Sugar Charged Morning!

I’m updating the blog early this week as there are a number of time sensitive announcements that I’d like to make you aware of.



This coming week is full of opportunities to engage with your TOR kehilla (and take care of some Hanukkah shopping as well)!

MITZVAH COMMITTEE CANDY DRIVE – Get all of that extra Halloween candy out of your house! Bring it to the temple for the annual candy drive. You can drop the candy off in the box located in the temple foyer.

BOOK FAIR – the annual book fair begins this Wednesday and will run through November 15th. We will have a wide variety of children’s books, a huge selection of titles that are $2 each, and a nice collection of essential titles for your home. Take care of a bunch of Hanukkah shopping, and benefit the temple in the process!

CHALLAH BAKE – Are you coming? Do you have your station reserved yet? Are you as excited as I am?!! If you plan to attend, don’t delay any longer, call the temple office and reserve your station. If you have questions, please call or email me

REFRESHMENT DONATIONS NEEDED FOR NOVEMBER 8th – We need a few people to bring items for the refreshment table at the Challah Bake. Click on the link to access the VolunteerSpot page and see what we need:

FAMILY SHABBAT – THIS FRIDAY – This Friday, the 4th and 5th grade class will be presenting some beautiful artwork on the theme of this week’s Torah portion at the 6:45pm Shabbat service. Please bring your family and celebrate Shabbat with your TOR community. The oneg will feature a special treat for the kids!

TASTE OF TORAH – SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14th – Join former educator, Marcia Greene for a lovely morning of story, song, craft and an exploration of the Torah. Appropriate for children six and under, this program is a wonderful introduction to the Torah scroll as the children identify letters they already know and learn new ones as well. Begins at 10am in classroom 1.

HAVDALAH, DESSERT, and DISCUSSION with author GINA NAHAI – SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14 – This event will be a wonderful conclusion to our annual book fair. Author Gina Nahai will bring her unique perspective as a Persian Jew to a discussion about the Enigma of Iran. Join us at 7pm for a lovely evening together.

TASTY SUPER HERO LOCK-IN – SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14 – a flier will go out this week with details about this fabulous TASTY event. Mark your calendars TASTY Teens, you won’t want to miss this!

Don’t you just love this community? So much to do! I hope to see you for at least one of the fabulous events listed above!

School Update


This week, the kids learned the story of Isaac and Rebecca. They created some cute camel artwork to show the camels that were led to the watering hole where Abraham’s servant found Rebecca for Isaac.

Then, they read a lovely story about tzedakkah and the things that you can do for other people. The story talked about a little girl who saved her money so she and her friends could bring a blanket, a plant, and some food to an elderly woman in need. After the story, they created their own tzedakkah box to take home. We want to teach our children that tzedakkah does not always have to be money. It can be clothes or food or toys that can be given to someone who has less than us. Of course the easiest way to explain or practice tzedakkah is to collect money, but you can also encourage your child to go through their room and give away things that they no longer need but that are still in good condition. Celebrate their giving spirits and encourage them to help others by being an example yourself.

Ask your child if there is someone they want to help and sit with them to think of ways they can accomplish this goal.

First Grade

First grade reviewed their Hebrew letters and spent more time learning about the letter Hay. Each week, as they learn new letters, they also learn vocabulary to go with the letters. Ask them if they remember any of the new words they learned today. They also have been reviewing the numbers, colors and body parts. They should be able to tell you those as well. When I visited the classroom, they were learning a dance and were singing a lovely little song about water – just as it was starting to rain!

Next, they learned the story of Isaac and Rebecca and their sons Jacob and Esau. They learned about Jacob’s dream of the ladder with the angels. They created a picture showing Jacob and the ladder to heaven with angels descending. Ask them to tell you the story.

Second and Third Grade

This week, we had our second session of Family Education with the Rabbi. The group talked about Shabbat, not just about observance and the mechanics of it, but more in terms of the overall meaning and spirit of the weekly holiday. At the same time, the students were learning about Shabbat and the blessings that are said over the Shabbat candles, wine and bread.

During the last hour, the parents and students together made beautiful challah boards for their Shabbat tables. These will be sealed over this next week and will hopefully be ready to take home next Sunday.

Fourth and Fifth Grade

Sara and Avi’s class has been reviewing the letters and vowels and working hard on their Hebrew blending and word recognition. They have also been focusing on the Shema blessing, not only in terms of being able to recite it, but also in its deeper meaning.

This week they learned one reason why the second line of the Shema is recited quietly. Have them see if they can figure out two other reasons!

Sixth Grade

The sixth grade class is still discovering the 18 reasons it’s great to be Jewish. This week they looked at reasons 5-8 (Jewish Family Life, Good Deeds, Life on Earth, a Great Theology). Ask them to tell you about them.

They are also learning all of the Hebrew months and have begun discussing Hanukkah, its significance and the blessings for the Hanukkah candles. Have them recite them for you.

Every week, the students are able to spend 20 minutes in a dedicated tutorial session with a madrich. This is a great opportunity for each of them as they can read and be corrected on a one-to-one basis, rather than in the whole class setting. Please make sure your student is continuing to practice their Hebrew daily. The prayers are now online under the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Prayers tab above, as are a couple of great review games under Useful Links.

Seventh Grade

A week and a half ago, the seventh grade class was given practice logs to begin tracking their Hebrew practice. They are to turn these completed logs in to me each Sunday and receive a new log. So far, I have only received logs from 4 students. It is extremely important that the students are working outside of class on their prayers and Hebrew practice. The teachers are working very hard to give the students the tools they need to succeed. However, if the students don’t use the tools, there is very little we can do to help them. Please encourage your seventh grader to practice and to use the flash cards and practice materials that have been provided to them. Each student has now received a set of Green flash cards with all of the words and transliterations for the Shema and V’ahavta. Next Wednesday, they will receive a set for the Aleinu. We appreciate your help in working together with us to motivate your child to succeed.

In their session with Art, the seventh grade students discussed why God allows evil in the world. See if you can further this discussion at home. How can we be a light to people in this world? How can we reject the evil we see and turn things toward good?

I know this weekend was crazy with Halloween and Daylight Savings. Thank you for getting your kids here and for continuing to support our efforts. I hope to see you at the Book Fair this week and the Challah Bake next Sunday!

One thought on “Sugar Charged Morning!

  1. Thanks Mary for always keep us in the loop! I love to read your blogs, finding out the latest and greatest happenings around TOR and what our kids are up to.


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