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:

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.



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).


 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


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.


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


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:

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

Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm

Mrs. Shira Sender

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.


  • 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

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!
  • 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


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.


  •  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:


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.


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?


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.


Shira Sender


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.


·       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!


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, 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


Shira Sender

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.


· 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 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!


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”.                       


·       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 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!


Shira Sender

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.


·       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:


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 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” 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!


Mrs. Sender

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.


●      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!


Mrs. Sender

Gimel Class Update for Week of 12-10-17

Shalom Gimel Families,

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


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 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!


Shira Sender

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!


Shira Sender

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!


Shira Sender

Mrs. Shira Sender

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!


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


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!



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


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 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.



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.


  • 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 and click on Teshuva, Week 2. Watch the video, “Tomato Says Sorry” and answer the questions:

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
  • 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.



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:  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.




Mrs. Shira Sender

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