Dvar Torah

In this week’s Parsha, Yaakov fought with AIsav’s angel. While he won the fight, he was injured in his thigh. Because of this, the Torah commands us to refrain from eating the “Gid HaNasheh”, the sciatic nerve of an animal.

The Hebrew word, Nasheh, comes from the root of forgetting. During the times of Chanukah, the Greeks worked hard to make us forget the Torah. They did not object to the Jews as a people, but objected to Judaism, which made the Jews unique.

After Yaakov was injured, the Torah tells us that the sun shone, Lo, for him. The Hebrew word, Lo, has a numeric value of 36. Over the 8 nights of Chanukah, we light 36 candles (plus the Shamesh).

Yaakov Avinu was healed by the sun. The Jewish people are restored by the light of the Chanukah candles.

In every generation, the non-Jews try to hit us, the Jewish people, in the Gid HaNasheh. They try to make us forget the Torah, forget what makes us unique, different from the non-Jews. We keep ourselves separate from the non-Jews. We do not eat the Gid HaNasheh. We remind ourselves of who we are and keep that light burning, through the 36 Chanuka candles that we light over the 8 nights of Chanukah.

(Rav Moshe Wolfson, Meaningful Minute)

Mrs. Rosskamm
Judaic Studies Coordinator

Special Announcement

Dear parents.
Thank G-d, we had a wonderful week at Siha! We definitely feel the Chanukah atmosphere and are excitedly looking forward. The students are working hard to create beautiful Menorahs which will be presented at the Chanukah party on December 6th.
The spectacular Chanukah packages and beautiful silver plated Menorahs for each student will be given out on Wednesday, before Thanksgiving break. The 1st Chanukah Menorah lighting is on Sunday night, November 28.
The school-wide Menorah-lighting contest is for each student to light their Menorah each night of Chanukah with the berachot (blessings.)
The contest sheet will be included in the Chanukah package this Wednesday. There will be great prizes for each student who gives it in to their Judaics teacher after Chanukah as well as an entry an exciting raffle.
Shabbat Shalom!
Have a wonderful and relaxing weekend.

Best regards,
Miss Dershowitz & Mrs Ferber
Programming Coordinators


Kindergarten and First Grade
We baruch Hashem had another great week in kindergarten and first grade Judaics!
In kriah, the first graders are learning to read longer kamatz words and are really doing a great job! They played a fun game of kamatz hangman and kamatz matching with real words! They can’t wait to learn the new nekuda next week. The kindergarteners welcomed in the VAV visitor this week and know how vav is partnered with vet. They also learned about the important mitzvah of “unishmartem es nafshoseichem” (staying safe) and are all super careful to buckle up in the car and wear helmets while bike riding.
The first grade learned a new kesiva letter – the letter vav!
Both classes continued learning the story of the upcoming holiday of Chanuka. They had such fun acting out the scene of the brave Jews ignoring the king Antiochus’s terrible decrees and learning Torah in secret, playing dreidel when the Greek soldiers (Morah:)) came to search for the rule breakers. They were amazed how, despite the harsh decrees, the Jews continued serving Hashem and the children made their very own “Mi laHashem alay” badges showing how they listen to Hashem even when it’s hard.
In parsha, they heard how Yaakov went to great lengths to get some small jars because everything Hashem gives us is very important and must be taken care of. They made their very own small jars with pictures of the small items they own that should be important to them.
It was lovely seeing everyone by PTA. I’m looking forward to another great week!
Morah Chavi

Second Grade
We are having a busy and exciting week preparing for Chanukah. We hope you will enjoy and use our homemade project over the holiday. We learned about the mitzva of not wasting in this weeks Parsha our ancestor Yaakov went back to the other side of the river to locate some small jars he left there. We talked about what we do with clothes that don’t fit us anymore. Zechariah (Zak) and Bryna (Brianna) both said they would donate the clothes. We also talked about not wasting food. We hope all our mothers enjoy the special gift we made and will use it weekly. Shabbat Shalom

Third Grade

This week in 3rd grade was an outstanding week of learning and growing together.
Firstly, I’d like to mention how proud I am of my 3rd grade. They have all completed the first davening contest!
Yes! Their Davening is really so special to Hashem!
We continued learning Hebrew prefixes. We learned this week that “Lamed” means TO or FOR.
We practiced our Zachar and Nekaivah numbers 1-19! it could get confusing but they are doing it beautifully.
Our Dikduk skills are getting better every day and I am so proud of the way they catch onto the Hebrew language.
In Pitgam we learned the wonderful Mitzvah of Tzedakah.
Thank you Gal Zadok for the fun game.
Chanukah is in the air and 3rd grade is learning about the miracle and Mitzvot of Chanukah. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for next week!

