Dvar Torah

This week’s  Torah portion, Braishit, the first Parsha of the Torah, discusses the creation of the world. On day 3 of creation the earth produced vegetation and fruit trees. Yet we find in later in the Parsha that no fruit-bearing tree nor herb came out of the ground,  until after man was created. The Torah tells us the reason for this delay: 

כִּי לֹא הִמְטִיר יְיָ אֱלֹקִים עַל־הָאָרֶץ וְאָדָם אַיִן לַעֲבֹד אֶת־הָאֲדָמָה

Because the Lord God had not brought rain upon the earth, and there was no man to work the soil.

Rashi, the foremost commentator on the Torah, explains that the lack of rain and the absence of man are not two separate points; rather, there was no rain precisely because there was no man to recognize the need for rain. After Adam was created and understood that rain was vital for the world, he prayed for rain and his successful prayers led to the sprouting of the trees and vegetation.  

We see two fundamental lessons from this story. The concept of Prayer was part and parcel of the mechanism by which rain falls and the earth produces its crops for there is no produce without prayer. If we view prayer through this lens it will change the way we speak to Hashem, for we will truly feel the crucial role it plays in the functioning of the world.

We see an additional component in the first comment of Rashi. Rain would not come until there was man to recognize and appreciate it. It is not just a nice thing to be appreciative of others  rather the very fabric of creation was woven with the need for people to recognize and appreciate the assistance we are given by others. We all understand how important it is for us to feel appreciated by others, and can turn that around to make sure those around us know how much we appreciate them. 

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Stewart




Kindergarten and First Grade Judaics

This week in Kindergarten and First Grade Judaics we began to learn Parsha starting with the first Parsha, Parshas Bereshis, We began with an introduction on Torah. Morah made a skit where she pretended to go to Florida but could not go since she did not have a map of how to get there. We learnt how the Torah is our map for life of how Hashem wants us to live. In this weeks Parsha we learnt that Hashem created the world for the Torah and for the Jewish People, He created the world in 7 days! We made a beautiful 7 days of creation project that we cannot wait to show at home.
Shabbat Shalom!
Morah Kaplan


Second Grade Judaics

It was wonderful being back at school after our Sukkot Break. The children were so excited as we discussed the creation of the world. The world was made in one week Hashem (G-d) created the world in 6 days and figuratively rested on the 7th day. (Shabbat) The children know there are 5 books in the Torah. Every week in the synagogue on Shabbat we are privileged to read another Parsha-Portion chumush in the Torah. This week we are beginning the cycle anew as the reading of the entire Torah was completed last week on Simchat Torah. We begin with Parsha Breishit-Genesis the first of the 5 books of the Torah. We know the Torah was G-d given at Mt. Sinai to the Jewish nation. The first people in the world were Adom and Chava. They were told they could eat any of the food in the Garden of Eden except from one specific tree. After disobeying Hashem’s commandment and eating from the forbidden tree. Adom told Hashem (G-d) “It was the fault of the woman you gave me,she gave me the fruit and told me to eat it.” Hashem did not accept that as a valid excuse. We learn from here that we all must take responsibility for our own actions and not shift the blame on someone else. We have the ability to choose right from wrong and must use our inner strength to make the right choices throughout life. We are busy learning many of the daily prayers we say and the reason for saying them. We learned the days of the week in Hebrew and are reviewing rules of the Hebrew language.
Shabbat Shalom
Mrs. Spiegel

Third Grade Judaics

Third graders came back energized and happy from their sukkot holiday. Many students eagerly shared their experience eating in the sukkah and shaking the lilac and etrog. 
We started the week with our first bi weekly spelling list: in accordance with the Parsha of the week, we are now learning to spell and translate the Hebrew days of the week. 
We also learnt the parsha of the week including the sin of the tree of knowledge and the brother’s jealousy. We discuss that it’s important not to be jealous of our siblings, as we are each unique for our unique needs and our parents, as in the image of Hashem, treat each of us with love and specific care, bit not all exactly the same.
We learnt the new vowels called the chatafim and practice our Hebrew reading skills. 
Shabbat shalom
Mrs. Ivry

Middle School Judaics

Welcome back! This week we continued on our Mishnayot journey.
We also began learning about the all important topic of Honoring parents.
Rabby Levy


