Week of April 25

If you need help getting onto Zoom during school, text or call Rob Manson at (269) 270-2825.

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What students NEED for school this week


Bring these things to Hebrew Through Movement class:

  • Challah (Children will only need a small amount of challah each week.  Buy or make a loaf, freeze it and give them just the amount they can eat each week.
  • “Wine” glass. Can be a cup, plastic glass, water bottle. Optionally filled with liquid of your choice (we can also “pretend”).
  • Two candles (PreK-3 can use the Shabbat candles from activity box)
  • Two candlesticks
  • Kiddush cup
  • Bread (that is not challah)

We will be moving to Havdalah next week. You might want to gather up the additional props for that:

  • braided Havdalah candle
  • spices
  • spice box (optional)

Grades 4-7

Students need their Hebrew in Harmony booklet.

  • Mannaberg – Shema
  • Spivak – Avot v’Imahot
  • Schicker – Birchot HaHaftarah

The transliterated name of the prayer is at the bottom of the page. Let Nora know if your student doesn’t have this booklet.


Guest teacher visiting from Israel this Sunday

Rabbi Hannah Esrin will be visiting our school from Israel. She will be joining our PreK-7 students and teaching their La-bri’ut lesson along with their regular teachers. Our students were very excited when we told them we would have a special guest this week. She will also be teaching our High School class a brief lesson in modern Hebrew.


Videos and Prayer Booklet for Student-Led Service

Each PreK-7 student will be assigned a role in the service that will be held on Zoom on 5/14 at 7pm. High School students are encouraged to volunteer for a role as well.

  • Make sure your PreK-3 students view the videos of their parts in SeeSaw or here.
  • Print the prayer booklet for your students in grades 4 and up to practice. Print copies for your family to use during the service. We will not screen share the service booklet so that everyone can see the students.
  • EVERY PreK-7 student has a part. See last week’s blog post for the assignments.


This Week’s Family Schmooze (All Grades)



Asynchronous Learning – Judaism

PreK-7 La-bri’ut Lesson (Judaism)

This week we ask “What are acts of hesed I see around me?” We discover hesed in everyday actions, with consideration to what it takes to elevate a kindness to the level of hesed.

?” Students explore the difference between the general concept of “kindness” and the Hebrew word hesed. They listen to stories from the Torah and self-construct a definition of hesed.

PreK-3 Activity Box Instructions

In the box: A hesed Bingo game; a hesed tic-tac-toe game; self-inking stamp.
The task:

The task: Over the next week, keep an eye out for hesed with the support of either a Bingo or tic-tac-toe game. When children see/find something on either the board, they mark the square with a stamp. Post the board (ideally
also with a photo of one of the acts of hesed seen) and an explanation to SeeSaw.

PreK-3 Video Instructions

4-7 Judaism Challenge Instructions

The challenge: Expand ideas about hesed by putting their tree within a larger landscape that features reflections on increasing hesed in their world.

4-7 Video instructions

4-7 Written Instructions



Asynchronous Learning – Hebrew

4-7 Hebrew in Harmony Challenges

These challenges guide the student through the booklet activities that are NOT covered in class. Students can access all links in SeeSaw.

  • Mannaberg – Havdalah Lesson 1 Challenge; Practice Shema in the Hebrew in Harmony app.
  • Spivak – G’vurot Lesson 1 Challenge; Practice Avot v’Imahot prayer in the Hebrew in Harmony app.
  • Schicker –Practice Birchot HaHaftarah in the Hebrew in Harmony app.


  • Mannaberg –
  • Spivak –
  • Schicker –


Hebrew Through Movement (HTM)

This week’s new words are noted with the word New! next to their English translation.

We offer HTM lessons on Sunday, mornings, at 5:00pm on Monday and Wednesday and during Hebrew 1:1s. We find that retention is best with 3 HTM lessons per week and highly recommend that students attend three sessions (Sunday, one weekday and 1:1). We also play games with these vocabulary words during weekday drop-ins.

Beginning 4/11 and through most of the rest of the year we will be learning about Shabbat during Hebrew Through Movement.  Below is a list of our vocabulary for the Shabbat Level 1 unit.  Items needed each week will be listed in the Must Have for School This Week list at the top of this post.  You probably have most of these items around your house but may need to purchase or bake the challah.  Children will only need a small amount of challah each week.  Buy or make a loaf, freeze it and give them just the amount they can eat each week.  Substitute grape juice for the wine.  When we get to bread, it will be just regular bread, not challah. We introduce about 3 words each week in the order listed. We may move faster if most of the children know the words we introduce.

חַלָּה/חַלּוֹתChallah/Challotbraided Sabbath bread
קִדּוּשׁKiddushprayer/blessing over wine
יַיִן (כּוֹס יַיִן)Ya’een (Kos Ya’een)wine/ wine glass
נֵר/נֵרוֹתNer/Nerotcandle, candles
candlestick, candlesticks
לְבָרֵךְL’varekhbless New!
לְהַדְלִִיקL’hadlieklight New!
לֶחֶםLechembread New!
כּוֹס קִדּוּשׁKos Kiddushholy cup New!
נֶר הַבְדָּלָהNer HavdalahHavdalah candle

All of the HTM vocabulary words can be found in the sidebar.

