Kitah Dalet Updates 2018-2019 (5779)

Today we continued with Three Madrichim and a teacher reviewing our packets and insuring our progress. Some students are basically done and we are trying to utilize them to teach other students.  At the end of class we saw and will see a short slide show of interesting synagogues around the world since our theme is … Being able to FOLLOW a service in a Synagogue any where in the world.

-Written 1-27-19 by Mr. Dennis Gelbart, dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Please make sure your child practices reading in Hebrew at home for at least 10 minutes every day.

In case your student has yet to master all 22 Hebrew letters, here is a fun YouTube to watch, for some quick review:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCAznfygWTY

-Written 1-23-19 by Mrs. Tikva Moustakis, tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

Today in Dalet we focused on our Hebrew packets and insuring each student progresses at their own level. We reviewed many pages and many of the students who had issues before seem to have improved. Since we had a full staff of Madrichim it was very helpful and we can engage all the students individually or in small groups.

-Written 1-20-19 by Mr. Dennis Gelbart, dgelbart@amyisrael.org

We reviewed a very important topic today. The students started to look at the siddur and picked a portion from Al Hanismim an extra prayer for Chanukah and Purim. One said the festival of Purim so we spent the rest of the period explaining the difference between the three festivals Passover Shavuot and Sukkot.  Most did not know what Shavuot was so we broke down the word and explained why it was called the festival of weeks. We also looked at the calendar and explained why in some places in in the Torah it says that Rosh Hashana is in the seventh month (after Passover).  We also took a look at the numerical values of 5779 vs 2019 and the difference.

-Written 1-13-19 by Mr. Dennis Gelbart, dgelbart@amyisrael.org

We studied Parashat Beshallach in preparation for Shabbat Family Programming (SFP). We continue practicing to read Ivrit. I am happy to say that our students are making progress.

This link has an access to a downloadable PDF text of all of the prayers for our students to study at their own pace:  https://www.amyisrael.org/practicing-tefillah.html

Please make sure your child practices reading in Hebrew at home for at least 10 minutes every day.

In case your student has yet to master all 22 Hebrew letters, here is a fun YouTube to watch, for some quick review:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCAznfygWTY

-Written 1-9-19 by Mrs. Tikva Moustakis, tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

We had an exciting morning of individual reading. Children worked in groups of 2 or 3 with a Madrich/a and randomly chose a page to read. To keep all involved we had each child read a word then the next student read the next word on the line. All seemed to be involved.  In the process, we taught them some lessons about the vowels as well as the silent Sheva …. Like shelcha.  Students seemed to do will in the process in addition to giving me an opportunity to hear each one.

-Written 1-6-19 by Mr. Dennis Gelbart, dgelbart@amyisrael.org

We have finished up our zikaron (remembrance) unit by taking family history and stories and turning them into illustrated pages that show where our families came from and what they experienced. Students have really appreciated the opportunity to explore more about their own pasts and the people who made their lives possible. We look forward to starting a new unit in January.

We finished our unit on tochechah (correcting others effectively and appropriately) by creating comic strips that lay out stories of people correcting their peers. These were drawn from students’ personal stories, but were then “fixed” to bring the reaction in line with the rules that we learned. After that, we took a day to work on re-decorating our classroom. Students made illustrated alef-bet cards to be hung along the perimeter of the room, and we are all looking forward to seeing them on display!

-Written 12-19-18 by Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.), lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

We had a fun filled day. First, we had a contest to see who could find the Al-Hanisim prayer in the Siddur. Al-Hanisim is a special prayer added on all of Hanukah and on Purim.

Then we went into a discussion of Hanukah and the 3 different groups in Judaism. First that the Hashmanayim the warriors in the story were all Kohanim ( priests) and how Aaron was the first “priest” while Moshe was not. We then explained the origins of such names and Levy the second group ( from the tribe of Levi the same tribe as Aaron and Moshe yet Moshe was not a Kohen and Aaron was the first Kohen) Kohen, Cone, Cohn, Kahn, Levit etc… We then talked about all the other group of Yisrael and Where the name came from Jacob and how Jacob received this name since he struggled with G-d’s angle.

We also reviewed major and minor holidays as well as what is a festival and the dates of many of these holidays.

-Written 12-9-18 by Mr. Dennis Gelbart, dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Kitah Dalet learned about Parashat Vayeshev this week and had a preview of next week’s Parashat Miketz.  We focused on the impact of jeaolousy on a person’s life.  We also discussed Yosef and the talents he was blessed with to solve dreams.  This made him very important in the eyes of the Pharoah.  Yosef was the first “Minister of Economy” and teaches us how to act in good and bad times.  We also continued our Hebrew reading of the Tefillot (prayers): Birchot Hashachar and Baruch She’amar.  This link has an access to a downloadable PDF text of all of the prayers for our students to study at their own pace:  https://www.amyisrael.org/practicing-tefillah.html

Please make sure your child practices reading in Hebrew at home for at least 10 minutes every day.

