs that the students are using in class to practice for the Israel’s 70th Birthday celebration.

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

Continuing our curriculum on blessings, we reflected on last week’s lesson about the traditional blessing one recites when hearing bad news. Students composed their own spoken responses to God to be said in the event of bad news. Next week we will hear some of these and consider how our views align with, or differ from, the view expressed in the Talmud.

Continuing with our brit (covenant) curriculum, we examined several different Jewish naming ceremonies. Students were given an outline for a ceremony and asked to construct their own within that framework. Next week we will share some of these ceremony outlines to see how different students imagined a formal entrance into the covenant.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Shalom, my name is Mr. Michael Aberman and I was the substitute teacher for Mr. Gelbart this week.  We practiced the first two paragraphs of the Amidah.  The challenge is getting students to read the words as opposed to singing by memory.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Dalet Class Updates Week of 1-28-18

We continue to practice the blessings before the Haftorah and the first part of the blessings after the reading of the Haftorah.  It is very important to spend time at home to review the reading of the blessings before and after the Haftorah.  Please make sure your child practices his/her Hebrew reading every day for approximately 10 minutes.  Please click here to access the text for the Blessings after the Haftorah.  Please click here to access the mp3 for the blessings after the Haftorah.  Please clickhere to access the text for Adon Olam.  Please click here to access the mp3 for Adon Olam.  For the Hamilton fans out there, please click here to access the mp3 for Cantor Simon singing this version of Adon Olam.  For the celebration of the 70th birthday of Israel the students are learning to read and then sing several songs.  Please click here to access the assignment sheet that we handed out for the major Israel Project that we are doing this semester in honor of Israel’s 70th Birthday.  Please click here to access the packet of Hebrew songs that the students are using in class to practice for the Israel’s 70th Birthday celebration.

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

We delved deeper into the Talmudic rule that Jews should bless God for both good and bad occurrences. Students considered what this means about our relationship with God, and whether they personally felt comfortable with the idea of blessing God for bad things. We then explored other ways we might respond to misfortune that would be more theologically comfortable.

Taking a break from our usual curriculum, we learned about the earliest origins of Tu Bishvat as a literal “birthday for the trees.” On Tu Bishvat each tree is considered to grow one year older, which is surprisingly important if you’re following the Torah’s rules for agriculture in the Land of Israel. Students finished the period by sketching out “tree birthday” celebrations that they felt would be personally meaningful.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

This week we started focusing on the Amidah.  I spent this lesson having the students work in their own groups. Next lesson I will have the students listen to Cantor Simon chanting it.  The students had a basic idea of the Tefillah. We will focus on the Amidah further to insure that the students understand the importance of its blessings and be able to read them fluently and accurately.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Dalet Class Updates Week of 1-21-18

Tu B’shvat has special meaning when it comes to the land of Israel. There is a commandment in th Torah “When you go to the land plant a tree.”  Our class is going to plant a tree.  Please make sure for next Wed, Jan 31 that you send $1.25 so we can order a tree in honor of the Dalet students 2018.  Ask your child why trees are so special in our life?  We are practicing the blessings before the Haftorah and the first part of the blessings after the reading of the Haftorah.   Please make sure your child practices his/her Hebrew reading every day for approximately 10 minutes.  Please click here to access the text for the Blessings after the Haftorah.  Please click here to access the mp3 for the blessings after the Haftorah.  Please click here to access the text for Adon Olam.  Please click here to access the mp3 for Adon Olam.  For the Hamilton fans out there, please click here to access the mp3 for Cantor Simon singing this version of Adon Olam.  Please click here to access the assignment sheet that we handed out for the major Israel Project that we are doing this semester in honor of Israel’s 70th Birthday.  Please click here to access the text for the song “Eretz Yisrael Sheli אֶרֶץ-יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי” that we are learning throughout the year in honor of Israel’s 70th Birthday.  

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

We read a short passage from the Talmudic tractate Berachot (“blessings”) about traditional Jewish responses to hardship and misfortune. We found that Jews are expected to bless God when bad things happen, which led to a lovely discussion about why this might be and what purpose it would serve. We also compared this response with the ways Alexander reacted to bad things in last week’s video.

We studied liturgies from different Jewish naming ceremonies. We saw how boys are generally given names as they are welcomed into the brit (covenant) of Abraham, and how naming ceremonies for girls are increasingly using the same language. We also spent some time examining our own names and their meanings, both in the sense of what they mean in various languages and also where they come from.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

This week we focused on reading the Yishtabach prayer.  Our Madrichim focused on two or three students at a time.  I was able to circulate around the room and spend some quality time with students who needed a little extra help.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Dalet Class Updates Week of 1-14-18

It was a pleasure meeting with you at Parent Teacher Conferences this week.  Please click here to access the assignment sheet that we handed out for the major Israel Project that we are doing this semester in honor of Israel’s 70th Birthday.  As a part of our Parashat HaChodesh series for Shabbat Family Programming (SFP), the students prepares themselves forParashat Va’era.  We learned that Moses was asked by G-d to go to Pharaoh to let the Israelite people go.  Moses wanted to know what G-d’s Name is (G-d has many names).  The one that G-d gave to Moses is Y- H- V- H.  We spoke of the idea that people have many names.  For example a Mom can be referred to by different people as “Doctor,” “Sister,” “Daughter,” etc.  Moses did not want to take the job of leader of the Israelite people because he said that he had trouble speaking.  This then led to a great conversation about how people have disabilities or physical challenges and can still do a wonderful job.  We then started working on the Berachot (blessings) before reading the Haftorah.  Please make sure your child take some time every day to practice this Beracha.  Here is a recording of Cantor Simon singing this blessing.

Please click here to access the text for the song “Eretz Yisrael Sheli אֶרֶץ-יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי” that we are learning throughout the year in honor of Israel’s 70th Birthday.  

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

Continuing our examination of blessings, we watched a video adaptation of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. During breaks, students identified the different things that befell the main character and discussed the ways in which he reacted to them. This lesson will continue next week as we learn about traditional Jewish responses to misfortune.

Our unit on Jewish names brought us to a discussion of names connected with the brit, or covenant, between God and Abraham. As we learned about when and how different people receive their Jewish names, it came up that a few of the students had been born outside of Jewish families and brought into the covenant as infants. This led to an extended conversation about the role of the mikveh, or ritual bath, in conversion to Judaism. Most students had no prior exposure to this ritual (and the few who had experienced it had been too young to remember), so it proved to be a fascinating and engaging talk.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Dalet Class Updates Week of 12-17-17

This week we reviewed the Ashrei, through reading games.   We also worked on the song  ארץ ישראל שלי and added to our Hebrew vocabulary:

land – ארץ

house-בית

tree –  עץ

road- כביש

bridge-  גשר

song –   שיר

Please click here to access the text for the song “Eretz Yisrael Sheli אֶרֶץ-יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי” that we are learning throughout the year in honor of Israel’s 70th Birthday.  Please click here to access the text of Ashrei. Please open a second tab and click here to access an mp3 of Cantor Simon singing the Ashrei.  Please make sure that your student practices the Ashrei and the songEretz Yisrael Sheli.  Here is a video of the most recent Torah portion that we studied: Joseph interprets dreams.  Have a healthy and safe vacation.

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

Dalet Class Updates Weeks of 12-10-17

This week we went to perform Chanukah songs at the Lieberman Center for Health and Rehabilitation (CJE).  In addition, the students played bingo with the senior citizens.  We received incredible feedback and everyone involved seemed to have an extremely positive experience.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

This week we discussed Parashat Miketz as part of the Parashat HaChodesh curriculum connected to Shabbat Family Programming (SFP).  We focused on Pharaoh’s dream and Joseph’s interpretations of Pharaoh’s dreams.  Please click on the following link to watch the video with your student: Parshat Miketz: Joseph interprets dreams   We then practiced reading the Ashrei lines 1 – 12 in the booklet sent home.  Please click here to access the text of Ashrei.  Please open a second tab and click here to access an mp3 of Cantor Simon singing the Ashrei.  Please make sure that your student practices reading these lines.  Have a wonderful Chanukah!

Please click here to access the text for the song “Eretz Yisrael Sheli אֶרֶץ-יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי” that we are learning throughout the year in honor of Israel’s 70th Birthday. 

