If you haven’t stopped by my office lately, you should! Come say hi and see what’s going on – maybe share a little about your week with me. While you’re here, you might notice my set of four calendars on the wall. Each is one month and I have them niftily (is that a word?) Velcroed to my wall so I can rotate them to add the next month when one month has passed. Well, I got tired of rewriting all of the many things that we have going on here on a monthly basis so last month I got this bright idea to make magnets. Did you know that you can buy 8.5 X 11 magnet sheets that you can print on with an ink jet printer? So cool! So, now I have little pictures to show Sunday School and Gan K’tan, Family Shabbat and Tot Shabbat, Teen OR and Confirmation Class – everything! It is super colorful.
Hopefully you will notice more than the great colors on my calendar. Hopefully you will notice what I notice every day – we have a lot going on here at TOR! This month we have three kids celebrating B’nai Mitzvah. We have kids going to camp. We have great opportunities to continue discussions about race and equality. We have education, Tot Shabbat and Taste of Torah. TOR is really the place to be!
So, in case you aren’t sure what is going on this month, here is a quick run down:
January 13 – Hebrew School for grades 4 through 7
January 15 – Tot Shabbat – 6:00pm – a great Shabbat service gear toward kids 6 and under.
January 16 – Megan Wallace celebrates her Bat Mitzvah! Congratulations Megan!
January 20 – Hebrew School for Grades 4 through 7. Teen OR for grades 8 and up.
January 23 – Sebastian Flynn celebrates his Bar Mitzvah! Congratulations Sebastian!
January 30 – Riley Froomin celebrates her Bat Mitzvah! Congratulations Riley!
The annual Erev Purim celebration, featuring the Purim Spiel will be March 23rd. I would like to see as many of our Hebrew School and TASTY kids participate as possible. I’ll have detailed information available this Sunday. The evening falls during Spring Break this year, so if you are looking for something to keep your kids occupied, this is a fun option!
Help Wanted – There are a large number of events and activities coming up this Spring. We need you to help us plan! If you are willing and able to assist us in planning, please mark your calendars for Sunday, January 24th at 10am. We will have a general meeting and then break into smaller groups according to event.
The Temple Fundraiser, Hava Havana is taking place on Saturday, February 20th at 6:30pm. There will be babysitting provided so I hope you will all put it on your calendars and plan to attend!
Challah kits will continue to be available in the temple office. $10 per kit. Bake a nice fresh challah for Shabbat this week!
Religious School Update
PreK – Kindergarten Class
Our littlest students learned about Joseph and his coat of many colors this week. They learned a little about his early life and then talked about how he helped the Pharoah in Egypt. The kids decorated colorful coats for their own Joseph paper dolls.
Ask your child about Joseph. What made him special and how did God bless him?
1st Grade Class
I’m sure you have seen the really beautiful tallis that your student made in the 1st grade class this week. The students spent time reviewing the Hebrew letters they already knew as well as the vocabulary that go with it and then learned a two new letters, Chet and Tet.
Ask your child about the Tallit they made. What is it used for? When do we wear it? Why is it special?
2nd and 3rd Grade Class
This week was Parent Education Week in our 2nd and 3rd grade class. The kids learned about different Jewish rituals that families perform in their homes. Additionally, the parents met with the Rabbi and discussed ritual and prayer in the home. What does the Shema prayer mean on a personal level and within the family?
As a group, the parents and students created wonderful framed artwork depicting the Shema prayer for students to hang by their bedside at night.
4th and 5th Grade Class
This week, we welcomed Elana Rabishaw as our new 4th and 5th grade teacher. Elana continued a lesson started on Wednesday evening exploring the meaning and ritual behind Havdallah. The students rotated through stations and made different elements of the Havdallah service (spice bag, candle, kiddush craft).
In addition, Elana is getting an idea of where each student is in their Hebrew studies. They played a variety of games with various prayers so that Elana could listen and gauge their proficiency. This will help her to tailor future lessons to bring kids to the level they need to be.
Ask your student about Havdallah. Why do we celebrate it? What does it signify? Maybe you can start concluding Shabbat with Havdallah each week!
6th Grade Class
This week, the 6th grade class began their individual presentations on famous Jewish musicians and artists. The class is continuing to learn about the Jewish calendar and how the Torah portions and holidays fit into the rhythm of the year. They are also working on their Hebrew reading proficiency as well.
On Wednesday evening, many of them admitted to not having practiced their Hebrew during the winter break. Shame, shame!! 🙂 Please remember that 20-30 minutes per day is not a lot and will go a long way to helping them feel more comfortable in their prayers and preparation for next year.
7th Grade Class
This group is jumping into our B’nai Mitzvah season! We have three b’nai mitzvahs coming up in as many weeks. Please make sure your child is practicing their prayers. As they practice, ask them what the prayer is about. Why do we say the prayers that we say and do they have any personal meaning for them?
Remember, if you have any questions about the bar/bat mitzvah process, please don’t hesitate to contact me or Rachel Silber.
Have a fabulous week!