Dvar Torah

Dvar Torah Parashat Sh’lach,
This week’s Parasha is famous for discussing the M’raglim-spies. Moshe sent twelve men to “spy out” the land of Israel. Hashem did not want this. He only allowed it. Moshe requested it upon the request of the people. The “spies” were actually great men [at least before they acted as spies], but went bad [according to some commentators.
The Chidushei Harim [an earlier commentator] explains the rationale of the “spies” speaking negatively about Eretz Yisrael. He explains that while the Jews were in the Midbar the wilderness, they were totally taken care of. Food rained down from heaven daily. The clouds of glory afforded comfort and protection from the elements and potential [and real] enemies. Their clothing grew with them.
They were able to totally focus on spirituality. The spies were concerned that after the Jewish people would settle in the land of Israel, they would need to divert their attention from spirituality and focus on materialism and the mundane.
That was their concern. Hashem is the one who decided that B’nei Yisrael should go into Israel. He created us. He understands us. He wanted and wants us to still be spiritual even when we are not sheltered.
This is His plan. We should; go to work daily, [except for Shabbos, of course] go shopping, mingle amongst the people of the world, and still remain faithful to Hashem.
As parents and teachers, we like to “shelter” our children from “bad” influences. This is terrific. We do not want our children growing up with all the influences “out there”. It is a great way to raise and educate children, yet we must also strengthen them to be ready to “stay strong” even when the “winds are blowing” in a harmful direction.
The Jews had forty years of “shelter” from physical and spiritual enemies in the Midbar. After forty years though, Hashem decided that B’nei Yisrael was prepared to “go out in the world” and still succeed.
Let us raise our children as “sheltered” as possible yet prepare them to be able to succeed in “the real world”, and stay faithful to Hashem and his Torah.
Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Y.S. Kuritsky

Special Announcements

Dear SIHA family,

SIHA’s families were personally invited by the Rabbi of the Yeshiva for the completion of a new sefer torah.

We hope to see you all there,

SIHA administration

A great big SIHA congratulations to the Students of the Month!

Kindergarten –  Coby Rosner
First Grade –  Brianna Sanders
Second Grade –  Amit Amos
Third Grade –  Lia Amos
4A –  Adiel Zadok
4-B –  Lila Havia
Fifth Grade – Matthew Tayrimov
Middle School – Eva Leivent
Middle School (Judaics) Leam Bilik 

Programming News

Dear Parents.
Thank G-d, we had a wonderful week here at Siha!
We are greatly looking forward to Shabbat week, week of June 14-18. Details will be forthcoming.
Shabbat Shalom!
Best regards,
Miss Dershowitz


Kindergarten and First Grade

We had wonderful week in Kindergarten Judaics. We learnt a new nekuda patach and have been having a wonderful time doing many patach activities! We have also been practicing for our graduation and are very excited for it!

In First Grade Judaics the children have been practicing a lot for our siddur play! Walk down the hall and you will hear us singing and practicing our parts! We cannot wait to get our siddurim and are looking forward to our play!

Second Grade

Another short week flew by as we continue to prepare for our Siddur Play June 15 G-d willing. The children are working hard practicing their parts and songs. In this weeks Parsha we learn about the mitzva of tzizit. The boys all received tzizit which they are privileged to wear on a daily basis. Shabbat Shalom

Third Grade

This week third graders started a new chapter in their Hebrew skills: spelling. After a weeks practice, most students are able to spell basic Hebrew words by dictation. We will continue to work on this important skill until the end of the year.
We introduce a Kibbid Av Vaem project with 2 important stories about respecting parents. This is one of the 10 commandments that also includes teachers, first born and elders. We will continue working on this important lesson while learning and putting in practice in class and at home the proper way to address and disagree with parents/teachers.
To finish off a great week of learning and growing, we made Challah as we learnt in this week’s parsha about the special mitzva of separating Challah that was given to the Jews before entering the land of Israel. This Mitzva serves as a reminder that Hashem is the One who provides for us.
Enjoy the Challah
Shabbat shalom
Mrs Ivry

Fourth Grade
We had a fantastic week here in 4B! Our Chumash class continues to go strong as we analyze what the first Monday ever was like, literally. We are still super careful to wake up any student who might be sleeping in the classroom near ours while we chant the words of the Pesukim with their translations. We began to talk all about the importance of the Tefillah of Shema Yitroel. Our nations eventful journey through the desert continues to enthrall us as we go through the weekly Parshah. Of course we just couldn’t be with out our Shabbat talk and song at the end of the week.
Shabbat Shalom!
Morah Toba

Zach שי Garber wins the class davening prize, a soft hot pretzel

5th and 6th Girls
Dear parents.
Thank G-d, we had a wonderful week. We moved on learning more blessings in the Shemoneh Esrei. We learned all about Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Bait Hamikdash (Holy Temple.)
We learned about how the more Mitzvot we do, the wealthier we’ll be forever.
We really enjoyed the Kotel (Western Wall) virtual reality. It was very cool!
The girls had a great time, (shrieking) and enjoying the amazing experience of the Kotel and the blessing which Kohanim bless the Jewish people.
We moved on in Chumash learning all about the miraculous splitting of the red sea. We had a great time at our makeshift splitting of the sea, as we walked through the dry land singing, “Thank You Hashem.”
We learned all about this week’s Parsha, Parshat Shelach.
Shabbat Shalom! Have an enjoyable weekend!
Best regards,
Miss Dershowitz

5th and 6th Boys

This week was fascinating!
As we approach the end of the year, we are on schedule to finish the 4rth chapter of Sukkah. We also learned the powerful lesson of the Meraglim/Spies and discussed the necessity of trusting in Hashem at all times.