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

We did not have class with me this week since the Dalet students went to sing Chanukah songs and play bingo at Lieberman as noted in Mr. S’ update above.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Dalet Class Updates Weeks of 12-3-17

Last week we began a unit on brachot (blessings) by visualizing the blessings in our lives using a paper chain. Today we continued this project with a different goal in s mind: sheer quantity. Students wrote down all the blessings in their lives—all the things for which they are grateful—that they could think of in numbered lists. Many were surprised at how many there were! This is a lead-in to the study of a Talmudic idea about reciting 100 blessings every day.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

This week we concentrated on reading of Birkot Hashachar, Ahavat Olam and the Ashrei,  I have sent a booklet home with each student to practice at home.  Please make sure that your child takes 10-15 minutes each evening to practice his or her Hebrew reading.  In addition, the students learned about the history of Chanukkah, the Assryan Greeks and that the Jews were not allowed to practice their Mitzvot. etc.  Please also ask your child which Mitzvot that the Jewish people were not allowed to keep.  Also, what did light symbolize?  Also, when was Chanukkah celebrated according to the Jewish calendar?

We then continued to learn a new song. Please have your child practice reading this song to the best of his or her ability and we will practice it in class as well:

אֶרֶץ-יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי / דַּתְיָה בֶּן-דּוֹר

.אֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי יָפָה וְגָם פּוֹרַחַת
?מִי בָּנָה וּמִי נָטַע
!כֻּלָּנוּ בְּיַחַד
אֲנִי בָּנִיתִי בַּיִת בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל
אָז יֵשׁ לָנוּ אֶרֶץ
.וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ בַּיִת בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל

.אֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי יָפָה וְגָם פּוֹרַחַת
?מִי בָּנָה וּמִי נָטַע
!כֻּלָּנוּ בְּיַחַד
–אֲנִי נָטַעְתִּי עֵץ בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל
,אָז יֵשׁ לָנוּ אֶרֶץ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ בַּיִת
.וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ עֵץ בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל

.אֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי יָפָה וְגָם פּוֹרַחַת
?מִי בָּנָה וּמִי נָטַע
!כֻּלָּנוּ בְּיַחַד
–אֲנִי סָלַלְתִּי כְּבִישׁ בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל
,אָז יֵשׁ לָנוּ אֶרֶץ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ בַּיִת
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ עֵץ
.וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ כְּבִישׁ בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל

.אֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי יָפָה וְגָם פּוֹרַחַת
?מִי בָּנָה וּמִי נָטַע
!כֻּלָּנוּ בְּיַחַד
–אֲנִי בָּנִיתִי גֶּשֶׁר בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל
,אָז יֵשׁ לָנוּ אֶרֶץ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ בַּיִת
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ עֵץ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ כְּבִישׁ
.וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ גֶּשֶׁר בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל

.אֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי יָפָה וְגָם פּוֹרַחַת
?מִי בָּנָה וּמִי נָטַע
!כֻּלָּנוּ יַחַד
–אֲנִי חִבַּרְתִּי שִׁיר בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל
,אָז יֵשׁ לָנוּ אֶרֶץ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ בַּיִת
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ עֵץ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ כְּבִישׁ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ גֶּשֶׁר
.וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ שִׁיר עַל אֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

This week we focused on the b’rachot (blessings) for Chanukah. We also worked on the tune and explained the significance of the b’rachot and how the She’he’khe’yanu blessing is recited many other times during the year, specifically the first time we reach specific special events and holidays each year.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Dalet Class Updates Weeks of 11-19-17

Last week we began a unit on brachot (blessings) by visualizing the blessings in our lives using a paper chain. Today we continued this project with a different goal in s mind: sheer quantity. Students wrote down all the blessings in their lives—all the things for which they are grateful—that they could think of in numbered lists. Many were surprised at how many there were! This is a lead-in to the study of a Talmudic idea about reciting 100 blessings every day.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

We have almost completed the review of Hebrew reading, to make sure everyone recognizes letters, vowels and special exceptions to the rules.  We discussed the meaning of the Sh’ma  and from where the name B’nai Yisrael originated.  We discussed Parashat Toldot and the role of the mother to protect the family to make sure that the right son will continue the tradition of our beliefs.  We discussed the meaning ” T’zelem  Hashem” to be created in G-d’s image.  Please ask your child to tell you how we are created in G-d’s image and what are our responsibilities?  How did the name “Children of Israel became our name as Jews?

We then continued to learn a new song. Please have your child practice reading this song to the best of his or her ability and we will practice it in class as well:

אֶרֶץ-יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי / דַּתְיָה בֶּן-דּוֹר

.אֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי יָפָה וְגָם פּוֹרַחַת
?מִי בָּנָה וּמִי נָטַע
!כֻּלָּנוּ בְּיַחַד
אֲנִי בָּנִיתִי בַּיִת בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל
אָז יֵשׁ לָנוּ אֶרֶץ
.וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ בַּיִת בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל

.אֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי יָפָה וְגָם פּוֹרַחַת
?מִי בָּנָה וּמִי נָטַע
!כֻּלָּנוּ בְּיַחַד
–אֲנִי נָטַעְתִּי עֵץ בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל
,אָז יֵשׁ לָנוּ אֶרֶץ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ בַּיִת
.וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ עֵץ בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל

.אֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי יָפָה וְגָם פּוֹרַחַת
?מִי בָּנָה וּמִי נָטַע
!כֻּלָּנוּ בְּיַחַד
–אֲנִי סָלַלְתִּי כְּבִישׁ בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל
,אָז יֵשׁ לָנוּ אֶרֶץ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ בַּיִת
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ עֵץ
.וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ כְּבִישׁ בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל

.אֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי יָפָה וְגָם פּוֹרַחַת
?מִי בָּנָה וּמִי נָטַע
!כֻּלָּנוּ בְּיַחַד
–אֲנִי בָּנִיתִי גֶּשֶׁר בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל
,אָז יֵשׁ לָנוּ אֶרֶץ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ בַּיִת
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ עֵץ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ כְּבִישׁ
.וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ גֶּשֶׁר בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל

.אֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי יָפָה וְגָם פּוֹרַחַת
?מִי בָּנָה וּמִי נָטַע
!כֻּלָּנוּ יַחַד
–אֲנִי חִבַּרְתִּי שִׁיר בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל
,אָז יֵשׁ לָנוּ אֶרֶץ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ בַּיִת
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ עֵץ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ כְּבִישׁ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ גֶּשֶׁר
.וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ שִׁיר עַל אֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל

Have a healthy and good Thanksgiving.

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

This week we reviewed the Kel Adon prayer. We listened to Cantor Simon’s rendition and we worked in small groups. Many of the students feel a great sense of accomplishment with their Hebrew reading skills coming along nicely.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Dalet Class Updates Weeks of 11-12-17

Shalom, my name is Michael Aberman and I substituted for Mr. S. this week.  The students began to see that they have many blessings—and that visually counting them gives us a greater awareness of them and compels us to think of even more blessings.  We created a chain of blessings—counting our blessings.  We literally “counted our blessings” and discussed all for which we are grateful.   We went around the room, asking each student to share a blessing to add to our chain. Each student should share only one blessing at a time.  We then discussed what we think of when we see this chain of blessings.

For the second part of class, the students learned that in the תַּנַ”ך (TaNaKh) and in our other stories, names often tell us something about the nature of a person. This principle is called כִשְׁמוֹ כֶּן־הוּא (ki shmo ken hu): “What he is called, that is what he is.”  Students listened to a talmudic story about כִּשְׁמוֹ כֶּן־הוּא (kishmo ken hu), and debated the assertion that names reveal what a person is.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

We have almost completed the review of Hebrew reading, to make sure everyone recognizes letters, vowels and special exceptions to the rules.  We discussed the meaning of the Sh’ma  and from where the name B’nai Yisrael originated.  We discussed Parashat Toldot and the role of the mother to protect the family to make sure that the right son will continue the tradition of our beliefs.  We discussed the meaning ” T’zelem  Hashem” to be created in G-d’s image.  Please ask your child to tell you how we are created in G-d’s image and what are our responsibilities?  How did the name “Children of Israel became our name as Jews?