In case your student has yet to master all 22 Hebrew letters, here is a fun YouTube to watch, for some quick review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCAznfygWTY

-Written 11-28-18 by Mrs. Tikva Moustakis, tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

Kitah Dalet learned about Parashat Vayeshev this week and had a preview of next week’s Parashat Miketz.  We focused on the impact of jeaolousy on a person’s life.  We also discussed Yosef and the talents he was blessed with to solve dreams.  This made him very important in the eyes of the Pharoah.  Yosef was the first “Minister of Economy” and teaches us how to act in good and bad times.  We also continued our Hebrew reading of the Tefillot (prayers): Birchot Hashachar and Baruch She’amar.  This link has an access to a downloadable PDF text of all of the prayers for our students to study at their own pace:  https://www.amyisrael.org/practicing-tefillah.html

Please make sure your child practices reading in Hebrew at home for at least 10 minutes every day.

In case your student has yet to master all 22 Hebrew letters, here is a fun YouTube to watch, for some quick review:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCAznfygWTY

-Written 11-28-18 by Mrs. Tikva Moustakis, tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

We are capping off our zikaron (remembrance) unit by interviewing family members about our family history. Over Thanksgiving break, students are asked to find a family member who wants to talk about family history, and find out important facts such as where the family came from, when and how the family came to this country, and what kinds of experiences the family had when they first arrived in America. There is no rule about which family members should be interviewed. (Some students got the impression that it must be a grandparent, which is not the case.) Students should either take notes on their interviews or, with the subject’s permission, record them so that nothing is lost.

To finish our unit on tochechah (respectfully and constructively correcting others) we created a series of one-page comic strips illustrating situations where someone is corrected for their behavior in a way that demonstrates compassion and a desire to be helpful. Many of these comic strips are autobiographical, and we will be adding them to the walls of our classroom as we redecorate. Great job, Dalet!

-Written 11-18-18 by Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.), lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Today we played a new game to improve our reading skills. We had students choose a random page in the Siddur and they read in groups with the Madrichim. Having three Madrichim gives us personal attending to all our students. It worked well since each seven minutes I had a different student choose a random page.

-Written 11-18-18 by Mr. Dennis Gelbart, dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Dalet class is working on perfecting  their reading of Birkot Hashachar ברכות השחר.  Each student took home a copy of the Morning Blessings so they can practice it at home.  We also are working on writing script in Ivrit (Hebrew).

Here is the text of the blessings for your Dalet students to read and review: https://images.shulcloud.com/1177/uploads/SJS-PDFs%2FMorning-Blessings-Text.pdf

Please make sure your child practices reading in Hebrew at home for at least 10 minutes every day.

In case your student has yet to master all 22 Hebrew letters, here is a fun YouTube to watch, for some quick review:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCAznfygWTY

-Written 11-14-18 by Mrs. Tikva Moustakis, tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

Today we continued using our workbooks, testing our skills with multiple syllable words and real prayer words but then focused on real-time.  The goal of our class is to be able to walk into ANY Jewish service ANYWHERE in the world and be able to FOLLOW the service. To that end we had the real test. I chanted a prayer such as Aleynu Leshabeach Laadon… and said it was in the evening Friday night service (which you just walked into during a service in Seville (Spain that is), and you hear them chanting that prayer what page is it in the Siddur you have on your desk. I gave them a range of pages (e.g. 80-125) find the page. What page is the Morning list of blessings for the Birkot Hashachar (first morning blessings) found pages 50-70. I had the students as well as Madrichim scrambling. Then we picked up the pace as if we are walking in to different services in different places at different times.

-Written 11-11-18 by Mr. Dennis Gelbart, dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Dalet students are making good progress decoding Ivrit (Hebrew).  We moved to the siddur and worked on the morning blessings — ברכות השחר.  Here is the text of the blessings for your Dalet students to read and review:https://images.shulcloud.com/1177/uploads/SJS-PDFs%2FMorning-Blessings-Text.pdf

Please make sure your child practices reading in Hebrew at home for at least 10 minutes every day.

In case your student has yet to master all 22 Hebrew letters, here is a fun YouTube to watch, for some quick review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCAznfygWTY

-Written 11-7-18 by Mrs. Tikva Moustakis, tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

Last week’s class was shortened due to the challah braiding workshop, so we watched a brief video about the lives of Eastern European Jews when they first came to the United States. This is, of course, only one face of Jewish migration to America, and in class today students had a chance to draw upon their own existing knowledge of their family histories. We talked about where our families came from, when, and how they got here. We also began to explore our own names, considering how we got them and what they mean in their various languages of origin.

Our class has focused for the past two weeks on the question of how properly to accept criticism from another person. This is a challenging but important aspect of personal growth, and tied with the concept of teshuvah (bettering oneself). As a final exercise in class, students wrote thank-you notes to people who have corrected them in ways that were helpful. While they were not required to deliver these letters to their addressees, some chose to do so!

-Written 10-28-18 by Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.), lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Today we had a really productive day. With the help of 3 great madrichim we focused on our booklets each child both working individually as well as in groups reading and listening. I had a chance with work with a few students individually which was very helpful.  We also talked about the importance of learning how to work in groups as well as working alone.

