Dvar Torah

Dvar Torah Parashat Bamidbar-Shavuot
This week’s Parsha is Bamidar- In the wilderness/Desert
Interestingly, Parashat Bamidbar always precedes the holiday of Shavuot-it is always read the Shabbat immediately prior to Shavuot.

The holiday of Shavuot actually has quite a few names;

Z’man matan Torateinu -the time of giving of our holy Torah
It is thus called because this is the date that we received the Torah

Shavuot Weeks, because we will have completed the seven weeks from the omer until Shavuot

Chag Hakatzir – Holiday of harvest, in the land of Israel this is the time of harvest. It is also
the day that Hashem judges on the coming year’s harvest.

Chag Habikurim – “Holiday of First fruits”, because This was the holiday when a farmer would bring his first fruits/grain of that year’s produce.

Getting back to “why is Parashat Bamidbar always read the Shabbat immediately preceding Shavuot?”…
One answer given is; The last Parasha in Sefer Vayikra-Leviticus was B’chukotai, which included the B’rachot-blessings and the Klalot-curses.
Shavuot, as we mentioned above is the day when Hashem determines the fruit harvest.
The connection could be as follows;
R’ Tzadok Hakohen z”l (died 1900) explains that before Adam sinned by eating from the Tree of Knowledge, he was surrounded by abundant fruit trees that had been planted by G-d’s own “hands.” After his sin, he was cursed that he would have to work the ground to earn his food. However, when Bnei Yisrael received the Torah, they (temporarily) returned to the spiritual level that Adam had before his sin, and thus Shavuot is a propitious time to judge the fruit harvest favorably. (Pri Tzaddik: Vayikra p.209)
Another explanation as to why the holiday of Shavuot is when we are judged regarding the harvest is;
R’ Moshe of Kobrin z”l (late 18th century) offers another explanation: The Torah (Devarim 20:19) refers to man as “Adam eitz hasadeh” – ” man is a tree of the field”. Man is judged for the fruit harvest on Shavuot, based on how he accepts the Torah on this holiday. (Torat Avot)
The main “celebration of Shavuot” is that we received and continue to receive the Torah. This is what separates us Jews from all nations of the world. it is what makes us special. Let us renew our kabalot hatorah by accepting it again. Let us all accept a little more upon ourselves. Shabbat/Kosher/Family purity etc.

Let this renewed acceptance be a merit for us and the people of Israel.

Shabbat Shalom
Chag Sameach
Rabbi Y.S. Kuritsky
Judaic studies curriculum coordinator

Special Announcements!

Congratulations to our wonderful Students of the Month!
Kindergarten – Ethan Sandler
First Grade – Robin Greenstein
Second Grade – Mira Elkaiev
Third Grade – Ryan Svyatkovsky
4A – Joshua Ryzhikov
4B – Sapir Benlulu
Fifth Grade – Gabi Mekler
Middle School – Noga Sayag
Middle School Judaics – Amiel Lavy

Congratulations to Joshua Yarden-Kushel for winning a scholarship to the Frisch school!

Programming News

Dear parents.
We had a wonderful week in Siha, thank G-d!
In honor of Rosh Chodesh Sivan, (the 1st day in the month of Sivan) which was on Wednesday, every student received delicious Torah Oodles because we received the Torah this month of Sivan.
Everyone had an amazing time decorating Har Sinai cupcakes and putting them in the beautiful boxes.
Enjoy the Siha family Shavuot packages! Look up the Shavuot recipes, they are delicious??
Shabbat Shalom, have a beautiful Shavuot!
Best regards,
Miss Dershowitz and Miss Weitzner


Kindergarten and First Grade

What a great week we had in K and First Grade Judaics, we spent a lot of our week learning about Shavuot! We made clay har sinais, flower projects, and har sinai cupcakes! We also played a really fun battleship Shavuot review game! We cannot wait to show all our projects and knowledge at home! Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach!