We then continued to learn a new song. Please have your child practice reading this song to the best of his or her ability and we will practice it in class as well:

אֶרֶץ-יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי / דַּתְיָה בֶּן-דּוֹר

.אֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי יָפָה וְגָם פּוֹרַחַת
?מִי בָּנָה וּמִי נָטַע
!כֻּלָּנוּ בְּיַחַד
אֲנִי בָּנִיתִי בַּיִת בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל
אָז יֵשׁ לָנוּ אֶרֶץ
.וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ בַּיִת בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל

.אֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי יָפָה וְגָם פּוֹרַחַת
?מִי בָּנָה וּמִי נָטַע
!כֻּלָּנוּ בְּיַחַד
–אֲנִי נָטַעְתִּי עֵץ בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל
,אָז יֵשׁ לָנוּ אֶרֶץ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ בַּיִת
.וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ עֵץ בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל

.אֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי יָפָה וְגָם פּוֹרַחַת
?מִי בָּנָה וּמִי נָטַע
!כֻּלָּנוּ בְּיַחַד
–אֲנִי סָלַלְתִּי כְּבִישׁ בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל
,אָז יֵשׁ לָנוּ אֶרֶץ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ בַּיִת
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ עֵץ
.וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ כְּבִישׁ בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל

.אֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי יָפָה וְגָם פּוֹרַחַת
?מִי בָּנָה וּמִי נָטַע
!כֻּלָּנוּ בְּיַחַד
–אֲנִי בָּנִיתִי גֶּשֶׁר בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל
,אָז יֵשׁ לָנוּ אֶרֶץ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ בַּיִת
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ עֵץ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ כְּבִישׁ
.וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ גֶּשֶׁר בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל

.אֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי יָפָה וְגָם פּוֹרַחַת
?מִי בָּנָה וּמִי נָטַע
!כֻּלָּנוּ יַחַד
–אֲנִי חִבַּרְתִּי שִׁיר בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל
,אָז יֵשׁ לָנוּ אֶרֶץ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ בַּיִת
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ עֵץ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ כְּבִישׁ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ גֶּשֶׁר
.וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ שִׁיר עַל אֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל

Have a healthy and good Thanksgiving.

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

The students enjoyed hearing Cantor Simon’s recording of the prayer.  I got to each of the small groups to listen to each of the students.  I’m thankful to have Madrichim help me with this process every session.  Please click here to listen to the Cantor chanting the Shochen Ahd prayer.  I let some of the students who are showing mastering with this prayer move on to other prayers.

 

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Dalet Class Updates Weeks of 11-5-17

We continued working on personal family trees, drawing up diagrams as detailed as we could make them from memory and decorating them appropriately. It was great to see so many creative formats and designs! We also began working on a family tree of Abraham and Sarah, the first Jews, to represent visually the earliest Hebrew family and how they were both similar to and different from our families today.

We continued working on bowl designs for an Empty Bowls meal. Students who had finished this phase of the project broke into small groups and planned out the logistics of such a meal, providing us with a number of different possible menus, venues, and economic models. I was impressed by the creativity expressed in both phases of the project!

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

This week we worked on reading words that ends with:
ח פתח which is pronounced “Ach”
and ע פתח which is pronounced “Ah” at the end of a word
We then learned a new song. Please have your child practice reading this song to the best of his or her ability and we will practice it in class as well:

אֶרֶץ-יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי / דַּתְיָה בֶּן-דּוֹר

.אֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי יָפָה וְגָם פּוֹרַחַת
?מִי בָּנָה וּמִי נָטַע
!כֻּלָּנוּ בְּיַחַד
אֲנִי בָּנִיתִי בַּיִת בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל
אָז יֵשׁ לָנוּ אֶרֶץ
.וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ בַּיִת בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל

.אֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי יָפָה וְגָם פּוֹרַחַת
?מִי בָּנָה וּמִי נָטַע
!כֻּלָּנוּ בְּיַחַד
–אֲנִי נָטַעְתִּי עֵץ בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל
,אָז יֵשׁ לָנוּ אֶרֶץ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ בַּיִת
.וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ עֵץ בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל

.אֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי יָפָה וְגָם פּוֹרַחַת
?מִי בָּנָה וּמִי נָטַע
!כֻּלָּנוּ בְּיַחַד
–אֲנִי סָלַלְתִּי כְּבִישׁ בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל
,אָז יֵשׁ לָנוּ אֶרֶץ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ בַּיִת
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ עֵץ
.וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ כְּבִישׁ בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל

.אֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי יָפָה וְגָם פּוֹרַחַת
?מִי בָּנָה וּמִי נָטַע
!כֻּלָּנוּ בְּיַחַד
–אֲנִי בָּנִיתִי גֶּשֶׁר בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל
,אָז יֵשׁ לָנוּ אֶרֶץ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ בַּיִת
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ עֵץ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ כְּבִישׁ
.וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ גֶּשֶׁר בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל

.אֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלִּי יָפָה וְגָם פּוֹרַחַת
?מִי בָּנָה וּמִי נָטַע
!כֻּלָּנוּ יַחַד
–אֲנִי חִבַּרְתִּי שִׁיר בְּאֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל
,אָז יֵשׁ לָנוּ אֶרֶץ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ בַּיִת
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ עֵץ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ כְּבִישׁ
,וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ גֶּשֶׁר
.וְיֵשׁ לָנוּ שִׁיר עַל אֶרֶץ- יִשְׂרָאֵל

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

We began with the date in Hebrew then went on to hearing the Cantor recite the Shochen Ahd for Shabbat Morning. I spent a few minutes explaining the location in the prayers and how everyday we start the with Morning Brachot etc.  The Madirchim and I moved around the room to see what was happening.

This week we focused on reading the Shochen Ahd prayer.  The students enjoyed hearing Cantor Simon’s recording of the prayer.  I got to each of the small groups to listen to each of the students.  I’m thankful to have Madrichim help me with this process every session.  Please click here to listen to the Cantor chanting the Shochen Ahd prayer.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Dalet Class Updates Weeks of 10-29-17

Continuing our zikaron (remembrance) unit, we began to explore our own family histories to the extent that we know them. We looked at some different models of how to draw a family tree and began work on our own family trees. In the coming weeks we will develop more elaborate versions based on family interviews, since our parents certainly know more about our ancestry than we do!

We were introduced to the Empty Bowls Project, an approach to raising funds to fight hunger through a craft project and community meal. Students designed bowls that they would like to create as part of this project. Stay tuned for further details!

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

We are making progress in bringing the students to higher Hebrew reading levels.  There are several Hebrew letters that look alike.  We are paying extra attention to making sure that our students can tell the difference between them:

 

ס    —- ם

 

ע——–צ

 

ת——-ח

 

On Nov 4 we have our first SFP of this school year and the students are learning Parashat Vayera.

The Parsha Experiment – Vayeira: the Power of Abraham’s Influence

Please let your student watch this video so that s/he will know the story.

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

This week we focused on reading the Baruch She’amar prayer.  The students enjoyed hearing Cantor Simon’s recording of the prayer.  I got to each of the small groups to listen to each of the students.  I’m thankful to have Madrichim help me with this process every session.  Please click here to listen to the Cantor chanting the prayer and open a new tab and click here to follow along with the text.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Dalet Class Updates Weeks of 10-22-17

Having taken some time to explore our own family histories (with more to come!), we took some time to learn about our collective family history: the story of Abraham and Sarah. Students watched a music video about parashat Lech Lecha, which documents the beginning of Abraham and Sarah’s journey. We also used Google Maps to plot out the route Abraham’s family had to walk in order to get from Abraham’s birthplace, Ur (now in southeastern Iraq), to Haran (in modern southern Turkey) and then to Cana’an (what we now call Israel).

We took this time to learn about modern Jewish responses to hunger, beginning with an advocacy video from Hazon. Students saw an example of Jewish organizers working to make school lunches more accessible to low-income kids in Minneapolis. From there we segued to a story about a millionaire restauranteur who decided to take the Food Stamp Challenge in 2014, spending no more than $4.50 per day on food for himself.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

The Dalet students are making a good progress reviewing Hebrew reading.  We worked on letters that look alike:

ז    –   ו

 

ת   –   ח

 

ב    –  כ

We then discussed the value of “Love your fellow human being as yourself.  We spoke about Rabbi Akiva, the great Rabbi who spoke highly of this concept.

we learned a song about Rabbi Akiva.  Please make sure your child will review the song and bring it back on Wed, Oct 25 and will review their Ivrit (Hebrew) reading.

Have a good week.

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

 

We began by listening to the blessings chanted by Cantor Simon on the mp3 for the morning service.  Please click here to listen to the Cantor chanting and open a new tab and click here to it to follow along with the text. We also read them out loud.  Then we divided into groups of students, reading to each other with the group leaders or a teacher involved in all groups.  The students have different levels of Hebrew capabilities and with the help of our Madrichim, we are navigating through the different levels to get each and every student to reach his/her full potential.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Dalet Class Updates Weeks of 10-15-17

Our shortened session took place immediately after the students met with Rabbi Yochanan Salazar, the sofer who is writing Am Yisrael’s new sefer Torah. Rather than switch topics, we continued to learn the art and craft of writing sifrei Torah by watching a video and asking questions based on that prompt. (I have limited training in Torah repair and maintenance, so I have basis on which to answer questions.) Students were fascinated by the video of a sofer writing the letters of a Torah, a process quite unlike the handwriting with which they are familiar.

