Dvar Torah Parshas Toldos

In this week’s Parsha, the “twins” Yaakov and Asov, are born.
Yaakov is described in the Torah as “Ish tam yoshaiva ohalim” [a perfect man who sits in tents].
Asov is described as “yodeia tzayid, ish sade” [knows how to hunt, a man of the field].
What is the Torah telling us?

The Torah is telling that Yaakov sat in tents [tents in those days were the buildings] where people studied. People who wanted instruction from; parents, teachers, elders. Yaakov was “ish tam” [a man who wanted and strived for perfection.]

The only way to obtain perfection is to study from our Torah instructors who have the “mesora” the tradition, the Jewish Ideology, passed down from Hashem G-d Himself to Moshe at Har Sinai.
This was what Yaakov strived for!

Asov, on the other hand, is described as Ish Sade, a man of the field.
Asov wanted to go out to hunt and sport.
Asov wanted and needed instant gratification.
Asov was not even interested in looking in the pot of red lentil soup to see what was inside.
As the Pasuk says “give me some of the “RED RED ” [stuff] that was cooking.
All that he cared about was that it looked RED . He didn’t even care enough to look inside to see what was in the “red stuff”.

Let us learn from Yaakov the importance of striving for perfection. The need for instruction from elders, from Torah teachers and their guidance.
Let us not learn from Asov. Let us not look for instant gratification.

Shabbat Shalom
Good Shabbos
Rabbi Kuritsky Judaic Studies Curriculum Coordinator

Special Announcement

Programming news:
The theme of this month is Electricity. We are all trying to work on being positive and spreading light to others. Did you ever notice that when someone is happy and positive, it can be similar to a fire and spread to all those around him? Let’s be those kinds of people and spread joy and positivity to others!
All the students had a great time when we came into every classroom on Tuesday, Rosh Chodesh Kislev, to celebrate the new month and introduce the new theme. Every student received a glow-in-the-dark ball to represent electricity and spreading light to others and chocolate coins in honor of Kislev, the month of Chanukah.
Looking forward to another wonderful week!

Ms. Dershowitz

Please enjoy another edition of our weekly podcast!

Special Feature!

Tyler Nieves and Noah Gerber sat down with Rabbi Kuritsky to talk to him about his experience at SIHA.

Tyler and Noah: How did your first week go?
Rabbi Kuritsky: It was very exciting!

Tyler and Noah: What topics are you planning to teach?
Rabbi Kuritsky: Gemera, Halacha, and Parsha 

Tyler and Noah: What do you like doing on your free time?
Rabbi Kuritsky: Bike Riding.

Tyler and Noah: What is your favorite color?
Rabbi Kuritsky: Brown.

Tyler and Noah: What’s your take on online learning?
Rabbi Kuritsky: It’s difficult and a far cry from a live class setting


Kindergarten and First Grade Judaics

We had a great week in Kindergarten Judaics. We are getting very strong with the letter Chet. A Chet is a table with Challah on top, we all know how to cheer! In First Grade Judaics we began to learn how to read three letter words using the nekudot we know. We are very excited to begin a new nekuda next week! This week we learnt about the bracha of mezonot. We made mezonot magnets and enjoyed tasting mezonot pretzels and cookies! This week we continued our Hakarat Hatov unit and saying thank you. We discussed how much we need to thank our parents and we made beautiful thank you cards for them too!
Shabbat Shalom!
Morah Kaplan

Second Grade

We had another productive week in 2nd grade Judaics. We completed our unit on Shabbat with a grand Shabbat Celebration on Friday. We are practicing our reading skills daily and loved learning this week’s Parsha Toldot. We know that Asov, the twin brother of Yaakov who loved to hunt was very careful with the mitzvah of honoring parents. Then we discussed different ways of honoring parents in class. Tuesday we celebrated Rosh Chodesh Kislev. The class knows Chanukah begins the 25th day of Kislev, we can’t wait!! Then we received special Rosh Chodesh stickers,had a raffle and enjoyed a small box of raisins.
Shabbat Shalom!
Mrs. Spiegel

Third Grade

The 3rd graders have adjusted so beautifully to zoom learning. We have made great progress in our reading skills learning to separate Hebrew words by syllables. We also mastered all the nekudot, we can name them, spell them, draw them and of course read them too!
In dikduk we started making short sentences using vocabulary words and prefixes. It was really cool to be able to put together what we’ve learnt so far.
We also watched a Chanukah video about the Chanukah history and story and can’t wait to see the end!!

