Dvar Torah

There is a famous story in the Gmara where a non Jew came to one of the great Torah leaders of that era, Shamai, and requested of him “teach me the whole Torah on one foot”, Shamai realized that his request was ridiculous, because it takes a lifetime to learn the whole Torah. Shamai sent him on his way.
He then came to Hillel, the other Torah giant of that time and said “teach me the entire Torah on one foot”.
Hillel told him “love your friend like yourself”!
The Gemara explains; how does one accomplish “loving his friend like himself”? The answer is; what you don’t like, don’t do to your friend!
This encompasses all the Mitzvot Bein Adam L’chaveiro [between man and his friend].

This week’s Parsha has many many Mitzvot Bein Adam Lechavero.
The Talmud has volumes based on this week’s Parsha!
This week’s Parsha gives us the laws about an Eved Ivri [a Hebrew-Jewish slave]. The Torah tells us that we must treat him very well. If, for example, there is only one pillow to sleep on, the master must give it to the slave.

The Parasha tells us what our responsibility is as;

  • a paid watchman
  • an unpaid watchman
  • a renter
  • a borrower.

The Torah gives us many details of these laws.
Because we have to know that, just as we would want our property watched/guarded properly, so too we must do so for our friend.
The Torah gives us laws regarding our property i.e. our animals, pets, livestock, etc., that damages another person’s property.
For the same reason. We must always know that we must be careful to treat each other as we would want to be treated and not do to another as we would not want to be done to us.
Therefore we can not steal, hurt, damage etc.
ALL of these laws are part of V’ahavta L’reiacha Kamocha-Love your friend as yourself.
As Jews, we must always bear this in mind. We really must try to study all the laws in order to properly fulfill this Mitzvah. The least we can do is to always keep in mind “would I want that to be done to me? Would I want to be treated like that? Would I want to be spoken to like that? Would I want my snack or toy taken from me? Would I want to be chosen last in a game?”
By being cognizant of each other’s feelings we will be on our way to “loving your friend as yourself” and keeping a major part of our holy Torah.
Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Y.S.Kuritsky

Special Announcement!


Dear Parents and Teachers,

One of the mitzvot of Purim is sending gifts of food, called Mishloach Manot (literally, “the sending of portions”) to acquaintances. Purim is a time to reflect on our friendship and achdut “unity” and come together as one nation. SIHA families are invited and encouraged to participate in this special mitzvah by joining our annual Purim tradition of sending Mishloach Manot to the SIHA community. When we are united, we merit Gd’s blessing and salvation. We give gifts of food on Purim to strengthen our bonds of friendship with our fellow Jews. We are looking forward to sharing the mitzvot of Purim with you.

Please click HERE to go to the SIHA Mishloach Manot Order Form!



A great big SIHA congratulations to Students of the Month!

  • Kindergarten – Ilan Kadymir
  • First Grade – Joseph Cohen
  • Second Grade – Daniella Usubov
  • Third Grade – Mia Factor
  • 4A – Diane Ashraf
  • 4B – Shalom Danziger
  • Fifth Grade – Joshua Gluck
  • Middle School – Noam Tisona
  • Middle School Judaics – Joshua Yarden-Kushel

Programming News

Students just finished up a Brachot Contest! This contest was created to get the students excited about making the proper Brachot every time they eat. The students learned which Brachot to make in their Judaics classes. In addition to this, we put up posters reminding the students of the various Brachot to make on the foods they eat and we encouraged them to encourage each other to say the Brachot! 

Everyone did an awesome job and Ms. Dershowitz and Ms. Esti are so proud of all the students who made Brachot this month. The winners of the Brachot contest over vacation are Mikai Oz from 6th Grade and Ethan Shenkman from 4B! 

In other news, today is Rosh Chodes Adar! In Rosh Chodes Adar, everyone is trying to lift everyone’s spirits and be happy, smiling and positive to their friends. On February 23, we will have a contest in honor of Purim. Everyone is going to dress up and have a great time! 


