Dvar Torah

Parashat Ki Tisa
This week’s Parsha talks about the terrible sin of the Eigel Hazahav, the Golden calf.
Moshe Rabbeinu went up to Heaven to receive the Luhot and learn the Torah with Hashem, G-d Himself.
Moshe told Klal yisrael that he would return in 40 days.He meant 40 complete days, besides the day that he went up. Klal yisrael made a mistake in calculation and included the day he went up.
When Moshe did not come down from heaven “on time” [according to their calculations] the Satan made it look like Moshe was “flying” in a bed in heaven, as if to signify that he was no longer alive. The, “Eirev Rav”, Egyptian converts who came out of Egypt with the Jews were instigating and demanding a new leader to replace Moshe. They came up with a plan to collect gold and toss it in a fire.The Satan helped things along and let a golden calf, “alive and kicking” come out of the fire. They proclaimed “this is your god who took you out of Egypt!” [referring to the golden calf]
This incited Hashem.
Avoda Zara , idol worship is a “slap in the face” to Hashem, a real living G-d.
Hashem told Moshe that He will not “go” with us, Bnei Yisrael anymore.

He described us Jews as “Am K’shei Oref” A stiff necked nation.

Later,the Jews do T’shuva and Moshe asks for forgiveness for us, Moshe requests that Hashem, once again “go” with us, using the fact that we are Am K’shei Oref, a stiff necked nation as a reason to go with us.

This is seemingly slightly contradictory. Hashem said earlier that because the Jews are stiff necked, that is why He will NOT continue to “go” with us. Now Moshe is using that exact character trait to convince Hashem to “go” with us?!

Reb Avigdor Miller Zecher Tzadik Livracha explains this seemingly strange phenomenon in the name of the Alter of Slabodka as follows;
Yes, the nature of a Jew is to be stiff necked, but this can be a positive attribute. We know that many Jews behind the iron curtain were “refuseniks”, not bending to the communists when it came to our religion. We Jews are intelligent people and are not easily swayed by the outside “forces”.
We are not easily impressionable like butter, but stiff like a rock.
It is easy to make an impression in butter, but it will not last. It is difficult to make an impression in a rock, but when it is impressed, it stays.
If we are shown with clear proof of what is right, then the impression stays.

Let us continue to be “a stiff necked nation” and not allow ourselves to be influenced by the outside world. Let us be influenced and convinced by real proofs of the truth of our Holy Torah, and religion.

Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Y.S. Kuritsky

Thank you!

A great, big, thank you to the Rabbi Uzhansky, Miss Ilanit, and everyone who donated to our Charidy drive! Without your help and good will, SIHA would not be what it is. 

Let’s keep standing together! 


Special Announcement

Happy birthday to:

  • Yehuda Mirocznik in 8th grade!
  • Hanna Kimerling in 4B!
  • Anna Gershkovich in 7th Grade!
  • Amiel Lavy in 8th grade!
  • Diane Ashraf in 4A!
  • Joseph Sulaymanov in Kindergarten!


This week in Kriah We reviewed our aleph bet and nikudot. Great job to Liam and Ben from second grade for doing amazingly on their home work and for doing an amazing job on knowing the difficult aleph bet letters.

Miss Esti would like to congratulate Sarina from third grade for doing an excellent job on her yellow reader , she is trying so hard and is doing a great job with three letter hebrew words !! Wow we are so proud of her !
-Miss Esti

Programming News:

Dear parents,
We had a great week this week, thank G-d!
We are still trying to make others happy and spread joy all around us. Every class’s smiley face sign is overflowing with stickers. There is one more week to go – let’s keep it up!
We are all really looking forward to Pesach which will be on Sunday, March 28th. All of our classes are starting to learn about Pesach and creating their own beautiful Haggadahs. We will learn all about what to do at the Pesach Seder and every class will even have their own practice Seder in school before Pesach!!
We are really excited!
Have a wonderful Shabbat and enjoy your weekend!
Best regards,
Miss Dershowitz and Ms Esti

Shabbos contest
Miss Esti is so proud of the 2 girls who helped their parents prepare for Shabbat! Leah Yacobson and Diane Ashraf did a wonderful job! 


Kindergarten and First Grade
Come check out our beautiful Kindergarten and First Grade classrooms! We have a new beautiful Pesach bulletin board and are jumping right in to begin learning about Pesach. This week we learnt about why we have pesach, and what we do special on Pesach, we know we do not eat chametz! Our first graders have already finished all their nekudot and are reading beautifully! In Kindergarten we learnt about the letter tzadik and enda tzadik. We now know all the enda letters, and know all the matches of letters and enda letters! We made a special letter-enda letter puzzle game and enjoyed playing it at home! Shabbat Shalom!