Shabbat shalom
Mrs Ivry

Fourth Grade

What another wonderful week we had here on 4B island! Our kriah flash cards collection is growing as we keep matching all the letters with new Nekudot/vowels. Then we enjoyed the Parsha tales of Yaakov, our forefather and his evil twin brother, Asov. Our Brachot on food are being practiced with extra vigor, as we are now somewhat familiar with the translations of a lot of the words. We spoke all about the concept of doing a Mitzvah with intent, with “a fire in our heart”. One student admitted that she/he doesn’t feel much of a fire, to which her/his friend responded , “Don’t worry, I’ll give you some fire!”. What would we do without our supportive friends? There’s such a beautiful, spiritually healthy attitude of growth around here!

Morah Toba Safran

5th and 6th Grade Girls

Dear parents.
We had an amazing week!
We continued on in Chumash Shemot, learning about the new Pharaoh in Egypt, who was extremely worried about the Jews taking over his land. The Jewish people were having six babies at a time and they filled the land! So Pharaoh was trying to think of a plan to stop the Jews from becoming too powerful, by making them all into slaves! We will learn more about this next week.
This week in our weekly class on Jewish law, we learned about the Mitzvah of Netilat Yadayim (hand washing). Every morning after we wake up and say Modeh Ani, thanking Hashem for giving us another day of life, we wash our hands 6 times – 3 times on each hand [this is to remove the impurity from our hands for the wonderful and holy work that every one of us has to do each day] The holy work that we do is doing Mitzvot like helping others, taking care of our families, Davening/praying, giving love and care to those around us, keeping Jewish laws, learning Torah etc.

The winner of our weekly Halacha raffle was….. ZIVA IUNGER!!!!
Her prize was to come with me during school to 7-11 to get a slurpee! I really enjoyed spending time with Ziva and I’m looking forward to going to 7-11 with next week’s winner.

The Middah (character refinement) that we focused on this week was Chessed [Kindness and helping others, even when it inconveniences us]. Every time the girls do an act of Chessed, they fill out a card and move the piece on our game board. A very exciting celebration is coming up if the girls keep up the acts of kindness!
We learned about the Parsha this week – Parshat Toldot. It talks about the birth of Yaakov (Jacob) and Asov – the twin sons of Yitzchak (Isaac) and Rivka (Rebecca.)
On Friday, we made Challah. Every girl shaped 2 Challot for Shabbat because of the Mitzvah to make the blessing of Hamotzi on two breads. That’s called Lechem Mishnah (double bread) and it’s because in the desert, the Jewish people received their food portion of Manna double on Friday, so they don’t travel to get it on Shabbat.
Have a great Shabbat and a great weekend!
All the best,
Miss Dershowitz

7th and 8th Grade Girls
Our week began with an exciting Rosh Chodesh Kislev splash! To celebrate the start of our new month, we had a small Rosh Chodesh Kislev party in our classroom. Our Chumash lessons are still going strong, we are exploring the miraculous survival of Moshe Rabeineu as a baby. It is with great excitement that we began our Moshlei Halashon program. This program is designed to give us awareness as to how to speak to each other in a way that builds and doesn’t demolish. Powerful stories and insights, as well as great incentive programs, and of course our theme song will keep us growing and thriving in this crucial area.
Shabbat shalom,
Morah Toba Safran

7th and 8th Grade Boys

Seventh and Eighth Grade Judaic Studies News
We are very happy to share that some of 8th graders have a new specialized learning program with Rabbi Levy.
The 7th and 8th graders began davening [praying] in our shul [with social distance].

This past week in Rabbi Kuritsky’s class, we learned “Hilchos Loshon Hara”.
We began an exciting new topic “Lo Taamod al dam reicha” literally, “do not stand on your friend’s blood”. This means do not stand by and let your friend die, when you can save him/her.
The questions we began discussing were: “How far does this go? Even at risk to your own life? Even when there is a monetary loss to the saviour?”
We began learning about Chanukah.
We learned about “basar shenisalem min haayin” [meat that was hidden from the eye]

Elementary School

This week kindergarten learned the AW and the OW sound. They practiced reading and writing many different words with those sounds. They became spacemen and spacewomen as they practiced putting spaces in between their words when writing their sentences. In math they reviewed for their math test by making pattern necklaces, playing pattern games, and going on pattern scavenger hunts. In science they learned all about the difference between weather and climate. In social studies they learned what it means to be thankful and they made a fun art and writing project all about what they would like to eat on Thanksgiving.

First Grade
This week in first grade we learned more about maps. Students were excited to learn about different geographical terms like plains, mountains, rivers, and lakes. Students began adding and subtracting two-digit numbers in Math. Our first graders made 3-D pumpkins to remind us of the fall season.