Kindergarten and First Grade
We had a great week in Kindergarten and First Grade Judaics. In Kindergarten we have moved on to the next letter Ayin! Ayin says ah, just like Aleph! We know that Ayin has two straight arms up with eyes on top! In First Grade, we have moved on to our next nekuda, kubutz! We only have one more nekuda left and then we will be able to read everything in hebrew! This week we started our Purim preparations! We are learning so much and are so excited to make fun projects! Shabbat Shalom

Second Grade
We had another wonderful week practicing our reading skills and gaining speed and accuracy. We learn in this weeks Torah reading, Parsha Mishpatim that meat and milk cannot be cooked or eaten together and that we must return lost objects and cannot lie. We are learning about Purim and can’t believe this happy holiday is only two weeks ago. We had a special treat in honor of Rosh Chodesh Adar and Shabbat Party. Shabbat Shalom

Third Grade

How exciting it was to see the students live after 2 weeks! And we loved hearing the amazing story of Purim with the puppet show. We can’t wait to hear the end of the story!.

THis week we also worked hard on learning the 10 commandments in both Hebrew and english. We also finished our Prefixes lesson and we will be starting a new lesson in Dikduk next week. 
In Parsha, we learnt some very interesting laws. Some of them we cannot keep in our days because we don’t have the Beth Hamikdash, and some of them we still hold, like the mitzva of not charging interest on a loan to another Jew.
Friday was Rosh chodesh Adar, we started a happy month because the month of Adar is when the miracle of Purim happened and sadness was overturned into extreme joy! We can’t wait to celebrate and share the joy!
Shabbat Shalom
Mrs Ivry

Fourth Grade
There is nothing like a live class, what can I say! We cracked open our brand new. fresh smelling handwriting workbooks and got to work learning/ reviewing how to write the holy letters. We learnt that there are two Aleph Bet fonts, one which we use to read and one which we use to write. The prayer of “Elokay Neshamah” is becoming more and more fluent to us as we discuss the meaning of each word and review it in song form. This week’s Parshah, Parshat Mishpatim discusses 53 of the 613 Torah commandments. One which we discussed in depth is the commandment of giving an extra dose of kindness to a convert (to Judiasm), widow and orphan. Yedidot Klaliot has us singing and memorizing the 10 commandments that we received on the Luchot at Har Sinai. The week ended of course, in its usual blast of Shabbat spirit, but this week in a blast of something else too- Rosh Chodesh/ beginning of the month of Adar!! Adar is the month of happiness, the month in which Purim, when we celebrate our miraculous defeat against evil Haman, falls out . We enjoyed our happiness song and smiley classroom décor. Happy Rosh Chodesh Adar and Shabbat Shalom!

This week we finished learning the information for the Bracha of Hamotzi. We also began learning the Jewish History time line from Creation until now. This will help us get a better idea to know in contex when the Miracle of Purim took place. We can not wait to learn all about Purim next week IY”H. We are reviewing every day all the facts for our upcoming Yediot Klaliot test next week IYH. We even played “around the classroom” review game. Morah was extremely proud of all the students! Keep it up.

5th and 6th grade Boys

This week in Mishnayot we learned about different ways one would be exempt from sitting in a Sukkah. We also learned in the parsha this week, about the Eved Ivri.  Ask your son!
We also started to learn the story of Purim from the Megillah.

Shabbat Shalom!

7th and 8th Girls
We had another wonderful week here, oh we did. We covered quite some Chumash ground, discussing the famous first dialogue piece that Moshe had with Hashem regarding his mission to free the Jews from Egypt. We practiced our Hebrew reading together in partners, which gives us the chance to couch each other, which we do so finely. For around an hour one day, my seventh grade girls took me over. They came up one by one and received “the mike” and a Torah topic. And they spoke. The things that we’re coming out of their mouths were so beautiful, so precious and showed how much clarity they have. For example, Yaffa Bareket shared with us that the sweat that a woman sweats as a result of covering up in a modest style in the heat is something that is so valued and treasured in heaven. We enjoyed this weeks’ Parshah too, of course, which is about various Torah laws. Celebrating Rosh Chodesh Adar on Friday couldn’t not be the most joyous thing, as joy is a big Adar theme! We are thankful for having had another, literal and figurative, picture perfect week. Shabbat Shalom everyone!

