Dvar Torah

Dvar Torah Parashat Tazrea M’tzora
[This week there are 2 Parashot]
(adapted from Rabbi Yisochor Frand)
This week’s Parasha discusses, amongst other things, the Halachot of a woman who gave birth [during the time of the Mishkan and the Beit Hamikdash]. Pasuk says that she must bring sacrifices- korbanot, a sheep and a bird. The bird offering can either be a Tor or a Ben Yona . A turtle dove or a young dove. Out of the dozens of choices of birds, these are the only two choices.
The Baal Haturim points out that anytime these birds are mentioned in the Torah the tor is mentioned first, except for here.
In all other cases bird offerings are offered in pairs, here is the only case where only one bird is offered.
A Medrash teaches that a tor-turtle dove has a very unique quality;if its mate dies, it will never seek another mate. it will mourn for its lost mate for the rest of its life!
Since, were one to offer a a tor- a turtle dove, it would cause pain to the remaining bird, the Torah is telling us to switch from the usual preference of a turtle dove and use the “secondary choice”, a young dove instead.
The Torah is concerned about the “emotional feelings” of the bird!
Reb Simcha Zeesel Brodie derives 2 insights from what the Baal Haturim has illustrated for us:
One, we see how sensitive the Torah is to the feelings of a little bird, all the more so how careful we must be towards the feelings of our fellow human beings.
Two, we see the Torah appreciating the loyalty of the tor-turtle dove. We can learn from here to be loyal to; our family, friends and of course to Hashem our G-d who does so much for us, and to his holy Torah.
Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Y.S. Kuritsky

Special Announcements

A great, big, THANK YOU to the wonderful PTA for setting up the amazing celebration in honor of Yom Haatzmaut this week! The students had an incredibly fun time! They all walked away with passports, pins, ice cream, and an amazing memory. You all are phenomenal! 

A big SIHA congratulations to our wonderful students of the month!

  • Kindergarten – Volfson, Dalia
  • First Grade – Maslov, Seth
  • Second Grade – Portman, Benjamin
  • Third Grade – Shutman, Tanya
  • 4A – Oz, Noilee
  • 4B – Nikolayevsky, Joshua
  • Fifth Grade – Dym, Sophie
  • Middle School – Fishman, Gabriella
  • Middle School (Judaic Studies) – Koldin, Shai

A few 3rd grade girls greeted Mrs. Polasak so excitedly to show her the beautiful flowers they picked during recess on a glorious spring day!

Mrs. Polasak was so impressed that the girls shared their flowers with their peers who also wanted to be in the picture holding flowers! So proud of the middos these girls had to share so more girls would be included in the picture! Keep up the great middos!!!

We are so proud to see our students getting dental checkups and we love when they dress the proper way with her elbows covered and kippa on his head even when out of school! What a big kiddush Hashem! Mrs. Polasak was so impressed with how friendly they were to her at the dentist office! Great job Leah and Ryan Yakobzon!


This week we started this month’s contest! The contest is ‘An Act of Kindness a day!’

Each child is encouraged to make their days count. Every time they do an act of kindness (mitzvah), they will fill out a card and place it in the envelope on our board. At the end of the month, we will choose a winner from each class. In addition, Ms. Dershowitz and Ms. Weitzner gave out a sefirat haOmer chart to each child with a stamper. The students need to stamp for every day until we get to the end of the month! 

We also gave out prizes for all the students who filled out their charts for Pesach. 


Kindergarten and First Grade
We had a great week in Kindergarten and First Grade Judaics. We introduced our new Sefirat Haomer Middot unit and started off with the mitzvah of Kibbud Av Veim! The children did a great job thinking of ways in which we can honor our parents like listening right away, not waking them up when they are sleeping and helping out around the house! We even drew our own pictures of having Kibud Av Veim! They are proudly displayed on our walls and in the hallways! We can’t wait to see what next week’s middah will be!
Shabbat Shalom!

Second Grade

We had a busy week as we learned all about Kashrut. The students all did very well on their quizes on Tuesday. They know many of the kosher signs. They know that animals need split hooves and must chew it’s cud and that fish require fins and scales to be kosher. We had a great time playing Jeopardy while practicing our reading skills and we are busy every day working on different worksheets which reinforce various exception rules in the Hebrew Alphabet. Shabbat Shalom!

