Week of May 9

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.

5/16/2021 – No High School

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:

  • New item! Children will need a “box”. Any kind of box will do.
  • 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)

Grade 4-5 will also need:

  • braided Havdalah candle
  • spices

Grades 4-7

Important: Print the booklet for Friday’s service so your student can practice their part.

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.


Student Assignments for Student-Led Service

Each PreK-7 student has been 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. Here are the assignments:
1-13.) PreK-3 Class
1.) Arya response 1
2.) Sara response 2

27.) Sam Arnold
Opening song / Naomi MorseHinei Ma Tov (Elana Arian)
14.) Stan
29.) Cary Mannaberg
1Candle Lighting
27.) Sam Arnold1L’cha Dodi/sung (Taubman)Verses 1, 2, 5 and 9
14.) Stan
29.) Cary Mannaberg
2Shalom Aleichem/sung (Goldfarb)
1-13.) PreK-3 Class3Barchu – NaomiAm I Awake (Noah Aronson)
15.) Nora
30.) Rabbi Spivak 
3Ma’ariv Aravim – English & Chatimah
16.) Ellie
30.) Rabbi Spivak 
4Shema / chanted
16.) Ellie
30.) Rabbi Spivak 
5Mi Chamocha – MT Children pg 33
5Haskiveinu – MT Children pg 34
17.) Gabriel F. 
31.) Rabbi Schicker
6Adonai s’fatai tiftach/chanted
17.) Gabriel F.
31.) Rabbi Schicker
6Avot V’Imahot/chanted
18.) Evan
30.) Rabbi Spivak 
7Kedusha – MT Children pg 45
31.) Rabbi Schicker
7Shalom Rav/Kol B’Seder
Silent Prayer
1-13.) PreK-3 Class8Oseh Shalom / Elana Jagoda – Naomi
Nora Chaus
Ellen Winter
Henry Winter
Abby Strongin
Shana Winter Award 2019-20
20.) Elijah
31.) Rabbi Schicker
8Mi Sheberach/ Debbie Friedman
21.) Lucas (first 2 paragraphs)
22.) Julie (English + last part)
30.) Rabbi Spivak 
9English Reading/RSS
10Mourner’s Kaddish/RSS
Rabbi Spivak will read COM names
Rabbi Schicker will read TBI names
Then will ask for more names
Rabbi Spivak
Rabbi Schicker
1-13.) PreK-3 Class11Closing song / Naomi MorseShalom Shalom (Sheldon Low)
15.) Nora
30.) Rabbi Spivak 
14.) Stan
29.) Cary Mannaberg


Hebrew Prayer Assessments for Grades 4-7

Teachers will be setting up an additional hour of 1:1 to review all of the prayers that the students have been taught to assess their skill level with each.  We will not be doing the Hebrew Reading Assessments at the end this year as we know all of the student’s skills. The teachers and I think this will be a more meaningful assessment.  You can expect to be contacted by your child’s teacher to set up times that are convenient.  We will report the results in the end of year progress reports that will come to you in June


Join Us for Havdalah!

The children really seemed to enjoy Havdalah last Sunday. The PreK-3 students are beginning to get exposed to the lovely ceremony while the 4th graders are learning the prayer with Hebrew in Harmony and the 4-5th graders are learning the vocabulary in Hebrew Through Movement.

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.


This Week’s Family Schmooze (All Grades)


Asynchronous Learning – Judaism

PreK-7 La-bri’ut Lesson (Judaism)

This week we ask “How does hesed inspire hope?” and “Why is hesed important?” Using Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s famous statement about praying with his feet (said after participating in the Selma march with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr), learners consider ways acts of hesed can bring hope to the world.

PreK-3 Activity Box Instructions

In the box: Wooden heart; random act of hesed label; acrylic paint; paint brush.

The task: Create a random act of hesed heart. Then, during the week, do a secret random act of hesed for someone, leaving the heart behind. The idea is to inspire others to pass on the hesed. Post a photo of where the hesed heart was left, along with the story about it, to SeeSaw.

PreK-3 Video Instructions

4-7 Judaism Challenge Instructions

The challenge: Design a plan for growing the hesed plant by reflecting on people’s needs and possible solutions. Add these seeds to a seed packet started the previous week.

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.



Hebrew Through Movement (HTM)

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.

The students are moving deeper into the Shabbat vocabulary. They are learning the HaMotzi blessing we say for bread. This week they learn the Hebrew for remove which has the same root as “motzi” in the blessing we do over bread. They will experience removing things from the box on the command of l’hotzi as they learn the Hamotzi blessing so as to better understand that we are thanking God for “bringing forth” or “removing” bread from the earth.

Grade 4-5 are going deeper into the Havdalah vocabulary this week (the 4th graders are studying Havdalah in their Hebrew In Harmony curriculum as well). They will also need:

This Week’s New Words

בְשָׂמִים b’samimspices (4th and 5th grades only

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


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

This week, Sam will be reading a story called: “The Wisdom Bird: A tale of Solomon and Sheba” retold by Sheldon Oberman and illustrated by Neil Waldman. It was taught that King Solomon  (King of Israel for 40 years) could answer any question in the world and solve any problem. Hearing this makes the Queen of Sheba journey to Jerusalem to see him for herself, as she is wondering if King Solomon can actually solve anything. However, while in Jerusalem, Solomon asks the queen if he has taught her anything, and the queen replies no. With that said, it pushes Solomon to figure out what he needs to do to teach the queen something, and along the way, comes to understand the difference between having wisdom and sharing wisdom. I hope that you will join me on the adventure of finding out what those differences are. 


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. Contact Nora Chaus at (269) 373-4138 or director@okcjs.net to apply.


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/.

If you choose to donate, please write a check to me and I will compile the donations in one total gift.  

Thank you! Elijah Thompson