Students finished up their illustrations of their family histories, traditions, and stories. This was a free-form project: Everyone was at liberty to choose from among those three topics as they wished. In the coming weeks students will be taking home questions for their families to get more information and explore their own roots more deeply!

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

The Dalet students are making a good progress reviewing Hebrew reading.  We worked on letters that look alike:

ז    –   ו

 

ת   –   ח

 

ב    –  כ

We then discussed the value of “Love your fellow human being as yourself.  We spoke about Rabbi Akiva, the great Rabbi who spoke highly of this concept.

we learned a song about Rabbi Akiva.  Please make sure your child will review the song and bring it back on Wed, Oct 25 and will review their Ivrit (Hebrew) reading.

Have a good week.

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

 

Today we had a good day breaking up in groups and going through the Hebrew reading packets. We clearly have different levels of reading. Some are close to finishing the packet. Others need some more time in order to master the phrases and language reading and decoding the Hebrew.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Dalet Class Updates Weeks of 10-8-17

Students continued work on a free-form art project on their family stories, histories, and traditions. Many showed an intense interest in where their families came from, and we spent a lot of time looking up various national and state flags. Expect a communication in the near future about sharing details of your family history with your children as we move forward in this unit!

Continuing our exploration of Jewish responses to food insecurity, we examined four photographs from Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio’s Hungry Planet: What the World Eats. The photos featured an affluent family in Brisbane, Australia; a middle class family in a Paris suburb; a middle-class family in Texas; and a Darfuri refugee family in Dar-es-Salaam Refugee Camp, Chad. In each picture, the family was surrounded by the amount and type of food that they eat in one week. We were able to use these pictures to distinguish between obvious types of food distress (the refugees’ UNHCR rations were tiny compared with everyone else’s groceries) and less obvious types (who is reliant on how much processed food, who can afford more fresh fruits and vegetables, etc.).

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

Our students learned many things about Sukkot, as follows:

1. Why do we build a sukkah? From where did we get the idea?

2. What is the reason that after so many years we are still building a sukkah?

3. The berachot to sit in the sukkah & the berachot for the lulav and etrog.

4. What are 4 Minim and what do symbolize?

5. How many days we sit in the sukkah?

6. What do we learn from living in a sukkah for 7 days?

Please see the notes your children brought home and let them review the notes with you.

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

 

My name is Michael Aberman and this week I substituted for Mr. Gelbart.  We continued with the Hebrew reading packets that the students have been working on. For the students who were already more adept, we started working on the Lecha Dodiprayer.

Mr. Michael Aberman

Dalet Class Updates Weeks of 9-24-17

We began by refreshing our memories of last week’s introductory book, “The Keeping Quilt” by Patricia Polacco. Last week we explored the role of tradition in that book: things that are done repeatedly through years and even generations. This week we addressed another element of the book: stories, which may be passed on as traditions but which happened only once. After some light prompting, students were eager to share stories about themselves and their families, some recent and some quite old. In coming weeks we will work on projects about our own families’ traditions and stories as part of our Zikaron (remembrance) unit.

Building on our introduction to food insecurity in modern times last week, this week we began to discuss the ways in which food insecurity was different in the time of the Torah: Money was less important, and most people grew, caught, or gathered at least some of their own food, so food insecurity would arise from famine, drought, or not having enough land to farm. Many students were surprised that this issue, initially presented to them as a modern urban one, is actually an ancient one. Next week we will begin to look at food insecurity through the lens of the book of Ruth, the story of a migrant woman in search of food stability who becomes the great grandmother of King David.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

Shalom,

This week Kitah Dalet explored what it means to be a good friend.  We had a discussion about the importance of apologizing and forgiveness connected with the rituals of Yom Kippur and the concept of Teshuvah.  In addition, the talmidim (students) continued working on their Hebrew reading skills.  The talmidim worked in groups and had an individual Hebrew reading sessions as well.

Tzom Kal (easy fast) and G’mar Chatimah Tovah,

Morah Anna Volchek

avolchek@amyisrael.org

 

The madrichim and I each focused on the Hebrew reading of three to four students a piece.  We had the students read Hebrew and continued the process of assessing their levels. We will continue this process for another week or so before delving deeper into reading Hebrew prayers.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

 

Dalet Class Updates Weeks of 9/10 and 9/17, 2017

 

Shalom, my name is Tikva Moustakis and I teach your children on Wednesdays.  On the first day of school we began with a meaningful Tefillah (Prayer Service).

Each student got a calendar for the 5778 year and learned how

to read it.  The students learned that the letters are equivalent to numbers. For example, 15=טו.  In addition, the students learned how to look for the Jewish holidays on a Jewish calendar.  The students are learned why we start Shabbat & holidays the evening before.  They learned about the importance of the month of Elul and why we blow the Shofar.  The students also learned how a moon looks on the 15th of every month.  Then we practiced and review the letters & vowels in Ivrit (Hebrew).  On our second Wednesday, we began the session with learning Musar– Jewish values.  The students watched a video on it and then

they got cards with words that discribe the charcteristics to be a Mench, so they were asked to define them, or give examples.  We then continued our work on Ivrit (Hebrew) reading.  Next, we reviewed concepts of the upcoming holiday of Rosh Hashanah: Why do we celebrate the holiday?  What is Slicha (saying sorry)?  What are the blessings we say on the candles for Yom Tov?  We said the blessing She’he’che’ya’nu (giving thanks for reaching the holiday once again).  How do we welcome Rosh Hashanah?  What is the difference between a Siddur and a Machzor?  I would like to wish all the families of Am Yisrael a Healthy and Happy New Year.

Mrs. Tikva Moustakis

tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

 

Hi, my name is Lawrence Szenes-Strauss and I teach your children on Sundays.  The students call me Mr. S for short.  It was wonderful to meet my new students! We began a unit on family traditions and customs, and the role that zikaron(remembrance) plays in Jewish life. First we read Patricia Polacco’s “The Keeping Quilt,” a book I highly recommend for any picture book library, and then we shared some of our families’ traditions. Please feel free to continue this conversation at home, as we are not finished!

 

We also spend some of our time combined with the Heh Class on Sundays.  During this time we began a unit on the importance of feeding the hungry from a Jewish perspective. After watching a short news report on the problem of food insecurity in America, we talked as a class about how this affects individuals and families in different ways. In future classes we will explore Jewish texts on hunger, and formulate plans to help the hungry and food-insecure in our area.

Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S)

lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

 

Hi, my name is Dennis Gelbart and I teach your children on Sundays for the first 50 minutes.  We began class going through Hebrew names.  Then we discussed the universality of Tefillot (prayers) and how our goal is for everyone in the room to be able to follow the Tefillot at any Jewish Service anywhere in the world. We discussed why that is important. We then delved into a booklet for the base prayers.

Mr. Dennis Gelbart

dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Gimel Class Updates 2017-2018 (5778)

Gimel Class Update for Week of 5-6-18

Shalom Gimel Families,

Please note that our final day of SJS for this school year is Sun, May 20.  We hope that many children will join their students for all or part of SJS for some time in the classroom and in the Sanctuary.  There is also a catered Shavuot kiddush lunch.  Please be sure to RSVP if you would like to join us: http://evite.me/6NP7Pm3eVY

Gimel has been assigned to bring vegetarian baked beans for the end of the year Am Yisrael SJS Food Drive to support the clients of the Ark.  Please note that you are welcome to bring any item, we have just found that assigning specific items helps with the variety of foods that we receive for these food drives.

 

Update:

This week we completed our last ShalomLearning Jewish values lesson of this school

year, with the completion of the seventh and final unit of the curriculum. We finished by playing a game show, incorporating each of the seven values that we studied and experienced in the classroom and with our families throughout the school year: teshuvah (taking responsibility for our actions), b’Tzelem Elohim (honoring the image of

God in ourselves and others), gevurah (using one’s inner strength to do what’s right), achrayut (doing what you can to make the world a better place), hakarat haTov (seeking joy and being grateful), koach haDibbur (understanding the power of words) and shalom (helping to create a calmer, more peaceful world).

Recap:

 Students reviewed the names and meanings of all 7 unit values

covered throughout the year.

 Students used their knowledge and personal experiences to

relate previous values to the value of shalom.

 Students explored a variety of ways we create peace within our

families.

Thank you so much for being part of the ShalomLearning journey through Jewish values this year. We look forward to your continued learning next year, as Jewish learning is truly a lifelong process that gives you a wonderful way to look at the world and maintain the Jewish tradition for you, your family and future generations.

