Sunday, December 16, 2018

Grade 6/7 / Kitah Vav/Zayin 2018-2019


Hi 6th Grade families!

This past Sunday was so fun making Tallitot together! We decorated the fabric and our expert volunteer sewers will have them ready for us soon. It is an amazing experience to work together to design a meaningful Jewish artifact. I understand that some of you will use a talit passed down from a grandparent, which is so special. Now you will have two tallitot to pass down to your own future children and grandchildren. We will finish up with the Tzitzit tying on February 3rd.

Hope everyone has a great vacation and New Year! See you in 2019!


Hello 6th Grade families!

This week in religious school, we had fun celebrating Chanukah with the ultimate dreidel champion and some gelt checkers, and then finished our celebration off with latkes and cider from the Men's Club. We also continued our Bnai Mitzvah lessons, talking about important issues like how choosing our own outfits is related to becoming an adult, gender identity and expression through clothes, and expectations that society sets up for us. It was a lively discussion where our students felt comfortable to share their perspectives.

We are so excited about our upcoming Tallit making workshop! It will be this coming Sunday 12/16 from 9-12. I look forward to seeing everyone there!


Hi 6th grade families!

This week we had an exciting Skype session with the Habonim School in Haifa! This was something we have been preparing for by practicing introducing ourselves in Hebrew, and saying one thing about ourselves that we like. Ask your kids how to introduce themselves in Hebrew - we learned 3 different ways. It was so great to see the excitement in all the kids, and it was especially nice that we were able to light Chanukah candles together and sing Chanukah songs.

Something to look forward to is the next lesson from our Bnai Mitzvah program, and our Tallit making program, with more details coming soon. 


Hi 6th Grade Families!

This week we had a lot of fun participating in the next lesson from our Moving Traditions program to prepare for our Bnai Mitzvah. The focus on this lesson was what it is like to be the center of attention, and if that is something we like or don't like. We played 4 corners, where each corner was labeled strongly agree, agree, disagree, and strongly disagree. The a series of statements were said, and students moved about the room to where they fit. Everyone was engaged and was willing to elaborate on their answers! The class also learned the words introvert, extrovert, and ambivert. Ask them what they mean!

Remember there is no school next Sunday because of Thanksgiving. Something to look forward to is our Skype conference with the Habonim school in Israel! We were originally scheduled to Skype last week, but due to a scheduling conflict, it was postponed to December 2nd.

Have a great week and happy Thanksgiving!


This past Sunday the 6th grade went on a field trip to Newport to visit the Touro Synagogue, and other historic sites in Newport! We started off our trip at the welcome center, where we learned a brief history. After lunch, we were welcomed into the oldest synagogue and learned about the unique history of the building, congregation, and founders. We learned that the building is in it's original state, and we even saw a 500 year old Torah! Ask your child what their favorite part was and what they learned!

Two things to look forward to:
1. Reflection projects coming from our field trip. So far we have a blog post, Kahoot game, and an iMovie.

2. First Skype meeting with the Habonim school on Sunday 11/18.


Today we talked with the rabbi about The Tree Of Life temple loss that occurred Pittsburgh. The students discussed how they feel about the event and how they can help others feel safe. In the classroom the 7th grade wrote questions about the field trip to the temple in Newport. The 6th graders wrote introductions to say to their pen pals in Haifa. 


Do you remember the game "Cross the River" from gym class? You and your team must work together to figure out how to cross a "river" by stepping on a limited number of stones. It was fun and challenging, and we ran out of time before any team had an opportunity to make it to the other side. When we got back to class, one student asked, "What did that game have to do with Hebrew school?" Instead of answering him myself, I opened up the floor, and these were the top answers from your children:

1. It's like our journey through life
2. Our Bar/Bat Mitzvah will be challenging, but we have other people to support us through
3. We need to work together to succeed in life
4. When things get hard, we can turn to our community

I must say, they had some great insight! We continued with our B'nai Mitzvah program by discussing what is means to transition from childhood to your teenage years. We had fun reminiscing about what it was like to be a kid!

We will continue with four more B'nai Mitzvah sessions with 6th grade before inviting you back for the final family session. 


Hello from 6th/7th! This Sunday we had a great day of service at the Brophy school. Our day was divided into different projects. We started our day with munchkins and hot chocolate (which may have been the highlight for some people)! We met a family of refugees who moved from Syria, and they thanked us so much for all the work we are doing for other refugees in in Syria. He thanked us in Arabic and someone from the Jewish Teen Initiative translated for us. We worked in an assembly line to package 200 care packages from families in refugees! We were careful to package with care and intent to make sure every package arrived intact. We also made cards that we wrote in Arabic to put in the packages. It was great to see the students to engaged in the projects! After the care packages, we split into groups to help with gardening in the front of the school, and painting the blacktop in the back of the school. 