Here is a video that will help parents with pronunciation. The video or table above should not be shared with students. Our students are learning to HEAR and understand Hebrew. They are not learning to translate. Our goal is to keep English out of our HTM lessons.


Sunday’s Schedule

  • 9:30-10:00 Socializing with Friends (optional)
  • 10:00-10:15 Assembly
  • 10:15-12:15 High School
  • 10:15-10:55 PreK-3 – Hebrew; 4-7 Judaism
  • 10:55-11:15 Break
  • 11:15-12:55 PreK-3 – Judaism; 4-7 Hebrew
  • 11:55-12:10 Mr. Mannaberg’s Hebrew Through Movement (4th & 5th Grade)
  • *

Monday’s Schedule

  • 4:30 PreK-3 Story Time with Sam
  • 5:00 PreK-3 Hebrew Through Movement & practice for student led service

Students can also drop in for help with the asynchronous learning or just to hang out with friends and teachers at any time between 4:30-6:30.


Wednesday’s Schedule

  • 4:30 PreK-3 Story Time with Mrs. Rachel
  • 5:00 PreK-3 Hebrew Through Movement & practice for student led service
  • 5:00 Rabbi Schicker’s class prayer review with Kahoot! (Birchot HaTorah)
  • 5:30 Grades 4-7 Library with Mrs. Rachel
  • 6:00 Mr. Mannaberg’s class prayer review with Kahoot! (Mah Nishtanah)

Students can also drop in for help with the asynchronous learning or just to hang out with friends and teachers at any time between 4:30-6:30.


Library this Wednesday

Though Shavuot is a few weeks away (May 16), traditional Jews have been counting the omer each day in anticipation of the last of the Shalosh Regalim (3 pilgrimage holidays) of the Jewish year.  The youngest students will get an introduction to Shavuot through some fun books and will learn more and more as the weeks go by. However, older students will learn it all this coming Wednesday — from its agricultural and pastoral origins as described in the Torah, to its rabbinical transformation into a celebration of the covenant on Mount Sinai. But what kind of talmudic “jujitsu” had to take place to allow for this radical transformation? Find out on Wed.– 

Rachel Haus, Librarian, Congregation of Moses Fisher LibraryKalamazoo MI library@congregationofmoses.org


Important Dates

4/25/2021 – Rabbi Hannah Esrin who is a candidate for CoM’s rabbinic position will be assisting our teachers. Please make her feel welcome.

5/14/2021 – Student Led Service @ TBI on Zoom with awarding of Shana Winter award to last year’s winner, Abby Strongin.

5/23/2021 – Last Day of School Celebration


Message from Camp Tavor

Dear Kalamazoo Families,

We are delighted to announce Legacy Heritage Fund has established an incentive program at Camp Tavor for new campers for two summers, starting in summers 2021 and 2022.
New eligible campers enrolled in a 3-week program or longer will save $1500 off tuition this year and a guaranteed $1500 for summer 2022.
The program’s goal is to enrich children’s Jewish learning and identity by giving them the opportunity to attend camps with strong Jewish content and programming. Families from West Michigan are eligible. All first-time campers in a 19-day program are also eligible for the One Happy Camper Grant which could be up to another $1,000 off this summer’s tuition.
That means this summer you could save up to $2500 on tuition.
Qualifying campers must be first-time campers entering 4th -10th grade.
I would love an opportunity to talk to you more about Camp Tavor and our program. Feel free to contact me directly at Randy@camptavor.org.

Randy Lubratich (She/Her/Hers)
Community Engagement Coordinator | Habonim Dror Camp Tavor
269-215-1399 | Randy@CampTavor.org
Want to talk, feel free to schedule a date and time: https://calendly.com/camptavor/connecting-about-camp-tavor
Stay Connected on Camp Tavor, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube


Accepting Applications for our 2021-2 Teaching Team

OKCJS has open positions on our teaching team next school year that we would like to fill with high school and/or college students. Contact Nora Chaus at (269) 373-4138 or director@okcjs.net to apply.


Seeking High School Students to Assist with Service 5/14/2021

High School students are encouraged to volunteer to assist with the student-led Zoom service at 7pm on 5/14. There are both English and Hebrew parts available and we also need technical help managing Zoom and the many little people who will be taking part in the service. Contact Nora Chaus at (269) 373-4138 or director@okcjs.net to volunteer.


Elijah Thompson’s Bar Mitzvah Project

Elijah’s bar mitzvah project request

For my Bar Mitzvah project I have chosen to bike from Kalamazoo to South Haven to raise money for an organization called Food Not Bombs. In order to support this organization I am asking for donations of any amount to help stop hunger across the world. What makes Food Not Bombs different from other organizations is that they distribute food worldwide during war protests and provide only vegan and vegetarian meals. They also distribute food after natural disasters, strikes, and do everything non violently with peace. My biking event takes place on Saturday May 29th 2021  with my family and I’ll make sure to show some of the ride on my project portion of the service. If you choose to help, any donation is welcomed (ex. Someone who donates 10 dollars would be 1/35 of our goal, or paying for one mile of the trail). Thanks for reading this and have a great day. (:

Also if you have any questions about the project or the bar mitzvah my email is elijah.thompson12321@gmail.com and the Food Not Bombs website is http://foodnotbombs.net/new_site/

Thank you! Elijah Thompson