Shabbat Shalom!    
7th and 8th Girls
We had a great “wrap up Parshat Shemot ” week this week, to conclude our Chumash lessons for this year. The girls we’re put in groups and each assigned a different topic that we’ve covered. They did quite a job bringing the storylines to life with skits and power point presentations. We enjoyed our pizza party as a reward. Mazal Tov to us upon having learnt so much Torah, so thoroughly and beautifully. The hundreds of life lessons that we’ve seen between the lines will be with us forever!
Shabbat Shalom!
Morah Toba

Ariella and Yaffa baked a cake for Shabbat! They decorated it with a handmade baby Moshe in the basket being found by the Pharaoh’s daughter.

7th and 8th Boys
We have been continuing our lengthy and informative Y’diot K’laliot, i.e. what is a bride and groom called in Hebrew [Kalah and Choson], what is the procedure that ends Shabbat called [Havdalah] etc.
On that note..shout out to Josh Osher for making Havdalah for the 8th grade [on Tuesday]. A louder shout out to Shai, Amiel, Leam B and Noah for saying Havdalah at the proper time and in the proper way, on Saturday night [thanks to Rabbi Kuritsky’s email reminder] in Amiel’s home!
We learned a lot about the M’raglim-the spies who searched out the land of Israel.
We began with interesting questions from a sefer called Achas Sha’alti, actuel questions posed to Reb Yitzchok Zilberstein , a great posek – decider of Halacha. One day we had the question about a woman who faked being the mother of a groom in order to teach a lesson to two girls who had spoken Loshon Hara. about the Kalah.
The question; on one hand she taught a valuable lesson, on the other hand she lied and made them feel bad?
Another question; a fellow found a $100 dollar bill on Shabbos and when a pauper claimed he had seen it first , which clearly does not make it belong to him, the original finder who was standing on the bill [which is 100% permitted on Shabbat] said he would give part of the $ to him as Tz’daka. After Shabbat the finder realized that it was a fake bill!
Does the finder still need to give the pauper the $ that he said he would give?
Most boys said “yes!”
Yisroel Friedman correctly said “no!”

Shai, Doron and Yisrael practicing הבדלה so that boys will know what to do after shabbat

Rabbi Kuritsky explaining the מצווה of ציצית 4B

Josh osher saying הבדלה for the 4th Grade

Noga and Eliana giving a Torah presentation and skit.


Lana, Taylor, Arielle and Rachel’s Torah slideshow and skit

Elementary School


I am so proud of kindergarten they are becoming such fluent readers! They began reading their 4th first grade reader and they are doing an excellent job decoding all of these first grade words. They read a funny story full of long vowel words about a child who was late to school. They learned all about syllables and what sounds y can make when it is a vowel. They continued to independently work on writing their own nonfiction books. In math they are really enjoying learning how to tell time. They can already tell time to the hour and they can identify the difference between AM and PM. They also began memorizing the friends of ten. In science they were so excited to meet their new class pets. They have been acting like real scientists as they carefully observe and record the growth of the caterpillars. They love to observe them walk and eat and they can’t wait until they become butterflies! In social studies they learned a fun dance to help them remember which way is north, south, east, and west.

Aaron did a terrific job on his science fair project. He taught the class the difference between organic and non-organic fruits, which one lasts longer, and which one is healthier for us to eat.

First Grade

The first graders were very busy this week. We read a story called “The Ugly Vegetables” and learned the importance of sharing with our neighbors. In Social Studies we discussed the rights and responsibilities of US citizens to vote. We even held an election to choose our favorite ice cream!
In Math students continue to count sets of coins. They were excited to learn that each coin has the face of a former US president. Finally, as we enjoy the spring season, students identify plants and flowers. In Art students made a model of a willow plant in a vase. I think they did an amazing job.

Second Grade

This week the second graders have been hard at work. In ELA, they did a great job acting out a play! They also learned about pronouns. In math, the second grade has continued to work on mastering multiplication facts and reviewing topics from earlier in the year. In social studies, the students have been learning all about citizenship, rights and responsibilities, and laws. June 2nd was Ava Mekler’s birthday. Happy birthday Ava! Ms. Bronstein would like to commend Sarit Iunger and Benjamin Portman for doing such a great job at portraying emotions while acting in the play in ELA class!
In science, students finished Chapter 10 “Energy”. Students learned that sound, light, and heat are all forms of energy.