Third Grade

This week was packed with learning. Students enjoy the new daily Kriah challenge and are ready to break their speed record!
the new dikduk lesson is challenging as we learn how to label Hebrew words by “gender”! Yes, in Hebrew words are either male or female. We are also learning to label them by singular or plural.
On Thursday, we celebrated Yom Ha’atzma’ut and learned many interesting facts about the Land of Israel, how it became a State 73 years ago, the holiest site is the Kotel and why it can never be destroyed…
In Parsha we learned about the power of speech and how we should stay away from speaking Loshon Hara.
Shabbat Shalom
Mrs Ivry

Fourth Grade

This week was a major exciting week. The children received their own special Chumash. Each one was wrapped in wrapping paper, and each child got one in addition to an individual letter with a special treat. Once we discovered the treasure we went right away and learned the skill to find the correct Perek ( Chapter) and Passuk ( verse). We can’t wait for the upcoming Chumash Performance, and we even started practicing for it. We are learning the story of Rabbi Akiva in depth. From when he was a shepherd all the way of becoming a Huge Giant in Torah.
In Beiur Tefila we are learning the translation of the tefilla of Elokai Neshama. Morah explained how special the Neshama is as it is a piece of Hashem. To further explain this Morah took a balloon and blew it up. Inside of the balloon is the air of the blower. So to we say in the Tefilla Ata Nifachta Bi – you blew it into me. We have a piece of Hashem inside of us!
We cant wait to continue practicing the Chumash songs for the performance!
Shabbat Shalom,
Mrs. Bistritz


Thankyou Hashem for another wonderful week of learning and soaring together. We count the Omer each morning in anticipation for Shavuot, when we’ll celebrate the giving of the Torah. We, like, swim in Hebrew sight words, Shorashim (3 letter roots of Hebrew words) and Roshei Tavos/ Hebrew prefixes. We’re careful to wake up whichever student might be sleeping next door with our excited chanting and singing of all these things. The enthusiasm that we have towards beginning Chumash lessons is tangible! This week’s Parshah, we learnt, discusses the Mitzvah of Bris Millah/circumcision. It’s a Mitzvah that we don’t understand, but we do it anyway, being the devoted servants of Hashem that we make it our business to be. Our writing is really picking up and writing Hebrew words in our notes,as opposed to Hebrew words written in alphabet, is being greatly encouraged. Thank you for sharing your treasures with me! Shabbat Shalom!
Morah Toba

5th and 6th Girls

Dear parents.
Thank G-d, we had a wonderful week, learning a whole lot!
The girls ask great questions and are interactive and involved in class. Keep it up?
We continued on learning about the first blessing in Shemoneh Esrei (Standing prayer.) We learned about the wonderful priveleges we have as the children of our forefathers, Abraham, Issac and Jacob (Avraham, Yitzchok and Yaakov.)
We all now know that every single Jew has a Jewish spark inside of them that is connected and truly wants to connect with Hashem. No matter where they are, or what they know; it’s there! When we keep the Torah and Mitzvot, it lights up that spark and makes us really happy! Another one of our  priveleges is that we can talk to G-d wherever we are and He wants to listen to us and answer our prayers, (if it’s what is best for us.)
We started Chapter 14 in Sefer Shemot, Parshat Beshalach. We learned about what happened after the Jewish nation left Egypt and Pharoah and the Egyptians want to chase them back.
We learned this week’s Parsha, Parshat Tazria-Metzora. We are all going to try hard not to speak bad about others and use our mouths to spread joy and love.
Have a wonderful Shabbat and a relaxing weekend!
Best regards,
Miss Dershowitz

5th and 6th Boys

This week we used yom Hazikaron to focus on the concept of Hakarat Hatov/ appreciation .
When we think about the sacrifice of the soldiers, it helps us remember how much we need to appreciate what we do have.
We also had a special presentation for Yom Haatzmaut in which we showed how Eretz Yisrael is a special Gift from Hashem to us. We also had fun looking up some of the exciting things to do in the Land.

Shabbat Shalom!

Rabbi Levy

7th and 8th Girls

We had another wonderful week here , thank You Hashem. I come to school to teach, but, I’ll confess, I learn so much. My girls are fountains. They are overflowing with Torah knowledge and passion. Rachel Dym, for example, spoke to us on the topic of why the Torah isn’t just a history book, but rather a guide that is filled with meaning and symbols. Our Chumash lessons are going strong, even with the spring fever syndrome that has gripped us. The girls work so hard to follow along and collect all the necessary notes. We discussed the power of the days we’re in, Sefirat Haomer, the days between Pesach and Shavuot. We said that our nation underwent a drastic spiritual transformation between Galut Mitzrayim (it’s redemption is celebrated on Pesach) and Matan Torah (which is celebrated on Shavuot). They were raised from the lowest level of impurity to the highest level of purity! Ofcourse, until today,these days have that power to raise us. Spiritual growth is “on sale”! Indeed, Torah is not a history book.
Thank you for sharing your treasures with me! IShabbat Shalom!
Morah Toba

