MAY 2011 H e b rew S c h o o l Happenings Neve Shalom, Metuchen, NJ Volume VI, Issue IV In This Newsletter: Read about upcoming We are proud of our kids! classroom lesson plans Following the Tsunami in Japan and the Tornados in the South, the students voted to Plan to attend upcoming events donate their Tzedakah money to these causes. We collected and sent $1,000. Dates to save Joshua Anes, Elizabeth Binstein, Andrew Podob and Sabrina Szteinbaum will be at- Go to tending the AIPAC conference in Washington DC from May 22-24. https://www.activit-e.com/ Josh Ull, a student at our Hebrew High and a Madrich, was elected Regional to register to see our many President of Hagalil USY. activities, photos & more Videos of many of our classes chanting parts of the Seder can be viewed on our Activit-E website (video area) and hundreds of photos are available for to see or order in the Photo al- bum sections. The Hai class (7th grade) visited the NY Museum of Jewish DATES TO SAVE: Heritage and the MAY Confirmation Class (10th grade) went to the 22 Last Day of Classes At 10:30 there will be an new Museum of Awards Program American Jewish History in Philadelphia. 31 Deadline for Registration discount We thank the parents who drove and Ari Opitz JUNE who was the main chaperone. 8 Confirmation Service 8pm SEPTEMBER Please register for next year’s classes by May 11 First Day of Classes 31. You can find the forms on the Activit-E site (in the download- able forms section) or at NeveShalom.net under Education slide down to Registration. We wish everyone a WONDERFUL summer and look forward to seeing you next fall. Page 2 MAY 2011 He b rew S c ho o l Happe ni ng s GAN K’TAN Susan Kashan HEBREW: The children are doing great with their Hebrew skills! We have infused learning Hebrew colors into each week’s coloring, so the yeladim are pretty well versed in Hebrew colors - try testing them! This is the first class ever that will actually finish the entire Hebrew workbook!! We learned the letters tet, pay, koof, kaf, chaf and final chaf, zayin. We will finish up with tzadik, final tzadik, vav, and samech. BLESSINGS/PRAYERS The students completed the Adon Olam! I am sure they will make you proud! Along with our usual Kiddush and Motzi brachot, we recited our brachot for matzah and other Pesach foods. We will recite borei miney mizo- Seder not for our milk and honey cookies. HOLIDAYS: In the month of April, we studied about Moses and the story of Passover, learning about matzah, slavery, Moses, Pharoah, the Exodus, the ten plagues, the seders, the four questions, the afikomen, Elijah, and what foods are "kosher l'pesach" and which are “chometz.” The students loved crossing our “pretend” Red Sea – what good jumpers they are! It’s hard to say what was more fun – the “candy” mock seder we had with the Hebrew school or the Rugrats Passover movie! In May, we will briefly discuss Yom Hashoa, the day of Holocaust remembrance, on the kids’ level. We will look at the globe to see where Israel, Iran (modern-day Persia), and Egypt are. Then we will pretend that we are in Israel for Yom Hazikaron, where everyone stops everything when the sirens are sound. We’ll do a dot- to-dot, revealing Israel’s emblem of the menorah with the surrounding olive tree branches. We’ll sample an Israeli food, perhaps pita bread, the basis for Israeli falafel, and discuss Haifa, Eilat, the Dead Sea, and Jerusalem, finding them on the map. We’ll read about Yom Ha’atzma’ut, Israel’s Independence Day, and find out that Israel was established as a Jewish country in 1948. We’ll look at a scrapbook of Israel, including El Al airline tickets, pictures, samples of money, bus tickets, etc. We’ll talk about Kibbutzim and the colors kachol (blue) and lavan (white), represent- ing the colors on the Israeli flag. We can’t wait to make milk and honey cookies, in celebration of the state of Israel, the land flowing with milk and honey. We’ll look at pictures of a former Neve Shalom teacher cultivating the land of Israel and see how parts of Israel looked before trees were planted and then after. We’ll dance the Hora and rejoice. KEN CLASS (1st Grade) Kim Schwartzman HEBREW The Ken class has continued to practice and learn the Hebrew letters. We have been improving our writing and recognizing of the letters that we already know and we are learning how to write new ones every week. Over the coming weeks we will continue to write and learn new