In the Library – בַּסִּפְרִיָּה

In the Library – Ba-sifriah

So often High Holy Days begin soon after the start of religious school, leaving little time to explore themes of loving kindness (g’milut chasadim), atonement (kippur), and forgiveness (sol’chanut). Not this year — we have been blessed with the entire month of Elul for soul searching, to learn not only about what we did wrong, but about what we can do right.

For the Kindergarteners, I found a sweet, gentle story called A Hat For Mrs. Goldman by Michelle Edwards about a little girl who wants to give a special gift to her selfless neighbor, using the knitting skills she had taught her. The kids learned that it is a mitzvah to give and to be kind to others.

Without knowing it, I chose the perfect book for the 1st/2nd graders, called Babushka’s Doll by the famous Michigan children’s author Patricia Palacco. They sat enraptured hearing about self-absorbed, whiny Natasha and her babushka’s (grandmother’s) doll that was something more than a regular doll. Let’s just say Natasha (and the kids) soon learned the importance of patience, consideration, and respect for others — important mitzvot to apply the whole year round.

Finally, for the 3rd/4th graders, I was inspired by this past Saturday’s parsha, Ki Tetzeh, from the final book of the Torah, Devarim (Deuteronomy). This parsha contains a record 74 of the Torah’s 613 mitzvot, many devoted to human dignity, justice, and kindness to the helpless. https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/ki-tetze-a-summary-of-the-parashah/. We discussed just a few mitzvot, with the kids coming up with great insights. 

Then I read a small part of the chapter book Lola Levine is Not Mean by Monica Brown, in which Lola learns, not only how to make amends for specific hurts, but how to be a nicer person in general.

Rachel Haus, Librarian

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Lesson Overviews for Parents

Judaism Lesson Overview


TopicOverview
KMoses and PharaohTrusting in God helps us through difficult times and maintains the Jewish people.
1-2Adam & EveWho was the first person that God created? Why did God create a second person?
3Parashat Vayikra: Sacrifice, Gifts, Drawing nearWhat is the connection between an offering to God and drawing close to God? How can I make an offering to God through my actions? 
4Am Yisrael ─ Session Alef: All Jews are Members of Am Yisrael; I Am a Member of Am YisraelWho is a member of Am Yisrael? How do Jews feel connected to Am Yisrael? What is my connection to Am Yisrael?
5-6M’gillah Rut/The Book of Ruth: Mining the Text for MeaningHow can a deeper reading of a biblical text help me discover meanings or messages that are not readily apparent? How do questions (not necessarily their answers) help me find out more meaning in text? What is my own assessment of the meaning of the Book of Ruth?
7Cain and AbelWhat is my relationship with my siblings? Students will discuss what they can learn about family relationships in the Torah and reflect on how they can find themselves in this text. 
HSThe Age of Hellenism Students will discuss and identify what helped Jews resist the temptation and maintain their Jewish identities? They will then apply these ideas to their own lives today, how to develop a modern Jewish identity in today’s ever-evolving world. 

K-3 Hebrew Lesson Overview


LetterTransliteration & TranslationWord of the DayTransliteration & TranslationLesson
KתTavתוֹרָהTorah
1-2שׁ
patah kamatz  
Shin
Vowel sound “ah”
שַׁבָּת
שׁוֹפָר
שָׁלוֹם
שַׁמָשׁ
Shabbat
Shofar
Shalom
Shamash
pp. 8-11
3בּ ת תּ שpatah kametzמBet, Tav, Tav, Shin
Vowel “ah”
שַׁמָשׁShamash2

4-7 Hebrew Lesson Overview


PrayerLesson
MannabergBrachotBlessing for food & “WOW!” blessings
SchickerKiddushRead the Va’y’chulu paragraph accuratelyRoot zayin, chaf, reish
SpivakAshreiAshrei is an acrostic
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Questions for the Ride Home

Suppose the title should be “Questions for the Dinner Table”. Different issue than last week yet the results for you were the same. These questions are always posted to the blog during school on Sunday so feel free to go directly to the blog if your email doesn’t come.

KWhat sound does the hebrew letter tav make? What happened when Moses held his staff over the sea?
1-2Who was Adam and Eve? What happened to them? Why was the snake “evil”? What does it mean to “trick” someone? What is the Tree Of Life (TORAH!!) and why is it important? What is Betzelem Elokim (being made in the image of Hashem)? 
3What is the Shema? Why is it important? What is a gift you could give to be closer to G_d? 
4What is the blessing formula? (Baruch atah adonai, elohainu melech haolam…)  What are you thankful for? Can you tell me one blessing you know/learned today?
5-6Who is Ruth? Why is she an important Biblical figure to know about? 
7What is the main theme of Ashrei?  What is the Cain and Abel story? What did they learn about the story that they had never heard before?
HSWhy do you think integrating Judaism and cultural values into a secular community continues to be a challenge for Jews?
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Parent to-do list for school @ CoM Sunday 9/15

Send your student with:

  • Bag designated for OKCJS
  • Water bottle
  • Green folder, binder, textbooks (this is what the bag is for)
  • Completed Special Club form (if you’ve lost yours, print it from the sidebar)
  • 4th-7th Grades – Torah or Tanach if you have one and a smart phone or tablet

Reminder about New Drop-off and Pick-up Policy

To ensure your student’s safety, we have a new policy for Drop-off and Pick-up.

