Dvar Torah

As the holiday of Pesach is almost upon us, I think about how lucky we are to be in school together learning about our Freedom. The halls and zoom classrooms are filled with ideas and songs as our devoted Rebbeim and Morot prepare our talmidim for the upcoming Yom Tov.

In the Hagadah there are many times that we thank Hashem for all that He has done for us and continues to do to this day. The language of the Hagadah and the mitzva of bikurim (first fruits) is similar and intertwined. There is a medresh in Sefer Berashit that states that the world was created for 3 things: Bnei Israel, The Torah, and for the Bikurim. The obvious question is how can the mitzva of Bikurim be compared in importance to the entire nation of Israel and our Holy Torah?

The Commentary of the Alshich explains that the mitzva of Bikurim contains within it something that is fundamental to being a human being – the obligation for people to express their gratitude. Showing gratitude is so basic that the whole world was created just for this mitzva, which teaches us and trains us in the attribute of appreciation. Adam wouldn’t have been kicked out of Gan Eden (garden of Eden) if he didn’t complain about Chava. Someone who is ungrateful to the people around him eventually will be ungrateful to G-d.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Hashem for allowing me this unbelievable opportunity of being involved in the holiest work imaginable, making a home away from home for our precious children. Especially grateful to Him for giving us the majority of the year of in-person instruction. There is nothing like learning and growing when we do it together, in person. I too would like to express my deep thanks to our tireless and dedicated administrators; Rabbi Kuritsky, Ilanit, Ety, Yana, Ms. Ortiz, Mrs. Adams, and Tara. To our talented teachers, your commitment and devotion to reach our goal in touching every pure and young soul is completely outstanding and awe inspiring. To our dear parents, our partners in this holy endeavor, working with you is a true privilege and pleasure!

So as we prepare for Pesach let us shower Hashem with praise and thankfulness for all the good He does for us all the time. For, no matter what the state of our life is, we are so indebted to the Creator of the World for life itself.
Chag Kosher V’Someach.
Dr. Chana Uzhansky
Chana Uzhansky Ed.D
Head of School
SIHA


Special Announcement!

Mazal Tov to Noah, Zachary, Sloane Garber and the entire Garber family upon the occasion of Noah’s Bar Mitzvah!

Abigail Azaraev (sister of Ethan) is the winner of a brand new חלה דעקעל aka Chalah cover. We had a school wide raffle for this beautiful Chalah cover. Of course it can be used to cover מצה Matzoh as well


Happy Birthdays!

Happy Birthday to:

  • Asher Hecht – 6th Grade
  • Mark Mihelson – 6th Grade
  • Ari Levient – 1st Grade
  • Tyler Nieves – 7th Grade
  • Ethan Badalov – 4A
  • Alivia Clift – 3rd Grade
  • Benjamin Portman – 2nd Grade
  • Max Schneider – Kindergarten

Programming News

Dear parents.
Wow, what an exciting week we had at Siha!
On Tuesday, we had a beautiful model seder in every classroom. We had a great time, going through the Pesach Seder and learning about what to do throughout the first 2 nights of Pesach (the Seder nights.)
Reminder:
Pesach Cleaning Contest – Due Thursday night!!
Every student received a Pesach cleaning checklist with the guidelines for how to clean their rooms for the Pesach holiday. Please email me a picture of your child’s checklist so they can receive a very exciting prize upon their return to school after Pesach break. Please send them to rdershowitz16@sihebrewacademy.com.
We hope you enjoy the Siha Pesach package. Thank you to our wonderful 7th and 8th grade girls, who assisted in putting them together👍👍
Have a beautiful, happy and kosher holiday of Pesach!
Best regards,
Miss Dershowitz
Ms Esti


Judaics

Kindergarten and First Grade

We had a zooming week in Kindergarten and First Grade Judaics! This week we learnt about the different parts of the seder and hagaddah. We colored, jumped, and drew as we learnt about Pesach! We are getting really good at singing the mah nishtana and we even have motions! We are looking forward to being in school next week and making all our Pesach projects like an afikomen bag and pesach pillow for leaning! Shabbat Shalom!

Second Grade

It was wondeful being back to in person learning this week. We completed our Haggdahs and all enjoyed the model Seder on Tuesday. Shout out to Ben for hiding the afikomon and to Amit for finding it. Have a wonderful, happy Passover. Chag Kosher V’somaiach!


Third Grade
This week the Third graders finished decorating their Haggadah and added their own personal touch. They enjoyed the mock Seder, going through all the steps of the Passover Seder as if it was the real thing! They even got to taste the bitter Maror and munch on some Matza. We sang the Pesach songs so beautifully. It was a great way to get into the Pesach spirit.
They are looking forward to using their Haggadah the night of Pesach.
Happy Pesach

Morah Chaya

Fourth Grade

4A
Hope all of you will have a beautiful chag!
We learned so much about Pesach, and the children did a great job leaning and decorating their own Hagadda.
Chag Sameiach!

