Dvar Torah

Parshas Bo
Candle Lighting: 4:27

This week’s Parsha tells us of the first Mitzvah given to the Jewish people, the Mitzvah of sanctifying the beginning of the new month. The Hebrew word for month is Chodesh, from the same root as the word, Chodosh, new. Each month is a new start, a new opportunity. No matter what may have happened in the past, the new month gives us a chance to start again. We can correct the mistakes of the past as we move forward into the future. Hashem is constantly giving us the opportunity to start fresh and correct past mistakes.

More than that, this Mitzvah also teaches us an important lesson about time. Time is not something that merely passes by, moving forward from one day to the next. Each moment of time is an opportunity, a chance for greatness, a chance to build, to progress towards a goal. By sanctifying the beginning of the new month, we are santifying time itself, transforming each moment from the mundane to one of holiness.

Each month, we start again, refreshing our relationship with Hashem, just as the moon begins its cycle once more. Take advantage of the opportunity Hashem is constantly giving us once a month.

Good Shabbos
Mrs. Rosskamm
Judaic Studies Coordinator

Special Announcement

A great big SIHA congratulations to our Students of the Month!

Kindergarten – Navah Hecht
First Grade – Aviel Raytburg
Second Grade – Sophie Braun
Third Grade – Lielle Garber
Fourth Grade – Benjamin Shindelman
5A – Noilee Oz
5B – Abby Jaffe
Middle School General Studies – Ruti Applebaum
Middle School Judaics – Avigdor Tovshteyn



Second Grade
We had a busy week as we are continuing to master our reading skills. Yosef Cohen read a line in 12 seconds when we played Beat the Clock. Congratulations Yosef. We had a exciting assembly on Monday in honor of Rosh Chodesh Shevat. The new Hebrew month of Shevat. The mitzva of Rosh Chodesh was actually the first mitzva given to the Jews as they were preparing to leave Egypt which is discussed in this weeks Parsha. The students saw how in Rosh Chodesh the moon is very small, but it continues circling around until it is a complete circle mid month and then becomes smaller littleby little again until the end of the month. The Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar. Aaron Schwartzman told us that he saw the moon one night and it was indeed very small. Morah took a picture of the moon to show all yilaydim (children) how small the moon is at the beginning of the month.For a Shabbat treat this week the class enjoyed Moon cooklies. The final 3 makot are described in this weeks portion as well. We learned the makkot in Hebrew and English.

Third Grade

This month we are having a school wide Brochos contest. The children have to color in a box every time they either make a Brocha out loud or answer Amein to a Brocho someone else made. We just got the blue contest sheet today and some boxes are already filled in. Your child has to remember to bring the blue contest sheet back to school after vacation for a prize. Shabbat Shalom!
Third Grade
Third grade had a wonderful week of learning!
We are happy to have all of our classmates healthy and back in school with us.
We continued to review our Hebrew words and we know them cold! We also learned what the four seasons are and the four directions- all in Ivrit! In Pitgum this week we learned how important it is to learn! Even Rabbi Akiva at age 40 went to learn the Aleph Bet. We should all try to do our best. The only way to learn is to ask.Thank you Benjamin Portman for doing such a nice job.
For the new month of Chodesh Shevat, We began the new unit of Brachot. Learning about it and trying to remember to say it BEFORE we eat. It’s our way to say thank you to Hashem.
The third grade Davening is absolutely beautiful! We’ve added so much already to our prayers yet we are starting slowly to say the entire Shema! Every day we will say another line of V’haya then continuing with Vayomer until the end!
It is so important to say these words every day.
Shabbat Shalom!

Morah Ferber

Fourth Grade
What an accomplishing week we had in 4th grade.
In our beautiful Tefilla, we spoke about how we should be used to doing Hashem’s Torah, and that we should be attached to all the Mitzvot. We gave examples of this concept. The children really understood it well.
In our Chayeinu lessons we spoke about, what Hashem did on every day of creation. Which day were the scary lions created? Which day were the beautiful trees created? The children know it well. Of course, on Shabbat we know Hashem rested.
We spent much time on practicing our Kriah and Kesiva. We read Pesukim of Tehillim. It is a pleasure to see the children grasping the Kriah well.
I did not have a chance to wish everyone a Shabbat Shalom in person being that it snowed today, however please make a snowman and bring a picture of it on Monday. Looking forward to seeing them.
Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Berelowitz

5th and 6th Boys

This week the boys had the amazing privilege of beginning a new Masechta in sha”s [=sheesha sidrei) mishna] aka a new tractate. The new Masechta is called Suka! Yes, like the holiday! We began learning the laws of the measurements of the Suka. How high is too high. how low is too low. How many walls. And more.
We are continuing our detailed journey through Parashat Va’eira, and we are getting closer to the “finish line”. We can already smell the Siyum that we are anticipating when we complete the Parasha. This is in addition to our weekly study of the Parasha in outline form.
We are, of course, davening daily and wearing Tzitzis as well. [Rabbi Kuritsky lends 2 Tzitzis garments, that he purchased for all students who did not bring their own, to say a Bracha on while they wear them, briefly].
Special “shout out” to those boys who continually, proudly wear their very own Tzitzit, daily!
Adiel Zadok. Shai Garber. Yadun Sanders. Yisrael Hanuka. Avigdor Tovshtein.
We look forward to more boys, younger and older following their wonderful example