Hebrew letters in addition to practicing the old ones! HOLIDAYS Over the last few weeks the Ken class has learned a great deal about two very important Jewish Holidays. We have learned all about Purim and the story of Queen Esther in addition to acting in a Purim skit with the Gan class. Through the skit we learned about the evil Haman and his plan to get rid of all the Jewish people. Queen Esther and her uncle, Mordechai, stop that plan from actually happening and save all of the Jewish people in the land of Shushan. The Ken class learned that this victory for the Jewish people was a great accomplishment and a big win and therefore, Purim is a happy holiday in which we have a custom to give the needy Mishloach Manot. In class we got to make our very own Mishloach Manot to bring home to our families in order to enjoy them with all. More recently the Ken class has learned about the Jewish Holiday of Passover. The Ken class learned Purim Carnival all about the Seder and the different types of foods that we eat and why we eat them in addition to participat- ing in a school-wide mock Seder! As a class we even got to decorate our very own Passover Seder plates and Elijah cups in order to use at our very own Seder's at home! Over the next few weeks we will take the time to learn about counting the Omer and the upcoming holiday of Shavuot. BIBLE The Ken class has become experts on the story of Moses and the exodus from Egypt. The Ken class learned that Pharoah was an evil man and would not let the Jewish people be free of slavery. In order to get Pharoah to change his mind, we learned that Moses and G-d sent him and his people Ten Plagues. We also learned that after the last plague Pharoah let the Jewish people go free however, he changed his mind and chased after the Jews and therefore, Moses had to split the Red Sea. The Ken class really enjoys the story of Moses and the Ten Plagues and therefore, over the next few weeks we will continue to learn about Moses and we will learn all about how he got the Torah from G-d on Mt. Sinai. Page 3 V o lu me VI , Is su e I V KITA K’TANA HEBREW Elise Berlin Kitah K’tana loves working in our Alef Bet workbook. We read, learn how to write our letters, and play matching games all from this wonderful book. Most of the children recognize all of the Hebrew letters and can name the letter with its matching sound. We learned many vowels including Kamatz, Patach, (both aah sounds), Cheerek (eee), and Segol (eeh). The children are able to sound out many words. We learned many new words having to do with Israel. Gelidah-ice cream, Vanil-vanilla, shocolad-chocolate, Tut Sadeh-strawberry, Kotel- Western Wall, Botz-mud, Melach-salt, and Mayim-water are amongst the many. HOLIDAYS Rebecca Fish Kita Kitana (Holidays): The Kita K'tana class performed an amazing Purim play. They worked on learning the story of Pesach, and the blessings and four questions. We celebreated Pesach in a Hebrew-school wide filmed Seder. Following Pesach, they will learn about the holidays of Yom Hashoah, Yom Ha’atzmaut, and Shavuot. ISRAEL Elise Berlin Kitah Ktana loves travelling throughout Israel. We went to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel and learned all about the Kotel-the Western Wall. We went to Haifa-the city that imports and exports goods. We then vacationed at the Dead Sea. We put Dead sea mud on our hands and let it dry. We washed it off and felt how soft our hands were. We learned that many people, young and old enjoy floating in the Dead Sea. Our next stop was Tel Aviv (the city that never sleeps). It is compared to NYC where restaurants, malls clubs and many businesses Purim Carnival ALEPH CLASS HEBREW Cindy Baruch First, mazel tov to all the students who did a great job at Consecration! Aleph class has been very busy! We finished learning all the Hebrew nekudot(vowels). We learned the tzerah(which says EH- similar to the se- gol).Our tzerah vocabulary words were: kiseh(chair), betzah(egg), etz(tree), esh(fire), aryeh(lion), sofer(writer), shaked(almond), ken(nest), masechah(mask), chamesh(five), bet sefer(school). Purim words were taught and they included: mishloach manot(candy baskets), oznei haman(hamantaschen), megillah, tzom(fast), melech(king), malkah(queen), rashan(grogger), tachposet(costume), misibah (party), letsan (clown). Since Purim is such a festive holiday, we made hamantaschen and played Hebrew bingo with Purim words. After