Dvar Torah

Hashem told Avraham, Lech Lecha. This translates as go for yourself, go for your own sake. What does this mean? Go for the sake of your own soul. In Charan you will not be able to become great. If you leave Charan, you will become the forefather of a great nation.
Hashem tested Avraham with a challenge he was able to handle. Hashem never asks a person to do more than they are capable of. We need to exert ourselves and put in maximum effort, but it is within our ability to do so. We are able to overcome any challenge Hashem sends our way.
Shlomo HaMelech tells us in Koheles, “Whatever you are able to do with your might, do it.” We need to do whatever we can, but we do not need to do anything beyond that.
R’ Zusha of Anipoli once told that when he gets to the world to come, he is not afraid of being asked why he wasn’t as great as Avraham Avinu or Moshe Rabbeinu. He said that he did not have their abilities or talents and so he was not expected to be like them. But he was very scared of a different question. He was afraid of being asked, “Why weren’t you Zusha? Why didn’t you accomplish what you were able to do?”
Our job is to do whatever we can. Avraham Avinu was tested 10 times. He clearly demonstrated his conviction to do his best, to the best of his abilities. We can do the same.
(Aleinu L’Shabei’ach, Rabbi Yitzchok Zilberstein)

Mrs. Rosskamm
Judaic Studies Supervisor


Kindergarten and First Grade

Baruch Hashem, we had another great week in kindergarten and first grade Judaics!
In Kindergarten aleph-bet, we learned all about the letter “bet” with a bouncy ball in it! We then discussed the important mitzvah of bikur cholim (visiting the sick to help them feel better) and made our very own bikur cholim books. In first grade aleph-bet, we’re very busy reviewing the letters with fun stories and games.
We were also so excited to learn all about how much Hashem wants to hear our prayers about anything, anywhere, and in any language. The first graders had a great time decorating their very own siddurim (prayer books). We can’t wait to use them in school every day!
In parsha, we acted out the story of parshat lech lecha with funny costumes. The first graders then were able to draw out some scenes from the parsha story. The kindergarteners made an exciting project showing how each of us is a star, just like Hashem promised Avram Avinu!
Looking forward to another great week!
Morah Chavi

Second Grade

This week in 2nd grade we learned about Avrum and his wife Sorai. We acted out the Parsha in class pretending we were Avrum smashing down his fathers idols. Avrum at a young age realized the must be some purpose in the world, there must be a G-d in the world. The sun sets in the evenings therefore, the sun is not a G-d. The moon only shines at night therefore the moon is not a God. We learned that Avrum was so careful about not letting his sheep graze in any land that didn’t belong to him, but his nephew Lot did allow his sheep to graze in other fields. It was for this reason that Avrum and Lot separated and Lot went to Sdom to live. We learn from this to be careful not to touch or use anything that does not belong to us without permission. It was so exciting to start our new Kitva (Handwriting) book this week. Shabbat Shalom, Morah Spiegel

Terach, father of Avrum, comes back to his store and seeing all his idols smashed. Avrum told his father the idols had a fight and the biggest idol smashed all the others.

Third Grade

What a great week we had together in third grade. We are really getting to know our Aleph Bet and Nekudot.
The boys and girls catch on really quick with all the sounds.
Our Dikduk/Hebrew grammar skills are progressing as well. We are learning how to write our nouns properly. In Zachar and Nekaivah form.
We had a special visit from Rabbi Kuritsky who taught the class about the beautiful mitzvah of Tzitzit. The boys proudly put it on and made the Brachah.
Our Ella Hanuka showed us how we always have Hashem in front of us no matter where we are. We had such a fun time playing a game she prepared.
We love to learn the parsha. It comes alive as the boys and girls draw beautiful art.
We can’t wait to learn more and grow!
Morah Ferber

Mrs. Ferber invites Rabbi Kuritsky to give a Tzitzit presentation to the 3rd grade.
Rabbi Kuritsky came into the classroom wearing a Talit [gadol] = a large talit.
He also brought in two Talit katans for the boys to wear and say a Bracha on.
He explained to the class that every jewish male is obligated by the Torah, when wearing a 4 cornered article of clothing to attach to the corners, Tzitzit. The Rabbis, going back thousands of years, established that every male Jew should wear a four cornered article of clothing every day so as to obligate themselves in the mitzva and receive reward for wearing Tzitzit.
Every male student in third grade took a turn wearing a Talit katan aka Tzitzit.
The presentation was enjoyed by all 3rd grade students.