7th and 8th Boys

Boys in 7th and 8th grade worked for weeks on the Mishnah in Perek Hakoness, the sixth Perek in Baba Kama.
They read and studied with Chavrusot-partners . They did many worksheets to solidify the information.
They were rewarded by Rabbi Kuritsky with a trip to Dairy Palace! The boys enjoyed; pizza, fries, drinks “Chicago’s” etc.
We look forward to more such accomplishments and rewards.

Elementary School

This week kindergarten became the King of ING! They practiced reading and spelling many words by adding s or ing to the end of words and they made king of ing crowns. They also read a nonfiction story about a fox and a kit at the zoo. In math they finished making their addition book and they made a book all about the different strategies they can use to add. They began making a subtraction book and played games to practice subtraction. They also learned a cool trick to add any number to the number 9 using mental math. In social studies they learned about folktales from other countries. They listened to a folktale from Ghana about a spider called Anansi and they compared it to a folktale about a spider from America. In science they had so much fun reviewing about force, speed, and direction by building ramps. They worked together to build ramps and then they tested their ramps to see which ramp made the car go the greatest distance.

First Grade

This week our fabulous first graders explored the parts of soil through an experiment. We placed soil in a bottle with water to see what would happen. 
We observed that after a night of standing, the soil separated into three basic components: rock, humus, and minerals. 
Also, the first graders created beautiful works of art using a blotting method. We love our colorful “LOVE” paintings.

Second Grade
The second-graders were very busy this week! In ELA, they started a new trade book, The BFG. They also have started a unit on informational writing and have been working in groups to research an animal to write about. In math, students have been learning about subtracting money and how to give change. In social studies, the second-graders have been discussing the importance of saving money and how saving accounts are useful. The Student of the Month for the month of January is Daniella Usubov. Way to go Daniella!

Third Grade
This week grade three completed their work with possessive nouns. They have now learned how to identify and modify both singular and plural nouns into their possessive forms. During our math lessons, students continued to develop their abilities to solve multi step word problems. They have also been working on solving equations with multiples of ten (up to a million!), zero, one, and two. During our social studies class, students continued to learn about the three different types of natural resources and how they help a community thrive. This week they focused on the flow resources such as the sun and wind and the methods by which we can harness their energy. During our Russian lessons, students wrapped up vowel Yy and are ready to learn two new letters next week. In computer class, students reviewed the different types of files, folders, and programs such as PDF, Word, and Zip Folders.

Fourth Grade
This week in math we started a new unit on Decimals and preparation for the state exam. Kids converted decimals to fractions and fractions to decimals, ordering and comparing decimals.
In ELA we started a new unit on pronouns and story writing. Students are also preparing for the state exam.
In Social Studies we completed chapter 7 Exploring the Midwest and reviewed for our test that will be on Thursday.

4B is excited to be back in the building after a long break from in person learning! We wrote persuasive essays later in the week, after a grammar test on verbs earlier in the week. In math, we are diving deeper into fractions. We are learning how to subtract mixed numbers! Shalev Danziger received student of the month for January! I have noticed an improvement in his behavior and academics, which motivated me to choose him for the honor!

Fifth Grade
Greetings and salutations!
This week has been very busy.
In ELA the 5th grade learned about demonstrative adjectives and proper adjectives. They practiced identifying each type of adjective and writing sentences including those adjectives.
In writing the class learned about point of view and practiced identifying the author’s point of view in various historical texts.

In Social Studies the 5th grade finished learning about the Olmec civilization and began to learn about the mysterious city of Teotihuacan.
They also made some wonderful Purim cards!

5th Grade learned how to calculate area and perimeter of new quadrilaterals. They are also learning how to do area and perimeter of composite shapes. Next week, we are learning whether or not to subtract the figure.
6th grade spent the week reviewing the unit on proportions, tax, discount, and challenging word problems. They took a test on their unit and they all worked very hard!

Middle School

Middle School ELA and Social Studies

6th Grade had a busy week!
In reading, we continued our novel study of Bud, not Buddy. We discussed the time period of the Great Depression and some period-specific vocabulary that our main character uses. We also looked at pictures of the era, and had awesome class discussions. In grammar, we reviewed common and proper nouns. In writing, we focused on how word choice shows the author’s tone.