Second Grade
Passover is in the air in 2nd grade. The children are learning the Ma Nishtana (4 Questions) to be asked by the younger children at the Seder Table. We are working on decorating our beautiful Haggdahs which we can’t wait to show you as we prepare for Pesach. We enjoyed the project we made at the beginning of the week depicting the Jews working hard as slaves in Egypt. We are working on our Kriya skills and learning the weekly Parsha as well. Shabbat Shalom

Third Grade
What a special week this is for the 3rd graders! After greeting 2 of their zoom classmates in the classroom last week, this week, they greeted a new student!! Welcome to Mathew Kipnis! What a great way to start a week in Siha right on time for the Pesach story!
The 3rd graders were transported in time as the Pesach story came alive out of the Giant Pesach Book. WIth only a few weeks ahead before pesach, 3rd graders will be very busy getting ready for this special holiday over the next 3 weeks.
They are also learning to spell the 10 Makkot in Hebrew and translate them in the correct order.
The students also worked hard on their Aleph Champ reading and workbooks. Some of them were able to move on to the next color and they are all looking forward to move on next week as well.
Shabbat Shalom
Morah Chaya

Fourth Grade

Yediot Klalliot
Everyday we review all that we learned.
3 fathers, 4 mothers, 4 couples buried in מערת המכפלה, the gematria for all the alef bet, 10 מכות and its meaning, the 12 Jewish months, the days of the week in Hebrew. What Hashem created on each day of the week. In addition the children can follow along with our Luach which we do daily. We sing the Parshiot in Berishet, Shmot, and this week we added Sefer Vayikra.

Purim was over, and we began with Pesach right away.
There is so much to learn and tell over. We learned what constitutes chometz, different halachos regarding chometz , for example, selling chometz with the Rabbi, one may not eat chometz or find chometz. We discussed that on Pesach Bnei Yisroel left Mitzrayim in the year 2448, and we are celebrating this neis 3333 years later. We became the great Jewish nation with the Torah as a result of Hashem freeing us to become His chosen nation. We also mentioned that it is a Mitzva to tell over the neis of Yeitzias Mitzrayim, and the more one discusses it the more praisworthy he is. To understand this concept Morah said over a Mashal ( parable) of a man who was saved from a drowning boat ride. This man came home and shared with his family over and over what it was like to experience this miracle. The fact that he kept on discussing in detail over and over shows how much he cared and appreciated the fact that he survived!

Halacha / Brachot
This week we learned in detail the rules for making a Haetz, Haadama, and Shehakol. The children wrote down the notes in their Halacha notebook, and they did overall very beatufilly on their Halacha quiz.

We reviewed our Shorashim and we keep on singing the prefixes Otiot Brosh Mila.
In addition we are almost done Booklet #2 on Chumash. The children drew (HW) the chumash hebrew words on index cards, and IYH it will be hung up in the classroom.

Looking forward to another wonderful week!
Shabbat Shalom

What a week, thank You Hashem. We are so lucky because Lila Havia joined our class and she adds such a wonderful Lila spirit! We are getting into the Pesach/ Passover spirit. We discuss spring cleaning, and why that would be necessary, according to the laws of which foods we are allowed to have in our house over Pesach. Our morning Shachrit is slowly advancing as we get more familiar with the words. A prayer that we began learning and our super proud of, and for good reason, is the silent Shemoneh Esrei at the end. We have been careful to wash the morning Netilat Yedayim too. Those who have not already washed at home, first thing upon arising(which is the prime time to practice this) go one by one to the bathroom to do this special mitzvah.Of Course we do the Mitzvah with that “fire in our heart” and like devoted servants to Hashem, with true loyalty. That’s why, we review the halchot/laws of how to wash, for example, the right hand has to go first. Our penmanship skills are picking up as we work to familiarize ourselves with the Aleph Bet. Parshah class has us finishing up our discussion of the holy appliances that were kept in the Bet Hamikdash, like this when Mashiach finally comes we will be familiar with the going- ons inside the Bet Hamikdash! Ofcourse, we are continuously working on our caring and giving, as well as not speaking Loshon Hora, in order to do our part to being Mashiach.

