Dvar Torah

Miracles! Miracles!
Who doesn’t want miracles to happen to them?
How can we even dream of expecting a miracle happening to/for us?
The Lubavitcher Rebbe is quoted as saying “if we want Hashem to do something for us against nature, we must also act against our nature”!
We see this concept in the miracle of Chanuka. A group of five men,Kohanim, people that were accustomed to serving in the Bais Hamikdosh- the Holy Temple, stand up to an entire Syrian-greek army of thousands of soldiers for the purpose of being able to serve Hashem properly, to be able to keep the Torah, with all the Mitzvos.
Hashem says “you acted out of your nature, I will make miracles for you that counter nature”.
Similarly, we find with Yosef Hatzadik. He is tempted daily, by Potifar’s wife, for a full year, yet he goes against nature and his natural desires and does not give in.
Hashem rewards Yosef by changing his status. In one quick moment he is elevated from a slave in a jail to becoming the viceroy [second to the king of Egypt, the largest and most powerful country at that time]!
All of us would love to have a miracle-something special happen to/for us that we know won’t happen “naturally”, but if we are willing to go out of our nature, to serve Hashem, we can look forward to Him [hashem] possibly, changing nature for us.
Chodesh Tov
Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Yaakov kuritsky


Message from Dr. Uzhansky

וקבעו שמונת ימי חנוכה אלו, להודות ולהלל לשמך הגדול
And they established these eight days of Chanukah to express thanks and praise to Your great Name.

It seems that the Chachamim were telling us that the essence of Chanukah is to recognize all that Hashem did (and does) for us and to praise and thank Him. We know this is not for His benefit but rather for ours. Praising and thanking Hashem brings us closer to Him, which is the ultimate purpose of all the mitzvos.

Dear SIHA family especially to my dear students,

Thank you for giving me a reason to smile on this last night of Chanukah. The world may be caught in a vertex of chaos but tonight the little simple candles flickering gives me great comfort. The beauty of their light is just an external reminder of the light found within each of us always striving to go up, give warmth, and illuminate our uniqueness to the world around us. Children exude that light more so with their purity and profound potential. We, lucky to be in the world of education and as parents, can celebrate Chanukah, seeing that shine 365/24/7. Those neshamot are the gifts that keep on giving! 🕎💗💗💗

Chag Chanukah Sameach!!!
Morah Chana


Thank you to the PTA and all the SIHA Parents for being phenomenal this holiday season!

This was a week of fun and excitement for every SIHA student. We celebrated Chanuka with activities and play, culminating in the incredible Traveling Tykes Carnival in the middle of the week! Between the bounce-castle, the train, the slide, the cotton candy and the music, the students had a magical time!
2020 has been a trying year. Thank you, again, for making the end of the year amazing and memorable. The students will remember and appreciate your incredible dedication to making their childhoods special.

P.S. From all the staff, thank you very much for your amazing gifts this Chanukah season. We really appreciate them! 


Judaics

Kindergarten and First Grade
We had such a great week in Kindergarten and First Grade Judaics we did a lot of fun Channukah activities, come check it out!

On Monday, we made our very own doughnuts! Chocolate icing, vanilla icing, and sprinkles, we sure got sticky!! We also made our very own “finding Hashem” diaries where we are writing or drawing things to thank Hashem for, and places where we saw Hashem helping us. For example, Morah was running late to an appointment and when she came there was a parking space right in front of the building! Hashem had made that parking space open special for Morah! On Tuesday, we had the traveling tykes carnival! On Wednesday, we had a fun chanukah party and made our scratch off dreidels! On Thursday we had zoom school! and watched a fun Chanukah video. We also learnt about making the right choices! We read a special Danny, power to choose, story where we read and made the right choices , the choices Hashem would want, for Danny. We know Hashem is always watching us and knows everything we do and think and that we try to do our best. We spoke about how even if we make mistakes Hashem always loves us, no matter what, and we can try again next time. On Friday, we made our very own dreidel pinatas!

Second Grade
We had an exciting week of Chanukah beginning on Monday with reviewing our Chanukah booklets, our reading skills and icing our donuts with either chocolate or vanilla icing and colorful sprinkles. You can be sure we all enjoyed our snack on Monday. Tuesday was a blast participating in the Traveling Tykes carnival. Wednesday we read about Chana and her 7 sons in Hebrew. I was impressed how beautifully the children were able to read and understand the sentences in English. We also did a special Chanukah arts and crafts project and enjoyed special goodies in honor of the holiday. Thursday our snow day we zoomed away reviewing this weeks Parsha Mekaitz. We see how humble Yosef was. When he was called to interpret Pharaoh’s dream Yosef said “ the ability to interpret the dream was given only by Hashem,it is not due to my credit. We learn from Yosef to be humble and not brag or show off our talents. A special thanks to Miss Dershowitz for all her hard work in coordinating the outstanding projects and activities everyone enjoyed for Chanukah. Shabbat Shalom!