Third Grade

This week grade 3 students reviewed vertical multiplication and long division equations. During their Grammar lessons, students focused on identifying different types of verbs. They worked on locating the action, helping, and linking verbs. During their computer lesson, students learned about another software called PowerPoint. During their Social Studies lessons, students were introduced to the Cherokee tribe. Among other elements, they are exploring the different styles of homes that the Navajo, Yurok, and the Cherokee build.

In science, students learned about forces, what causes a change in motion, how friction works.An assessment is assigned to the students in the following week.
Miss Sasha

Fourth Grade
This week in math we finished unit on bar graphs and line plots.
In ELA we finished unit on adverbs, prepositions, and expository writing. In Social Studies we read and discussed how people of the United States are linked by transportation, communication, trade, and shared heritage.
Our class started a new class chapter book Flora and Ulysses by:Kate DiCamillo.
In science, students learned about electricity, types of electric circuits, and what is an electric current.

Zach שי Garber wins the class davening prize, a soft hot pretzel

This week 4B is working on their writing. Mrs. Rosskamm has been coming into the class and helping us with our paragraph formation. She is teaching the class how to properly format paragraphs, and make sure all of our sentences connect to our topic sentence. I also
assigned an open ended writing assignment to assess their paragraph writing skills. In math we are reviewing geometry. In social studies we are learning about the western region of the United States. Lila Havia received student of the month for the month of May! I awarded her with this honor due to her dedication and persistence in the classroom.
In science, students identified and reviewed the ways that thermal energy can be transferred.

Fifth Grade

Greetings and salutations!
In ELA the 5th graders had a busy week. The 5th graders learned about object pronouns in grammar. They finished their Coraline essays and learned about Terezin. They read poems and studied the art work made by the children of Terezin. Finally, they wrote a reflection on their selected poem and artwork. 

In math, 5th grade practiced percent word problems.

In science, students learned and understood the Laws of Motion. An assessment is assigned to students in the following week.

Middle School

Middle School ELA and Social Studies
6th Grade
Sixth graders had a great week!
We wrapped up our reading and writing workbook with a long response that compared and contrasted two fictional stories. Everyone worked very hard!
In reading, we continued our novel study of the City of Ember. The students are really getting into the mystery!
In writing class, we started our unit on different genres in fiction. We learned about what a genre is, what different genres exist and we came up with some great examples.


In social studies the students continued to learn about the Roman Republic. In particular, we focused on how the government of the Roman Republic influenced our government today. The students also learned about the Roman Republic’s system of law and the importance of the rule of law in particular.

7th grade
Seventh graders had a good week!
In reading, we are continuing our novel study of the Indian in the Cupboard. In writing, we started our unit on the Hero’s Journey. We took notes on the different stages, and read fiction stories and marked the different stages of the hero’s journey!

In Social Studies, we wrapped up our unit on the western expansion. We watched videos and looked at primary sources on the second industrial revolution, and are creating a research project (due Monday) on the important inventions and inventors of the 19th century.

8th grade
Eighth graders had a busy week!
The students are busily preparing for their graduation, and wrapping up the school year with style! In reading, we continued our novel study of the Book Thief and had some awesome class discussions. We also reviewed using textual evidence in paragraphs!

In Social Studies, we are in the middle of our unit on the Cold War. We learned about the war in Korea, the Red Scare, and the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Middle School Math

6th grade finished learned statistics and is learning how to perform basic operations with positive and negative numbers.
7th grade is learning how to use probability to make predictions.
7th grade honors finished learning about system of equations and will be learning transformational geometry.
8th grade finished reviewing multistep equations.
8th grade honors finished learning about sequences and series and will be learning about linear regression.

Middle School Science
6th gr.
Students finished the Chapter”Laws of Motion”. A final test was assigned to the students.

7th Grade Science

As a part of our journey through nutrition, the students are now learning how certain macromolecules affect our body. Sometimes the things that we eat give us energy and then very shortly thereafter, we crash. We get this overwhelming feeling of tiredness, loss of focus, and feelings of hunger. Students will be finishing up the year with a digestion project. Students will investigate various aspects of their diet and conduct research regarding their habits. Students will complete either a powerpoint presentation or an essay

8th Grade Science

As our SIHA Seniors wind down the year and finish up all of the necessary work to complete their Living Environment course, students are getting more and more excited about their next phase of life and their energy is quite invigorating. Students are completing their final LE Lab to fulfill their course requirements and sit for the NYS Regent. This lab allows students to investigate 7 different types of tests to determine the relationship between organisms. Once this is complete, we will be on a Regent Review until students sit for the exam, attendance is imperative.

Jewish History

This week has been very eventful as we move on towards the finish line. 7th grade cycled through 350 years of the period of the Judges and will soon meet the first Jewish king!

8th grade is learning about the structure of the Mishna, how it was set up, why it was written, and why we learn it.