Fourth Grade

Fourth grade
As we end another super week of school, it is amazing to see our accomplishments.
Each day was filled with learning and excitement.
In Tefilla we spoke about the Prayer that discusses not to have a bad neighbor. We spoke about how important it is to have good neighbors. Many children had stories about bad neighbors that they have. Many of the stories involved dogs and it was so interesting hearing all the remarkable stories. Lia Amos had a great story about her neighbors and a dog which they have.
The Tefilla sounded very beautiful. The students got smiley face points for Davening. It was very inspiring. Mrs. Adams joined us a couple of days for part of Davening and enjoyed it as well.
We spent much time this week working on our beautiful Parsha notebooks. It was a big project for the children. The students were very busy cutting and gluing, making sure it looks in tip top shape.
In Kesiva we spent a lot of time writing the Hebrew letters in scrip. The students are mastering getting to really know their Kesiva.
We started practicing for our Chumash play. We practiced the songs. Mrs. Rosskamm came from the other side of the building just to hear the beautiful sounds of the children.
A happy Birthday to Mia Factor. We are very proud of you. May Hashem give you a long happy life with only good things.
The theme of this week in our class was Kindness. The students were helping each other out whether it was with the Parsha notebooks or getting to know the Hebrew letters in script.
Keep it up!!

5th and 6th Girls
Dear parents.
Thank G-d, we had a wonderful week!
We began many different subjects, including Jewish law – Mitzvot, Ani Maamin – the 13 Principles of Faith, Tefilah – prayer.
We began our exciting Shomrei Halashon program. The girls are working to speak positively about others and are building up their points.
We began our Tefilah – Davening contest. The girls have a yellow key with 8 circles on it. Every day at the end of Davening, I go around and the girls tell me whether they deserve a hole punch or not. (I’m truly impressed by the girls honesty – you brought your daughters up well!) When all 8 circles on their key are hole punched, they get the next color key on their key ring. When the class has 150 key rings, we will be celebrating with a very exciting party. When a girl has all 5 colors of keys on her key ring punched out, she will receive a special prize.
This is because Tefilah – prayer – is the key to open and bring on the blessing in our lives that G-d is waiting to give to us, as soon as He hears from us. He wants a relationship with us because we are His dear children.
We had a wonderful time on Friday decorating cupcakes in honor of Shabbat. We also enjoyed singing Shabbat songs.
Shabbat Shalom!
Looking forward to another incredible week.
Enjoy your weekend.

Best regards,
Miss Dershowitz

5th and 6th Boys
5th and 6th boys have begun reading and translating Mishna!
We began Sefer Shmot-Parasha Vayera.
We discussed a “life skill”:
When we want something from HAshem, even if it something we are deserving of, we should pray!
We saw this in Parashat Vayera,
Hashem tells Moshe that He heard the cries of B’nei Yisrael, and is now ready to redeem them from Egypt. It was already the time that Hashem had promised to our grandfather Avraham Avenu [in in this week’s Parasha-Parashat Lech L’cha] to take us out, we still needed to cry out = to daven.
We learned the same criteria in Parashat B’reishis, although HAshem had created the plants, grass etc. they did not grow out of the ground until Adam Hareeshon davened.
We, of course, learned a lot about the Parasha.
We are learning the “laws of getting up in the morning.
There is a daily raffle to help motivate the T’fila.
Some winners went home with smashed pennies from Rabbi Kuritsky.
The boys are scoring very high on their [Parasha] tests, so far.
Rabbi Kuritsky