We began working on pre-chumash skills too. We are familiarizing ourselves with some hebrew (one letter) prefixes, shorashim/ three letter roots of words, and sight words that will be coming up in the Chumash that we’ll be learning shortly.
Shabbat Shalom
Morah Toba

5th and 6th Girls
Dear parents,
We had a wonderful week at Judaics class, Boruch Hashem!
Firstly, we get congratulations! Our class earned 475 marbles for great behavior and celebrated with an exciting waffle bar party! With lots of sprinkles, whipped cream and cookie dough ice cream, we enjoyed our delicious waffles together with our individual chocolate milk bottles. Yum??
Thank you to Ziva and Madi for all your help with warming up the waffles!
We learned about why it is so important to remember Yetziat Mitzrayim – the miraculous exodus of the Jewish people from their bondage in Egypt. We do so many Mitzvot in order to remember it and we wanted to know why.
The answer is in order to teach us that not only did G-d create the world, but He is involved and running each detail every single second! We see the miracles of splitting of the red sea, the ten plagues, the drowning of the Egyptians in the red sea and it teaches us how Hashem is involved and running the world each second. He created nature and He continuously recreates nature each second, and therefore can change nature any second – like during the exodus of the Jews from Egypt! We now see what an important lesson Yetziat Mitzrayim is for us in our lives. We truly must recognize Hashem’s hand in the world every moment! We learn this idea from all the miracles that G-d did for the Jewish people in Egypt.
Now that we know the importance of learning and knowing about Yetziat Mitzrayim, we can start learning all about Pesach (Passover) and the Haggadah. We’re looking forward!
We also continued in Perek Bet in Shemot, learning about the birth of Moshe Rabbeinu and how much he felt for the pain of every Jew, although he was living in Pharoah’s palace.
We learned all about this week’s Parsha, Parshat Ki Tisa.
We are all very much looking forward to speaking to a Rabbi in class on Monday to ask all of our many questions. If you’d like to submit any questions to ask him, you can email them to me or give them to your daughters to ask him themselves. Of course, questions are always welcome at any time:)
Have a wonderful Shabbat and an enjoyable weekend!
Looking forward to seeing all of your wonderful daughters next week!
Best regards,
Miss Dershowitz

5th and 6th Boys
This week we began learning about Pesach, the month of our freedom!
We are looking forward to making our Haggadahs and deepening our understanding of the Holiday.
We are almost finished the 2nd chapter of Mishnayot Sukkah.
Looking forward!

7th and 8th Girls

Congratulations to us upon having completed our third Perek/ Chapter in Chumash this year! We can translate the phrases, recognize the three letter root of the words, explain the phrases according to how Rashi explains it and of course we can depict the story line. The life lessons that we gain from the storylines are exceptional. For example, we learnt a big lesson on humility by Moshe’s response to being chosen as the Jewish leader. We enjoyed our review games that we played prior to the test as well as the test itself, as it’s a good feeling to see how much info we have absorbed!We enjoyed our well deserved outing as a reward for our hard work. We also managed to find time to review the translations of some prayers that we say in our daily Shachrit by playing a really lively game of around the world (sorry about the noise level, Mrs U!). We also continued our discussion of the holy appliances that were kept in the Bet Hamikdash so that when Mashiach comes we’ll be familiar with them all. Thank you Hashem for setting us up all together in this beautiful, growth oriented setting! Shabbat Shalom!

Morah Toba

Elementary School

This week kindergarten was very excited to begin reading from a new reader. They learned how to write a friendly letter. Kindergarten had so much fun celebrating Read Across America Day. They listened to many books, made fun crafts related to the stories, made a rhyming book, made a hat with rhyming words on it, they watched The Cat in the Hat, and they decorated cupcakes. In math they began reading and solving subtraction word problems. They learned a cool subtraction trick and played games to practice subtraction. In science they learned about magnets. They did a fun experiment to find out which items in the classroom were magnetic and which items were not magnetic. In social studies they learned about the community helpers that help people or animals that are sick or hurt.

First Grade
This week in first grade, we learned about different types of weather. We explored different types of tools that measure the weather such as a wind vane, thermometer, and rain gauge. Students were excited to hear about how the water cycle works to move water around our world. In addition, explored the borough of Staten Island on a map. We learned that we live on an island with four bridges, three bays, and a ferry. Finally, our first grade students presented book reports about women inventors. It was interesting to note that women have invented such machines as the medical syringe, the windshield wiper, and even the game that served as the model for monopoly! It was most interesting to learn that a woman is responsible for the invention of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Second Grade
This week in ELA, the second graders learned about irregular verbs and practiced how to write them in present tense and past tense. In math, the students have been hard at work telling time to the nearest five minutes. They also have been doing a great job reviewing concepts from the beginning of the year. In social studies, the second-graders have been using maps and map scales to find out the distance between two places.