7th and 8th Boys

Much recognition to Noah Garber who always gives a hearty good morning to Rabbi Kuritsky!
This week we reviewed the laws of S’firat Ha’omer [you know, what Rabbi Kuritsky keeps sending nightly reminders about]. We continued to learn about the laws of a woman whose husband has “apparently” died, but must be identified properly prior to her remarrying. We learned that the testimony must always include identifying the face with the nose. We learned a lot about this week’s TWO Parashot. We learned about someone who got Tzara’at on his body, clothing or his house!
Tzara’at can come for 7-10 reasons. Most are for sins. We also learned that Tzara’at can come on a house to get rid of a house that was used for idolatry by the previous occupiers of Eretz Yisroel, the Cana’anim, or just to help a Jew find a treasure hidden behind a wall! We practiced davening. We also found a remarkable Gmara that informs us that even IF we were to desire forbidden “pleasures” i.e. eating ham/bacon [from a swine], we can enjoy that taste in a permitted manner i.e. eating the “shibuta” fish. If we would desire to eat blood [for whatever reason???] , we can accomplish that by eating the liver of a properly slaughtered kosher animal. Were we to desire fat from a domestic animal, which is forbidden, we can eat fat from a “wild animal” i.e. a deer [properly slaughtered etc.] , which is permitted.
There was more..

Elementary School

This week kindergarten was amazing! They were challenged to use a graphic organizer to help them independently write a summary of a story and they did an excellent job! The entire class did a wonderful job reading and spelling words with blends. They also read a nonfiction story about soccer. In math they continued to review 3D shapes for their math test on Monday by playing shape games, listening to stories, and playing with the 3D shapes. They also continued to practice adding within 20 by counting on. In science they learned that animals have different adaptations to help them survive in their habitats. In social studies they learned all about the American flag. They learned facts about the American flag, they painted the flag, they discussed what the pledge of allegiance means, and they listened to the star spangled banner.

First Grade
This week the fabulous first graders accomplished alot. In Reading we identified cause and effect in the story “Head, Body, and Legs.” Students enjoyed reading this Liberian folktale that teaches about cooperation. We also began a unit in Language Arts about adjectives. First graders wrote amazing reports describing the weather with sensory language.

In Social Studies we continue to explore Life Long Ago. We learned how much education has changed since settlers first arrived in North America. And in Science we made observations of the sun. It was interesting to see how the moon appears to change from week to week. Students had fun making up names for the different phases of the moon such as “Banana moon” for.the crescent phase and “Pizza moon” for the full moon.

Second Grade
The second grade had a busy week. In ELA, the students have been learning all about adjectives and articles. All week the students have been hard at work drafting their research reports. On Tuesday, they worked with their writing groups outside! In math, the second graders finished their unit on data and graphs. On Monday, they collected data by asking classmates to vote on their chosen topic and created their very own graphs. On Tuesday, they all did amazing on their test! The second graders have now started a new unit on geometry. In social studies, the students have been learning all about the formation of the United States of America.

In science, students created amazing projects about “Solar System were presented during science class.
Students also learned and started a new chapter about Matter and Its Properties.

Third Grade
This week grade three continued to explore the peculiar events James encountered in our class novel. During our Grammar lessons, students developed their abilities to identify the appropriate verb tense and to correctly modify a sentence to comply to the subject verb agreement within the sentence. During our Math lessons, students reviewed the topics we have recently covered in preparation for their test. Students also continued to prepare for their S.A.T. exam in both E.L.A. and Math. During our Russian lessons, students continued to work with the letter 3 (z) vocabulary. Students also began to translate sentences using vocabulary, verbs, and pronouns we have covered so far.
In science, students finished Chapter: “Forces that shape the Land”

Miss Sasha

Fourth Grade
This week in math we finished our unit on Four Operations of Decimals and took our test on it.
We continue to prepare for the ELA and math state exams. In Social Studies we read and discussed resources, economy and people of the West.
We are continuing to read our class chapter book The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo.

In science, students learned the causes of Earth’s seasons and the phases of the Moon;
learned and recognized how stars can be classified according to their size, color, temperature and age. During art/science students enjoyed and created the Solar System.