Ivrit:

In Hebrew the students reviewed their bot their tefillot (prayers) and letter/vowel recognition by playing a fun “word search” game with the Shema,V’ahavta, and Vayomer. Students were asked to find certain Hebrew letters or words within the prayer, and then challenged their classmates to find one of their choosing!

*On Sunday, May 13th the Gimel class will participate in a project during class time that will include acrylic paint. This project should not be too messy, however, I have advised the Gimel students to please not wear clothing that cannot get messy. Thank you!    Written Thu, May 10, 2018

 

Shabbat Shalom!

Mrs. Shira Sender

ssender@amyisrael.org

 

Gimel Class Update for Week of 4-29-18

Please note that our final day of SJS for this school year is Sun, May 20.  We hope that many children will join their students for all or part of SJS for some time in the classroom and in the Sanctuary.  There is also a catered Shavuot kiddush lunch.  Please be sure to RSVP if you would like to join us: http://evite.me/6NP7Pm3eVY

Gimel has been assigned to bring vegetarian baked beans for the end of the year Am Yisrael SJS Food Drive to support the clients of the Ark.  Please note that you are welcome to bring any item, we have just found that assigning specific items helps with the variety of foods that we receive for these food drives.

It was such a pleasure subbing for Kitah Gimel. We re-introduced the students to the idea of Hakarat Hatov (giving thanks). In this day and age it is so easy to to forget to say thank you. Thank you notes are a thing of the past. What about looking at a beautiful tree and saying thank you too G-D? At the end of class, we took it a step further and asked the kids if there is ever a time to be thankful for something negative that might happen? To our surprise one child raised her hand and said “Yes Mr A and Morah Sandra, if you do bad on a test because you did not study, it will teach you the importance of studying.” How insightful at such a young age.   Written Fri, May 3, 2018

Shabbat Shalom!

Mr. Allan Arnet

aarnet@amyisrael.org

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

smielikamm@amyisrael.org

Mrs. Shira Sender

ssender@amyisrael.org

Gimel Class Update for Week of 4-22-18

Shalom Gimel Families,This week we explored the concept and task of conflict resolution and considered ways for how to resolve conflicts within the home peacefully. The students learned about “I” statements and how they promote a peaceful atmosphere when each of us takes responsibility for our own actions, contributions, and feelings. We also discussed reasons that conflict can occur both within the home and outside of the home, and why it is important to create peaceful resolutions when possible.

Recap:

  • Students learned the meaning of the world “conflict” and ways to try and achieve shalom bayit.
  • Students learned the importance of using “I” statements when resolving conflicts.
  • Students examined the types of conflicts that potentially happen within their homes, and the best ways to resolve them to maintain or develop shalom bayit.

Table Talk: Which strategies for conflict resolution do we use well in our home? How can we work together to remember these strategies when we have conflict?

Ivrit (Hebrew): 

This week the students reviewed all of the Hebrew letters and vowels by playing a fun Hebrew-Bingo game! This challenged the students to recall both the sound and the look of each letter (even look-alike letters) and vowels! Additionally, the students are continuing to work on their tefillot (prayers), focusing their attention on the Avot V’Emahot – the first of three sections of the Amidah.  Written Fri, Apr 27, 2018

Shabbat Shalom!

Mrs. Shira Sender

ssender@amyisrael.org

Gimel Class Update for Week of 4-15-18

Shalom Gimel Families,
This week we reviewed all of the previous lessons in our ShalomLearning values curriculum. Shalom comes from the root ש.ל.מ meaning “complete” and peace, and we want to emphasize the importance of completing the values curriculum once we finish this final unit. As part of this process we analyzed the word shalom and its meanings. We Googled how to say the words “Hello,” “Goodbye,” and “Peace” in other languages. We also discussed a famous story of two men in village who baked/hid challot in the Aron Kodesh. These two men exemplified love and compassion for one another. The students continued their learning of the importance of shalom bayit, a peaceful home environment. Additionally, the students looked at Israel as a “bayit” and how we could create and sustain shalom, peace, in Israel.
The students also participated in two special services, one for Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, and the other Yom HaAtzmaut, Israel’s Independence Day. The students learned about the word זכר (remember), and who we remember on Yom HaZikaron – all those who have fallen during Israel’s many wars and conflicts. The students watched a short video from Israel and experienced the sounding of the siren, when all of Israel stops to mourn those who have fallen during Israel’s history. Then, the students celebrated Israel’s 70th birthday! The students listened as the Dalet students sang beautifully prepared Hebrew songs!
Recap:
  • Students reviewed the concepts and ideas learned in previous lessons
  • Students learned various definitions of the word Shalom, both in English (hello, goodbye, and peace) and in other languages
  • Students learned the value of shalom bayit, peace in the home, and where their responsibility lies to foster shalom bayit within their own homes
Table Talk: We talked about the word shalom in class, and some of the meanings behind it. What is one thing we can do this week to create “shalom bayit,” a peaceful home?
Ivrit (Hebrew): This week the students practiced their tefillot (prayers), and really worked on accurate pronounciation of these prayers. These include:
  • Shema, V’ahavta, Vayomer
  • Mi Chamocha
  • Avot V’emahot (the first of three parts of the Amidah prayer)
  • Oseh Shalom
  • Hatzi Kaddish
  • Aleinu
  • Hatikvah
Some letters that students should pay attention to, as they look similar and are often confused with one-another:
  • מ-ט
  • ב-כ
  • צ-ע
  • ז-ו-ן
  • ת-ח

are inherently silent.  They get their sound from the vowel ע and the א Also, students should remember that both the

.that is placed below them/beside them

Have a wonderful weekend and Shabbat Shalom!   Written Thu, Apr 19, 2018

B’Shalom,

Shira Sender

Gimel Class Updates for Weeks of 3-11-18 & 3-18-18

This Week: 

Shalom Gimel Families,

In class we have been discusing the concept of koach haDibbur (the power of speech). The students are getting to know the meaning of the phrase and how it relates to the previous values. Specifically this week the students focused on examples of koach haDibbur in the Torah. We emphasized the story of Moses and the Exodus to see how we can make changes in the world when we use our power of speech wisely. This included a look at how Miriam was able to help her brother and her family speak up and use their speech for good. Next, we focused on Moses’ courage to help the Israelites escape from Egypt. In both of these instances, Miriam and Moses used the power of speech to help others to make a difference. We completed the lesson by analyzing some of G-d’s statements in the story of Creation. The emphasis was on ways in which our speech can be used to create, rather than to destroy.

Recap:

  •  Students learned that Miriam and Miriam both used Koach Hadibbur, the power of speech:
    • Miriam helped her brother and her family and
    • Moses led the people of Israel into freedom by standing up for himself and for them.
  • Students learned from the creation narratives in the Torah that when G-d speaks, the world is created, a very powerful phenomenon and metaphor for the power of the spoken word.
  • Students explored how our role models in the Torah used their speech for the power of good, and discussed ways in which they can use their speech for the power of good, as well.

Table Talk: How do we speak up for each other in our family?

Media used in class:

Hebrew:

The students have been working hard at learning specific parts of the Passover seder by reading through the Haggadah and singing parts of the seder. The world Haggadah means “to tell” and Seder means “order.” The students learned not only how to read the order of the seder (we often referred to this as the Table of Contents), but they now know fun hand-motions to go along with it. The students have been working hard on the 4-questions, the 10 plagues, and the Hatikva. Additionally, the students read through the first 9 sentences of echad mi yodea. Not only did the students read through this, however, but they translated the Hebrew. The students looked at significance of numbers in this song and in Judaism as a whole.

Homework:

Choose a modern leader who you think has made a positive change in the world. Who did you pick? What did this person do or say that made a positive change?

B’Shalom,

Shira Sender

Lask Week:

The Gimel students learned about the Jewish people’s departure from Egypt. They packed up all their valuables and hastily prepared their bread. We discussed the Exodus and what it meant to us. However, there was a problem. In the haste to get out of Egypt, something important that we needed for our lesson was locked away in the luggage! Luckily, we knew that it was inside a box in our classroom. The students needed to work in their groups to figure out how to open the locks on the box so that they could get ready for Passover! All of the locks could be opened by solving puzzles that each provided a clue to the locks’ combinations. The puzzles the students completed included the following:

  • Which Way Did They Go? – This was a map challenge where the students used biblical references to chart the Israelites journey out of Egypt; from slavery to freedom!
  • The 10 Plagues Wheel – This was a picture-to-Hebrew vocabulary matching puzzle.
  • Three Sides to this Story – This puzzle included pyramid building, unscrambling key concept sentences and finding the hidden numbers that contributed to finding the lock combination.
  • Three of These are Note Like the Others – This was a concentration card game that included searching for 3 items that should be mentioned at the Seder.