Third Grade
This week grade three students welcomed Matthew to our class. We have been waiting for over a month and are so excited for him to learn alongside us this year. During our Grammar lessons students focused on explanatory writing. They learned the correct structure by analyzing strong pieces of writing and have completed their first draft. They also reviewed identifying the tense of an action verb with the concentration on the present tense verb with a singular and plural subject. During our Math lessons, they continued their unit review, but also began to work with analog and digital clocks. During Social Studies, students explored how Mexico City has changed from a small island on a lake to the huge capital it is today. They are now learning of the ways the Aztecs and the Spanish had changed the land over its long history. In Russian class, students reviewed what we have learned so far and are eager to explore new vocabulary and phrases we can use in class, at home, and in the future as we meet new friends.
Miss Sasha

Fourth Grade
This week in math students finished unit on decimals and reviewed for the test.
In ELA kids took a grammar test on pronouns and started to write creative stories.
In Social Studies students read about the geography and how people live in the Plains States.
We are continuing to prepare for the state exams.

Test prep, test prep, test prep! 4B, with the help of our wonderful Mrs. Rosskamm, has been doing lots of test prep in order to prepare for the state test. We are learning how to properly annotate literature, structure our paragraphs, and find and sequence details from passages. In math, we are reviewing all of the operations with fractions. We can add fractions, subtract fractions, simplify fractions, multiply fractions with whole numbers, and answer word problems involving fractions. We are also reading a very interesting book called “Inside Out & Back Again,” about a young girl who lived in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

Fifth Grade

Greetings and salutations!

This week has been quite busy. In ELA the students did a week long review for the unit test in grammar. They began their new novel, Moon over Manifest. 

In social studies they finished their Olmec heads project and began learning about the Maya civilization.

Middle School

Middle School ELA and Social Studies

6th grade
This week has been all about Argumentative Writing! We learned what argumentative writing is, and the different parts of an argument. Then, we practiced identifying claims and evidence, as well as writing claims and evidence of our own. We also had a lot of fun being detectives in an argumentative writing mystery game! Mrs. Hazen wants to commend Ilan, Eva, Madi, and Gabby for being the only students to correctly identify the culprit!

In social studies the 6th graders learned about three major Chinese philosophies. We had quite a few rather interesting class discussions!

7th Grade
This week has been all about returning to Argumentative Writing. We reviewed what argumentative writing is, and what parts of an argument are. We identified and evaluated claims, supporting evidence, and warrants in different types of articles. Then, we practiced argumentative writing of our own. We learned about different rhetorical appeals, and practiced using those in our writing. We also had a lot of fun being detectives in an argumentative writing mystery game!

In Social Studies, we wrapped up the Age of Jackson. We learned about Andrew Jackson’s presidency, the expansion of voting rights, and the Indian Removal Act. Students wrote an opinion piece about Andrew Jackson’s Legacy.

8th Grade
This week has been all about persuasive writing! We started with a review of what an argument is, and how to write effective claims and use supporting evidence. Then, we reviewed the three different rhetorical appeals: pathos, ethos, and logos. Students practiced identifying these appeals in writing, and wrote their own paragraphs using them!

In Social Studies, we wrapped up the end of World War I by learning about the Russian Revolution. We also learned about the three economic theories: Capitalism, Socialism, and Communism. Students discussed what these theories are, and how they would work in practice. Finally, students read primary documents about these three theories and had a great time in class discussing them!

Middle School Math

5th Grade – Finished the unit on integers, absolute value, GCF, LCM, and rational numbers.
6th Grade – reviewed percents, finished the unit on equivalent algebraic expressions
7th Grade – learned surface area and finished the unit on Geometry
7th Honors – learned square roots, exponents, scientific notation and finished that unit
8th Grade – how to graphically and algebraically solve for both intercepts and slope
8th Honors – finished chapter 5 on solving systems of linear equations, graphically, by elimination and substitutions
Everyone has a test on Tuesday

Middle School Science

7th Grade

Over the next couple of weeks students will be learning how our body systems function to maintain homeostasis. Students just finished up the Immune System and they all did well on their test. This week we are discovering the benefits and necessity of our skin. Students will be able to distinguish between the epidermis and the dermis, identify the functions of the skin and the role it plays to protect us from various pathogens and environmental toxins.

8th Grade Students

8th Grade will be investigating how humans are complex organisms that maintain a narrow set of internal conditions through a system of feedback and communication mechanisms between multiple organ systems. In this unit, students will explore how body systems interact to effectively monitor and respond to both internal and external environmental changes. Students complete both Making Connections (a NY State required lab) and a human thermoregulation laboratory, both of which focus on skills of experimental design.

Jewish History

7th grade learned about how Hashem took care of the Jewish people in the desert and examined pictures of what those miracles could have looked like if they would have taken place today.

8th grade learned about the fall of the Seleucid Greek Empire and the Rise of Rome and how that affected the Jewish people.