Excitement Abounds!

So, yesterday was the first day of school. I must say it was so wonderful to see all of the kids eager to start the year and see their friends again. I got to meet, or at least finally put a face to a name, many of the new families that have joined our temple community in the past weeks. I really hope that our school parents were able to connect and visit a little.

This blog (and most subsequent ones that occur after Sunday school) will be a combination of information. Please click the button to the right and subscribe to this blog. If you do, you will automatically get an update when the weekly post is live. In each post, I’ll leave some quick reminders of upcoming events and opportunities for engagement for our families. Second, I’ll give you a quick rundown as to the activities that took place in the classroom. If you think you’ve missed something, just check the blog! It’ll all be archived here.

General Announcements and Information

Get involved! We have so many ways to get involved here! If you were not able to make our meeting this week, please stop by my office and find out what you missed!

Blues and BBQ in the Sukkah is this coming Sunday, September 27 at 5:30pm. We’ll enjoy some delicious BBQ and some great music from Jewish Blues artist, Saul Kaye. Contact the temple office for dinner reservations and more information.

Mark your calendars for the Family Challah Bake – NOVEMBER 8 from 3pm to 6pm! You will receive detailed information soon along with a link to our VolunteerSpot page for all of the items we need to make this event a success.

If you don’t already use SCRIP, ask someone about it and start using it! It is a great way to support our temple by purchasing gift cards for the places you already shop. Watch your email for specific information regarding this program.

Religious School Update

PreK/Kindergarten Class

This class is so precious and they had a great time bonding with each other and with Laurie, Alex and Maya. This week the class talked about Yom Kippur and why it is important to say we’re sorry when we hurt someone’s feelings or do something wrong. We made cards of apology for friends we may have wronged and we read about our friend Sammy Spider’s First Yom Kippur.

We also met our new fluffy stuffed friend named Matok (he’s a stuffed bear). In the coming weeks, each student will have an opportunity to take Matok home and have some adventures with him!

As you go through this week, ask your PreK/Kinder child these questions to help continue our learning:

  1. What is the name of the holiday when we say we’re sorry?
  2. What is the name of someone new that you met in our class?
  3. When Ms. Laurie takes attendance, what is one of the ways you can answer? (Shalom; Boker Tov; Po)

1st Grade Class

In Ms. Efrat’s class they learned each other’s names and talked about why it is important to share. Then the students decorated fun new year’s cards to send to friends and family, celebrating the new year!

As you spend time together this week, ask your 1st grader these questions to continue our learning:

  1. Why is it important to share?
  2. As we celebrate the new year, what are some ways you can be kind to your friends and family?

2nd and 3rd Grade Class

Ms Erica’s 2nd and 3rd graders had a great time getting to know each other and their madrichim, Emma, Amy and Lily. They learned about Rosh Hashanah and made some beautiful Shana Tova Sand art pictures. In the back pocket of their art, they placed a list of ways they plan to  make the coming year a better one than the last. In addition, the class talked about what it means to guard your tongue and why it is important to apologize when you wrong someone.

This year the class will spend time studying the Jewish calendar and the way it cycles with the moon. They will be creating their own calendars, adding holidays and events as the year continues.

For those of you who did not get to write down the family education days for 2/3 grade class, they are as follows: October 4, November 1, January 10, February 7, April 3, May 1. These are the days when the parents have an opportunity to learn with the Rabbi on the same topic that their kids are learning in class, then join their child for a culminating activity.

As you spend time with your 2nd or 3rd grader this week, ask them the following questions to help them process their learning:

  1. What does Rosh Hashanah mean to you?
  2. How are you going to make this year better?
  3. What does it mean to guard your tongue?

4th and 5th Grade

I must say, Sara and Avi’s class was packed with learning this week! All of the parents with children in this class should have received an email from Sara already, outlining what they learned and questions to further the discussion. If you did not get the email, please let me know as soon as possible. Great things are already happening in this class and you don’t want to miss any of it!

Remember that this week, your child needs to learn the origin of his/her Hebrew name and be prepared to tell the class about it on this coming Sunday!

6th Grade

Barry and Lisa started the year with some great discussion in the 6th grade classroom. This year the students will be reading Elie Wiesel’s short book, Night. They discussed the significance of this work and how it impacted the world’s understanding of the holocaust. In addition, the students learned about how old the Hebrew language is through a quick timeline of Jewish History.

In this class, and its partner on Wednesday nights, students will be learning increase their comprehension of the Hebrew language through prayer. It is extremely important that all students spend 20 minutes a day practicing their Hebrew reading.

Have your 6th grader consider the following questions during the week ahead:

  1. Why is Elie Wiesel so important to so many Jewish people?
  2. What is the significance of Yom Kippur/the day of atonement?
  3. How old is the Hebrew language?

7th Grade

Sunday mornings in 7th grade are comprised of two parts. The first part is spent with Avi, a fantastic Hebrew teacher. The students will find their Hebrew skills greatly strengthening and their understanding of the prayers increasing every week. It is extremely important that they are practicing their Hebrew at least 20  minutes per day.

The second part of the class is taught by Art. This is where the students can express their feelings, opinions, apprehensions, etc about their upcoming b’nai mitzvah and about being Jewish in general. This week, the class talked about fears associated with the b’nai mitzvah process. They talked about how important it is to support each other and be there for each other not only through this process but in life in general.

As you check in with your 7th grader this week, have them consider the following questions:

  1. What fears/apprehensions do you have about your bar/bat mitzvah?
  2. What does it mean to help each other and be part of a community for each other?

Thanks again to everyone who has been so willing to help and get involved in making our school a fantastic place for our children to learn and grow. You are all an integral part of this process and we appreciate each and every one of you.