B’Shalom,

Shira Sender

ssender@amyisrael.org

 

NOTE: Please click here to read Gimel updates from previous weeks.  Thank you.

Gimel Class Update for Week of 3-4-18

Shalom Parents,

This week we continued with the second lesson in the unit for hakarat haTov.  We discussed Jewish rituals and texts that focus on showing gratitude for ourselves and our families. We recited a bracha or blessing before or after a special event. The students explored this as a way to demonstrate gratitude and recognize good things about even mundane activities. The students created their own prayers to thank God for those things that make them feel grateful. The students learned about the Shehecheyanu, a blessing that thanks G-d for bringing us to a special moment in our lives, such as a life-cycle event. Additionally, students watched a video called Friendship Soup.  Students are encouraged to create a recipe for “family soup,” and determine what ingredients and amounts they will need to create this soup.

Recap:

·       Students learned that Judaism gives us blessings to say for the world around us.

·       Students learned common and uncommon blessings we use in our everyday lives.

·       Students created ways in which they can show gratitude to their families.
Table Talk: Do we have any prayer rituals as a family? How can we incorporate Jewish prayer into our lives?

Ivrit (Hebrew): This week the students began preparations for our next chag (holiday) – Pesach (Passover). Students read through and sang the 4-questions in addition to the order of the seder. Please make sure your student is practicing this at home. Additionally, students are working on look-alike letters, sound-alike letters, and final letters. Students have been working in partner-groups practicing their Hebrew reading. Beneath each word, students have been asked to write in English exactly how the Hebrew word sounds. Attached please find these worksheets should your student not have them. Students should continue with their classwork at home.

Next week:

In next week’s session we will focus on family relationships.  Students will take time to think about all of their family members, and reflect on the support and love they get from them.

 

Have a great week!

B’Shalom,

Shira Sender

Gimel Class Update for Week of 2-11-18

Shalom Gimel Families,

Judaism teachs us to be grateful to G-d for the world around us, and for the people in our lives. Being grateful can help us be stronger as individuals and as a family.

Table Talk: What do we have to be grateful for as a family? What is special about our family?

Activity: Some people share what they are thinking either in poems, stories, artwork, songs, or conversations. Students should think about something that they are grateful for or something that they think is good in their life. In any form they prefer,students should record yourself in a video expressing their gratitude and upload it to MyShalomLearning or e-mail it to Mrs. Sender. Students can write a poem, a song, write a short story, or draw a picture.

How These Activities Connect to the Enduring Understanding: This week’s activities introduce the concept of Hakarat HaTov (recognizing the good), and provide a foundation for exploration of how we can recognize the good in our lives.

Ivrit (Hebrew): This week students learned about the difference between a dagesh (the dot sometimes found in the center of a Hebrew letter, also referred to as a “belly button” in class) in letters where it changes the letter-sound (i.e. bet-vet, kaf-chaf, pey-fey), and why it sometimes appears in other letters. We reviewed the double-duty-dot: the cholem (“oh vowel” that appears as a single dot above a word) that functions both as a vowel and as part of a shin or sin. Lastly we reviewed combination of the kammatz vowel (small “t” below a letter), followed by a yud and vav in a word = the yud will be silent in a word.

שיערי בית/Homework:  Please click here to access a fun Purim song that we were working on yesterday in class. I have asked the students to read through both the first stanza and second stanza for homework. We are working on building our Hebrew fluency, so students should read each line until they can read each word without breaking it down phonetically.  Additionally, in class we are learning about Hakarat Hatov (recognizing the good). A more comprehensive break-down of class this week will be included in a separate e-mail.  We discussed the 6 building-block words that make up every blessing:

 ברוך אתה יהוה אלהינו מלך העולם
 (Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha-olam)
Blessed are you, Lord our G-d, Ruler/King of the universe
I have asked each student to create their own blessing, using these six words as a starting point. Students individual blessings should include things/people they are grateful for in their life. I would encourage students to look past material things in their life that they are grateful for, though they can certainly include those as well.  Students can type their answers and e-mail them to me at ssender@amyisrael.org, they can create something by-hand (including images if they so choose), and scan them in – the options are endless.

* Please remember that there is no SJS on Sunday, February 18th in observance of President’s Day.  Please have students complete the above tasks prior to class on Wednesday, February 21st.

In addition to the above, the students worked on the song Chag Purim

B’Shalom,

Shira Sender

ssender@amyisrael.org

Gimel Class Update for Week of 2-4-18

Shalom Kitah Gimel,

This week we completed our unit on achrayut, with a focus on the responsibilities we have within our families. We concentrated on how best to treat our family members. We also reviewed the key concepts within the achrayut unit overall, to help concretize the importance of making sure that our students understand that they can make the world a better place based on the positive choices that they make within their own personal lives.

Recap:

· Students made connections from ideas learned in previous weeks to roles within their families.

· Students examined how their families function, and how everyone uses achrayut so that families work as systems.

· Students used the Jewish concept of achrayut to feel comfortable approaching difficult situations with their families and peers

Table Talk: Next week we begin a new unit: Hakarat HaTov, “Gratitude.” What are some things for which you are grateful? How do you show that you are grateful?

MyShalomLearning Activity for next week: 3.5.1 Hakarat HaTov Week 1

Login to My.ShalomLearning.org. Take the Wrap-Up questions for Achrayut and the Kick-Off questions in Hakarat Hatov: Week 1. In preparation for Hakarat HaTov Week 1, please watch the video, Aladdin- “A Whole New World” and keep these two questions in mind: (a) What are some sights/scenes that you notice during the carpet ride? (b) Which of these are new places/things you have not seen in your own life?

Ivrit: The yeladim continued to practice Friday night tefillot, including Shalom Alecheim, L’Cha Dodi, Barchu, Shema/V’ahavta/Vayomer, Chatzi Kaddish, to name a few.

Next week:

Next week the students will be introduced to the value of hakarat hatov, translated as “recognizing the good.”

Have a great week!

B’Shalom,

Shira Sender

Gimel Class Update for Week of 1-28-18

Shalom Gimel Families,

This week we examined the concept of responsibility, achrayut, from a Jewish perspective.  Not only is it important to fulfill our responsibilities within our secular communities; we also have responsibilities as Jews.  Some of these responsibilities come in the form of performing mitzvot (commandments from the Torah), and others come from Jewish values and being a part of the Jewish community.

We studied the Ten Commandments as a list of “rules” for how to live according to Jewish law.  We expanded this idea and discussed how we can follow our “own commandments” and make the world a better place.  Next, we learned about the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam, “healing the world”.                       

Recap:

·       Students learned that Judaism gives us different things for which to be responsible.

·       Students explored areas of responsibility within Judaism.

·       Students learned how the can help their family members to be “Jewishly” responsible.
Table Talk: How will you follow the Ten Commandments this week?

MyShalomLearning Activity for next week: 3.4.3 Achrayut Week 3 

Login to My.ShalomLearning.org and upload a photo of you doing something that is responsible. It can be at school, at home, at your volunteer place, or anywhere else!

Ivrit (Hebrew): This week the students continued to practice the tefillot, prayers, that they will lead on Friday, Friday February 2nd. These prayers include: Shema, V’ahavta, Vayomer, Hatzi Kaddish, Mi Chamocha, Shalom Alecheim, L’cha Dodi, and Aleinu. Please make sure that your student is practicing these prayers at home.

Important Reminder: Mark your calendars – On Friday, February 2nd the Gimel class will lead Friday night services and will receive their siddurim. This is a very special occasion, and we encourage all families and extended families to attend.

Next week:

In next week’s Achrayut lesson we will look inward.  We must realize that even though we have responsibilities toward others, we must be physically and spiritually healthy in order to fulfill these responsibilities.  We will explore the Jewish value of Sh’mirat HaGuf, literally translated as “guarding the body” or “taking care of the body.”  We will also explore the laws of Kashrut (Jewish dietary laws) and learn why these laws are followed.

Enjoy your weekend!

B’Shalom,

Shira Sender

ssender@amyisrael.org

Gimel Class Update for Week of 1-14-18

Shalom Gimel Families,

This week we introduced the middah (Jewish value or virtue) achrayut, and all of the different types of roles and responsibilities we have in our lives.  The students related this to the idea that each person is important.  We started out with an activity that illustrated the many roles we have in our own lives within our community and at home. We will also learned what happens when the opposite occurs and how easily everything can fall apart. Additionally, we connected the responsibilities Martin Luther King Jr held and how he overcame obstacles that in-turn supported the civil rights movement. Similarly, the students looked at biblical figures (i.e. Moses – and the obstacles he faced and how his perseverance benefitted and strengthened the Israelites). The students learned about the concept of tikkun olam, repairing or healing the world. The students learned that no act of kindness or mitzvah is ever small or insignificant – all it takes is one person to make a difference in the world.