4B

4th:
We had such a great Pesach- spirited half week. It was short, but so full. We enjoyed the hands- on seder, watching all the things that we’ve been discussing “come to life”. We know that the idea of discussing our redemption from Egypt is supposed to strengthen our trust muscle, it’s supposed to show us how Hashem can save us from just anything, with His “strong hand”. One student brought up a good point, she said that she’s sure He can get us out of Coved too! The Seder ends, we discussed, by us saying that next year we should merit celebrating Pesach in Jerusalem! Thank you for sharing your treasures with me. Have a wonderful Chag!
Morah Toba

5th and 6th Girls

Dear parents.
Wow, we had an amazing and exciting week learning all about Pesach!
We really enjoyed decorating and stuffing Seder pillows. Great job, girls👏
We had a great time at our mock Pesach seder, learning all about what to do at our Pesach Seder at home. We didn’t get to sing Hallel or Nirtza, but we all know that at the end of the Pesach Seder, we sing Hallel, praise to Hashem for taking us out of our bondage in Egypt and for choosing us as His treasured nation. We also then pray that next year we should celebrate Pesach in Jerusalem!
We learned a beautiful song about how all the nations of the world tried to kill us throughout the ages, until today (anti-semitism.) In Egypt, the Purim story, the Greeks (Chanukah), the crusades, the holocaust (etc. etc.!) But Hashem promised that if we stay connected with the Torah, He will save us. Despite every odd, the Jewish nation is still alive, vast and vibrant! That is the miracle we talk about in the Haggadah at Vehi She’amdah.
Have a wonderful happy kosher Pesach! Enjoy your weekend!
Best regards,
Miss Dershowitz

5th and 6th Boys
This week was a big one.
We reviewed the 3 main ideas of the seder and how they can impact our lives today. These ideas are:
1.Pesach-The Pesach lamb,
2.Matzah
3. Maror-The bitter herbs.
We had a model Seder to help us get in the Pesach spirit.
There was even a special guest during the Seder.
Ask your Son who!
We also had a siyum with Slurpees and Pizza, celebrating the completion of the 2nd Perek of Mishnayot Sukkah.
Have a beautiful Pesach!
Rabbi Levy

7th and 8th Girls
7th/8th:
We had a wonderful half week, wrapping up our Hagada lessons and getting into the Pesach spirit. Our practice Seder was great fun and informative too. At the point where we had the Matzah, a thought provoking question was presented- why does Matzah symbolize freedom rather than a fancier kind of bread like a bouget or a sour dough loaf? Because in Judaism freedom means: free to serve Hashem and we left Egypt in order to receive the Torah! We spent the last few minutes together before Chag dancing to some great Pesach music. I will miss my amazing girls so much. Have a wonderful Chag!
Morah Toba

7th and 8th Boys

Schoolwide Raffle
Rabbi Kuritsky raffled off a beautiful Chalah cover in honor of Pesach. all were excited. The proud winner is Abigail Azaraev, in third grade [sister of Ethan, in 8th grade]

Great Question!
Tali [aka Sofia] Sandler presented Rabbi Kuritsky with a real important question about the upcoming Pesach. Usually on erev Pesach [day preceding Pesach] we stop eating and have our homes cleaned of all Chometz. This year Erev Pesach comes on Shabbat, when we are obligated to eat bread.
What shall we do?
Our homes are clean?
As Tali put it “if one crumb falls it is all over?!”
Great thinking Tali!
The answer is; 1 eat carefully on a table cloth and throw the crumbs outside. The Rabbi said we can rely on birds and insects to take care of the crumbs that are outside but in our property. 2 collect the crumbs and flush them down the t….

7th 8th grade boys
We discussed in detail, and wrote about each section of the Haggadah.
We discussed different Minhagim customs regarding Kiddush, i.e. standing or sitting when reciting Kiddush. Maror, Gary Shamay says his family eats onions. Rabbi Kuritsky’s family eats Romaine lettuce. Some use horseradish.
Each boy took home a beautiful “father and son” Haggadah with each boy’s name printed in Hebrew.

Model Seder
On Tuesday, we had a model Seder in school with all boys present [some watched on zoom, although we couldn’t share the food with them].
We had EVERYTHING that we needed for a real seder. We had wine [grape juice], real round hand made Matzo [provided by Rabbi Kuritsky, for the whole school] , Charoset, celery for karpas, horseradish for maror, chocolate leaves [kosher for Passover] for the meal Shulchan Orech], Afikomen [without bargaining for prizes.
The four questions
Questions asked during our model seder;
1 Can we drink the wine [grape juice]?
2 When can we eat the matzo?
3 When can we eat the celery dipped in salt water?
4 Can we have doubles of EVERYTHING
5 [yeah 5, why not?] Do we really have to eat the maror?
6 Can we drink a few more cups of wine [grape juice]
[disclaimer, not all questions were really asked, but they definitely were implied].
The boys were terrific. We had a great time.

Each boy is coming home with a “Pesach challenge”. Parents signature required . The challenge is to;clean properly, do the Pesach Mitzvot properly and to pray daily. Each Boy who brings back the chart, properly filled out and signed by a parent will be rewarded after Pesach vacation.

One of our favorite dogs who will decide whether something is חמץ or not

Boys practicing and praying beautifully. שי הצדיק Shai Koldin proudly wearing his ציצית Tzitzit.

Model Seder. Boys enjoying the first cup of wine (really grape juice) קדש right after שי ניסים קולג’ים Shai said קידוש Kiddush beautifully.

Boys enjoying the כורך sandwich of מצה ומרור the Matzoh and maror (dipped in חרוסת charoset)

Doron Eliyahu דורון אליהו Glickman saying קידוש Kiddush at our modelסדר Seder