CHANUKAH – THE CELEBRATION OF JEWISH SURVIVAL, CONTINUITY AND
JEWISH EDUCATION. ""בימים ההם - בזמן הזה
RABBI YESHAYAHU E. GREENFELD
By the time this newsletter reaches you, we will be celebrating both Shabbat Miketz
and the third day of Chanukah. Your children--our students—are well prepared for
Each year הכונחfalls out around the same time the rest of the world celebrates their
“high holidays”. This leaves me worried about how many Jews have adopted customs
and celebrations that really have nothing to do with the mitzvot of Chanukah. Permit
me to help us refocus, and talk about what the eight nights of celebration are really all
The Chanukah story began when Antiochus prohibited the study of Torah. In addition,
Jewish practices such as circumcision, observing Shabbat, and celebrating the new
moon became capital offenses. Perhaps the most important historic fact we learn from
studying about Chanukah is the most obvious one: The םיבכמlived in ,ןיעידומin Israel,
and that Chanukah was the first festival initiated by Jews living in ancient Israel.
Yehudah the Macabee introduced the festival to celebrate the rededication of the
Temple .תיב שדקמהThis paved the road for the Chashmonaim who dedicated
themselves to achieving Jewish independence, and re-establish a Jewish kingdom in
Eretz Yisrael where they could enjoy religious freedom to this date.
Chanukah also reminds us of our over 3,500 year-old connection to our homeland--a
crucial fact that should not be taken for granted. When Israel detractors deny that
there is a Jewish historic claim to the land of Israel, and even deny that the holy
temple ever existed, it is part of a larger campaign to delegitimize Eretz Yisrael.
Unfortunately, many people still believe that Israel was simply born out of the ashes of
the Holocaust as some sort of attempt to quell European guilt after WWII. It is
imperative that we set the record straight, and remind everyone about the historic
connection our people have to Israel. Therefore, Chanukah is about Torah, mitzvot,
Jewish heroism, and perseverance. It is the time to rededicate and recommit ourselves
to Torah life through Jewish education. While l’vivot, soufganiyot, and Chanukah
gifts are nice and tempting, let’s not lose site of the main reason to celebrate.
Let’s turn Chanukah into a catalyst for NSHA families to help us recruit new families
and bring back families that have left, as we are now registering and re-registering
students for next year. Let’s convince our friends, family, and neighbors that it is
Jewish education that guarantees the future of our people.
As we light the third n’er of Chanukah this evening (with extra oil so that it will
remain lit after dark), light Shabbat candles, go to services, and return for seudat
Shabbat and Chanukah, may we enjoy the bright lights and zmirot with young and old
alike. Let's rededicate ourselves to Jewish continuity and Jewish education. Let us all
remember the teaching of ללהwho taught us that in every holy endeavor one should
always go upwards .“ " ןיאו ןידירומןילעמ שדוקבWe count on each one of our families to
encourage family, friends, and neighbors to join our NSHA family and traditions and
help us secure the future of our people.
FROM THE DEAN’S HEART בלמ להנמה
A weekly update from the NSHA principals and teachers
Our book fair was a tremendous success! Accolades go to our co-chairs Dodi Spielman
and Erica Zucker Heisler and their committee for organizing such a wonderful annual
event for our children.
Those of you, who visited Cherry Lane these past few weeks, had a chance to enjoy
our beautiful and extensive display of student art work by our first through eighth
graders. Congratulations to the students who received a ribbon for the 2010 Art
Show: Jasmine Roshan, Emma Hematian, Josh Ohebshalom, Gabriella Mogilner, Eitan
Hedvat, Jenny Rabinowitz, Rachel Sarraf, Noga Arjang, Davina Soleimani, Daniel
Kroll, Jason Zucker, Samantha Bressler, Joseph Zar, Olivia Ghodsi, Sabrina Maslavi,
Robert Ohebshalom, Rachel Hutt, Adina Kohanim, Julia Kohanim, Nathaniel
Hakakian, Joshua Hajibai, Debbie Rogelberg, Michael Livi, Rachel Ahdoot, Daniela
Benzaquen, Shoshana Zenilman, Max Setton, Ben Nitzani, Natalie Dicker, Micol
Livian, Nikki Hassan, Harris Berger, Abigail Zar, Ian Horn, Maayan Kohanim, Ariel
Lavian, Kate Applebaum, Rebecca Rutta, Ashley Radparvar, Danielle Zalta, Isaac Haft.
We thank our art teacher Mrs. Lucy Zucker for inspiring the arts in our children and for
keeping our building beautiful at all times.
We have been celebrating Chanukah at the Academy with many fun filled and exciting
events. Chanukah was celebrated in the Early Childhood department by participating
in an “olive press” workshop and by enjoying an assembly with a ventriloquist! (Mrs.
Helfgott wrote about both assemblies in last week’s newsletter). The Middle School
enjoyed a wonderful Chanukah Chagiga yesterday and looks forward to an ice skating
trip next Tuesday. In Cherry Lane we will enjoy a Chanukah Chagiga on Monday and
a chidon on Tuesday. Our choir children will welcome students as they arrive to
school Tuesday morning by singing a variety of Chanukah songs. Our 5 graders will
usher in the month with t’fila chagigat and a seudat mitzvah. Our faculty will also
enjoy a special Rosh Chodesh Chanukah treat courtesy of our PTA. Please log onto
SOIN to view pictures from all of NSHA’s Chanukah celebrations.
This Monday I look forward to hosting the first trimester luncheon of our Hebrew
speaking club - .העברי של המנהלהחוגStudents join the club when they earn fifty “Hebrew
speaking cards.” Club members are awarded a membership certificate, a “bencher”
pen, and a special pin to reflect their achievement. I am thrilled to hear the use of our
holy language among so many of our students.
We are pleased to announce that on Monday, December 20 from 10:00AM –
12:00PM we will host our annual Open House, in grades Toddler – 8 , in both our
Cherry Lane and Old Mill campuses. Prospective Parents will have the opportunity to
tour our classes, hear about our wonderful educational programs and meet our
Faculty. Please spread the word to family and friends. Interested families should RSVP
to Rabbi Greenfeld at 487-8687 ext. 136.
Tomorrow night, motzei Shabbat, at ,בירעמwe will switch from reciting
,“''ןתו הכרבour summer mode, to ","ןתו לט רטמו הכרבלour winter mode, when we recite
תכרב םינשהpraying for rain in Israel, which is now urgently needed. As always, we will
keep our brethren in Israel in mind, praying for water that is badly needed for new
crops and sustenance.
It has been brought to my attention that the July and September pages of our 2010/11
school calendar are incorrect. Please click on the link below to print out the corrected
pages for your wall calendar. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
This Shabbat is תבש םיכרבמfollowed by .שדוח תבטRosh Chodesh will be announced for
Tuesday and Wednesday, December 7 and 8 . Best wishes for a ,הכונח חמס ,תבש םולש
and .שדוח בוט
Click here for corrected version of July and September calendar.