7th and 8th Girls

7th and 8th grade girls are davening beautifully, with Ariella S. in the lead! Yaffa in show place.
Rabbi Kuritsky raffled off a prize to motivate the wonderful girls, even more.
To date, the girls have taken two Parasha tests and one Halacha test. The girls are acing the tests.
The Halacha was regarding the laws of girls’ obligations in the morning and about T’fila.
We began to learn about Yehoshua , which was apropos, especially since we recently read in shul on Simchat Torah about the passing of Moshe Rabbeinu, which is followed by Yehoshua taking over to lead B’nei Yisrael into Eretz Yisrael.
Mr. Kaufman is taking out a small group of girls, daily to help them with K’riah reading Hebrew.
They were tested, and did very well!
Rabbi Kuritsky

7th and 8th Boys

It was another terrific week in our class.
In Tefilla we started the explanation of the first Beracha of Shmona Esreh. There is a lot to learn about the Beracha and we had many interesting lessons on it. Jeffery knew the words of Shomoma Esreh really well.
In Gemara class we were learning about that “a Halacha that is in the Mishna is learnt from a Pasuk. A big thank you to Kobe for reading the Pasuk so beautifully. The noise level of the class of saying the Gemara was soo loud and beautiful and very inspiring. Rabbi Kuritsky told me that a Student came over by lunch break and asked him a good question on the Gemara.
We said over a Story about a Student who loved cooking. However, when it came to eating, he would make sure it was always Kosher even though it was not always easy.
In Halacha we spoke about when you make a Beracha you should concentrate on the Bracha and not be doing something else.

Topics from the Parsha:
Avrum and Sorai left Choron, and went to Eretz Ca’naan. Lot, and all of the people that they taught about Hashem, came along.
Another test: They finally reach Eretz Ca’naan and there is a famine. Avrum passed the test and didn’t complain or question Hashem. They then traveled to Egypt, with Soai hiding in the box.
The shepherds of Avrum and Lot argued about where to allow their sheep to eat. Lot chose to live near Sedom.
Avrum and Eliezer came to rescue Lot from the strong “4 Kings”. Hashem made a miracle and helped them win, and the dirt turned into arrows.
We heard the story of when dirt turned into arrows for Nachum Ish Gam Zo.
Avrum married Hagar and had a son named Yishmael.
Hashem changed the name of Avrum to Avraham and Sorai to Sorah.
Hashem gave Avraham Avinu the Mitzva of Bris Milah.

Lunch at SIHA

Lunch in SIHA is an enjoyable learning experience.
Every day, the children enjoy a delicious, nutritios meal, after which all classes (5-7) are responsible to clean their table and prepare for ברכת המזון Birkat Hamazon.
Each child holds a beautiful laminated Birkat Hamazon card and sings Birkat Hamazon along with rabbi Kuritsky.
Miss Ety Perez and Mr Kaufman give out raffle tickets for our daily raffle.
To date rabbi Kuritsky has awarded quite a few students with prizes ranging from “smashed pennies”, slime and led…. to brownie bars.
Thank you miss Ety, Mr Kaufman, Mrs Belli, miss Recaro and rabbi Kuritsky for running a fun, enjoyable and educational lunch.

Thoughts from Mrs. Hazen

Planning is the stuff weekdays are full of. As teachers, we create plans upon plans. There are curriculum plans, lesson plans, assessment plans, even plans for recess and dismissal. More mundanely, our days start and end with plans (what am I wearing today? What’s for dinner? Did I remember to take the laundry out?)
Of course, plans are important. They signify responsibility. Yet, in the classroom, the best stuff sometimes happens unplanned.
My current sixth grade is a class full of actors. It wasn’t planned. I do read-alouds with all of my classes; but this class took the idea of playing a role and ran with it. With the unabashed elan of youth, they do silly and serious voices, and imbue their reading with real character. Sometimes they are so into it, that I forget to stop on time and we end up reading a bit longer than we should.
It’s great fun, of course, but it also leads to some very deep class discussion on topics such as bullying, the desire to belong to a group, and even the desire to be apart from a group. These discussions translate into deep writing on the topic – so we got to where we wanted to be, even if the path we took wasn’t exactly planned.