Second Grade
We had a terrific week as we began preparing for our upcoming Siddur Play. In honor of Rosh Chodesh Sivan which was this past Wednesday the students were treated to White Chocolate Sefrei Torah. Shavout also known as “Zman Matan Torahtainu””The time of the giving of the Torah” is celebrated the 6th day of Sivan which is Sunday night. The children enjoyed creating their own Har Sinai pictures and cupcakes.A special thank you to Miss Dershowitz for her outstanding work as program coordinator and for supplying all the classes with materials for these yummy special cupcakes. Have an inspiring,meaningful Shabbat and Shavout.

Third Grade
This week third graders learned the details of the Holiday of Shavuot. They studied in groups and completed their Shavuot challenge. They also enjoyed making a collage for Shavuot.
The story of Ruth was full of surprises and they especially loved learning that King David was her descendent.
In SHorashim, they practiced their second list of Shorashim words and are getting quite good at finding shorashim in a sentence.
THe highlight was of course making edible Har Sinai in honor of Shavuot.
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach
Mrs. Ivry

Fourth Grade
Thank you for joining us at our Chumash Mesiba! It was with such pure anticipation that we cracked open our brand new Chumashim on Thursday and began to learn. We each got a piece of clementine, smelled it and then tasted it. We discussed how until this point of the year, we were only “smelling” Chumash by learning some of its content out of the text. But on this fabulous Thursday, we were going to actually taste it! We began to discuss the creation of the world. A lively philosophical discussion broke out- what was created first the orange, as in the fruit or the color orange? The Torah enthusiasm in the room kept going strong as we spoke about Matan Torah, which we’ll be celebrating on Shavuot. We also ran through the different customs that we have on Shavuot. Have the most amazing Shabbat and Chag!
Morah Toba

Diane Sarah Ashraf wins the davening prize and receives a lolly from Mrs. Polasek for knowing about her namesake

5th and 6th Girls

Dear parents.
We had an awesome week in 5 and 6 Judaics, thank G-d! You have amazing daughters, keep on raising them well:)
We continued on with the next blessing of Shemoneh Esrei, about Teshuva/repentance for our sins.
We learned all about the holiday of Shavuot. We enjoyed learning about the Story of Ruth (Megillat Rut), the laws and customs of Shavuot, the giving of the Torah and the beauty and joy of learning Torah and a Torah life.
We learned a nice song about the ten commandments.
We had a great time doing different Shavuot activities. The girls did a beautiful job on their Har Sinai (Mount Sinai) cupcakes, although admittedly some of them ate theirs up instead of packing them in the pretty white boxes..
Shabbat Shalom! Have a wonderful Shavuot!
Best regards,
Miss Dershowitz

5th and 6th Boys

This week,coming on the heels of our Shabbaton, was special.
We had many stimulating discussions about the meaning of shavuot and how we can apply those lessons to our lives. We also discussed the unrest in Israel and what we can do about it.
Have an enjoyable and peaceful Shabbat and Holiday!

7th and 8th Girls
We had another fabulous week here! Learning about Matan Torah was exciting, especially considering the part about the Luchot. Yes,special shout out to all my talented girls who presented the 10 commandments of the luchot to us! We discussed the various customs that we have on Shavuot and why we have them. Shabbat and Chag Shalom!
7th and 8th Boys

This week we learned about M’gilat Rut.
Rut/Ruth was a convert to Judaism and had the zchut merit to have King David aka Dovid Hamelech as her great grandson. Dovid Hamelech was born and died on Shavuot The holiday that we celebrate the giving of the Torah aka Matan Torah.
We also discussed the Mitzvah of Yibum. When a brother dies childless the living [oldest ] brother has the Mitzvah to do Yibum which is a continuation of the original deceased brother’s marriage, [if the oldest brother chooses not to do Yibum, any other brother may do the Mitzvah]. In the case of Rut/Ruth, Boaz was the closest relative and therefore had the Mitzvah [actually there was a closer relative, but he chose not to do the Mitzvah].
We continued our fun , interesting and informative Y’diot K’laliot lessons.
We continued our Pirush Ha’t’fila on [Amida aka] Sh’mone esre.
We learned about PArashat BAmidbar and how, when and why HAshem counts us, because he loves us!.
We reviewed our subject in Gmara.
The boys are continuing to proudly don their Kepa,TAlit and Tfilin and daven nicely.
In honor of Shavuot the boys decorated cupcakes with grass, flowers and a chocolate Luhot on top [they also made sure to eat it.].
Mrs. Kuritsky cooked delicious kugel which the boys, and staff enjoyed.
Boys are about to spend the afternoon biking with Rabbi Kuritsky… stay tuned…Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach

Pesach שני is studied, taught and experienced with rabbi Kuritsky’s class.

Boys continue to daven nicely with טלית and תפילין

Boys learning בחברותא

Elementary School

This week kindergarten became experts at spelling and reading bossy e words. They have been collecting interesting facts about tigers from nonfiction books to create write their own nonfiction book about tigers. They are also really enjoying listening to our chapter book about an invisible boy. In math they reviewed the penny and they learned about the nickel and the dime. They have been singing and dancing to practice counting by 5s and 10s to help them count nickels and dimes. In social studies they learned all about needs and wants. They sorted objects based on if a person needs an object or if they want an object. In science they determined which animals migrate, hibernate, adapt, or camouflage to survive. They made a project to show how a chameleon can camouflage. They also learned about what a plant needs to survive.

Max did an excellent job sharing his science fair project with the class. He taught the students which drinks are healthier for them to drink because they are better for their teeth.

First Grade

This week the first graders learned about children who perform on symphony and dance company. They were interested to see how all sorts of instruments come together to create music. In Language Arts we brainstormed topics for writing stories. Students came up with great ideas! In Math we began telling time by the hour and half hour. The first graders love to read the time on the classroom clock. In Science we continue to.explore the properties of matter. We discovered that matter can be categorized and even tested by using our senses.

Second Grade
This week the second graders have been enjoying some of the warmer weather at the playground. In ELA, the students have been reading short stories. They also have been continuing to draft their research reports. In math, the second graders have moved on to the 4 times table. They’ve been continuing to use repeated addition and arrays to solve tougher problems. On top of that, the class has been reviewing math topics from earlier in the year! May 13th was Ella Hanuka’s birthday. Happy birthday Ella! And congratulations to our Student of the Month, Mira Elkaiev! Way to go Mira!

Third Grade
This week grade three students continued to review their overall English and Math concepts to prepare for the upcoming S.A.T ‘s. They practiced shedding time and identifying methods of increasing their chances of success as they read and solve both math and English multiple choice questions. Along side, students further developed their long division skills and ability to analyze an equation and word problem to be better equipped in choosing the most appropriate operation. During their Reading sessions, students explored the literary world through our class novel. Through James’s journey to the “Promised Land”, students were able to identify similes and examples of personification. During their Social Studies lessons, students went further in their understanding of the Yurok economy system. During their Computer class, students reviewed the word processing vocabulary that have learned thus far.
Miss Sasha

Fourth Grade
This week in math we finished geometry unit and reviewed for the test.
In ELA we started a unit on adverbs and Expository writing. Students wrote about championship games, a contest they were in and guidelines for campers and hikers.
We are continuing to read our class chapter book Number the Stars.
In Social Studies we are continuing to read, discuss and answer questions about living in the West. Lessons explore life in the Mountain States.

This week was very exciting for 4B! On Wednesday we had our Chumash play! Parents came to see us perform and sing songs! The class was very nervous, but they did a great job! Thank you to Mora Toba and Ms. Ety for helping us prepare! In ELA we have been working on how to properly structure paragraphs, with the help of Mrs. Rosskamm. In math, we continue to learn how to do operations with decimals. We are focusing on dividing with decimals this week. In social studies we are learning about the plains states and the Midwestern region of the United States.
Fifth Grade
Greetings and salutations!

