Pre-Passover Prep

It’s three weeks away, but will be here before we know it. During Passover, those of us with children sometimes find it challenging to keep the kids engaged. “What do you mean, 8 days with no pizza or mac and cheese?” “But we just bought 4 dozen boxes of girl scout cookies!”

If you have kids who end up slouching in their chairs, falling on the floor, and crawling under the table during the family seder, I might have a solution for you! If you are open to having a different kind of seder this year, consider one of the following books. If you are interested in getting any of them for your Passover seder this year, please let me know. You can order most of them on Amazon (make sure to use the Amazon Smile website). We also have many of them in stock.

sammy spider

Sammy Spider’s First Haggadah

For those of you with younger kiddos – PreK through 1st grade, Sammy Spider books are always fun ways to learn about the holidays. This Haggadah has the whole seder inside, albeit shorter and kid friendly. It has songs sung to familiar children’s tunes and lots of colorful pictures.

Click Here for the Amazon link or $7.00 each at TOR


Low Res Family and Frog Final Cover

The Family and Frog Haggadah

This is a new one from Behrman House. It is geared toward those in 2nd grade and up. A fun look at the seder from the perspective of a frog. It is fairly traditional with all of the elements of the seder. There are little games and challenges throughout as well. The pictures are great and incorporate fine art representations as well as fun drawings with Frog.

Click Here for the Amazon link or $8.00 each at TOR


joyous haggadah

Richard Codor’s Joyous Haggadah

Also geared for students 2nd grade and older, this haggadah is great for graphic novel and comic book lovers. It covers the whole story and has engaging pictures for all of the elements. Complete with songs at the end, it’s a fun way to celebrate Passover with your kids.

Click Here for the Amazon link or $12 each at TOR


simply seder

Simply Seder

This Haggadah is a good transitional haggadah for older children. It doesn’t have as many pictures and is closer to what the traditional haggadah looks like. For kids, 5th grade and above, I recommend this version to start to transition them to using the traditional haggadah in the future.

Click Here for the Amazon link.

No matter what haggadah you decide to use, I hope you will find some great ways for the kids to be involved this year. I’ll provide a few more ideas next week.

+++++++++ Announcements ++++++++++

Wednesday, March 22nd @6:30pm –  Hebrew School

Friday, March 24th @ 10am – Gan K’tan

Saturday, March 25th – 007 License to Party Gala @ 6:30pm–  Teen Volunteers Needed, please email me if you can help out.

Sunday, March 26th @9am – Religious School

Sunday, March 26th – 4th -7th Grade Field Trip to B’nai Israel. If you haven’t already told me that your student and/or you are attending, PLEASE email me. We have transportation spots for others who might need a ride. We will be leaving TOR right after tefillah and returning around 1pm. If you have younger students at TOR, I would encourage you to arrange alternate transportation home for them as the play is not appropriate for lower grades. If you need child care until the group returns at 1pm, that can be arranged – please just let me know. If any students will not be attending, I need to know so that I have coverage here at school as all of the teachers will be attending the performance.

Wednesday, March 29th @6:30pm – Hebrew School

Friday, March 31st to Saturday, April 1st – Teen OR Retreat in South Lake Tahoe. Please RSVP if your teen plans to attend.

Sunday, April 2nd – Classroom Passover Seders – All family members are invited to attend our classroom seders. Watch your email for information about these Seders and how you can contribute.

++++++++++ Religious School Update ++++++++++


Our classes have two weeks to learn all about Passover before our school Passover seders. So, this week our youngest learners spent time exploring fun stories about Passover. They made cute pipe cleaner bugs to represent the plagues. This week, they got to sing some great songs with Carol as well.

1st/2nd Grade

In Efrat’s class, our students are beginning to learn about Passover as well. They learned the story of Moses and his life in Egypt. They also began to learn about the different plagues that happened prior to Pharaoh agreeing to let the Israelites go. Next week, they will be creating their own Seder Plates to use in the classroom Passover Seder.

3rd Grade

Our third grade class is in the midst of a unit about blessings. They’ve been learning the different blessings for foods that we eat. Before dinner each night, let them share their knowledge by blessing the food! The class 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 God for bringing us to a special moment in our lives, such as a life-cycle event.
As a family, discuss different ways that you can incorporate blessings into your family life.

4th Grade

The 4th grade class learned about tzedakkah this week. They read a story about Albert Einstein and then discussed different kinds of tzedakkah (not always with money). To close they created a mitzvah/tzedakkah super hero. Have your student tell you about their super hero and the ways that they (the student) can perform the mitzvah of tzedakkah.

5th Grade

Our 5th grade class has been working hard on their Hebrew instruction. Adam has worked with each of them individually to gauge their progress and provide instruction that is appropriate for their level. It is very important that the students are practicing outside of class. They each have been given worksheets to practice. In addition, the tab above marked “Useful Links” has online practice games for them to play. I highly recommend the Click-and-read from Behrman House.

6th Grade

This week, the 6th grade parents came to class and participated in an orientation for the upcoming b’nai mitzvahs. Students received a binder with the prayer packet and a synopsis of their torah portions. If you missed the meeting, or need any of the documents, they are under the tab above marked “Bar/Bat Mitzvah Guide”. In addition, the students learned about the play they will be going to see next week at B’nai Israel. Time Capsule in a Milk Can is the story of an organization called Oneg Shabbat that was active in the Warsaw Ghetto. They saved documents and buried them in milk cans prior to the shutting down of the ghetto. This performance should be really interesting for the kids.

7th Grade

This week, our seventh grade class continued to work with Avi and Michele on their prayers and Hebrew reading skills. With Art, they discussed challenges that come with the process of becoming bar/bat mitzvah and the importance of feeling like they are in a safe space here at Temple. Art shared some personal stories of his family with the class and they had a great discussion.