So, this week’s thought is on the wonders of serendipity. It’s a big word that means something happy and unplanned, and I feel like those amazing small moments of serendipity happen when we let ourselves be spontaneous, even for just a little bit.

Imagination and fun aren’t just for kids, either. One of my favorite poems is Instructions, by the celebrated American author Neil Gaiman. It’s a poem about fairytales and myths, and a part of it goes like this:

From the back garden you will be able to see the wild wood.
The deep well you walk past leads to Winter’s realm;
There is another land at the bottom of it.

A cheer for serendipity, and for seeing the amazing in the everyday.

Mrs. Hazen

Elementary School

This week kindergarten did an amazing job! I am so proud of them. They learned how to spell and read their first words. They even read their first book! They learned the letters T, S, C, D, and O. They were able to put those letters together to read and spell different words. They played games in groups and made the letters using monkey string. They also learned all about the parts of a book. In math they learned a fun song to help them learn how to identify and write the numbers 1-10. Through dancing they are now able to count to 20 and subitize within 5 super fast. They really enjoyed listening to the Shape Monster book and they loved finding different 2D shapes to feed our shape monster. In science they learned all about their sense of touch. They got to feel different types of objects and they decorated a hand with different types of textures. They also learned about their sense of smell. They smelled jars that contained different scents and they used their sense of smell to determine what was in each jar. In social studies they discussed what it means to be fair and what it means to be responsible. They realized that even though they are young they can help others and be responsible in school and at home.

First Grade
This week the amazing first graders learned alot. We represented book reports about our favorite fiction stories. We wrote exciting letters about our families. In Social Studies we drafted a map from a photograph. And in math, we figured out how to divide numbers into different parts. Finally, in Art class we mixed paints to create secondary and tertiary colors.

Second Grade
This week 2nd grade had our first math test! The test was on standard and expanded form, comparing numbers, and number patterns. The class did very well! In grammar we are wrapping up our unit on sentences. We are continuing to read our first book, “The Chocolate Touch.” In social studies we are learning about urban, suburban, and rural areas, and the differences between them.

Third Grade
During our first full week of school, Grade 3 students accomplished a great deal. During our Grammar lessons, students continued to work on identifying complete sentences, fragments, statements, and questions. They had also had a chance to work in their spelling journals. There they were able to practice their spelling words and on their development of well bodied sentences. During our Reading lessons, students began their study of poetry. They were able to analyze the structure and elements of The Wind, by Robert Louis Stevenson. This is a genre that is going to be our focus during the next few months as we begin our class novel Love That Dog next week. During the Math lessons, students continued to learn about concepts within the Place Value. They were able to practice representing and converting numbers in multiple forms such as model, expanded, standard, and word. To demonstrate their understanding and for the simple joy of it, students created Place Value Donuts! It was a fun project which turned out wonderfully. They also have been refreshing their memories through addition and subtraction word problems. During our Social Studies lessons, students learned the meaning of and the importance of the Pledge of Allegiance. We analyzed each phrase and learned the meaning of every word and how they relate to our community, class, and world as a whole. Students were so enthralled in the concept of republic nations and kingdoms that we even dipped our toes into world history and the British Royal Family.

Fourth Grade

This week in ELA students capitalize and punctuate sentences. Identified complete subject , complete predicate, simple sentence, and combined sentences with a compound subject. Wrote a personal narrative about favorite family story and what they have done to make their neighborhood, home, or school a better place.
In Math students were finding factors, multiples, common factors and common multiples of given numbers. Identifying prime and composite numbers.
In Social Studies students read about major landforms and bodies of water in the United States.
We are continuing to read our class chapter book Flora and Ulysses.
Please remember to read every day for 20 minutes and log it. Logs will be collected every Monday. Also please keep practicing the multiplication table!