9:00am – Front door will be unlocked and drop-off begins. Come in, enjoy some coffee, chat with friends and make new ones. Please stay with your child until the teachers are prepared for students.

9:10am – Teachers will be prepared and students are allowed into the school wing.

9:15am – Classes start.

9:20am – Front doors are locked. If you arrive after 9:20, bring your child to the south door by the Sofen Room. Ring the bell and Rob or Nora will meet you there and walk your student(s) to class. So that we stay safe and minimize disruption to classes in session, no students should enter the classroom wing from the front door after 9:20 and no student or parent should enter a classroom after 9:20 without Rob or Nora.

12:00-12:15pm – Please don’t pick-up your student(s) during this time so that teachers can review the lesson and explain what students can do at home during the week. If you need to pick up early, plan to do so before noon.

12:15pm – Parents meet their student in the classroom. Teacher will release student only to their parent(s) unless written permission has been given to the Director. This applies to all grades.

Note: Kindergarten parents will pick up their student in the Sofen Room at the south end of the school hallway. 1st & 2nd grade parents can pick up their student in the Library. If parents of these children would like to sit in on the library or music class, please come to the south door by 11:45am and see Nora or Rob.

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In the Library – בַּסִּפְרִיָּה

In the Library – Ba-sifriah

The 1st day of Religious School in the Fisher Library — what could be better? With High Holy Days a few weeks off, Librarian, Rachel Haus, focused on our current month of Elul — a time of introspection and preparation.

The Kindergartners learned all about loving-kindness and the golden rule using a delightfully illustrated book by Laurie Keller called
DO UNTO OTTERS: A BOOK ABOUT MANNERS.
Rachel chose a longer story for the 1st-2nd graders called YETTELE’S FEATHERS about the long-lasting cruelty of lashon ha-rah (evil speech, or gossip https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/gossip-rumors-and-lashon-hara-evil-speech/) and how there are some actions that require more than simple apologies.
Finally, for the 4th-7th graders, we discussed the connection between the month of Elul and Shir Ha-Shirim (Song of Songs) found in the Tanach. Shir Ha-Shirim is a book of love poetry, but the Rabbis interpreted these beautiful and sensuous verses, especially “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” as representing a loving relationship between God and Israel.
The 4th-7th grade students learned that there cannot be true atonement without love. That kind of close relationship was emphasized by existential philosopher Martin Buber in his book I AND THOU.
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From Our Kindergarten Teacher

To see the photos for this post, click on the Photos link on the sidebar and use the password in the email notification of this blog post. For our children’s safety, our photo gallery is password protected.

Today was a great first day. It was wonderful to meet all of the students.

To start the day we sang songs, and decorated kippahs that will stay in the classroom.

The letter of the week was bet. Students traced bet on a whiteboard, and repeated its sound and name.
Children learned the Hebrew word for house begins with a bet (bayit).

Students and made drawings of houses, one side showing a shalom bayit (a peaceful house) the other an unhappy house.

For Judaism, students learned the story of Mariam and Moses. Each student acted out the story, pretending their doll was baby Moses. 

We also spoke about the different people who helped save baby Moses. Students were sent home with a thank you card to write to those who helped him. 

To wrap up the day, students listened to a story in library and sang songs in music.

In the right pocket of the green take home folder, students received the letter bet packet, a bet coloring sheet,  Miriam and Moses packet, and a coloring sheet of Moses in the river, and a thank you card to someone who saved baby Moses.

At home, students should color both coloring pages, and complete the thank you card to get the special snack next Sunday. 

Completing the packets are optional, but recommended.

Thank you,

Alex Goldenberg
Kindergarten Teacher

Photos by Mari Levin, Kindergarten Room Parent

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Questions for the Ride Home

Sorry this is late. Technical difficulties (i.e., the computer did exactly what I told it to do….)

