Am Yisrael SJS Limmud/Education Update 9-1-17

Am Yisrael SJS Limmud/Education Update 9-1-17

 י” אֱלוּל תשע”ז
פָּרָשַׁת כּי-תֵצֵא

First Wed of SJS: Sep 6; First Sun of SJS: Sep 10

SJS on Wed, Sep 6

Gimel through Zayin (3rd-7th): On Wed, Sep 6, students in Gimel, Dalet and Heh (3rd, 4th, 5th) will report to the Sanctuary in the synagogue building for Tefillah by 4:15 p.m.  All students in Vav and Zayin (6th & 7th) will report to either Rooms 6, 9 or 10 by 4:15 p.m. on the second floor of the school building.  Vav and Zayin Lists of classroom assignments will be posted in the SJS lobby.  Madrichim are expected to report to the SJS lobby by 4:00 p.m.  Regardless of where students are reporting, students and madrichim must enter the school building and sign in at the security desk in the SJS lobby.

For those attending White Sox game on Sun, Sep 10

We have a list of all those attending the White Sox game in which Cantor Simon will be singing the national anthem on Sun, Sep 10.  Parents can pick up students at 11:00 a.m. and check students out at the security desk in the lobby of the SJS building.

In Case of Emergency and Student Information Forms:
Here are three links to forms in case you have yet to fill them out: (a) In Case of Emergency:; (b) Returning Student Form (should take just a minute unless there are major changes):; (c) New Student Form:

New YouTube Playlist “Tefillah at Am Yisrael”

The link below will take you to our brand new “Tefillah at Am Yisrael” YouTube playlist.  Anyone who has ever attended a family service that I have facilitated knows how I emphasize the importance of following along with each Hebrew word.  We hope that this new YouTube playlist will help to enhance the learning process for practicing 36 (and counting) prayers that we sing regularly at our synagogue and during SJS:

Exciting Update to Hebrew-Step-By-Step

For those of you who have used the Hebrew-Step-By-Step  program with us, you will see that it has received a MAJOR upgrade.  Please follow the directions below to make it possible for students to either review their Hebrew reading literally from Step 1 to Step 41, or to get a head start if Hebrew reading is new to them: (a) Either go to and in the search bar type “hsbs packet 1” or download the free “ji tap” app from the App Store.
NOTE: hsbs= Hebrew Step By Step and ji=Jewish Interactive
; (b) If you use the computer, once you are on the Jewish Interactive homepage, click on the word “Apps” (2nd from left on the top); then navigate down to “Ji Tap.”  On the computer you will also get a search bar like on the app and where it says “Search” by the magnifying glass you will also type “hsbs packet 1”, “hsbs packet 2” and so on through ‘packet 8.’ (c) There are a total of 8 packets (41 lessons) as part of this system as those who have sent me email recordings of their readings in the past can attest, the feedback I will send your student(s) will make a huge difference in the process of holding your student(s) accountable for Hebrew reading accuracy.  (d) Students can tap using a tablet/smartphone or click using a computer (mouse) on the words either before or after reading to hear the correct pronunciation.   This is the key tool to making this a self-paced learning process.

Madrichim Update

Please note that in order to enhance the Madrichim experience we are doing a major retooling of how Madrichim are being assigned and what tasks will be expected of them.  Much of it is based on the questionnaires that they filled out over the summer.  My plan is to send out the detailed September Madrichim Assignments on Sun, Sep 3.  Please note that with 40 Madrichim on our staff, this year we do not have any Madrichim working every single week.  For those Madrichim in classes that do not meet for the entire time that SJS is in session (Prozdor and Pardes), we will always have projects for our Madrichim, even on weeks when they are not given a work assignment.  Thank you for working with us as we continue to build this incredibly important program.

“Zeh Hayom” Resource

The Board of Jewish Education of Metropolitan Chicago makes a beautiful Jewish calendar each month.  Here is a link to the calendar with daily activities and important facts geared to help get us ready for the High Holidays and more:

In Case you missed it last week: A Few More Calendar Modifications
As we get closer to the start of the school year, our the activities that involve our families continue to expand.  I’m updating the website as well as the printable PDF calendar (link below).  Please note that we have decided to change Winter Break to start a week later than originally planned.  Our final day of SJS prior to Winter Break will be Wed, Dec 20, instead of Wed, Dec 13.  SJS will resume on Wed, Jan 10 after Winter Break (instead of Wed, Jan 3) and Parent Teacher Conferences for Bet (2nd) through Zayin (7th) will be moved back to Wed, Jan 17 instead of Wed, Jan 10.  Please stay tuned for details on the Vav Family Education Brunch which will be rescheduled due to these important modifications.  All of these changes can also be found on our website and printable PDF calendar, both found at this link: 