5th and 6th Grade Judaics

We had a great week. We started learning the Chumash of Shemot. The girls all know the translation of all the words. We learned the question and answer of Rashi and some Hebrew Grammar (Dikduk) rules. The girls asked great questions on Chumash and all sorts of topics!
We learned the weekly Parsha, Parshat Beraishit. Hashem/God created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th – giving us all the creation of rest. We learned what Hashem created each day and how although the grass, flowers and trees sprouted on the 3rd day of creation, they grew only on the 6th. That is because God wanted Adam to pray for them to grow, because God always wants us to call out to Him, pray to Him and come close to Him.
Adam was created from the dust on the ground mixed with water. Then God blew into him, giving him the Image of God, what we call a Tzelem Elokim. That is what makes every one of us special. We have a piece of God inside of us.
We practiced our hebrew reading and the girls are really great at it.
Have a great weekend and a great Shabbat!
Miss Dershowitz

Elementary School



Kindergarten had a great week! In ELA the class has been practicing spelling and reading many words. They are doing amazing! They also learned about punctuation marks and determined if the sentences should end in a period or a question mark. In math they reviewed for their first test by making shape trees, shape monsters, and playing shape games. In science they learned all about the different types of weather. They learned how a thermometer works, made windsocks, and they learned all about the different types of clouds. They had so much fun using puffy paint to make a cumulus cloud into different animals or objects. In social studies they learned all about Christopher Columbus. They also discussed different types of emotions and what are good things to do when they are feeling different types of emotions. Most importantly, they talked about how to be a good friend and to always treat their friends the way they want to be treated.

First Grade

This week in first grade was extremely productive. Our first graders reviewed addition facts. They learned about Cesar Chavez in reading with the strategy of retell. We even wrote a paragraph about a person at SIHA that we admire.

       In Science we learned about life cycles of living things. Students were able to identify the different stages of growth in different animals from salamanders to elephants. They were so great at making diagrams of the life cycle of the butterfly.

       Finally, the first graders explored the skill of blotting to create pictures. In Art class students were challenged to use water color as a medium to produce pictures of Autumn trees. As you can see, they did a wonderful job! Although no 2 trees are alike, we stress the fact that all of our artists create wonderful works of Art. We are so proud of them :).

 Mrs. Adams


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Second Grade

Second graders had a great week! In ELA, they continued reading their class novel, The Chocolate Touch. The students also took their first math test of the year! To prepare for the test, the students played addition bingo. They all did awesome! Ms. Bronstein and the 2nd grade would like to wish a very happy birthday to Mira!

In Science, 2nd grade finished the chapter about plants.


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Third Grade

This week 3rd graders had a chance to present their community projects. They had created posters or written about what makes their community special to them. During social studies we also continued to learn about parts of a map and began learning about the differences and similarities of urban, suburban, and country communities. While reading our class novel, students were introduced to figurative language in the form of idioms. They created illustrations of their most favorite ones to present in class. By far the most popular ones were: he is a couch potato, she cried her eyes out, mom was cooking up a storm, and let’s not forget – it was raining cats and dogs. In math we focused on identifying how many ones, tens, hundreds, or thousands there are with in a number. In grammar we completed our review of the four types of sentences and are now digging further into the specific parts of a complete sentence, beginning with the subject.
In Science, 3rd grade had a blast while they saw and observed an embryo inside a little seed through magnifying glasses.

Miss Sasha


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Fourth Grade

This week in math class we learned how to identify and complete regular patterns. We learned how to use the numbers given in a problem to figure out what numbers are missing, and complete the pattern. Here you see Elior Factor coming up to the board and completing a decreasing pattern, filling in the missing numbers. We also had another spelling bee this week! Joshua Nikolayevskiy emerged as the victor, correctly spelling the sixth grade spelling word “audience.”
In Science, 4th graders started learning about Human Body Systems.


Fifth Grade


5th Graders had a great week!
In ELA, they continued reading their class novel, Maniac Magee. In grammar, they learned about compound

 and complex sentences, and wrote beautiful paragraphs. They read about amazing inventions, and practiced making inferences based on textual evidence and their background knowledge.