Fifth Grade

Greetings and salutations!
Grammar this week was all about compound and complex sentences. In reading, we continued our novel study of Maniac Magee. We discussed characterization and focused on making good notes on where in the novel found examples.
In social studies we focused on lines of latitude and lines of longitude. We mapped the equator, prime meridian, tropic of cancer and tropic of Capricorn. We discussed how our location effects our climate.

Ms. Tatic would like to commend Izzy Hanuka for being a great student!

Grammar this week was all about imperative and exclamatory sentences. In reading we continued our novel study of Holes. I am happy to see that the class is very excited about this novel!
We discussed the plot quite a bit and took turns reading.
In social studies we focused on lines of latitude and lines of longitude. We mapped the equator, prime meridian, tropic of cancer and tropic of Capricorn. We discussed how our location effects our climate.
Ms. Tatic would like to commend Ella Dery for being a diligent student!

Middle School

Middle School ELA and Social Studies

6th Grade

Sixth grade had a great week!
In ELA, we practiced identifying hard to find subjects in inverted sentences and imperative sentences. In reading, we continued our novel study of Fish in a Tree. Students discussed characterization, character motives, and did an activity on similes. In Social Studies, we wrapped up our lesson on ancient Mesopotamia by reading an excerpt from the laws of Hammurabi. Students wrote a journal comparing and contrasting the laws of Hammurabi to the Bill of Rights we studied earlier.
Mrs. Hazen would like to commend all of sixth grade, but especially Zev, Victoria, and Charles for their amazing job reading.

7th Grade

Seventh graders had a busy week!
In grammar, this week was all about the direct object. In reading, we continued our novel study of Fever, 1973. We discussed plot and characterization, and are starting our first journal!
In Social Studies, we wrapped up our unit on African trading kingdoms. We reviewed and are ready for our quiz on Monday. Mrs. Hazen would like to commend Noam Tisona for his awesome classwork!

8th Grade

Eighth graders had a busy week!
In grammar, this week was all about direct and indirect objects. Students practiced identifying direct and indirect object in sentences. In reading, we continued our novel study of Lord of the Flies. We characterized our four main characters and discussed the symbolism of the conch.
In Social Studies, we wrapped up our World War I unit with a test. Students answered an essay question, and wrote about the causes and the effects of World War I. Mrs. Hazen was particularly impressed with Lana’s writing on the test!

Middle School Math

This week, both fifth grade classes worked on creating factor trees, prime factorization, exponents, and prime power factorization.

The sixth-grade class is so close to finishing their first unit. This week they worked on classifying numbers, comparing rational numbers, converting decimals into fractions and vice versa!

The 7th grade class has been hard at work solving two-step equations. The 7th grade honors class also have been using their skills to solve real world problems that require defining a variable, writing an equation, then solving it.

The 8th grade class has been solving literal equations and solving for just one variable with respect to others. They have also started working with rates, ratios, and proportions.

Middle School Science

6th Grade

Students learned the earth’s major systems and how they interact; common tools used by Earth scientists;
Activity:Students created a layered book to help them organize the important steps of the Scientific Method.
During an experiment students were able to define and calculate the density of a solid using water displacement.

7th Grade

Welcome Back to SIHA’s finest form of communication regarding the progress of all SIHA students. 7th grade is discovering the ways in which we identify the characteristics of physical properties, the difference between a physical and chemical change and how we determine the various characteristics of matter. Students will watch various videos and conduct hands-on investigations to determine the density of an object.

8th Grade

Students are discovering what it means to be alive! Students will be completing a Scientific Explanation answering the essential question “What does an organism need to be deemed alive?” They are investigating various articles and will watch a few videos to begin their investigation, so they can determine a position and make a claim. Once their investigation is complete, students will make their claim and support it with evidence from the sources they used to complete their investigation.


Jewish History

7th grade concluded our introduction to Jewish History. We then moved on to take a very strange quiz as an introduction to creation of the world! The students were quite curious about the quiz questions and are eagerly waiting to find out the answers next week!

8th grade learned about the reign of Shlomo HaMelech and his times. It was a time of peace and therefore, Shlomo HaMelech was able to build the Bais HaMikdash!