Mrs. Hazen would like to commend Asher Hecht for being all-round awesome and earning honor roll last semester! 

This week has been an interesting week for the 6th grade in social studies. We continued our journey through ancient China. The class learned about the Shang dynasty in particular. They learned about how the Shang kings sought wisdom, the ancient Chinese writing style, and how the Shang made bronze, porcelain, and silk. The kids were particularly fascinated by the silk making process.
The 6th grade also made some amazing Purim cards!
Ms. Tatic

7th Grade had a good week!
In reading, we continued our novel study of Farewell to Manzanar. Students had some awesome class discussions! In grammar, this week has been an annotation review week. We discussed why we annotate, and looked at different ways to annotate fiction and non-fiction. We also discussed strategies for answering multiple choice questions and practiced on fiction and non-fiction test prep questions. In writing, we focused on the importance of figurative language and how it shows the mood and tone of a story.

In social studies, the 7th grade wrapped up our study of Thomas Jefferson’s presidency by learning about the Louisiana Purchase. The class had some great discussions, took notes, and even got to practice our map skills. We also started to learn all about the war of 1812! Students took a quiz, and everyone did a great job.

8th grade had a great week!
In reading, we continued our novel study of The Outsiders. We discussed characterization and made some great predictions. In grammar, we reviewed sentence structure. In writing, this week has been all about two new kinds of figurative language: analogy and allusion. We wrote our own examples, discussed how analogies and allusions create meaning in different kinds of writing, and wrote some great paragraphs.

In Social Studies, the 8th grade learned about the United States’ entry into World War I. We read about the sinking of the Lusitania, the Zimmerman Memo, and discussed the ways our country prepared to enter the war. We looked at some primary evidence, watched videos and re-enactments, and wrote wonderful paragraphs both on these themes and on the reasons why World War I was different from previous wars.

Middle School Math

8th honors is finishing chapter 4 on inequalities, absolute value, piecewise and step functions. 
8th learned how to calculate slope graphically and with the formula. They also learned about x and y intercepts. 
7th honors finished up the unit on probability. 
7 learned how to calculate the volume of prisms. 
6th is finishing up the unit on generating equivalent expressions. 
5th discovered the relationship between circumference and diameter of a circle —pi! They also learned how to calculate circumference and area of a circle.

Middle School Science

7th Grade Shoutouts

Doron for being a responsible Ipad Monitor
Noga for always being available to help
Noah for being considerate 
8th Grade Shoutouts

Yosi, Shai, Rachel and Taylor for always being available to help out

Joshua D. for the most improvement – Great Job keep up the good work!
Shai – Most Improvement – Great Job Keep up the good work!
7th Grade 
We are learning how the body fights off pathogens.  Students are learning how the immune system reacts when it is exposed to various pathogens such as bacteria and viruses.  They have discovered how diseases are contracted and spread.  Students did a classroom simulation using water, vinegar and baking soda to discover how quickly a pathogen can spread from person to person.  Students discovered the role that white blood cells and macrophages play in fighting off pathogens that come into contact with our body.  In addition, students can distinguish between antibiotics and antibodies.
8th Grade 
Students are working on a project wherein they are researching how the different body systems work together and the role that they play in maintaining homeostasis.  Students will be conducting research to determine “What caused a runner to pass out and go into a coma.”  They have investigated the various conditions that can potentially hinder the performance of an athlete.  Our systems have an intricate part of how our body responds to various stressors and stimuli.  Students will be writing a research paper on their findings.  

Jewish History
I was thrilled to be back and see all my students in person this week. We spent the week reviewing and getting back into it as we prepare to zoom to the finish line.
7th grade impressed me with how much knowledge they retained from 2 months ago and are eager to move forward. Our next unit races through the Jewish experience in Egypt and dwells on the Jews acceptance of the Torah.
8th grade is journeying into Ancient Greece as we learn the differences between the rule of the Alexandrian, Ptolemaic, and Seleucid Greeks, and how that affected the Jewish people.