Purim, more new words were introduced: shen(tooth), even(stone), gezer(carrot), sha-on(clock), navi (prophet), perach(flower), yalkut(backpack), tapuach(apple), and tzadik(righteous person). To reinforce our reading we play "one chance reading" where the children read from their "lishonei " books and whoever is "left standing" after reading the words correctly wins! After we return from Peasch vacation we will continue reading from the "lishonei" book, reinforce our He- brew reading through games, learn about Shavuot (which is in the beginning of June) and continue our writing. HOLIDAYS Rebecca Fish & Shoshana Smolen We are very proud of all the hard work the Aleph class has done this year! We are finishing up the year by learning about Pesach and all of the important blessings that go along with the holidays, as well as learning about the remaining holidays of Yom Hashoah, Yom Ha’atzmaut, and Shavuot. PRAYER Cindy Baruch We learned for Pesach- the parts of the seder plate, the order of the Hagadah, ten plagues, blessing over the karpas, grape juice, matzah, Ma Nishtanah learning different songs such as Dayeinu, Who Knows One, Chad Gadya etc... Page 4 MAY 2011 He b rew S c ho o l Happe ni ng s BET CLASS HEBREW Elise Berlin Kitah Bet learned many new words having to do with Chag HaPesach-the holiday of Pesach. Arba-four, Eser-ten, Mitzrayim-Egyptians, Makot-plagues, Aviv-spring, Avoda-work, Cherut-freedom, Dam-blood, Choshech-darkness, Dayenu-enough, Banim-sons, Chacham-wise, Rasha-wicked, Tam-simple, Sheno Yodeya L’sholl-doesn’t even under- stand to ask, Yayin-wine, and Kos-cup are a few among the many. We learned songs with many new words in them. Each student has a machberet (notebook) with Pesach words written in both Hebrew and English ac- companied by matching pictures. We are looking forward to learning many new words having to do with the holiday of Shavuot-the receiving of the Torah. HOLIDAYS Elise Berlin I hope that everyone had a wonderful Pesach. We learned so much about this holiday. Pesach has four names. We learned about the ten plagues and that each plague was specifically given for a reason. For example, Arbe (locusts). The Egyptians forced the Jews to take care of their vineyards and fields, so locusts came and ate eve- rything that grew. We see that the #4 is very symbolic throughout the Pesach seder. There are 4 questions, 4 sons, 4 cups of wine, and 4 names of Pesach. We went over many songs that are in the Haggadah. We went Seder over the blessings for the candles for Pesach and the order of the Pesach seder. We learned that we have 3 matzot on the table and that the middle matzah is split in half. Through games such as tic tac toe and garbage ball, we reviewed many Passover questions. We had a mock candy seder with the Hazzan and sang many Pesach songs. BIBLE Vera Schreck We have completed the unit discussing the trait of kindness to strangers and animals that our matriarch Rebecca possessed. We went on to the rather difficult topic of the relationship between Esau and Jacob regarding the conflict over the birthright. We had very interesting discussions about the concept of a birthright and the theme of sibling rivalry which is a recurring theme in the Bible. By the end of the school year we will have covered the topic of Jacob and his two wives, Joseph and his brothers (sibling rivalry once again), and then on to the Jews as slaves in Egypt. I will ask students to write a short paragraph on their favorite Bible personality covered this year which they will take home to share with parents. PRAYER Cindy Baruch Kitah Bet has been so busy learning Ashrei. We will be finishing this prayer and will be having a party for all their hard work and effort they put into it! STORIES Ari Opitz The stories class is finishing sharing their own stories that they have written. So far they have done a great job presenting them. Students can still bring in their stories from home to share with the class for the remainder of the school term. GIMEL CLASS HEBREW Shoshana Smolen In the Gimel Class, we have been studying the Sh’ma and its surrounding blessings. We have already mastered the Yotzer Or and Ahavah Rabbah. Recently we have covered the Sh’ma as well as the G’ulah – the Mi Chamocha. We have read each of these prayers many times to practice reading proficiency, and we have also discussed the content of each prayer, and it’s symbolism in the prayer