Dvar Torah

Parshas Vayeche is the last Parsha in Chumash [literally “fifth’ of the Torah] Braishis.
Yaavov Aveenu is approaching death. As an aside, Yaakov Aveenu is the first person to become sick and realize that his death was approaching. Until then, people would just die, when their time came. Yaakov Aveenu utilizes this “advance notice” very wisely. For one, he blesses each of his twelve sons. Each son is blessed uniquely, according to their natural talents. His focus and goal was that each son would use his unique talent to serve Hashem, for that is the reason that Hashem gives us talents.
Let us all realize our special talent(s), and use them for our ultimate goal in our journey through this world, which is to serve Hashem, our creator.

Rabbi Kuritsky
Judaic studies coordinator
Special Announcement

A great big SIHA congratulations to our amazing students of the month!

K – Emanuella Brooks
1 – Sophie Braun
2 – Michael Groys
3 – Zohar Zadok
4-A – Ariella Khaimov
4-B – Ethan Shenkman
5 – Sofia Sandler
6 – Etai Factor
6 – Eva Leivent (Judaic Studies)

Programming News

Dear parents.
Thank G-d, we had a great week! This month’s theme in coimstruction is walls. Every student received a sticky hammer to help build the walls.
We are working this month on Shemirat Halashon – watching our tongue.
Shout out to the 7th and 8th grade girls for their awesome Shemirat Halashon movie!
Every time we want to speak bad about another person but we control ourselves, we fill out a card. Every card will earn a treat and will enter a raffle for special prizes.
Please encourage speaking nicely about others at home and in school.
Looking forward to receiving our exciting Shemirat Halashon – watch your mouth! – bracelets this week!
Happy new year!


Kindergarten and First Grade
We had a super duper week this week in Kindergarten and First Grade Judaics! Our kindergarteners are already up to learning the letters Mem and Enda Mem! We had so much fun reading the ziggawat story about Mem and the Mitzvah Contest. We did a great job cutting, sorting and pasting the mems and tets, even though they look similar we can tell the difference! In First Grade Judaics we began learning the nekuda cholam! We know that cholam can come in two different ways, a lollipop floating in the sky, or a lollipop on a stick! We are doing such a great job with our hebrew reading we are even up to reading four letter words! This week we continued in our unit about Hashem is watching over us always and learnt about saying Shema before we go to sleep. We made beautiful shema frames to hang in our rooms and began a shema before bed contest, we are so excited to do this mitzvah! Shabbat Shalom!

Second Grade
We had an exciting week in 2nd grade reviewing the entire Sefer Breishit (Genesis) We know there are 5 books in the Torah. Every Shabbat another portion (Parsha) is read at the synagogue. This week we are privileged to complete the first of the 5 books. We practiced our reading skills while reviewing Sefer Breishit in two different ways. The students laid many Hebrew words on their desks and when Morah asked questions instead of raising their hands to answer they had to look for the correct word and show Morah the answer. Mazel Tov to Michael Groys who showed Morah the correct answers almost immediately after the question was asked. In the last three pages of this week’s Parsha booklet the children read the Hebrew sentence which describes the main theme of that week’s portion and they then drew pictures of the theme. We learned the song of “Hamalach hagoiail” which is the blessing our forefather Yaakov gave to his family before passing away. This song is sung by thousands of Jewish children every night before going to bed. We found time to study our Brochot before food and practice reading and writing as well. Shabbat Shalom!

Third Grade
This week, the 3rd graders learnt about the Jewish calendar, going through the 12 months of the year and through all the Holidays and fasts days. They know when each holiday falls out and are looking forward to their favorite upcoming purim holiday in Chodesh Adar.
They also continue to practice their reading speed. Some students read a page in less that seconds and were so pleasantly surprised.
We congratulated one of our new classmate who already passed to Blue level and 2 others who passed to Orange. It is great to see their eagerness to learn and progress.
In parsha we learnt the last parsha of sefer Bereisheet. We learnt that Yaakov gave each of his 12 children a different Bracha, no one was jealous of each other because it is important to know that we are each different and have different talents and strength that we need to use to serve Hashem.
Shabbat Shalom and Happy New Year

