Religious School Class Updates

 

SHORASHIM
Shorashim ended January with the beginning of Shvat.  We created trees for Arba Ha’Onot (the four seasons): Choref (winter), Aviv (spring), Kayitz (summer) and Stav (fall).  We are looking forward to learning about and celebrating Tu B’Shvat – Rosh Hashanah La’Ilanot – the New Year for the trees!

 

BET
Another busy month since we have been back from break. We have learned Chet, Lamed, Bet/Vet and Aleph. We discovered a trick for recognizing the difference between Chet and Hey since they are look alike letters. Ask your child to teach you! We have also wrapped up our book of Bereshit study and have enjoyed recently learning about Joseph reuniting with his brothers. We discussed how Joseph’s brothers were worried he might still be angry with them. Next, we will be learning the Book of Shemot. The Bet class has now joined the Third and Fourth graders to celebrate Shabbat together. We participated in the Kiddush, washing hands and saying HaMotzi.

 

GIMMEL
Kitah Gimel is continuing to practice Hebrew reading and writing skills. This month we have practiced our Tefilla service for our special Gimel- Dalet Kabbalat Shabbat celebration. The children enjoyed exploring the concept of Shabbat as a day of rest and wrote meaningful comments about what Shabbat means for them and their families. We were so proud of them leading the Friday night services!

 

DALET

It has been a busy month, full of learning in the Dalet class! Every Wednesday, the Dalet class has Kabbalat Shabbat and the weekly Parasha discussion. Students are able to learn and comprehend Shabbat Services, practice reciting the Kiddush, and the blessings over the candles. They also learned in detail about the blessing of Netilat Yadaim and the blessing over the challah. The students learned how to recite the Tefillot with the teacher and Cantor. They learned all of these important rituals of Shabbat by singing Shabbat songs, and by sharing their own family experiences. Doing so allowed the students to understand the basic meaning of the Tefillot and to connect with the prayers on a meaningful, personal level. To conclude Kabbalat Shabbat, they learned the story of the weekly Parasha and found the hidden lessons that the Torah teaches us. They then internalized the new information by making personal connections between the Parasha and their own lives. This past month, the students also had a take-home project about Shabbat that required a great deal of effort and understanding. Each student was assigned a Shabbat tradition, and had to express their understanding in different ways, and present it to the class. The presentations were done beautifully! The students were able to learn a lot on their own and just as importantly, they learned a lot from each other. Thank you parents for helping make this a fun experience for the students and for me as well.

The community Shabbat service led by the students was a big success. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the families that participated! I am so proud of my Daled class!

Coming up, we are continuing our studies about Tu Bishvat. I have some fun interactive activities planned for this unit as well!

 

HAY
In February, Kitah Hay continued to practice the Ashrai and learned the trope for the students’ Haftorah portions. As we get closer to the Shabbat service our students will be leading, we are discovering and learning the meaning of the word that is written in “the Ashrai” many times.
We also explored different texts, Jewish laws, Halachot, and ethics regarding trees and nature. The students acted out some of the texts from the Torah by Rabbi Moses ben Maimon (מֹשֶׁה בֶּן־מַימוֹן‎ Mōšeh bēn-Maymōn) and discussed the importance of saving our resources and of not destroying, even in times of war. Israel was on our mind as more of our students presented to us the aspect of Israel they chose to learn about. (Thank you to Hannah, Henry, Mylla, and Abbie!) In the weeks ahead, we will explore the history of our nation leading into the story of Megilat Esther.

 

VAV
We have been exploring the Jewish life cycle event of the B’nai Mitzvah. This is an exciting topic as it is right around the corner for your children. The sixth graders are discussing the components of the Bar and Bat Mitzvah and looking at the different traditions and practices for each. The sixth grade has also been working hard to prepare for the upcoming Shabbat service on Saturday morning, March 18th. Students have been learning the blessings before and after reading from the Torah as well as their own Torah portions!

 

ZAYIN

The Zayin class is continuing to work on the Jewish Lens project. We have been looking at Jewish culture through both historical and present-day photography. We have also started Israel Inside U, a project of Jerusalem U. This curriculum involves watching and discussing film clips that explore the Israeli people and how they have transformed their country from a desert into a dynamic, innovative and humanitarian society. We have been asking, “what is an actualizer?” How have these character traits and values made Israel into the country it is today? This month we have discussed the subjects of family, adversity to challenge, chutzpah and education in terms of how these traits make Israel unique.