Finally, students submitted Thankful Posters depicting what they are most thankful for. In these trying times, it is wonderful that our first graders understand the importance of being grateful for all of life’s blessings.

Mrs. Adams

Second Grade
This week in ELA, the second graders did a lot of works with nouns. They learned the rules for making nouns plural and how to write possessive nouns. In math, the students used keywords to figure out whether they had to add or subtract to answer word problems. In social studies, the second graders had some great discussions about culture, customs, and traditions. The second grade had not one, but two spelling bees. The winners were Michael Groys and Sophia Volfson. Way to go Michael and Sophia!

-Ms. Bronstein

Third Grade
This week grade 3 students continued their exploration of the seven continents and the five oceans. They learned more about the water formations and some of the major features of the earth we inhabit. During math, students practice solving addition equations using mental math strategies such as number bonding. During the grammar lessons, students practiced identifying and labeling nouns within sentences. This week we also began to work more with computer features. Students were able to learn about digital citizenship and responsibilities. They have now also started a program to improve their tying skills.
Miss Sasha

Fourth Grade
This week in math we reviewed for unit 2 test, The Four Operations of Whole Numbers. We solved many multistep and complex word problems.
In ELA we completed writing a compare and contrast essay. Continued to work on reading comprehension by reading passages and answering multiple choice and short answer questions.
In Social Studies we completed chapter 3 Exploring the East and competed the chapter test.

4B had another exciting week! This week we were movie stars! We recorded a video showing the importance of inclusion and getting along with others. Each class is creating a video, and a winner will be chosen. Our young movie stars are hopeful that they will win the contest, but are proud of their performance regardless of who wins. In other, less exciting news, we are learning how to do long division in Math. In ELA, with the help of our wonderful Mrs. Rosskamm, we learned how to write a “TIQA” paragraph. We also had a great conversation in Social Studies about the firsts explorers who came to America, and why Native Americans were called Indians. The children were also fascinated to learn that people used to think the earth was flat. It was a very interesting class discussion!

Fifth Grade
The fifth grade had a great week! In grammar, we learned about possessive singular and plural nouns and practiced combining sentences to make our writing flow better. We also practiced writing proper emails. In writing the students practiced comparing and contrasting settings and events and how they affect a story. This was wonderful practice for our upcoming essay! In reading the 5th grade finished their second novel of the year! I’m very excited that the class is making such progress! In math, students practiced adding and subtracting like and unlike fractions. And finally, in Social Studies, the students rounded off their unit on North America.

Middle School 

Middle School ELA

6th grade
Sixth graders had a good week! In Grammar, we learned about simple, compound, and complex sentences. We also continued our novel study of ‘The Lightning Thief’. In writing, we learned how elements of story relate to each other in order to create meaning. Students did an amazing job on their quiz! Mrs. Hazen would really like to commend Etai for being a good reader!

7th grade
Seventh graders had a great week! In grammar, we learned how to revise paragraphs to avoid series of too short, or too long sentences. We also concluded our novel study of Great Gilly Hopkins and are starting our next novel unit! Students wrote a great journal entry about Gilly!
In writing, we started making inferences from fiction texts, and we practiced extended response questions. Students did a great job! Mrs. Hazen would like to commend Ariella for having the highest grade in our extended response practice!

8th grade
Eighth graders had a wonderful week! In grammar, we learned how to revise paragraphs to create sentence variety. Students also reviewed for their vocabulary test and did a very good job! In writing, we reviewed elements of story and wrote paragraphs making inferences from fiction texts. We also continued our novel study of ‘Watsons go to Birmingham – 1963’! Mrs. Hazen would like to commend Taylor for being a great writer.

Middle School Math

6th finished module 2 on factors and multiples. we will be going into rational numbers next week.

7th are almost done with module 2 on inequalities. They learned how to represent the answer to inequalities on a number line and using interval notation.
8th is finishing roots, radicals, and exponents.

Middle School Social studies
6th grade learned about the Ghana Empire this week: the rise of the state, the governmental structure, its natural resources and trade routes, and eventually, its decline.

7th grade took the important journey through the 1760s and 70s. The period from the Seven Years’ War until the American Revolution is one of the most crucial in the history of our republic and the class learned about the colonial fears and their responses during these decades.

8th grade played the Impeachment of a President game and completed its biography assignment. All of the students present participated very well during the three debate sessions and added their views to those of the historical actors that they portrayed.

Jewish History

7th grade spent this week working on their Wisdom of Creation project. They did an absolutely beautiful job. We put the completed project up in the hallway and it looks beautiful. I am very proud of them.

8th grade is moving on to the time of the second Beis HaMikdash