7th and 8th Girls

Pretty impressive that we began a new section in Parashat B’ha’alos’cha, even with half the girls not attending class in person!
We are learning about Moshe purifying the L’viyim in preparation of their service in the Mishkan. We learned that the l’viyim were required to undergo being sprinkled with a mixture of water and ashes from the Para Aduma aka red heifer. Their clothes also had to be washed = dipped in a Mikve. We learned about the Karbanot that had to be brought as well. Not only did we study the above, but we also utilized the opportunity for girls to exercise their Hebrew reading skills at the same time. Parasha Outline was covered for this week’s Parasha, Parashat Bo. The girls have practiced Sh’mone esre, reading aloud from our new smart board using “siddur online”. This is a viable option for praying at home/on vacation if you happen not to have a siddur handy.
We happily welcome back those girls who were not able to come into school to study with us and we eagerly anticipate the return of those who still have not returned.
Shabbat Shalom

7th and 8th Boys
Dear Parents,
What a great week in 7th and 8th grade boys.
In out Tefilla period we spoke about the Beracha of that we ask Hashem to keep our great Tzadikim. We always look to the Tzadikim for guidance and strength.
We said a story about some boys on a block that made a Kiddush Hashem with Dave Rothman and we emphasized how important it is to make a Kiddush Hashem and be nice to others.

In our Gemara lessons, we discussed a classic Gemara that says an argument if a blind person goes to Galus. We discussed the reasons of each opinion. It was fascinating to hear the boys try to understand the case well.
We started learning Chumash this week. We started from the beginning of the Torah where it discusses what Hashem made on each day of creation. The worksheets the class did were surely incredible.

Topics from the Parsha:
מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ warned פרעה about the eighth מַכָּה: אַרבֶּה. פרעה agreed to let the Yidden go, but he said that the children need to stay in מצרים. Of course, משה didn’t agree. Millions of grasshoppers then covered the whole מצרים and they ate up all the food that had not yet been destroyed.
The next מכּה was חֹשֶׁך. First there were 3 days of complete darkness, that even a candle couldn’t help. After that they had 3 more days of heavier darkness, that wouldn’t let them move.
2 reasons for the extra darkness: 1) So the Yidden could go into their houses and see where they hid their money. 2) So the Mitzrim wouldn’t see that some Yidden had also died.
פרעה now agreed to let even the children go, but he said that the animals need to stay. משה didn’t agree because they would need the animals for קרבנות.
משה warned פרעה about מכת בכורות that every firstborn would die by חצות.
Hashem told משה and אהרן about the first מצוה- ראש חדש – on the first day of ניסן. The Yidden would be able to do this Mitzva when they have a בית דין.
Hashem then told them about 2 מצוות that they should do now in מצרים: 1) קרבן פסח 2)ברית מילה. The Yidden would need to get a sheep or goat that is less than 1 year old on י’ ניסן and check it for 4 days to make sure it doesn’t have any מום. On י”ד ניסן in the afternoon they should bring it as a קרבן. Then they will take some of the blood and put it on their doorposts. The Yidden would also need to roast the meat and eat it all that night. Only a Yid with a ברית מילה can eat from the קרבן פסח, so all the Yidden would do the Mitzva of ברית מילה first.
Hashem also told them about the מצוות of פסח: to eat מצה and not to eat חמץ for 7 days, and to remember and talk about all the great נסים that Hashem did for the Yidden in מצרים.
מכת בכורות: On the first night of פסח, exactly at חצות, all the firstborn Mitzrim and all of the firstborn animals died. Hashem skipped over (פסח) all the houses of the Yidden, who were busy eating the קרבן פסח.
That night, פרעה had gone to sleep (in his pajamas) as usual. He woke up when he heard all the crying and screaming coming from every Mitzri house. He was scared that he would also die because he was also a בכור. (Why didn’t פרעה die?) He went running for משה and אהרן and told them to leave together with all the Yidden and their animals as soon as possible.
Exactly as Hashem had promised אברהם אבינו 430 years before, the Yidden left מצרים with a lot of gold and silver.

Keep it up,
Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Berelowitz

Elementary School


This week kindergarten began reading from a first grade reader and they did an excellent job! They also took their first spelling pretest and did amazing on it! Almost the entire class finished the level 1 primary phonics book and began the first grade spelling book. In math they took their test on nonstandard measurement and began learning how to find the missing whole in a number bond. They also began working in the KB math book. In science they learned all about solids and liquids. They did a fun experiment by putting solid objects into a liquid to see if the object would sink or float. In social studies they began learning about American symbols. This week they learned all about the American Flag.