Mrs Ivry

Fourth Grade
Its been so nice, diving back into things. The students greeted me with a warm, enthusiastic welcome, as I excpected. By now we are so comfortable and familiar with the Hebrew letters and there various nekudot/ vowels. Did you know that every day a star soloist is selected to come sing the Aleph Bet on the ( neon colored, plastic) mike for us? We know that each Mitzvah comes with a set of laws, and we are excited about learning the laws of making Brachot on food. For example, the food must be unwrapped/unpeeled and ready to eat before the Brachah is said. There is a super enthusiastic and earnest feel in the room as we make our Brachot on our snacks before recess. We market Trader Joe’s Takis ,as they are kosher unlike the other Takis. They are a fad, and we make sure to enjoy it within the boundaries of our law. Parshah class has us spellbound as we hear the final words of wisdom and blessings that Yaakov Avinu gives his sons before he passes on. By the way, we know the names of Yaakov’s 12 sons, the Shevatim real well. Sometimes I wonder, how do we get through so much content in just two hours a day? And the answer dawns on me real fast- it’s because these students are sponges-ready and excited to absorb each lesson, to really hear, learn, and internalize. I am a lucky Morah! Thank you for sharing your treasures! Remember to reach out to me any time with any questions, concerns, thoughts or just to say hello!
Morah Toba

5th and 6th Girls
Dear parents.
Thank G-d, we had a great week!
We learned about the backbreaking labor of the Jewish people in Egypt so that Pharoah could destroy them. But instead, they multiplied more than ever!
Then, Pharaoh commanded the Jewish midwives, Shifra and Yocheved, to kill all Jewish baby boys so that the Jewish people can’t reproduce. But they were scared of Hashem, the king of all kings, more than they were scared of the ruthless Egyptian king and they DID NOT LISTEN TO PHARAOH!!
We learned about the beracha of Ha’adama – which we make on vegetables/fruit that grow on the ground. Congratulations Sophie Dym on winning our Halacha raffle!
We had a great time making popcorn for Ha’adama!
We learned about the weekly parsha portion – Parshat Vayechi. Yaakov blessed all his sons, the 12 shevatim, before he passed away at age 147.
He made Yosef promise to bury him in Israel.
Our Middot lesson focused on trying to count our blessings and look out for the good in our lives instead of complaining. Sophie gave us great examples of times when she could’ve complained, but instead focused on the blessings in her life. We’re so proud of her!
The girls will try to focus on their blessings this week and move the Middot game piece to earn very exciting rewards!
Shout out to Ziva for coming to school last Friday! Keep it up!
Happy new year!
Have a great weekend.
Miss Dershowitz

5th and 6th Boys
This week our class gets a big Mazel Tov!
We finished the first Perek/Chapter of Mishnayot Sukkah!
Accordingly we had a big Siyum celebration, which only added to the excitement.
We also began learning Pirkai Avot/Ethics of the Fathers, which will certainly widen the boys horizons.
Looking forward to a great new week.
Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Levy

7th and 8th Girls
Ah, it was nice to be back with my group of favorite role models. Firstly, we enjoyed the Mazal Tov party that the girls put together for me 🙂 I also enjoyed their beautiful Mazal Tov cards and earnest wishes. We began our series on the 13 Ani Maamins, which are 13 principals of faith that we are supposed to make our business to believe. The first one is the belief that Hashem created everything. To illustrate just how much it is that he created, we played a little game. Two girls exchanged ideas and items that Hashem created, one after the other. The goal of the game was to keep coming up with things, with out repeating any and without stopping to think. Some of them were really good at it, and it was amazing to stop and think that it was Hashem who created everything. There is an amazing song by Rabbi Mordechai Dubin of these 13 beliefs that has been going around. We listen and even dance to it together sometimes. In translation of Tefiillah class, we began to explore the meanings of the Bracha Acharonas, blessings after food. We discussed how every law in Judiasm holds worlds of significance, and then began to explore the laws of making Brachot properly. We are becoming pros at understanding the way Rashi, our sage who’s explanations are written all over Chumash, thinks. And by now we have memorized tens of Shorashim, roots of Hebrew words. This week’s Parshah has us nodding along as we hear about the death of our forefather Yaakov, how he asked to be sick and week for a period of time before he parted so that he can use the time to repent before entering the next world, how he blessed and advised his children before going and how his son Yosef, a king, hung his crown oh his father’s coffin to show respect. We’re thankful for having had yet another really fun and growth oriented week together, once again. Thank you Hashem!
Morah Toba

7th and 8th Boys
This week we went further and deeper in the new Limud [topic], gmara. We always start a Gmara with a Mishna. As such, we actually began learning a Mishna, as an introduction to the Gmara which G-d willing we will reach in the near future.
We learned about this week’s Parsha, Parshas Vayeche.

Leam Bilik is the winner of the Grand Mincha Prize, an ipad.

We began davening in our shul for Shacharis and Mincha, daily. The boys take turns acting as Chazan. The boys are acting really mature about this new challenge. It is our hope that they will all become “pros” at davening and be able to daven in any shul in any place and keep up.