Third Grade
What a magical week we had this week of Chanukah! Each day was filled with fun and educational activities. We learnt so much about the importance and spiritual power of the Chanukah Holiday. we played dreidel and made sure to put the Chanukah gelt we received from our teacher in the Tzedaka. We prayed extra for all who need and added the Hallel prayer as well each day of Chanukah.
We ended up the week making a Dreidel piñata filled up with candies in honor of Chanukah and Shabbat!
Some students sent pictures of themselves lighting the Menorah in their home. We can see the Chanukah lights shining through their eyes!
Thank you to Ms Dershowitz who made this special Holiday even more special.
Enjoy the pictures.
Shabbat Shalom
Mrs Ivry

5th and 6th Grade Girls
Dear parents.
Thank God, we had an amazing week! We had a great time in honor of Chanukah.
On Monday, we learned all about the Halachot/laws of Chanukah and all of the girls drew out the Chanukah story in our Chanukah booklet. Then, we set up the desk for Chanukah donut decorating and had a great time decorating and eating donuts in honor of Chanukah!
On Tuesday, we learned about how Hashem created such an amazing world with all different kinds of delicious foods. Just like I wouldn’t just steal Mia’s water bottle or Sofia’s lunch box without permission, I’ve got to ask permission from Hashem before I eat His food. That’s why we make a beracha/blessing before we eat. We are recognizing that this food is from Hashem and we’re praising and thanking Him for it. Now that we’ve done that, we can eat because now God gave it to us.
We had a great berachot party, with all different foods, so we can make each beracha. We had grape juice box drinks for Hagafen. We had chocolate buns for Mezonot. We had apples for Haeitz and pickles for Haadamah. We had wowzers (taffies) for Shehakol. (We did not do Hamotzi – bread.)
We all had a great time at the carnival, going on rides and racing moonwalks!
On Wednesday, we learned about the people who lived during the time of Chanukah who gave up their lives for Hashem, keeping Torah and Mitzvot despite Antiochus’s decrees to kill all the Jews who kept Torah and Mitzvot.
We learned about the Kohein Elazar, who refused to eat pork which the Greek soldiers were forcing him to eat. Then, they told him that he should at least pretend to eat it in front of all the Jews. He said – no way! He did not look for excuses, but fought for The Name of Hashem!
The Greek soldiers murdered him in front of all the Jews!
We learned about Chana who had seven very special sons – the youngest, only two. Antiochus brought them all into his chamber with their mother and forced each one of them to bow down before an idol or to be killed. Every single one of them refused!! They gave up their lives for Hashem! Chana watched all her seven sons being murdered in front of her eyes, and was happy they chose to give up their lives for Hashem. Then, she passed away from the pain of watching all her sons being killed. A voice called out from the heavens, “the mother of these sons is happy.” In heaven, she had the greatest reward imaginable and was happy.
We spoke about what we can all do to give up for Hashem, although no one is asking us to give up our lives for Hashem during these days.
Then, we had a great time at our Chanukah party and learned a fun Chanukah song.
On Thursday, we learned about Yehudis, a Jewish woman, who managed to kill Elipurni, a great Greek general! We watched a great Chanukah video, with lots of amazing Chanukah stories.
On Friday, we spoke about how to fight the Greek values and stand strong with Jewish values. We also learned the Parsha, Parshat Miketz.
Happy Chanukah!
Best,
Miss Dershowitz

5th and 6th Grade Boys
This week was educational and delicious!
Every day we learned more about Chanukah, which helped the Boys gain a deeper appreciation for the Holiday.
We lit Menorahs, ate donuts, and celebrated the fact that despite persecution throughout the ages, we are still here and proud of our Jewish Heritage.
Happy Chanukah!

7th and 8th Grade Boys
This week, the 7th and 8th grade boys enjoyed a Chanukah party, as well as decorating [and eating] our very own doughnuts.
Each day of Chanuka, we lit the Menorah in our classroom and said the Brachos [without Hashem’s name]. We learned more about Chanuka and we contrasted the troubles that we had in the time of the Greek rulership, and the celebration, when the Chashmonaim were victorious over the Greeks vs the troubles we had in the time of the Persians, Haman etc, and the celebration when Mordechai and Esther were victorious.
This week on zoom the boys were challenged by Rabbi Kuritsky with a Gmara in P’sachim that discussed the Halacha regarding a situation where one is forced to benefit from something forbidden and chooses to enjoy.


Elementary School

Kindergarten
This week kindergarten learned to read and spell many words with the TH sound. Using the writing skill they learned about how to write a predictable book they wrote all about what they like to do on Chanukah. They also made a menorah. In Math they learned so many facts this week I can’t even keep up with the class! They just keep asking for more! I love their enthusiasm for learning how to add and subtract. We played two different types of dreidel games to practice adding and subtracting. It is in their red folder if you want them to teach you how to play. In social studies they finished sharing their family trees. They really loved getting to share all about their family and they were very proud of themselves. In science they learned all about solids and what makes an object solid. I am very proud of the class for how well they did for their first time on zoom. They were very focused and they all participated and tried their best!
Happy birthday to Alexander, Emanuella, and Ilan!