Some students decided to stay at Temple Israel for a day of learning, and it was great to swap experiences with each other when we came back.

Something to look forward to is that we will continue our work with refugees and immigration, as well as prepare for our interview projects with people who have immigrated. If you or a family member have immigrated, and would be willing to be interviewed, please feel free to email Hilary (


Today in the 6/7 grade we watched a video about Syrian refugees. The students discussed what they can do to help refugees in the United States. We were shocked to learn how many people have been displaced in 2016...ask your children how many people in the world escaped their countries due to persecution and economic problems.We saw a picture of the Turkish border where millions of Syrian refugees have been living. We tackled heavy questions thinking about why it is important for us as Jewish people to know and care about this, and what can we do about it? We finished the day by 6th grade practicing trope with Cantor Ken while the 7th grade practiced their modern Hebrew. 

Next Sunday we have a service project, and we look forward to be able to give back to our community!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Electives (Birkot Hamazon) 2018-2019

12-12-18 - Week 4


Fall electives are going strong. The embroidery elective is making challah covers with words inspired by the Birkot Hamazon. The students learned how to use special threaders, embroidery thread, bamboo embroidery rings and stencils. They made beautiful challah covers!

We are looking forward to summarizing our electives as a group and sharing our beautiful covers. Also, looking forward to winter break!

You can ask your child What is the Birkot Hamazon? And when is the "Birkot" sung?

11-27-18 - Week 2

Local Food (Tuesday Only)

We discussed what it means for a food/plant to be "native" to an area. We also discussed, the advantages/disadvantages of the majority of our food coming from the same place or region.
We talked about why we eat latkas for Chanukah (answer: potatoes are root veggies available in Eastern Europe in December "Ashkenazi." Lastly, we tasted root vegetables: daikon radish, watermelon radish, celery root/celeriac, turnip, parsnip, horseradish.

Ask your child: Why do we eat latkas? And How did the root vegetables taste?

11-14-18 - Week 1


We discussed why we sing the Birkot with joy. We are grateful to God for providing us with food. As we read the translation of the Birkot, we chose words or phrases that would be chosen to embroider on a challah cover. We watched a few Youtube videos of basic embroidery stitches. We chose a handkerchief or napkin to use. We began stenciling onto the fabric. We are looking forward to beginning to use the bamboo hoops, the embroidery thread and needles.

Week 1 was interesting, enjoyable and all of the students are happy with their elective choices.

-Marsha Horovitz

Local Food (Tuesday Only)

On Tuesday, We learned the process of making bread and how they relate to prohibitions of Shabbat (eleven melachot). We also, played "Guess that Grain." Lastly, we grounded wheat into flour.

We are looking forward to learning more about where are food comes from.

You can ask your child about the different stages of wheat and if anything really makes food Jewish?

-Leora Mallach

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Madrichim 2018-2019


The Madrichim are discussing learning styles and how they differ in the classroom. Each Madrichim was asked to find out their learning style and how they see that style being addressed in the Hebrew School classroom. "My style of learning was visual.  An example of a visual learning style is watching a video or using pictures to learn a lesson.  One example of visual learning that I saw in the classroom was Margie reading to the kids with picture books to help the kids understand the story and to keep the engaged."
- Justin Linden.


My learning style is visual learning. Visual learning is when one uses graphs, charts, diagrams, and maps to learn. An example of visual learning is using a map to learn how to get to one destination from another. I learned something new about the way I learn because now I know I learn visually. In the kindergarten classroom we are making a visual representation of the Hanukkah blessing. This can help the kids learn the blessing through  visualization. 
- Bina Landis


What is your learning style and how does this help you in the classroom?

After taking the survey, I discovers that my learning style is tactile/ kinesthetic. An example of this is taking notes in class. I tend to write notes on what is written in a textbook or on the board, it is easier for me than writing what was said. I am not always a fan of all hands on learning, but it does have a big presence in the Hebrew classroom through the new Hebrew through movement curriculum. I both enjoy the activities and think it helps the students learn a lot of new Hebrew words.- Ari Klawans


What did you hope to gain from being a Madricha? I enjoy doing this (4 years now) and I enjoy being in the Jewish classroom. My students make me happy- Bina

What did you hope to gain from being a Madricha? I want to learn how to work with a variety of ages. Last year I was in the 4th grade classroom and now I am working with 3rd grade. What a difference!!- Naomi


What I hope to get out of my Madrichim experience is:

I hope to become a better teacher and connect more to each of my students.  I want to engage each of the students in the lesson so they gain a better sense of appreciation for Jewish learning.

- Justin Linden