Hello families! This Sunday, the students in my Hebrew group continued to review the letters, vowels, and practice the Ein Keloheinu אֱין כֱּאלֹהֱינוּ. A video/ audio recording of this prayer can be listened to through this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-V0LVzea11E If your student would like to practice the Hebrew aleph-bet, here is the video link we listen to every week at the start of the Hebrew block: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiCzoTs1AdE
During snack, we reviewed the Women of the Wall campaign and the students who were here last week informed their classmates on the mission and the legal struggle that is happening in Israel today. Afterwards, we continued our study of Jerusalem and focused on places in the New City. As a class we read brief snippets about places like Montefiore’s Windmill, the Israel Museum, the Shrine of the Book, Tisch Gardens Biblical Zoo, Yad Vashem, Mount Herztel, and Gan Hapa’amon. We then did a project where each student got to choose one of these places to research and they created a postcard with a picture and information. It was great to see every student invested in their research and many got creative and wrote some really interesting pieces of information about the sites and activities at these places. Thank you for allowing your student to come to school with an iPad or Kindle, these resources really helped the students access content quickly when they worked on their mini postcard project.
We do not have Sunday school on November 12 due to Veteran’s Day. So I will see you on Sunday, November 19th. Also, please remember to bring tzedakah if you can. B’vakasha!
Hello families! I hope your week is off to a great start. This past Sunday, the students in my Hebrew group continued to review the letters, vowels, and practice the Ein Keloheinu אֱין כֱּאלֹהֱינוּ. A video/ audio recording of this prayer can be listened to through this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-V0LVzea11E If your student would like to practice the Hebrew aleph-bet, here is the video link we listen to every week at the start of the Hebrew block: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiCzoTs1AdE
After music and snack, we started reading and learning about the city of Jerusalem. We read about the history, learned about the demographics of the four quarters in the Old City, and we spent a lot of time discussing the Western Wall. Not only did we discuss the importance of the Western Wall in Judaism, but we also talked about a civil rights movement that is happening in Israel today: The Women of the Wall (WOW) campaign. The students learned about the legal issues facing women in Israel who wish to pray at the Western Wall and the mission of this campaign. After watching a short video of the WOW and doing a marker talk to write down their reactions and questions, the students wrote letters to the WOW expressing their solidarity and support. Dori mailed these letters and they are currently en route to Jerusalem! Every student showed a sincere amount of curiosity and eagerness to discuss and learn about this issue, and this might be a great thing to discuss more at home. More information can be read about the campaign here: http://www.womenofthewall.org.il/
This Sunday (11/5) we will continue to learn more about the city of Jerusalem. If possible, please have your student bring in an laptop, iPad, or a device that they can do research on. We will be researching information on different places in Jerusalem. If this is not possible do not worry, I will have hard copies of different resources for students to use for their research. Also, please remember to bring in tzedakah! B’vakasha!
Hello families! This week we finished up our study of shem tov, a “good name." Each student brought in the story behind their English and, if applicable, their Hebrew name. It was really exciting to see many students take interest in discovering the significance behind their names. During Hebrew, the students in my group continued to learn the Ein Keloheinu אֱין כֱּאלֹהֱינוּ. We practiced reading it and then listened to how it is sung. We will continue to review more of the aleph-bet and read more of the Ein Keloheinu. If your student would like to practice the Hebrew aleph-bet, here is the video link we listen to every week at the start of the Hebrew block. The students are very familiar with this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiCzoTs1AdE
After the students came back from music, we dove into learning about immigration and the different cultures that make up the Jewish population in Israel. We also read about how Israel is a Jewish state and what that means, and our readings lead us to two debates that focused on these two questions: (1) Do you think it should be permitted to schedule fights on Shabbat and other holy days? Yes or no? (2) Do you think restaurants in Israel should serve only kosher foods? Why or why not? We broke into two groups, one group lead by me and the second lead by Lea and Naomi, and each group was able to argue for either side. These debates were a great opportunity for the students to articulate their thoughts and think about modern day issues in Israel from both sides. I tried to stress that our perspectives are very much Americanized and even though we all generally thought the same on both issues, it is important to recognize the other side and realize the depth these questions hold for Israel and its people.
Last thing, I got some feedback from the students who requested that each week I put a reminder in the weekly update to bring tzedakah to class. So for next week (and every week), please bring tzedakah to school if you are able. Toda raba תודה רבה!
Hello families! This Sunday we started off by making sukkah decorations. The students learned that this holiday is to celebrate the fall harvest and to remember when the Jewish people wandered the desert for 40 years. We also got a chance to visit the sukkah and we learned more about Miriam, Moses, and sang songs together. Each student was able to shake the lulav and etrog, and we got to share challah together under the roof of the sukkah. During Hebrew, the students in my group started to learn the Ein Keloheinu אֱין כֱּאלֹהֱינוּ. This is one of the prayers that 5th grade will learn this year.