In Case you missed it last week: Update on our New Torah Scroll
Please note in your calendars the following three dates in which Sofer on Site will be coming to Am Yisrael to do educational programming and give families opportunities to write letters with our sofer (scribe) directly into the Torah scroll: Sun, Oct 15, Wed, Dec 6, Sun, Feb 11.  In the upcoming weeks we will be sending much more information on this but in the meantime we ask that you mark these dates on the calendar as “Sofer on Site.”  Our goal is that 100% of our families will participate in writing letters into the brand new Torah scroll that is being written for our community and will be used on a regular basis by our students as a reward for their fantastic participation reading from the Torah over the years.


Text Messaging Opt-In in addition to receiving emails
We want to make sure that our Am Yisrael SJS families receive messages from me in the way that they prefer accessing information.  I am giving our families the opportunity to “opt-in” to receive messages via the Group.mewebsite/app.  If you opt-in, please go to the website and set your notifications so that you receive messages as you wish.  I know of many schools, teams and groups who have spoken very highly of this free service.   Please let me know if you would like to try receiving information from me this way.  I have set up groups for each class, for our madrichim (and their parents) and for our youth groups.  If you try for a couple of weeks and it doesn’t work well, you can ask to be removed from this list at any time.  If you choose this “opt-in” I will send you a link to my weekly updates via this app, which can be accessed online via computer/tablet/smartphone and/or via the free app.  Please send me an email or text 847-708-1805 if you want to try this mode of communication.  Please note that you will still receive communication via email; this is an add-on to better ensure not missing important information.

Camp Am Yisrael is continuing to grow our congregational community
Please share this link with any family or friends who have children who are newborn through 3 years old:

September Upcoming Events

  • Wed, Sep 6 First day of Wednesday Classes for SJS
  • Sat, Sep 9 Ariel Strubel Iram becomes a Bar Mitzvah, 9:30 a.m.
  • Sun, Sep 10 First day of Sunday Classes for SJS includes early dismissal TBD for those attending White Sox game in which Cantor Simon sings National Anthem
  • Sun, Sep 17 Sunrise Selichot and Maot Chitim Deliveries
  • Wed, Sep 20 No SJS Classes – Erev Rosh Hashanah
  • Thu, Sep 21 Rosh Hashanah Tot Program (1st Grade & Younger) 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. led by Mara and Daniel Schack in Zurich Room at the Doubletree; Family Services (2nd-5th Grades) 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. led by Mr. Sherman in Athens Room at Doubletree; Young Adult Program led by Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm and AMUSY Board (6th-12th Grade) following Rabbi’s Sermon in 2nd Floor Conference Room in North Shore Center.
  • Fri, Sep 22 Rosh Hashanah Family Services 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.led by Mr. Sherman in Rice Room at North Shore Center.
  • Fri, Sep 29 Kol Nidre Family Services led by Mr. Sherman in Rice Room at North Shore Center.
  • Sat, Sep 30 Yom Kippur Tot Program (1st Grade & Younger) 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. led by Elana Carmel-Levy in Zurich Room at the Doubletree; Family Services (2nd-5th Grades) 10:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m.led by Mr. Sherman in Athens Room at Doubletree; Young Adult Program led by Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm and AMUSY Board (6th-12th Grade) following Rabbi’s Sermon in 2nd Floor Conference Room in North Shore Center.
*Special Notes: (a) As usual, babysitting and additional programming are provided for the children to make it possible for parents to attend the Rabbi’s sermons on the High Holidays.  (b) Our synagogue’s Executive Director Nancy Holab Nevins sends a weekly email entitled “Am Yisrael Events” and a monthly bulletin.  These are good sources of information and include materials for the congregation on the whole that go beyond the scope of my weekly emails.  If you are only receiving my weekly email and want additional information regarding the congregation, Nancy can be reached in the synagogue office at 847-446-7215 or via email

Shabbat Shalom,
Charlie Sherman, M.A. Ed.
Head of School
Am Yisrael Conservative Congregation
4 Happ Road
Northfield, IL 60093
Cell phone: 847/708.1805
Fax: 847/446.7202

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