Friday, February 16, 2018

Grade 6 Trope Update

We've been working on the Haftarah Blessings, and all of the students could use some practice and review of these at home.  Recordings can be found on track 14 and tracks 16-21 on this page on the TI website:    The goal is for each of the students to be able to confidently sing the blessings on their own (as they'll do for their bar or bat mitzvah), though we'll mostly be singing them together in class.  I've introduced the blessings in class but some daily practice is needed for the students to master them.  They should also spend a little time reviewing the Torah trope (tracks 1-10), and making sure they can name each symbol and sing its name.  The students can apply the trope to their maftir Torah portion which is in their bar or bat mitzvah folder (let me know if you have questions).  We'll spend some time on Haftarah trope when we return from break.

We also hope that many of you can join us for Purim on Wednesday evening, February 28.  Here is the link to sign up:

Feel free to email or call back with any questions about trope class, Purim, or any other issues.

Wishing everyone a good Presidents Day weekend and school vacation week.

Shabbat Shalom--

Cantor Ken

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Grade 4 Update


The fourth graders are quite excited about our upcoming vacation.  The energy they brought to school was used in a productive way.  I gave the students silly putty to use while reading out loud. This kept their hands busy and their minds on the task of reading the selection. 

Another technique, that we used was balancing. The students practiced balancing various sized items on their heads, while they read the prayers, for before and after Torah readings. Enjoy the pictures of our fourth graders working hard to read aloud. Rachel, was strong enough to read the full prayer, while doing a handstand and reading upside down. 

Movement, is helpful to assist our students with their learning and energy after a long day at secular school.  The students were happy to work and compete at reading the best while balancing. 

Have a wonderful and safe February vacation.

Grade 5 Update

Dear Kitah Hey families,

We have had a very busy week at TI! On Sunday morning, we had an incredible opportunity to work with a Columbia/JTS based acupella group called Pizmon! The group worked with each grade at TI and taught songs that each grade was able to perform for the whole school (in Hebrew). Pizmon also put on a concert for the whole school to enjoy. The students had a wonderful time watching the show! 

During values class, the students participated in a communal art project where each student was able to contribute an element.

The students then participated in a Hebrew Workshop where students traveled to 3 different centers. One of these centers allowed the students to practice their Hebrew reading skills while also giving them time to become familiar with the next blessings we will be studying (the prayers said before and after Torah readings). Another of these centers was a game of pick-up sticks (Hebrew style) where students had to read words written on the sticks correctly in order to keep them (whoever had the most sticks at the end of the game won). The last center included a partner reading activity where students had to work together to decode food items on a grocery list (written in Hebrew). The students had to translate the food items into English. It was a lot of fun!

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the students put on their own Purim Shpiel to better understand the Purim story and to celebrate the holiday (which is coming up right after February vacation)! 

We will miss the students over break but wish you all a happy and relaxing february vacation. We look forward to the return of our fifth graders. :)


Madrichim Update

Madricha have been meeting with their teachers to start planning their lesson that they will lead in the spring. The madricha is excited to take this on and show their leadership and creativity skills.

-Sarah Wintman  

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

6th and 7th Grade Update: Sunday (6th) and Weekday (B'nai Telem)

What a fun week at Temple Israel! On Sunday, Pizmon, an a Capella group from Columbia University, Barnard College, and the Jewish Theological Seminary, came to perform for us and led breakout sessions with us to teach us how to beat box and perform parts of a song. Then, the sixth and seventh grade came together to perform what we learned. The sixth grade had their own special Tefilah service.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, we designed and decorated mezuzot as a culminating project for our previous unit about inclusion and accessibility. One of the main things we noticed was that people who are in wheelchairs, or shorter, are not able to reach the mezuzah when they enter a room. To make this mitzvah more accessible, we will add mezuzot in a lower place from every door.

Grade 2 Update

Hello all,

We all had a fantastic Sunday! Pizmon, the Jewish acapella group, came to teach us and the third grade the song Hine Ma Tov along with some awesome dance moves that the classes came up with. After a little practice, we got to perform it for the whole school! We also got to watch some other performances from the other grades. We really enjoyed and having Pizmon to start our Sunday off in a cheerful mood!

Once we got back to class, we reviewed our letters and began talking about Purim. We did a fun reenactment of the story where some of us got to be King Ahashveros, Queen Vashti, Queen Esther, Mordechai, Hamon, and many more. 

On Tuesday and Wednesday, we will be reviewing more of our letters and continuing to work in our books. We also will be reviewing Purim from Sunday by reading another story and playing twenty questions. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Grade 3 - Gimel Goings On

Shalom Gimel Families,

Yesterday was a fun day in Hebrew School!  Students were treated to a fabulous concert and workshop with Pizmon, the Accapella group that visited TI this weekend.  The day started off with a workshop by Pizmon where the students learned to sing Hinei Matov to the tune of In the Jungle.  This was followed by a Pizmon concert where students got to see them perform, and each grade level performed the song they learned in the morning.

In Hebrew, students have learned up to line 9 of Mi Kamocha and are doing a great job mastering it.  Stations this week included small group reading, Hebrew Reading games and Hebrew buddy reading.
This week we will work on line 10 and 11.

During the week we started talking about Purim and Tuesday students (Wednesday students had a snow day) read the Purim story in the form of a play.  This was followed by a Purim story floor game to review the story.  This week we will talk more about the traditions of Purim and Wednesday students will have an opportunity to read the Purim play.

I hope everyone has a great week and a restful and safe February vacation.