service. We have also learned the root “Sh’ma” (listen), other associated vocabulary with these prayers, as well as the suffix “cha” (your), and how to define words when they are used. We will finish the year reviewing these roots and terms as well as how to put their knowledge together to understand new words. Maccabiyah Game HISTORY Vera Schreck In Jewish History we have been learning about the conflict among the Jewish leadership during the Roman rule of ancient Israel. We had in depth and very interesting discussions on whether or not one of our greatest leaders of that time, R' Yochanan Ben Zakai was a hero or traitor to our nation. After Passover we will con- tinue to discuss the role of the Rabbis in the lives of the Jews in the past and how we view their role in our lives today. PRAYER Rebecca Fish / Cindy Baruch The Gimel class has been working diligently to learn the blessings and prayers that are involved with Pesach. After Pesach, we will be working on learning the beginning of the Amidah prayer. Kitah Gimmel learned the last paragraph of Sh'ma. They reviewed the Kiddush for Pesach, and other songs from the Hagadah. HOLIDAYS Ari Opitz In Holidays class we are going to be learning the history and traditions of Yom Hashoah and we will finish our class plays. The class plays that the students have wrote so far have been great and we still have a couple more. Page 5 V o lu me VI , Is su e I V DALED CLASS HEBREW Vera Schreck Daled students continue to strengthen their Hebrew reading skills and their comprehension of the prayers as we work our way through our text book, S'fatai Tiftach Vol. II. We have done readings from the Megillah at Purim time and, of course, the Haggadah in preparation for Pesach. After the Pesach vacation, we will focus on readings from the Siddur as well as complet- ing the work in our textbook. HISTORY Shoshana Smolen The Daled class has been reviewing Jewish history in the transition from the 15 th century in Western Europe to 18th century Eastern Europe. We spoke about the Spanish inquisition and the fallout from Seder it in terms of where the Jewish people would end up. We spoke about the dispersal to Portugal and the subse- quent expulsion from there and the move eastward. We spoke about growing hostility to Jews in Eastern Europe and the rise of pogroms. We will finish out the year discussing the move of Jews to America, and how the families of each of the students came to America. TORAH TROP Shoshana Smolen In the Daled class we have progressed to Haftarah trop after the mastery of the basics of Torah trop. We went over the cantillation marks, noting that although the actual marks are the same, they make different sounds for Torah and Haftarah. We will finish the year perfecting the Hatarah trop as well as learning some less common trops. ISRAEL Ari Opitz Israel has been in the news a lot lately as always and we are staying up to date on current events. We are also going to be discussing the latest news with Osama Bin Laden’s death and how it is going to effect the Middle East . The students may also feel free to bring in their own current events to talk about in this class. HOLOCAUST Ari Opitz The Daled class has been learning more of the background of Hitler coming into power and the events leading up to Holocaust. We have also started discussing genocides that are happening today and why they are happen- ing. Yom HaShoah HAI CLASS HEBREW Osnat Moalam, Shoshana Smolen, Rebecca Fish, Ari Opitz The four levels continue at their own passes. Each student is learning at their own level. MITZVOT Ari Opitz The Hai Mitzvah class has been dealing with Talmudic arguments of what is right and what is wrong and dis- cussing current events and what the Talmud would say about what is going on in the world. BIBLE Shoshana Smolen’s classThe Hai Bible class has been learning about the tower of Babel as well as Abraham, the first Jew. We discussed why the tower of Babel was seen as such a terrible insult to god and simulated the Museum Trip building of the tower itself. To demonstrate the difficulties we attempted to make a house of cards several stories tall with several limitations, we played games limiting the use of shared language, and made model towers. We also discussed Abraham and his acceptance of monotheism. We will end the year discussing the various challenges Abraham met and how he persisted and became the first Jew. Lincoln Richman’s