Shabbat Shalom!
Morah Ferber

Fourth Grade

Dear Parents,

This week we covered many topics.
Our Tefilla once again was terrific. Children Davening beautifully, it was really a pleasure to see. We spoke about the explanations of parts of Davening.
We were excited to speak about the Chanuka story … worksheets that have letters with nekudos! We really got the feeling of Chanuka.
We are getting ready for the Play we hope to have about 2 weeks after Chanuka. We enjoy the practice each day.
Congratulations to Zohar and Josh for being this week’s raffle winners.

In the Parsha יעקב אבינו returned to the other side of the river by himself, in the middle of the night, to get a few jugs that he forgot there. He had many reasons not to go back and get them: he was by himself, it was in the middle of the night, he was very rich and could get new ones… The lesson we learn is that we have care for what Hashem us.

Have a great Shabbos,
Rabbi Berelowitz

5th and 6th Girls
Dear parents.
Thank G-d, we had a wonderful week!
We began learning all about chanukah. Throughout the entire week, we learned in depth the history of the story of Chanukah. The girls made a book, adding new chapters for every new tale in the chanukah story. They chose the titles they thought were befitting for each story and summarized the stories; decorating, drawing and coloring as we went along.
We are looking forward to learning about the holiday celebrations and costums next week, now that we have a full understanding on the chanukah story.
We continued on in Chumash Shemot, learning about the multiplication of the Jewish nation in Egypt and Pharaoh’s plan to destroy them.
We learned the 3rd blessing of Shemoneh Esrei about the holiness of Hashem.
We learned all about this week’s Parsha, Parshat Vayishlach.
We enjoyed singing Shabbat songs and getting a special Shabbat treat to save for Shabbat.
Shabbat Shalom!
Have a nice weekend.
Best regards,
Miss Dershowitz

5th and 6th Boys

This week we continued onwards in Mishna.
We learned about a case where there were two “finders”. One riding on an animal and one leading the animal.
The law is the same as in the case where two came in holding a lost/found object. They must swear and then they may split it.
If they admit or produce witnesses, we divide it without anyone swearing.
In Parashat Va’eira, we learned about the maka of dam blood.
In Parasha we covered many details, including but not limited to;
Yaakov preparing to meet brother Eisav by,
Preparing a Doron = a gift [a very large one]
Preparing for war.
We read a few Chanuka plays, and we are going to take a vote to see which one we will perform.
Can’t wait
We studied Navi Yehoshua, and completed Perek Vav,with our beautiful workbook. We learned about the Jews conquering the land of Israel, and sparing Rachav and her family, as per the promise of the “spies”.
There is really more in store.

7th and 8th Girls

This week we continued onwards in Mishna.
We learned about a case where there were two “finders”. One riding on an animal and one leading the animal.
The law is the same as in the case where two came in holding a lost/found object. They must swear and then they may split it.
If they admit or produce witnesses, we divide it without anyone swearing.
In Parashat Va’eira, we learned about the maka of dam blood.
In Parasha we covered many details, including but not limited to;
Yaakov preparing to meet brother Eisav by,
Preparing a Doron = a gift [a very large one]
Preparing for war.
We sudied and were quizzed on a lot of info on Be’ur T’fila.
We went further in Halacha- Hilchot Hashkamat Haboker.
We learned alot about the translation of the morning Brachot.
We read a few Chanuka plays and we will have a vote about which one we will use to perform.
there is more
in store

7th and 8th Boys

Dear Parents,
This week we covered many topics.
In explaining the Davening, we spoke about the Berochos of Teshuva. We spoke about how special it is, to be able to ask for forgiveness.
In Gemara we started a brand-new topic. It is the topic of, if someone throws a stone, is he obligated to go to Galus. Mikai did a great job acting out the Gemara.
In Halacha we started learning about Chanuka. We are excited for the Holiday.

