Purim is here!

First, thank you to all of you who have already emailed me with feedback. I have also created a survey to make it easier for you to share your thoughts with me. Please click here to take the survey.

Purim is coming this weekend! Purim is one of my favorite holidays and there are so many fun ways to celebrate!

Saturday night, don’t miss our annual Festival Meal and Purim Spiel! Dinner is only $5 per person/ $20 per family. It’s going to be a ton of fun and the play stars our very own: Maddie Koumelis; Sarah  Mantell; Danny Katz; Gabriel, Miriam and Gideon Frank; Ilana Rosenberg; Maddie and Aliyah Carrillo; Noah Antler; Adam Smith; and Hannah Rosenberg. Don’t forget to pick up your family’s mishloach manot box too!

Pirates Purim AD

Then, we have the super fun Purim Carnival on Sunday. For $12 per child, we’ll have games, prizes, a bounce-house, and a ton of fun. Pizza and cotton candy will be on hand for when we get hungry and we have special prizes for everyone who comes in costume! Join us from 10am to 12pm for an awesome Purim celebration! DONT FORGET – Sunday is daylight savings time – set your clock FORWARD one hour before you go to bed on Saturday!


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

Wednesday, March 8th @6:30pm – Hebrew School; Teen OR and Confirmation Class – Our teenagers will be attending the special program about Jewish Pioneers of the California Gold Rush.

Thursday, March 9th @ 6pm – Final Dress Rehearsal for Purim Spiel

Friday, March 10th @ 10am – Gan K’tan – We’re making hamantaschen! Yum!

Saturday, March 11th @ 5:45pm – Festival Dinner and Purim Spiel

Sunday, March 12th @ 10am – Purim Carnival (there is no religious school on Sunday, just the carnival). Remember to change your clocks!

Sunday, March 19th

  • @ 9am – B’nai Mitzvah meeting for Parents of 6th grade students.
  • @ 10:30am – Annual Congregational Meeting – please plan to attend

Also coming up: Teen Retreat in Tahoe – March 31st to April 1st. Email to come this week.

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

PreK – Kindergarten and 1st/2nd Grade Classes

Our youngest 4 grade levels all learned about Purim this week. The youngest learners heard the story of Purim and created their own mask and little representations of Queen Esther. The 1st and 2nd graders worked on creating their own megillah. Each student should have come home with a megillah book that can be taken apart and taped together to create a megillah scroll.

If you have a Purim story, read it this week and discuss how special the story of Esther is. What an amazing story of the power of words and standing up for what we believe.

3rd Grade

Our 3rd grade class has started a new unit learning the value of Hakarat HaTov, translated as “recognizing the good.” Students connected the past value of Achrayut to our current value, using the power of meditation to calm their minds and focus on what is
good around them right now. Students discovered that as God created the world, “God saw that it was Good.” They are also beginning to learn about the different blessings that we say for foods and new experiences.

At home this week, discuss the following: How does recognizing the good in others help us to learn more about ourselves? How can meditation help us to recognize the good around

4th Grade

Morah Sara’s class had a great time getting ready for Purim. They read an abbreviated megillah, learning phrases in Hebrew and English, with transliteration. They learned about the traditions of Purim and how it is different in Israel (Jerusalem) from the rest of the world.

Then they made Oznei Haman (Hamantaschen)! Some parents stayed to help and they and the kids stamped out some cookies and had them ready to go home for delicious Purim!

5th Grade

Our 5th grade class is also beginning to learn about different bracha that we say when we are saying thank you to God for different foods and experiences. In addition, the class is working hard to solidify their foundational Hebrew understanding. Adam has been assessing them and differentiating the instruction so that those that are ready to move on can do so, and those who still need some work on the fundamentals can do that as well. You will hopefully have noticed your students coming home with homework each week. This homework is designed to reinforce the learning and allow them to practice between sessions. Please make sure your students are reviewing the material!

6th and 7th Grade

I had the wonderful opportunity to sit in on a discussion with the 6th grade class this week. We discussed my blog post from 2 weeks back about embracing humanity. The students had some really great insights into how we are different as humans and the responsibilities that God gives us to be kind and help each other out when necessary.

Our 6th grade class then combined with the 7th graders to participate in a very neat program about relationships. Guided by teens from the Family Shalom program of NCJW, and their teachers (Art and Barry) the students discussed how to recognize the dangers of unhealthy relationships. They discussed boundaries when it comes to time spent with people and communication via electronic media, etc. This group comes every year and really do a great job.

I feel privileged to be the director of this school. Thank you for trusting me and for providing feedback and support. I look forward to reading your responses to the survey! See you at Purim!