First Grade

This week the first graders read the fable of the Grasshopper and the Ant. We learned that Ant was prepared because she planned ahead while Grasshopper played all day. Students also practiced making inferences about characters. 
In Social Studies we learned about how communication has changed over time.  Students were surprised to see how people communicate in many different ways such as talking, sign language, and text messages. We even learned about how the Pony Express brought messages across the country by horseback. In Art class students created snow pictures. They also wrote beautiful sensory poems recalling all of the wonderful things about winter.

Second Grade
This week 2nd grade started a new math unit, multiplication and division! In the picture, you can see Aaron Schwartzman turning a multiplication problem into an addition problem to show the connection between the two operations. In grammar, we just completed a test on nouns. The class did really well! We are also working on a descriptive writing piece, which we will continue editing next week. Sophie Braun won student of the month for the month of December! Her excellent grades, neat workspace, and good behavior were all factors in her victory!

Third Grade
This week grade three students were introduced to procedural writing and the many forms it can take. We read about how we can create a homemade ice-cream with a few simple ingredients. We used this piece of writing to analyze the different elements they will need to include next week when creating their own procedural report. During our Grammar lessons, we reviewed common and proper nouns to help us improve our writing skills. During Math lessons, students continued to practice multiplication equations and were also introduced to division. They learned what each part is and then were able to use both operation to solve word problems. During our Social Studies lessons, students began to learn about the early explorers that first visited North America. We learned of the Vikings who came here 1,000 years ago. We learned about Christopher Columbus and Joan Rodriguez Cabrillo who was a mighty conquistador claiming all he stepped on as Spanish land (even California!). Students found it fascinating to learn of what it was like hundreds of years ago for both the men that sailed the globe (which some believed to be flat) as well as the woman who were not permitted to join in any fun.

Miss Sasha

Fourth Grade
This week in math we started a new unit Operations On Fractions. Students added and subtracted fractions with unlike denominators. Solved word problems by adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators and added mixed numbers.
In ELA students completed persuasive essays and started practicing for the state exam.
In Social Studies we focused on the South’s land and climate. Economic concepts and discussed how people use the resources of the South.
In reading we started a new class chapter book Walk Two Moons.

Fifth Grade
Greetings and salutations!
This week the 5th grade has been busy finishing up their Maniac Magee essays. They have prepared all week for a vocabulary test.
They also learned about possessive nouns. Lastly, they dove into their long response practice with gusto!

This week the 5th grade has been busy finishing up their final Holes Journal. 5B was very excited to finish Holes. They are also looking forward to their new novel!
They have prepared all week for a vocabulary test.
They also learned about possessive nouns. Lastly, they dove into their long response practice with gusto!

Middle School

Middle School ELA and Social Studies
6th Grade ELA

Students learned all about pronouns and antecedents. They practiced in class and wrote some awesome paragraphs. In writing, we reviewed the plot pyramid, and diagrammed stories. In reading, we continued our novel study of Milkweed.

6th (Social Studies)
Greetings and salutations!
This week has been all about Ancient China. Students learned about the three major philosophies of Ancient China; Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism.
They also learned about the geography of China as well as the Shang Dynasty.

7th ELA
This week students have been reviewing for their vocabulary test. They also learned about the antecedent – pronoun agreement.
Lastly, they finished off their state test practice with a long response mini-essay.
In reading, we are beginning to wrap up the Master Puppeteer. Students got into it quite a bit as we discussed the true identity of the mysterious thief, Saburo.

In Social Studies, we completed our unit on the French and Indian War. We reviewed for a quiz, took a quiz, and everyone did absolutely amazing. We also did an activity in which we examined two primary sources from the era: an excerpt from the proclamation of 1763, and Benjamin Franklin’s ‘Join or Die’ poster.

8th Grade
In ELA, this week has been all about our Animal Farm Essay. Students created outlines and cited textual evidence to support their analysis. Mrs. Hazen is particularly impressed with Yaffa, whose contributions to our class discussion and writing have been phenomenal. Students also reviewed for and took their vocabulary tests.

In Social Studies, we wrapped up our World War II unit and moved onto the Cold War unit. We learned about the Korean War and practiced our map skills.

Middle School Math
5th grade finished multiplication and division of fractions and began working on area of rectangle and triangles.

6th grade finished operations with fractions and decimals and s began working on ratios.

7th grade finished statistics and probability and began working in classifying real numbers.
7B math has completed another unit! We have been working on statistics – mean, median, mode, and range; histograms; box plots; and dot plots. The students have really been impressing their math teachers! We have a test on Tuesday.

8th grade finished solving absolute value and piecewise function and began solving systems of equations with different methods.

Middle School Science

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.

Students learned and understood that the viscosity of the lava that erupts from a volcano can lead to the creation of different volcanic landforms; Students reviewed Unit 6 “Volcanoes”.
6th graders completed a research paper about the most recent Volcanoes on Earth.

Jewish History

7th grade spent quite a bit of time taking a closer look at Hashem’s creations as we learned how Avraham Avinu discovered Hashem. The students surprised me with their insights and I learned some interesting new facts.

8th grade broadened our understanding into Greek influence in Jewish life, why the Greeks targeted specific Mitzvos, and why the Jews fought back at the point as opposed to the many other times they were persecuted earlier in our history.