This week for the 5th grade has been pretty busy.
They practiced identifying prepositional phrases and writing sentences that use them.
They wrapped up their theme essays for the class novels Moon Over Manifest and The Westing Game.
They also began the new class novel – Coraline!

In Social Studies the students dove into the age of exploration!

In math, 5th grade learned how to convert between decimals, percents, and fractions.

Middle School

Middle School ELA and Social Studies
6th Grade
Sixth graders had a busy week! In grammar, this week was all about prepositions and objects of prepositions. Students did a great job identifying and using prepositions. In reading, we started a new novel unit! We started reading City of Ember. In writing, this week was all about setting up and writing extended responses. Everyone did a great job, but Mrs. Hazen would really like to commend Gabby Fishman!

6th Grade Social studies

Greetings and salutations!

This week has been busy but fun for the 6th graders!
This week the 6th grade learned all about ancient Greek culture. They were able to read some of the most fun Greek myths and make posters based on their Myths.

7th Grade
Seventh graders had a busy week! In grammar, this week was all about active and passive voice. Students learned to define what each type of voice was and the situations in which it is appropriate to write in passive voice. In writing, this week was about evaluating arguments. Students learned to evaluate claims and wrote their own in response! In reading, we started a new novel, and we are reading Indian in the Cupboard!

In social studies, we continued our build up to the civil war by discussing the political divisions between the North and the South. Students read primary sources, and wrote an excellent journal over our essential question: how do we judge people from the past?

8th Grade
Eighth graders had a busy week! In grammar, this week was all about participles. Students learned to identify them in sentences and write their own! In reading, we started a new unit. We are reading The Book Thief. In writing, this week was all about using textual evidence from nonfiction sources.

In social studies, we continued our unit on World War II by learning about the war in Europe and North Africa. We also watched a documentary video on D-Day.

Middle School Math

6th grade learned how to calculate area and distance on a coordinate grid.

7th grade learned how to calculate mean, median, mode, and range and interpret the results.

7th grade honors learned how to define functions.

8th grade reviewed solving multi step inequalities and equations.

8th honors learned how to find the discriminant of a quadratic equation and interpret it.

Middle School Science

6th grade
Students learned and reviewed what a chemical formula reveals about a molecule. They were so excited to learn about the Periodic Table.

7th Graders will be embarking upon the unit of Nutrition. Students will make connections to their dietary decisions and identify whether or not they need to make nutritional lifestyle adjustments. Our diets are made up of 6 basic nutrients: Carbohydrates, Vitamins, Proteins, Fats, Water, Minerals. Upon consuming these different macromolecules our body must convert them to a smaller molecule or a building block in order for our body to obtain the nutrients it needs from each. Students will be able to identify a healthy nutritional lifestyle and explain how our body uses these nutrients. In addition, students will be working on a 3D nutritional project or powerpoint.

8th Grade

Students will be completing their two remaining NYS mandated Living Environment labs, The Beaks of Finches and Relationships and Biodiversity. During their hands-on experience with the Beaks of Finches, students will learn how structural differences may affect the survival rate of members within a species, simulate competition for resources among different species of organisms and see the role of the environment as a selecting agent. During the Relationships and Biodiversity lab, students develop a hypothesis on which plant species is most closely related to the plant Botana Curus. They will collect and analyze data to determine which species is most closely related to this valuable, but endangered species. Students will conduct 7 tests to determine the most closely related organism, 3 structural tests and 4 molecular tests. They will investigate the structural characteristics of plants, structural characteristics of seeds, microscopic internal structure of stems, paper chromatography of separate plant pigments, indicator test for enzyme M, simulated Gel Electrophoresis to compare DNA and translating the DNA code to make a protein. In addition, they will explore the importance of preserving biodiversity.

Jewish History
7th grade had a fantastic week. On Tuesday we had our long awaited outdoor lesson, where we sat in a circle, passed cards around and remembered facts that we learned throughout the year! They did a great job. We then continued our unit. We are almost up to 8th grade work,

8th grade began learning about the beginning of our long perilous exile and the persecutions the Jews experienced under Roman rule.