4B is having a wonderful week! We did a practice ELA state test in preparation for the ELA state test next week. In math we are wrapping up our first chapter on decimals. When we aren’t hard at work, we are enjoying the beautiful weather and the beautiful new playground! Also, we had a wonderful time at the Israel Independence Day celebration, put together by our fabulous PTA!
In science, students started a new chapter: “Astronomy”. They understood the role of the Sun’s energy on Earth. We also discussed the role of the Sun’s gravity in the solar system.

Fifth Grade

Fifth graders had a busy week! In reading, they continued their novel study of Moon over Manifest. In grammar, this week was all about adverbs! Students learned about adverbs and practiced identifying adverbs, identifying verbs they describe, and using adverbs in their own sentences. In writing, we learned about point of view and wrote beautiful paragraphs! 

In social studies, students wrapped up their lesson on the ancient Inca civilization and started their lesson on the ancient Aztec civilization. Students took notes and discussed what they learned in class! 

In science, students learned the differences between a mixture and solution and methods used to identify them; compare and classified matter according to its physical state.

Middle School

Middle School ELA and Social Studies

6th Grade
Sixth graders had a great week! In reading, we continued our novel study of Milkweed. In grammar, we learned about the perfect tenses, and students wrote some beautiful sentences, perfectly. In writing, we learned about story structure, and wrote beautiful paragraphs. Mrs. Hazen would like to commend Etai for working hard on his writing!

In Social Studies, the 6th graders continued on their unit on Ancient Greece. Students took wonderful notes, and enjoyed a spirited class discussion over what they learned. They also had a quiz, and everyone did amazing! 

7th Grade
Seventh graders had a busy week! With the state test just a week away, this week was all about the test prep. Students reviewed annotation rules, and practiced multiple choice, short answer, and long answer questions. In reading, we started a new novel: Chasing Lincoln’s Killer. Mrs. Hazen would like to commend Leam and Noah for being very diligent!

In Social Studies, the Seventh graders wrapped up our unit on the Industrial Revolution in America. We learned all about how the industrial revolution started and blossomed in our country, and how new forms of transportation affected the way people lived and worked. Students took a quiz, and everyone did a great job!

8th grade
Eighth graders had a busy week! Students wrapped up their speech unit by giving wonderful speeches. They also had a mini-unit on oral interpretation, and learned to read dialogue with excitement and inflection. Everyone did a great job, but Eliana deserves a shoutout for her amazing energy! In reading, we learned about allegory and fables, and are starting our next novel: Animal Farm.

In Social Studies, we continued working on our unit on the Great Depression. We learned the causes and effects of the Dust Bowl, and the many different challenges our country faced in the early 20th century.

Middle School Math

8th grade finished the unit on linear equations. 
8th grade honors finished chapter 6 on operations of polynomials. 
7th grade is reviewing for the state test and learning about interpreting statistical data. 
7th grade honors is reviewing for the state test and reviewing slope. 
6th grade is learning about independent and dependent variables. 
5th grade is learning about ratios and do I get challenging word problems. 

Middle School Science

6th Grade
Students learned and recognized that heat is responsible for changes in the state of matter. Identify melting and boiling points as constant temperatures at which substances change states. Methods used to separate mixtures and solutions were performed from students.

7th Grade
As a part of our student’s academic journey through the human body and how the body maintains the state of balance through homeostasis; students will be investigating how nutrients actually get into our cells to give our body what it needs to undergo life processes. Students will be investigating through video, readings and by creating a story wherein they take the position of a piece of food as it travels through, the quite amazing digestive system and all of its organs. Students will learn the difference between mechanical and chemical digestion, the various organs of the digestive system and their function, what is needed to begin the digestive process and what our food is made up of and how it breaks down to get into our cells. They will be able to explain the role that carbohydrates, proteins and lipids have in the body.

8th Grade

Energy flows and matter cycles among organisms, and between organisms and their environment, creating interconnected systems. In this unit, students learn about the biotic and abiotic factors in a river ecosystem, using the Hudson River as a case study. They then investigate the impact of an invasive species (zebra mussels) on this ecosystem, using teaching case materials created by scientists at the American Museum of Natural History. Students then make hypotheses about how the presence of zebra mussels might affect specific biotic or abiotic factors. Finally, using data collected by the Cary Institute, students write scientific explanations confirming or rejecting their hypotheses, thus building an understanding of the role of data and collaboration in the scientific community.

Jewish History
7th grade learned about responsibility. We learned that we cannot control what happens to us but we can control our reactions!
8th grade finished our study of the Herodian Kingdom and is moving on to Roman Rule