In Math, students practiced multiplying and dividing with tens, hundreds, and thousands. They also spent time reviewing for their unit test. In Social Studies, students learned about the geography of Mexico, United States, and Canada. Students also learned about the Native Americans that live there, and started their Indigenous Peoples Lap book project.
Ms. Tatic is proud of all of her students, but she especially wants to commend Sofia Sandler for being all-around awesome!
In Science, 5th graders worked very hard on the chapter: “Human Body Systems”

Middle School

Middle School Math

This week, the 6th grade dealt with greatest common factors, least common multiples and word problems involving these concepts and did quite well. They concluded their week with a quiz that put their mastery of these concepts to the test. Now, they will be moving on to their Unit Review which will prepare them for their second Unit Test which I expect will yield great results since they seem to be absorbing the material positively.

7th grade is working wonderfully. Honors students are surfing through familiar, yet challenging, algebraic operations while understanding the definitions of concepts such as variables, constants, coefficients and like terms and applying the basic, yet rigorous, arithmetic order of operations. Non-honors students continue to approach the end of their first Unit and even through some of the topics in this journey have proved challenging for them, they continue to raise to the occasion with determination and hard work. I only expect greatness in their upcoming Unit Test since they’ve been doing so well on their quizzes.

Last, but certainly not least, we have our lovely 8th grade non honors completing their first Unit Test. Although, challenging these group worked tiredness to enhance and brush up on their elementary arithmetic skills. I only see steady growth on the near future since they are always quick to make corrections and learn from them. Finally, 8th grade honors is approaching the end of their first Algebra based unit, they are currently working with operations with irrational number and slowly but steadily mastering said concept. They will soon be taking their first big Unit Test and I am confident that the results will be nothing but satisfactory.

Middle School ELA

6th grade had a great week!
In Grammar, we learned about sentence fragments and run-on sentences. We edited sentences to fix these common errors, and wrote our own beautiful sentences. We also learned about making inferences from nonfiction texts, and read articles about cryptids, such as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. We also continued reading our class novel, Fish in a Tree.
Mrs. Hazen would especially like to commend Eva Leivent for being an awesome student!

7th Grade had a busy week!
In Grammar, we talked about adding detail to m

ake for strong sentences and stronger paragraphs. We practiced adding sensory details, as well as details that answer who, what, where, when and why. In writing, we reviewed making inferences from nonfiction texts, and read nonfiction articles. Mrs. Hazen would especially like to commend Tyler for being a very diligent student!

8th Grade had an amazing week!
In grammar, we reviewed how to break up stringy sentences, or sentences with too many ‘ands’ in them. We reviewed using transition words and using conjunctions to clarify relationships between ideas. In writing, we talked about how to make inferences from nonfiction texts. We also started a new class novel: Watsons go to Birmingham – 1963, by Christopher Paul Curtis. Mrs. Hazen would really like to commend Taylor for being a great student!

Middle School Science

 7th grade is learning about chemical properties and identifying chemical changes.  8th grade is learning the various type of graphs that scientists use when extrapolating data and which graphs are appropriate for the type of data that is being extrapolated.  They are learning about quantitative v. qualitative data and the appropriate graphs that go along with each.  They are learning how to determine the appropriate scale for their graph and completing the graph to scale.

In science, 6th graders learned about the three types of rocks on Earth and their cycle.

8th grade: Mrs. Belli wants to mention Yosef Yehudai for his hard work and effort during science class.



Middle School Social Studies

In 6th grade, we learned about the Hittite and Kassite Empires and engaged in a re-enactment of the Battle of Kadesh.
In 7th grade, we learned about the major European colonial empires and created a world map to denote which territories were conquered by whom.
In 8th grade, we learned about the various plans regarding how to proceed during Reconstruction.


Jewish History

My week was very busy and quite eventful. It is good to be getting back into routine. 

My break was a busy, eventful special experience. I enjoyed celebrating the holiday with my family. We built a Sukkah and had all our meals in it. During the intermediate days of Sukkos, my husband and I took my kids to Governors Island. They had a great time.

7th grade is learning about the first 20 generations of the world and the 8th grade is learning about the kingdoms of Yehuda and Yisroel
This week, both 7th and 8th grades are working on finishing the units and are headed towards a test. 
I am looking forward to the next exciting unit!