-Written 10-28-18 by Mr. Dennis Gelbart, dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Last week’s class was shortened due to the challah braiding workshop, so we watched a brief video about the lives of Eastern European Jews when they first came to the United States. This is, of course, only one face of Jewish migration to America, and in class today students had a chance to draw upon their own existing knowledge of their family histories. We talked about where our families came from, when, and how they got here. We also began to explore our own names, considering how we got them and what they mean in their various languages of origin.

Our class has focused for the past two weeks on the question of how properly to accept criticism from another person. This is a challenging but important aspect of personal growth, and tied with the concept of teshuvah (bettering oneself). As a final exercise in class, students wrote thank-you notes to people who have corrected them in ways that were helpful. While they were not required to deliver these letters to their addressees, some chose to do so!

-Written 10-28-18 by Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.), lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Today in Dalet we focused with the help of some great Madrichim (Student teacher ratio of about 2-1) on our Hebrew booklets with focus on distinguishing between a vav letter and an Oh vowel as well as a Vav and Vet.  Each child at their own pace. They seemed to  be happy working with way and being reminded of our goal. “to be able to enter any synagogue in the world and follow the service”

-Written 10-14-18 by Mr. Dennis Gelbart, dgelbart@amyisrael.org

After a two-week break from seeing each other, we began to plan interviews with members of our families. Working in havruta(partnered study), students came up with ideas about whom they would like to interview about their family’s past and what sorts of questions they would like to ask. The class’s questions have been recorded for use this coming Sunday.

As we continue to learn about the process of respectfully correcting another person (tochechah), we returned to an exercise from our last meeting: abstract line drawings meant to represent our feelings at a time when someone else corrected our behavior. We took time to share what we felt during those incidents, and to discuss whether we had ever followed up with the other person about those feelings. We also took a lesson from the late Fred Rogers and his surprising approach to an advertising campaign that used his likeness without his permission.

-Written 10-12-18 by Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.), lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

Kitah Dalet students are working to recognize all the Ivrit (Hebrew) letters and vowels to be able to read words and improve their reading to be able to fluently read Tefillah (Prayer).  In addition, we studied the first two Parashot in the first book to get ready for the Parashat Lech Lecha.

-Written 10-11-18 by Mrs. Tikva Moustakis, tmoustakis@amyisrael.org

Today we had a good session understanding the reason we are learning to read tefilot-prayers,  (to be able to follow any Jewish prayer service anywhere in the world).   We reviewed some of the differences between our tefilot and how other cultures and languages their language and how we are unique both as a religion and as a culture. We also talked about different types of services like the synagogue in the Bahamas where one of our students explained about the sand floor and how the synagogue had a sand for the floor and how different synagogues have different customs but mostly the same prayers.  Next session we will get into the meat of our work reading and helping each other be more fluent in the tefilot – prayers.

-Written 9-23-18 by Mr. Dennis Gelbart, dgelbart@amyisrael.org

We reviewed some ideas from The Keeping Quilt and began a discussion about our own families’ traditions and heirlooms. Some students had a hard time thinking of specific traditions because their families’ traditions are, to them, just normal behavior. In the coming weeks we will begin researching our families’ histories, so prepare for some interviews ahead!

We expanded on our introduction to tochechah (constructive criticism). First each student, with the aid of a worksheet, wrote about a time a friend had told them they’d done something wrong. What was said? Where? How did it feel? Afterward students made abstract line drawings to demonstrate their feelings upon being corrected by a friend. These drawings will be used to illuminate our growing understanding of tochechah.

-Written 9-26-18 by Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.), lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

We had a very good morning on Sunday getting to know one another then reviewing some of the basic rules of conduct as well is our goal for the year. Our goal is to be able to follow any Jewish service anywhere in the world. Not necessarily lead or be able to read everything but be able to follow.

We talked about some of the experiences Mr. Gelbart had a different synagogues around the world including Paris and Warsaw.

We then to begin the process of learning how to search in the siddur (prayerbook) can use the index or table of contents.

-Written 9-18-18 by Mr. Dennis Gelbart, dgelbart@amyisrael.org

Welcome to SJS Sundays! We began class with an icebreaker game to get to know each other a little, and to ensure that everyone knows everyone’s name. (This was primarily for my benefit, but the students were impressed at how long a string of names and interests they could memorize.) After introductions, we read Patricia Polacco’s “The Keeping Quilt” with an eye toward what it has to teach us about what we remember, how, and why. Next week we will build on this wonderful story by beginning to explore our own family histories and traditions. You might want to start talking with your children about their own family histories and customs.

We learned a new Hebrew word: tochechah (תוכחה), or “rebuke.” The Torah commands us to deliver tochechah whenever we see a fellow Jew doing something wrong, but proper tochechah isn’t as easy as it might seem. Using a comic strip as our jumping-off point, we looked at both harmful and constructive ways to correct someone, and discussed how best to apply these lessons in our own lives. We will be exploring this idea, and how it affects our relationships with others, in the coming weeks.

-Written 9-16-18 by Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.), lszenesstrauss@amyisrael.org

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