Week of May 2

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

Important Dates

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

Quick Links to This Week’s Content

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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)

The PreK-3 students will not be moving to the Havdalah vocabulary next week as previously announced. The will instead move deeper into the Shabbat vocabulary.

Grade 4-5 will begin Havdalah vocabulary this week (the 4th graders are studying Havdalah in their Hebrew In Harmony curriculum as well). You might want to gather up the additional props for that:

  • braided Havdalah candle
  • spices
  • box (any kind of box, doesn’t have to be special)

Grades 4-7

Students need their Hebrew in Harmony booklet.

  • Mannaberg – Havdalah
  • Spivak – G’vurot
  • Schicker – Kaddish (Please let Rabbi Schicker know if you or your family has suffered the loss of a loved one. We want to make sure to be sensitive especially to those deep losses each of us carries.)

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


Join Us for Havdalah!

Havdalah may be performed as late as sunset of the Tuesday following Shabbat. We will do Havdalah during Assembly for the remainder of the year. Please feel free to join us. Bring your own Havdalah set if you have one. We will allow adults to light Havdalah candles but not the children!

Here’s more information about Havdalah from PJ Library.


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 April 18th’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 “Where and when is hesed needed?” We hear from a “hesed hero” who talks about needs in the
community and some solutions/activities as a result. Learners consider the implications of this person’s story to their own actions on behalf of hesed.

PreK-3 Activity Box Instructions

In the box: Small container; container label; glue; pompoms; sequins; stickers; marker; hesed forms.

The task: Create a family hesed container. Then, throughout the week, when a person spots another doing an act of hesed, they fill out a form and put it in the container. At the end of the week all the forms are read during a family meeting. Post an image of the container with a hesed story from the week to SeeSaw.

PreK-3 Video Instructions

4-7 Judaism Challenge Instructions

The challenge: As partners with God and inspired by the G’vurot blessing, explore where and when hesed could
grow in the community by choosing one area of need. Name a “hesed plant” and begin to design a seed packet.

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 2 Challenge; practice Havdalah in the Hebrew in Harmony app.
  • Spivak – G’vurot Lesson 2 Challenge; practice G’vurot in the Hebrew in Harmony app.
  • Schicker –Kaddish Lesson 2 Challenge; practice Kaddish in the Hebrew in Harmony app.


  • Mannaberg – Shema 2 & 3, Havdalah 1
  • Spivak – G’vurot 1
  • Schicker – Kaddish 1


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
כּוֹס קִדּוּשׁKos Kiddushholy cup
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 with Havdalah (families please feel free to join us)
  • 10:15-12:15 High School
  • 10:15-10:55 Hebrew
  • 10:55-11:15 Break
  • 11:15-12:55 Judaism
  • 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 Mr. Mannaberg
  • 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 and Story Time


PreK-3 Story Time with Sam

Sam will be reading a story called Kishka for Koppel by Aubrey Davis and Sheldon Cohen. In unknown and difficult times, it is hard to recognize the good that is all around us. However, when we open our hearts to gratitude, we are able to see that in fact, our lives are good. Using magic wishes, the characters in the story seek to make their lives better. But, will those wishes actually help, or will they (the characters) need to Hikarat Hatov, recognize everything is already good? I hope you will join me on Monday to find out! 


PreK-3 Library with Mrs. Rachel

Shavuot in dribs and drabs! Each Wednesday for the next 3 weeks, the youngest students will be reading books on Shavuot and the Book of Ruth. But interspersed with that, we’ll also read biographies of individuals who have changed the world and overcome adversity to inspire us all. 

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

Grades 4-7 Story Time with Mr. Mannaberg

Mr. Mannaberg will be filling in for Mrs. Rachel in May. He plans to read from various Midrashim that are appropriate for middle school and upper elementary children. He has books on Gollum stories, Elijah stories and a book called Midrash for Children. Each week the students will be asked to tell him which stories they would like among the books he has on hand. 


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


Webinar: Creating A+ Human Beings

Adapting Livecast on May 5thCreating A+ Human Beings: The real purpose of Jewish education?  We’ll hear from Dr. Bruce Powell, a consultant for numerous Day Schools; Dr. Erica Rothblum, Head of School at Pressman Academy; and Dr. Ron Wolfson, President of The Kripke Insitute, about why Jewish education is best suited to help parents raise A+ human beings amid all the external challenges and forces youth face. 

Whether you’re an educator, parent, or grandparent, I know you’ll find this conversation more than just timely and worthwhile – you’ll be inspired about the vital role Jewish education can, and must, play in supporting students today. Mental Health Awareness Month is an opportune time to rededicate our efforts to this cause.