Recap: 

·       Students learned that we all have different roles and responsibilities for different parts of our lives.

·       Students explored the notion that If we all do our own part well that life runs more smoothly

·       Students learned about the importance of achrayut within a Jewish context.

·       The students watched two fun videos pertaining to responsibility:

  http://bit.ly/2r4L7n0

o   http://bit.ly/2r518cr

Table Talk: Discuss the various roles you have within your family.  Does everyone always do his or her own share? What can you do to make sure everyone within our family works together?

 

MyShalomLearning Activity for next week: 3.4.2 Achrayut Week 2 

Login to My.ShalomLearning.org and share the two activities for students to complete prior to the next class:

1)      We all have responsibilities, and sometimes that means helping others, just like the Kid President said. For the next few weeks, I’d like you all to think of a place to volunteer to help someone else. Talk with your family and come up with a place you can go on a regular basis. Please post some places where you will commit to volunteering with your family!

2)      Please watch: “Rosa Learns to be Responsible” https://youtu.be/SRIKMysO1gU and respond to the question in the discussion thread!

Next week:

In next week’s session we will tackle the concept of responsibility from a Jewish perspective.

Ivrit (Hebrew): This week we reviewed a variety of tefillot, prayers, that the students will lead on Friday, February 2nd. These prayers include (in no particular order): Shema, V’ahavta & Vayomer, Chatzi Kaddish, Shalom Alecheim, L’cha Dodi, Barchu, Mi Chamocha, the AmidahAleinu. A separate e-mail including both text and audio will follow. Please make sure that your student is practicing at least 15 minutes per evening. 

Important Reminders:

·       Regular SJS classes will not be in session on Wednesday, January 17 due to parent-teacher conferences. I look forward to meeting with you then, and will look forward to meeting with the students on Sunday, January 21st.

·       Mark your calendars – On Friday, February 2nd the Gimel class will lead Friday night services and will receive their siddurim. This is a very special occasion, and we encourage all families and extended families to attend.

Have a great week!

B’Shalom,

Mrs. Sender

ssender@amyisrael.org

Gimel Class Update for Week of 12-17-17

Shalom Gimel Families,

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 G-d has Gevurah and 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 (after the vacation): 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. *Please note that SJS resumes on Wednesday, January 10th. Additionally, if you have not yet had the opportunity to do so, please click here to sign up for parent-teacher conferences (Wednesday, January 17th).

Ivrit (Hebrew): This week the yeladim continued to work independently in their Hebrew Step-by-Step packets. This is a unique Hebrew curriculum that allows students to learn, practice, and experience Hebrew at their own unique pace. Also, the yeladim reviewed the Shema and it’s first and third paragraphs (V’ahavta and Vayomer).Have a great break!

B’Shalom,

Mrs. Sender

ssender@amyisrael.org

Gimel Class Update for Week of 12-10-17

Shalom Gimel Families,

This week we focused on the second week of Gevurah, strength.

Recap:

We started with a discussion about the difference between outer (physical) strength and inner strength. We identified an individual from Jewish history who showed inner strength – Moses. We discussed how Moses used gevurah to help the Jewish people, even though it wasn’t easy. We spent time talking about being “brave” and using your gevurah to be assertive. This segued into Hillel’s idea of standing up for yourself despite other’s actions around you that might not be appropriate. Finally, we looked at bravery as a component of inner strength and discussed how we can use bravery to help others as well as help ourselves. We watched a video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8xnLkyKgsE that depicts inner- Gevurah, followed by a fascinating discussion. Here are the discussion questions that followed:

1.      What does bravery have to do with inner strength?

2.      Does being brave mean you are not afraid? Can you be brave and be afraid at the same time?

3.      Can you help others by being brave?

Table Talk:

Our families can help us and support us in many ways. How can your family help one another show inner strength? Share an experience with each other in which you feel you missed an opportunity to show your Gevurah.

MyShalomLearning Activity for next week: 3.3.3 Gevurah Week 3

1)     Watch the video: “My Community- Kids Discussion”

2) Upload a short video (2-3 minutes) of you showing something about a community you are a part of. Maybe it is your school? Your neighborhood? Your synagogue? Your sports team? Your dance studio? Whatever it is, show us why you love it!

Ivrit (Hebrew): This week the yeladim continued to work independently in their Hebrew Step-by-Step packets. This is a unique Hebrew curriculum that allows students to learn, practice, and experience Hebrew at their own unique pace. Additionally, the students learned about the “double duty dot” and how it functions as both a vowel and as the dagesh for the shin or sin letter. Also, the yeladim reviewed the Shema and it’s first and third paragraphs (V’ahavta and Vayomer).

Next week: We look at strength from a broader perspective: What strengths do we have as a community, and how do our individual strengths help the community at large?

Have a great week!

B’Shalom,

Shira Sender

ssender@amyisrael.org

Gimel Class Update for Week of 11-5-17

Shalom Gimel Families,

For the past few weeks we have been learning about B’tzelem Eloheim. We have talked a lot about what make us different, and how G-d created us, but how can we be more like G-d?

Recap: This week, we explored our ideas about G-d, and how we can use G-d as a role model for how we live. The lesson began with a question about super heroes. We discussed what superheroes can do, and the powers they possess. This relates to role models. We have real life role models among us, and they are heroes. Real “superheros” we decided included first responders, teachers, parents, social workers, and people in the military. Not only that, but in Judaism, we have G-d as a role model. We brainstormed a list of qualities all of these groups have in common, and use them as a lens to view ourselves. How can WE be role models? How can we use super heroes, role models, and God to teach us how to live our lives.

On Wednesday, we will connect this idea with the idea of B’tzelem Elohim – if G-d created us to be in G-d’s image, what responsibility do we have to be like G-d? We will spend some time learning about a common theme in the superhero world – justice. We talked about the idea of justice, and “Tzedek, tzedek tirdof,” pursuing justice in our lives and our communities.

Table Talk: How will you use your knowledge of being created in G-d’s image to treat others better? To treat yourself better? How about others in your family? What’s your superpower now?

MyShalomLearning: 3.2.4 & 3.3.1

Please answer the Wrap-Up questions for Unit 2 B’tzelem Elohim and do the Kick-Off questions for Unit 3, Gevurah!

Ivrit (Hebrew): This week the students continued to work individually in their self-paced Hebrew packets. This Hebrew Step-By-Step curriculum is so wonderful because it allows students to learn Hebrew at their own pace while I work with them individually and assess their comprehension. Additionally, the students continued to work on the V’ahavta and Vayomer (the first and third paragraphs of the Shema). Please make sure that your student is practicing these very important parts of the Shema at home!

Next Week: We begin the unit of Gevurah, strength!

Have a great week!

B’Shalom,

Shira Sender

ssender@amyisrael.org

Gimel Class Update for Week of 10-29-17

Shalom Parents,

This week in lesson two, we began to explore the idea of using B’tzelem Elohim as a guide for how we treat others. If we are all created in the image of G-d, how should we treat each person?

Recap: We started with a fun activity to introduce a midrash that explains the “Golden Rule”, treating others as we want to be treated, and how that relates to “B’tzelem Elohim.” In the Mishna there is a story: One day, a student walked up to the very famous rabbi named Hillel and challenged him to explain the entire Torah while standing on one foot. Hillel chuckled and said, “Do not unto others what you would not done unto you. The rest is commentary. Now, go study” (Shabbat31a). Next, we related this to closest to us – our family. We spent time exploring how we treat our family members–do you treat them better or worse than you treat your friends or strangers?

Table Talk: Interview your family and ask them, “How does our family treat others as we wish to be treated? How do we show respect to one another?” Write down their answers to discuss next week!

MyShalomLearning Activity: 3.2.3

Watch the following video clip and respond:

  1. How were Elmo and Whoopi different?
  2. Why is it ok that they were different?

Hebrew: In Hebrew the yeladim have been working on their self-paced Hebrew Step-by-Step curriculum. These packets are unique in that they allows the students to learn and review their Hebrew letters, vowels, and build a strong foundation of key words and roots at their own-pace. Additionally, the students began learning about the שמע (Shema), the ואהותה (V’ahavta) and the וימר (Vayomer). I would like the yeladim to practice reading and singing the V’ahavta at home.