Second Grade
The second-graders had a very exciting week! They learned all about the Statue of Liberty and did an amazing job acting out a play about the day the statue was unveiled. In math, the students finished up their unit on measurement and have been hard at work solving the trickiest of word problems. In ELA, they have been working on present-tense and past-tense verbs. On Tuesday, they had a blast at the carnival!

Third Grade
This week third grade students practiced modifying nouns into their plural forms. They not only were able to use the rules we had learned previously but are now able to identify and modify plural nouns into their irregular forms. Students also wrote and revised their positivity poems, creating wonderful pieces. In Social Studies, students continued to learn how climate and geography affects people and their decisions on where they live. In Computer class, they learned how to fortify their passwords to better secure their information and privacy.
Miss Sasha

Fourth Grade
4A
This week in math we reviewed unit on fractions and are ready to take the test next week.
In ELA we identified linking verbs and irregular verbs. Wrote persuasive writing activities and started our new class chapter book Walk Two Moons.
In Social Studies we discussed land and climate of the South.

4B
4B had a wild and crazy week! We had fun Chanukah events including decorating donuts, and going in a bouncy house and on a train ride courtesy of The Traveling Tykes! We also had a snow zoom day! In ELA, we learned about verbs, and how to make our verbs agree with our subjects when writing. In math we started learning about fractions. In social studies we talked about the 3 branches of government and what each one consists of.

Fifth Grade
Greetings and salutations!
This week in 5th grade has been pretty busy despite the holiday festivities.
In grammar, the 5th grade learned about the tricky perfect tenses. They continued to practice throughout the week and I am confident that the class will do quite well on their quiz next week.
In writing, the class practiced finding key details in stories and using them to summarize the plot of a story. This skill will surely come in handy for their upcoming independent reading book project! The class also wrote amazing positivity Haikus!
In reading, the class continued to read Holes. We discussed and analyzed the actions of the characters. We also began tying in the details of the parallel stories within the book and how they connect to what is going on with Stanley in the present.

In math, the students practiced multiplying fractions as well as multiplying mixed numbers. I am happy to say that the students seem very comfortable with multiplying fractions and mixed numbers alike!

Lastly, in Social Studies, the students continued their journey through South America. They learned about some of the amazing creatures that inhabit our neighbor to the south. The students also learned about the people that once lived there and about people that live there presently.

This week, I would like to commend Sophie Dym for her diligent work!


Middle School

Middle School ELA
6th Grade
Sixth Graders had a great week! In reading, we completed our novel study of The Lightning Thief! We discussed plot and climax, and wrote beautiful paragraphs. In grammar, students practiced identifying subjects and predicates in a variety of sentences. In writing, we learned about summarizing fictional texts, and wrote beautiful summaries of short stories, We also wrote wonderful haiku poems about our theme of the month: being positive.
7th Grade
Seventh graders had a busy week! We continued our novel study of Milkweed, and discussed setting. In Grammar, students learned about different types of sentences based on structure. They practiced identifying simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences. In writing, we discussed and wrote about the author’s tone, and how word choice helps us identify it. Students also wrote haiku poems!
8th Grade
Eighth graders had a good week! We continued our novel study of The Giver, and discussed character motivations. In grammar, students learned about different types of phrases. This week, we practiced identifying and writing with prepositional and appositive phrases. In writing, we discussed connotation and denotation of a word, and how word choice can change a story. Students also wrote haikus!

Middle School Math
6th finished the module on fraction operations. We have been working on challenging word problems.

7th has been working on geometry. We used kinetic sand to visualize the cross section of 3D figures. THey also learned about complementary and supplementary angles. I want to congratulate Lana Medik for diligently working on triangle contradictions.

8th started chapter two on algebraic properties. We worked on challenging word problems and will be learning how to solve liberal equations.

Ms. Ilanit enjoyed her snow day yesterday and 7th grade has a new classmate Shmuly.

Middle School Social Studies
6th grade continued to learn about the majesty of Ancient Egypt by covering the final two major periods in its native history: the Middle and New Kingdoms. The students learned about the literature, building projects, and religion of the country, as well as a number of the great kings of those eras.

7th grade learned about the document that allowed the Constitution to be ratified and go into effect: the Bill of Rights. Consisting of the first ten amendments to the new national government, this piece of legislation secures the basic rights of American citizens, including the freedoms of speech and religion, the right to own a firearm, and the guarantee of a trial by jury.

8th grade covered the political career of Theodore Roosevelt. Becoming America’s youngest chief executive after the assassination of President Mckinley in 1901, Roosevelt is now infamous as the “Trust Buster” and creator of the country’s system of national parks.

Middle School Science
7th grade has been diligently working through a unit on the Scientific Method. During this unit students are learning how to investigate like a scientist. Answering bigger questions and creating hypotheses to help investigate to find answers. Students learned how to identify independent and dependent variables and graph their findings.

8th grade has completed biochemical processes. During this time students learned the importance and inter-relatedness between cellular respiration and photosynthesis and how the reactants and products are necessary for each to function properly. They investigated how to make effective sourdough starters and the role that bacteria has in the fermentation process. They also completed a yeast respiration lab wherein they were able to see evidence of CO2 being released by the size of the balloon at the end of the experiment.