During our Israel study, we learned about Eliezer Ben-Yehuda and his contribution to the creation of modern Hebrew. Lastly, we started our study of Jewish life cycles. The first topic we learned about is Jewish names, which include the naming ceremony, the decision of how names are chosen, and the concept of the "good name," a shem tov. We ended the morning discussing what really is a shem tov and how we can make our own names a shem tov.
The homework for next week is for the students to ask their families where their English first and middle names, and, if they have one, where their Jewish first and middle names come from. What is the story behind their English and Hebrew names? They also need to ask their parents for their Hebrew names, if they have one. All of this information will be used next Sunday to do an activity focusing on shem tov. Please have your child write down the names or send me an email of the names at email@example.com. Have a great week!
Here is the weekly update for this week:
Hello families! I hope you all had lovely high-holidays. This week we started off by decorating our tzedakah jar. The students learned that collecting tzedakah is a mitzvah, and my hope is that we can fill up this jar at least twice throughout the year and donate it to charities. Therefore, please try to send your child to school with any spare change you or they may have that they would like to donate to our tzedakah jar. We collect tzedakah every morning.
During Hebrew, the students went to their Hebrew groups. In my Hebrew group we continued to review the Hebrew letters and reviewed three more vowels. We ended our Hebrew session reading the Sh’ma where the students showed grit remembering the letters and vowels while reading. Looking ahead, when we come back I plan on introducing the Ein Keloheinu אֱין כֱּאלֹהֱינוּ, prayer, which is one of the prayers we want 5th grade to learn this year. The homework for my Hebrew group is to review the Hebrew letters handout and the vowels handout in their folders, and practice reading and writing them.
After music, the class came back together and we learned about Sukkot. We talked about the significance of the holiday, the sukkah, and the four species. We then practiced the order of shaking the lulav and etrog. I sent home two handouts about Sukkot and the Four Species. If your family would like to learn more about Sukkot, please take a look at these handouts. We ended our morning reading about and discussing the Israeli government, the national anthem, and the mitzvah of Ahavat Tzion. The students talked about the similarities and differences among the Israeli and American government. We listened to the Hatikvah and wrote about which part of the anthem we felt was important. And lastly, we thought about how we as Jews, can love and remember Israel. One example we read about is how Jews plant trees in the country, so as a class we made our own tree of what we will do to love and remember Israel.
I hope you all have a nice too weeks off, and I’ll see you again on Sunday, October 15.
Today Mr. Y taught 5th grade as Ms. Cryan was out sick. Hopefully Ms. Cryan is already feeling better and will be back very soon! The students participated in their first Hebrew lesson of the year! Those who were here last year seemed to pick right up where they left off. There are two fabulous assistants in class this year, Leah and Naomi, both of whom are very helpful and dependable and often make it so the teacher can spend individual one on one time when needed. At snack we had a discussion about Tzedakah and Maimonides' list of the 8 levels of giving (8 being the highest)…
When we returned to the room we split up into 3 groups for a Rosh Hashanah lesson. One group discussed Customs of the holiday with guidance from Leah, one group discussed facts and history with Naomi and the other group met with Mr. Y and talked about foods eaten at Rosh Hashanah and the symbolic meaning. After discussion, a student from each group presented their groups' ideas to the class. We also got a visit from Jack, a class assistant, who played the shofar, actually two shofarim for the class which led to a discussion about the shofar and its significance at Rosh Hashanah services! Thank you Jack! It was a fabulous second day!
Hello families! We had a great first day of school at SSJS. During morning meeting the class got to know each other a little bit more with the question “What did you do this summer?" and we discussed what classroom guidelines we want for the year. Our top three guidelines are: 1) Teamwork 2) Grit 3) Step Up and Step Back. The students also enjoyed their first music class and dove right into Hebrew. Each of them took a pre-assessment that’ll help me understand their needs as learners and how I can best help them. All of the students showed so much grit and perseverance during the assessment! I emphasized just trying their best and they all did that. We then reviewed five of the Hebrew letters and listened to the Aleph-Bet Song. We ended our day previewing our “Welcome to Israel!” book and briefly talked about why we think studying Israel is important. Before the students left, I had each of them fill out an exit ticket to help me get to know them more and I sent a letter home to families introducing myself. If your child was not here today and did not get a letter, I will be mailing them out this week to your homes. There is no homework this week but starting next week I will be sending home charts of the Hebrew alphabet and vowels for students to practice and review.