Elementary School

This week kindergarten learned how to read and spell many words with the CH sound. They are doing amazing! They began writing their personal narratives and they are doing so well working independently. In math they continued to use non standard tools to measure and weigh everything they can find in the classroom! They played a lot of fun games to review for their test they will be having next week. They also continued to practice adding 2 to a number and subtracting 2 from a number using mental math. In science they loved doing an experiment to learn which solids sink and which solids float in a liquid. They made a mess but they had a lot of fun and made some interesting and accurate conclusions. In social studies they learned about the different roles of family members, how to be responsible, and how to stay safe. They also began learning about different cultures. They were really interested in learning about Japanese clothing, traditions, and language. They wanted to hear the numbers in Japanese from 1-10 over and over again!

First Grade
Our first graders began studying about geometric solids this week. They were interested to see the difference between plane shapes and solids. We shared reports about arctic animals like the arctic fox, the polar bear, and the penguin. Students seemed fascinated by their ability to camouflage in the snow! Finally, we explored the underground home of the vole – a tiny mammal that borrows out a home in the ground. We even designed some underground homes of our own.

Second Grade
This week the second-graders continued to work on solving word problems. They also reviewed adding and subtracting with renaming. In ELA, the second-graders peer-edited their opinion pieces and made predictions about what would happen next in Charlotte’s Web. In social studies, the students presented their “My Culture” posters and shared with the class information about their family’s culture. The students did an amazing job with their presentations! On Monday, we celebrated Gal Zadok’s seventh birthday. Happy birthday, Gal!

Third Grade
This week grade 3 students began to work with the illusive x within addition equations. They also learned how to find the perimeter of an object. In Grammar students continued to identify (and modify) the different types of nouns. From singular and plural to common and proper, they were on the roll this week. During our writing sessions students wrote friendly letters to our community helpers such as our school custodians and security guards to thank them for their invaluable aid and to wish them a happy New Years.
Miss Sasha

Fourth Grade
This week in math we worked on solving word problems with fractions and adding mixed numbers.
In ELA students completed a persuasive essay and reading comprehension packets.
In Social Studies we completed chapter 5 Exploring the South.

4B had an exciting week! Thursday was New Year’s Eve, so we had a fun day! We played board games, and had some extra gym time! But it wasn’t all fun and games. We also continued learning about fractions, specifically how to add and subtract fractions. Also, Ethan Shenkman was awarded student of the month! I chose Ethan because he has improved his behavior in class, and he also had the highest grade in the class on the Math test, scoring over 100!

Fifth Grade

Fifth grade had a busy week! In grammar, we learned about helping and linking verbs. In reading, we continued our novel study of Holes. Students also finished their Independent Reading Projects! Everyone did an awesome job! Please look forward to pictures of their presentations next week! In Math, we started our unit review over multiplying and dividing fractions. Next week, we are going to take our unit test. I have faith that the class will do amazing. In social studies, we are learning about the countries of South America and rounding off our unit there. I would like to wish everyone a very happy New Year! 

Middle School

Middle School ELA
6th grade had a great week! In grammar, students learned about direct object. We also reviewed subjects and predicates. Students had a vocabulary Unit Test, and everyone did amazing! In writing, we learned about different types of text structure. We also continued our novel study of Hatchet!

7th grade had a busy week! In grammar, we reviewed combining sentences in several different ways to create better sentence variety. Students also took a vocabulary unit test, and everyone did amazing!In writing, students learned about author’s position, and wrote beautiful paragraphs. We also continued our novel study of Milkweed!

8th grade had a good week! In grammar, we reviewed three types of verbal phrases. Students practiced recognizing them in sentences, as well as writing their own. In writing, students learned about different points of view and the author’s position. We discussed how text structure helps authors carry their ideas across. In ELA, students continued their novel study of The Giver!

Middle School Math

6th grade is learning about ratios and rates. We are using unit rates to solve word problems.

7th grade has been working on circumference and area of a circle. 7th honors finished work on circumference and area. They have been working on area of composite figures.

8th grade has been working with proportions, ratios and rates in algebra word problems. We started reviewing inequalities and working on expressing them in interval notation, graphically, and as a solution set.

Middle School Social Studies
6th grade learned about early Indian civilization, including the Indus River and the Indus Valley Civilization.

7th grade started preparing to play the Summer of ’87 Reacting to the Past game. Each student was given a role to play in the game, based on a Founding Father, and has been tasked with doing research on him to find out his opinions about various issues.

8th grade discussed the U. S. national debt crisis and the stimuli that were passed this year to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.