Congratulations to Jeffrey and Noam for winning the week’s raffle.
Topics from the Parsha:
יעקב sent messengers to find out if עשו (after 34 years) was still mad at him for taking the ברכות.
The messengers told יעקב that עשו was marching towards him, to fight, with 400 men!
יעקב did 3 things to prepare himself:
1) תפילה.
He sent presents (a lot of small ones to make it look like more).
3) He divided his family into 2 so that at least one group would be able to run away.
When יעקב returned to get the jugs, he met the מלאך of עשו. They fought the rest of the night, and the מלאך was only able to hurt his thigh.
יעקב let the מלאך go only after he agreed that יעקב really deserved the ברכות.
יעקב led his family towards עשו, and he bowed 7 times to show respect to עשו.
עשו hugged יעקב and didn’t hurt him at all.
After עשו told יעקב that he wanted to travel together, יעקב (not wanting to travel with a רשע) told עשו to travel ahead, because he has little children and animals and can’t travel so fast.
רבקה died before יעקב returned home.
רחל died right after she gave birth to her second son-בנימין, the twelfth שבט. She is buried on the side of the road in קבר רחל, that is still there today. It’s a special place for davening.

Have a Good Shabbos!

Rabbi Berelowitz

Thoughts from Mrs. Hazen

Firstly, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Next week is a short week; so the next Newsletter won’t come out until the week after, and that one will be about a much bigger celebration at SIHA: Chanukah.

Thanksgiving is an odd holiday. It was created as a holiday after the Civil War; and it grew out of a need to have a holiday that would unite a nation divided. Its roots are wholly secular, and it was created a national holiday by President Abraham Lincoln (Inspired by an editorial writing campaign by Sarah Josepha Hale). How people celebrate this holiday varied from place to place, until eventually settling into a familiar form by the latter 20th century, when the familiar ‘Pilgrims and Indians’ story got adopted as well.

My family are immigrants to this country, so for us, it is an adopted holiday. As such, we had no family traditions regarding this time. It was nice to have the time off from work and school and be together as a family, so we would cook a big meal, and hang out.

The weather, of course, is turning colder, but it is still warm enough for walks. I absolutely love this part of fall. There are many leaf piles to run through still, and the parks are just cool enough to be bug-free and warm enough to play in. I’m looking forward to that this year – going out on the day of, enjoying the leaves and the cool autumn sun, and rediscovering the joy of running through piles of leaves with my little one.

I hope that my students and their families find a moment next week to enjoy the outside, too. Most of them carry the world in their pockets, and to quote William Wordsworth, “The world is too much with us.”

There is a kind of magic of living in one of the biggest cities in the world, and still getting to enjoy fall leaves and ponds and fuzzy caterpillars. Take a walk or ride your bike, I tell my students; adulthood these days involves way too much staring at screens already.
I leave off with a memorable poem about fog, by Carl Sandburg, quoted below in its entirety:

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Elementary School

This week kindergarten worked super hard on their writing skills! They are practicing writing a sentence beginning with a capital letter, putting spaces between their words, and ending with a punctuation mark. They listened to many read alouds of predictable books and they started to write their own predictable book. In math they continued to review for their math test on patterns that they will take next week.
They made pattern bracelets, did pattern dot painting, and played pattern games. In science they continued to learn about the water cycle. They did two really fun experiments to learn about the water cycle, rain, and snow. They recreated the water cycle in a cup and then they made snow. In social studies they learned about Thanksgiving and why we celebrate Thanksgiving. They were really interested in a video they watched about real Native American children and how they live and play.

First Grade

First grade learned that veterans protect our country and help other countries when needed. We discussed family members who served in the United States armed forces, and wrote letters to thank them for their service. The first graders enjoyed reading “Kitten’s First Full Moon” wherein we learned about cause and effect. We created addition stories in Math. In Science, we discussed ways to combat water pollution. Finally, for Social Studies the first graders made Thankful projects in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Second Grade
2nd grade took a quiz on subtraction with borrowing this week! We are also working on solving word problems, and identifying key words in word problems to help us figure out what steps/operations are required to solve them. In the picture you can see Aaron Kadymir solving a word problem on the board. In ELA we are learning about nouns, what they are, and how to identify them in sentences. In social studies we are learning about weather, climate, and different kinds of landforms. In science, students learned what is a habitat and how animals meet their needs; Students describe the animals and plants they live and adapt in the Woodland forest.

Third Grade
This week Grade 3 students learned how to identify and correct run on sentences. During our Math lessons, students practiced solving addition equations vertically and through number bonding. They also continued to develop their skills in solving word problems and rounding. During our Reading lessons, students continued reading their class novel – Love That Dog. Students saw Jack use more and more literary devices such as imagery to continue his journey of writing poetry. Students were also introduced to Aesop’s fables through a play called The Ants and the Grasshoppers. They were able to analyze and identify the elements of the play with the concentration towards the play’s theme. During our Social Studies lessons, students compared and contrasted the three types of communities. They reviewed everything we learned through our research and are ready to take the quiz on Monday.
Miss Sasha

In science, students learned and were able to explain the path of the respiratory system; explain the differences between lungs and gills; gave examples of the ways that animals respond to the environment.