class: In the Hai class, we have been finishing up the story of Abram's transfor- mation into Abraham, and the story of the birth of the Jewish people. From the beginning of the school year, we have covered the book of Genesis from the creation of the universe to the story of the Akedah. The students have demonstrated an outstanding ability to understand the material and relate to the characters in the stories. Most fasci- nating is the fact that Abraham was father to both the Jewish people and the Arab nations. The students found the concept of the Middle East being a "family" struggle to be quite compelling. And it continues into modern times. MAY 2011 HEBREW HIGHlights WORLD RELIGIONS Elise Berlin There are many types of religions in this world. Some are monotheistic, some are polytheistic, some have optimistic views and some are based on pessimistic views. Judaism as we know is a monotheistic religion (believing in one G-d) and is filled with optimistic views. We compared the religions of Hinduism, Christian- ity, Islamic, and Judaism. This month, we will be comparing and contrasting Buddhism to Judaism. We will learn why the Buddhist monk gives up all and what the greatest reward is for the true Buddhist. We dis- cussed the warning signs and how a person can be brainwashed by cults. We watched the film “The Wave” to further understand the power that dictatorship has on a person. We learned about anti-semitism and how, unfortunately, we still feel it today. We watched “School Ties”, a movie about a Jewish high school senior who received a scholarship to a private Christian school in order to play football and the hardship he had to face when word got out that he was Jewish. We understand that we must be proud to be Jewish and to be Neve Shalom sure of whom we are. Hebrew School WHY BE DIFFERENT Elise Berlin 250 Grove Avenue Metuchen, NJ 08840 Hebrew high learned that there are two different types of mitzvot in the Torah. Mitzvot between man and man and mitzvot between man and Hashem (G-d). We are currently discussing different types of mitzvot between man and Hashem. Prayer, kashrut, and Shabbat all lie in this category. One of the major purposes of Phone: 732-548-2238 x 14 these mitzvot is to teach us how to become closer to Hashem. In Hebrew, the term Kedushah means coming Fax: 732-548-2335 closer to Hashem. The word Kadosh means special. We are expected to act Kadosh-to raise our life to a Email: email@example.com higher level. If we act in a kind, compassionate way and try to raise our actions, we will bring Kedushah into our lives. We are reminded throughout the day to be Kadosh. Most blessings all have the word Kidishanu (make us holy, special) in it. Synagogue Web: We are in the midst of learning that Shabbat is one special day filled with Kedushah and unites people to Hashem and to each other. We will learn about Kashrut. Fish must have both fins and scales in order to be NeveShalom.net kosher. We will learn that while slaughtering animals, one should cause as little suffering to the animal as possible ( a smooth sharp knife must be used in order to avoid tearing the flesh more than necessary). We will discuss the non mixing of milk and meat and what it entails (separate dairy and meat dishes, utensils, sponges etc). By observing kashrut every time one eats, one will be reminded that he/she is a Jew and has a compassion for animals. When one keeps kosher, we are raising the act of eating to a higher level, bringing kedusha into our Trip to Philly lives. Bringing kedusha allows one to become closer to Hashem. HOW TO DECIDE Lincoln Richman We have discussed the topic of what it means to be a Jew in the context of a larger world. Speak- ing about the natural disaster in Japan, we dis- cussed what would be an appropriate tzedakah response as Jews and as Americans. Heading into Pesach and Yom HaShoah, we watched an episode of the "Gene Simmons" television show on the A&E Network. Gene Simmons has been the leader of the band KISS for more than 35 years, but what we learned in that episode is that he was born in Israel as the son of Holocaust survivors from Hungary. We watched Gene Simmons on his emotional trip to visit the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, and we had an ex- cellent discussion about what it means to be Jewish in the modern world, and what it means to honor one’s parents.
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