Next Week: We will explore the differences in others. Though people are created differently, we still treat each person well. Why? Because each person is created in the image of G-d.

Have a great week!

B’Shalom,

Shira Sender

Mrs. Shira Sender

ssender@amyisrael.org

Gimel Class Update for Week of 10-8-17

Shalom Parents,

On Sunday we started our unit for B’tzelem Elohim– being created in G-d’s image.

Recap: We discussed and explored Torah and other Jewish texts that relate to the subject of B’tzelem Elohim. We started with the text in B’reisheit, discussing what the Torah means when we read these specific words. We also discussed the upcoming holiday of Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah, in relation to the very first parsha in the Torah – B’reisheit. We then moved to a midrash that describes another interpretation of the idea of the divine image. As the lesson progressed, we explored from within. What makes each student unique and special? How are we as individuals created to be like G-d? How are the members of my family special?

Table Talk: Talk with your family about what makes all of you unique and special, talk about ways to be proud of your family, and the members within it!

MyShalomLearning Activity: 3.2.2

Thinking about how we treat others.

Watch the following video on MyShalomLearning:

“Life Lessons Sharing & Respecting Others”

  1. Who DID NOT show respect for others? What were the consequences?
  2. Who DID show respect for others? What were the results?

Next Week: We will begin to explore the idea of using B’tzelem Elohim as a guide for how we treat others. If we are all created in the image of God, how should we treat each person?

Ivrit: In Hebrew we worked on sound-alike letters: ס and ש (samech and sin), א and ע (alef and ayin), ח and כ (chet and chaf), ט and ת, and ק and כ(koof and kaf). Each of these groupings provide the same sound with different letters. Why is that? Do we have anything comparable in the English language? Additionally, we worked on differentiating similar-looking letters. Specifically, we worked on the ר and the ד (the raysh and the dalet). We even took an example for the Torah Parashat Ki Tissa. In the parasha, there is the word אחר with the raysh enlarged just like that. Why? Because we do not want to confuse the raysh and the dalet! For if there was a dalet instead, the word would be “one” and completely change the sentence! Similarly, at the end of the Shema, the word is אחד: again, we do not want to confuse the meaning by switching the dalet and the raysh!

Have a great week!

B’Shalom,

Shira Sender

Gimel Class Update for Week of 9-24-17

Shalom Parents,

 

At this point, students have explored the concept of teshuvah, and how we can use Jewish values to guide our interactions with others in our families and personal lives. We spent time talking about the importance of apologizing to others. In this lesson, we focus on the additional step of seeking forgiveness.

 

Recap: Students learned about different prayers used during Yom Kippur that allow us to seek forgiveness as a community. We explored the differences between asking for forgiveness from other people and G-d. We used the story of Jonah as a lens for a discussion on atoning for our sins and including G-d in our apologies. Students applied their knowledge of apologies and repentance to realistic scenarios that don’t have clear cut answers. Finally, we learned a prayer that is repeated during the Yom Kippur service that specifically asks G-d for forgiveness.

 

Table Talk: When have you forgiven someone else? When did someone forgive you?

 

MyShalomLearning Activity: 3.3.4

 

Draw a picture of you saying sorry or showing you are sorry to someone in your life. Upload the picture to www.my.shalomlearning.org.

 

Next Week: We will look at how we proceed from here– now that we know how to apologize for our mistakes, how do we make sure we learn from them?

 

Ivrit: This week we reviewed our Hebrew letters including our final letters. Additionally, we reviewed our vowels. The yeladim worked together to build a Hebrew word using the appropriate letter and vowel combinations from a transliterated word. The yeladim also worked on writing their Hebrew names. The yeladim also looked at the function of pre-fixes in Hebrew and worked on identifying them and their meaning.

 

Have a great week!

 

B’Shalom,

Shira Sender

 

Gimel Class Update for Week of 9-17-17

Shalom Parents,

 

This week we continued with our second week of teshuvah

 

Recap: We explored what it means to say “I’m sorry.” We learned different meanings of the word shalom, and that one of its definitions is completeness.  Students explored the ideas of making peace with one another through apologizing.  We also spent time examining different situations in families in which apologies are necessary. Students used text studies and their understanding of Teshuvah to make personal connections to these scenarios.

 

Table Talk: We all make mistakes. Ask your family about a time one of them made a mistake. Did anyone learn anything from their mistake?

What is most important about apologizing?

 

MyShalomLearning: 3.1.3

Next week we will go further into the concept of teshuvah and how we ask for forgiveness. This week, think about someone you should ask for forgiveness, and what that feels like. Write about the experience of apologizing, and how if felt on http://www.my.shalomlearning.org

 

Next Week: Students will continue to learn about forgiveness through the lens of Yom Kippur.

 

Hebrew (Ivrit):

This week the students learned about the letter ל (lamed), which makes an “L” sound and is shaped like a lighting-rod.  The students practice reading and writing the lamed alone as well as combining it with other letters previously learned.  Additionally, the students learned about the sh’va vowel : that sometimes makes a sound and sometimes it is silent.  Lastly, the students learned about the letter כּ (kaf) which is curved with a cough drop and makes a “K” sound.  The students practiced reading and writing the kaf alone and combined with other previously learned letters and vowels.

Have a great week!

 

Please be sure to sign-in to www.myshalomlearning.org each week to see assignments and class updates.  If you are experiencing difficulty logging into your account, please let me know as soon as possible.  I would like to wish everyone a שנה טובה shanah tovah (a happy new year)!  Please remember that there is NO CLASS this upcoming Wednesday, September 20th.

 

B’Shalom,

Shira Sender

 

 

Gimel Class Update for Week of 9-10-17

Shalom Parents,

Our class is off to a great start! Today we completed our first unit of the Teshuvah (repentance) unit.

Recap:

  • Students learned about their classmates.
  • Students reviewed the holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
  • Students understood the concept of teshuvah as returning and being able to repent and apologize; starting fresh with a clean slate.
  • Students explored the fact that no human is perfect, and we all “miss the mark” in some ways, and the important thing is that we learn and grow from our mistakes.

 

Table Talk: What are things we do as a family to practice teshuvah? What actions can we take to make this happen?

 

MyShalomLearning Activity: 3.1.2

Log into http://www.my.shalomlearning.com and click on Teshuva, Week 2. Watch the video, “Tomato Says Sorry” and answer the questions:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_MSE1ipwmU

Discussion Questions:

1. What was Tomato doing that was bothering everyone?

2. How did other vegetables feel?

3. How did Tomato learn a lesson in saying sorry?

 

Next Week: We explore what it really means to say sorry.

 

Ivrit (Hebrew):

  • Students reviewed how Hebrew is read (from right to left), and that typically we read in a “zig-zag” manner – reading letter (on upper level) first followed by a vowel (lower level), letter, vowel, etc.
  • Students learned about the letter ת (Tav) that has a “toe” and makes a “T” sound.  Tav is the final letter in the aleph-bet.
  • Students learned about the בּ (Bet) that has a wide Base and a Belly Button.  It also makes a “B” sound.
  • Students also learned about the letter שׁ (Shin) that makes a “Sh” sound and a dot on the right.  The students learned the trick “SHe is always right.”
  • The students worked on writing each of these letters (in Hebrew-print).
  • Students can now write the word שׁבּת (Shabat).

I would strongly encourage all students to print out the Hebrew-letter flashcards found on Schoology.  These flashcards can be found by following these instructions:

  • Log into MyShalomLearning.org
  • Click on the “resources” link (located at the top-center) of your screen
  • Select “group”
  • On the left panel, you should have “Am Yisrael School of Jewish Studies” selected
  • Click on the pink folder “Hebrew Step By Step”
  • Scroll down to the orange folder “Hebrew flash cards” and select
  • Click on the PDF file “flash cards” and download
  • Print the flashcards
  • Use/Review often

*We would ideally like each student to practice their Hebrew reading/writing at least 10 minutes per day.

 

Tzedakah

If possible, please send your student with some tzedakah each Sunday.  Students were asked to select an organization or cause to donate their tzedakah to this year.  Their choice(s) will be listed at a later time.

 

Student Survey

Thank you to those parents who have successfully completed the quick student-survey.  If you have not yet had a chance to do this, please complete the questionnaire as soon as possible by visiting the link: https://goo.gl/fJt2rA.  This questionnaire helps me learn more about your student and how to provide the most supportive learning environment for them.

 

As always, please let me know if you need any clarification, have questions or concerns.  Have a great week and I look forward to seeing the students on Wednesday, September 13th.

 

B’Shalom,

 

Mrs. Shira Sender

ssender@amyisrael.org

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