Fourth Grade
This week in ELA students changed singular nouns to singular possessive nouns, identified and formed plural possessive nouns, and joined two nouns to combine sentences with similar ideas. Completed multiple writing assignments that compare.
In math students are working on long division, multiplication and solving multi- step word problems.
In social studies we started chapter 3 Exploring the East. We read, discussed, and answered questions about the landforms, bodies of water, the climate, natural resources, and market economy of the East.
In reading we started our new class chapter book Inside Out and Back Again.

In science, students started a new chapter: “Organization of Living Things”
During a mini-lab: Students were able to dissect and illustrate the structure of a flower. Observing and illustrating the parts of a flower was so exciting.

Fifth Grade
Fifth Graders welcomed their new ELA and Social Studies teacher, Mr. Kestenbaum. Mr. Kestenbaum comes with 35 years of experience and is very excited to be joining SIHA. Fifth graders wrote introductory letters to Mr. Kestenbaum. In grammar, students reviewed for their Vocabulary Test. Everyone did a good job! In reading, 5B continued their novel study of Holes while 5A continued their novel study of Maniac Magee. In Social Studies, the students finished their chapter on Native Americans and started learning about the Age of Exploration.

In gym, Rabbi Kuritsky showed up and helped the 5th grade work out!

In science, students learned and compared characteristics of plants that improve their ability to survive in a specific environment. Describe how food is transported in plants.

Students performed a Mini-Lab: How does water flow through the celery stem? During the lab students were able to make an observation on the plant’s stem.


Middle School

Middle School ELA and Social Studies

6th Grade

Sixth grade had a busy week!
Ms. Tatic joined our classroom as the new 6th grade teacher. Mrs. Hazen was there every day to smooth out the transition. In grammar, students learned about and practiced identifying Subject Complements. In reading, students started their literary analysis essay by making an outline and populating it with textual evidence.
In Social Studies, the class started their next unit on Ancient India.

7th Grade

Seventh grade had a busy week!
Ms. Tatic joined the 7th grade as the new ELA and Social Studies teacher. Mrs. Hazen was still in the classroom every day to help smooth out the transition. Students learned a new method of annotating nonfiction texts to help finding meaning easier. We annotated and discussed the Gettysburg Address, and later on in the week, did the same for JFK’s Inaugural Address.
In reading, we continued our novel study and had great class discussion.
Students also reviewed for and took their Unit 1 Vocabulary Test. Ilan got a 100%!
In Social Studies, students learned about the Age of Exploration and made a poster identifying the causes, the technological advances, and the results of European Exploration.

8th Grade
Eighth Grade had a good week!
This week was all about wrapping up our novel study of Lord of the Flies. We did close reading of key passages and analysis in terms of characterization and allegorical meaning. Students also answered reading comprehension questions.
Students also reviewed for and took their Unit 1 Vocabulary Test. Everyone studied hard!
In Social Studies, we started our unit on the Great Depression and the New Deal. Students had wonderful class discussions over the causes and effects of the Great Depression.

Middle School Math
5A and 5B grade worked on adding and subtracting mixed numbers.
6th grade worked on multiplying and dividing fractions.
7th grade learned how to calculate the area of composite shapes and surface area of prisms.
8th grade learned how to convert equations to standard form.

Middle School Science

6th gr.

Students learned and understood how tectonic plate motions have resulted in global changes in geography, climate, and the patterns of organic evolution. During an activity students were able to understand the different plate boundaries when they completed the informational chart.

7th Grade

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.

8th gr. Science Nachas

Mrs. Belli was so proud of Lana, Leora and Yisroel. Students were able to present their work in an amazing presentation: “Plants as Medicine ” Keep it up!! Great job!!

Jewish History
7th grade continued exploring the first 10 generations of this world. We learned the 6 commandments that apply to all people and we saw how the lack of following those commandments lead to discord and destruction. Each student wrote for me their own example based on what we learned. I got some very interesting answers that I enjoyed very much. Congratulations to Eva and Gabby for surprising me with something I never thought of before!

8th grade continued our journey into the Babalonian exile. We learned about the end of Nevechadnetzar’s reign, the peaceful times of Evil Merodach and the upheaval of Balshatzar, complete with hands writing on the wall!.