KWhat sound does Bet make? How did people help baby Moses?
1-2What is Torah? Why should we read the Torah? What “sacred” items do you have in your life? Etz Chayim Hi: Being a tree that is always growing and learning! 
3What does k’dushah mean? What is holy to you, to our family, and in Judaism?
4When should you say a blessing?  What are you grateful for? Promote  a sense of gratitude for food, natural wonders, shabbat and mitzvot.
5-6What is the Tanakh? How many sections are there in the Hebrew Bible? What does K’tuvim (writings) mean?
7What does “ashrei” mean and why would there be a prayer about how we feel in God’s house?  What was Abraham’s journey about? In what way is your life a journey?
HSWhat secular and religious practices exist in your home (if any). If not, how would you like that to be different? What age group/role do you want to serve in the school this year? Kindergarten vs. 6th grade, etc. Why this age group? What role do you want to serve in the classroom? Why?

Judaism Lesson Overview


TopicOverview
KMiriam & MosesIn our own lives we can choose how we allow others to be treated.  We can watch while people or family members get hurt or we can try to help others lead happy and healthy lives.
1-2Introduction: What Is Torah?How is the story of Torah different that other stories I might read, and how is it the same? How is the Book of Genesis like a journey? What do I have in common with the people in the Torah?
3Introduction to Vayikra/Leviticus Parashat K’doshim:  HolinessWhat does k’dushah/holiness mean?  What people, places, actions and things are Kadosh/holy?
4Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael, and the B’ritWhat is Am Yisrael?  What is Eretz Yisrael?  What is the bri’t that connects Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael, and God?  In addition to exploring these concepts, this lesson introduces the skills necessary to find citations in the Bible.
5-6Introduction to K’Tuvim/WritingsWhat is K’tuvim/Writings?  What type of literature is found in K’tuvim/Writings?  How did God reveal God’s self to our ancestors and how does God reveal God’s self to us today?
7Lech L’cha:  The Journeys We TakeWhat is the journey Abraham is asked to take?Why would Abraham want to take such a journey?  What blessings can Abraham expect to receive and what are the things he might be afraid of?
HSThe Birth of Our People, Monotheism and the Early IsraelitesToday we are guided by the same core ethical values as our ancestors.  Our ancestors’ ability to balance the need for change with their commitment to Jewish tradition continues to inspire us.

K-3 Hebrew Lesson Overview


LetterTransliteration & TranslationWord of the DayTransliteration & TranslationLesson
KבּBetבַּיִת
בֵּית כְּנֶסֶת
House (bayit)
Synagogue(Bayt Kenesset)

1-2בּ ת תּ  Bet, Tav, Tavבַּת מִצוָהבַּר מִצוָהתוֹרָהBat Mitzvah
Bar Mitzvah
Torah
1
3בּ ת תּ ש
patah kametz
Bet, Tav, Tav, Shin
Vowel “ah”
ShabbatShabbat1

4-7 Hebrew Lesson Overview


PrayerLesson
MannabergBrachot (blessings for food and Shabbat)Blessings are a daily part of Jewish life.
SchickerKiddushRead the Kiddush correctly.  Recognize the root of קדשׁ and find it in the prayer.  Understand how melody can help connect us to the meaning of a prayer.
SpivakAshreiRead and understand the opening lines of Ashrei.  Discuss how being content can lead to happiness.
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What You Need to Know for the First Day of School

School at Congregation of Moses – 9:15-12:15.

Registration Forms & Tuition Payments

Joint Religious School Committee (JRSC) members will be on hand in the lobby from 9:00-9:45 to accept your tuition payment and permission slips and check to be sure you have completed the  Online Registration Form which is required before students are admitted to class.

What Your Student Should Bring

All students need a bag to use as their school bag this year. Put the following things in it:

  • Kindergarten – A baby doll if they have one
  • 1st & 2nd Grade – Their baby book or pictures of themselves as a baby
  • 3rd-7th Grades – Their green folder & black binder from last year
  • 4th-7th Grades – Torah or Tanach if you have one

New Drop-off and Pick-up Policy

To ensure your student’s safety, we have a new policy for Drop-off and Pick-up.

9:00am – Front door will be unlocked and drop-off begins. Come in, enjoy some coffee, chat with friends and make new ones. Please stay with your child until the teachers are prepared for students.

9:10am – Teachers will be prepared and students are allowed into the school wing.

9:15am – Classes start.

9:20am – Front doors are locked. If you arrive after 9:20, bring your child to the south door by the Sofen Room. Ring the bell and Rob or Nora will meet you there and walk your student(s) to class. So that we stay safe and minimize disruption to classes in session, no students should enter the classroom wing from the front door after 9:20 and no student or parent should enter a classroom after 9:20 without Rob or Nora.

12:00-12:15pm – Please don’t pick-up your student(s) during this time so that teachers can review the lesson and explain what students can do at home during the week. If you need to pick up early, plan to do so before noon.

12:15pm – Parents meet their student in the classroom. Teacher will release student only to their parent(s) unless written permission has been given to the Director. This applies to all grades.

Note: Kindergarten parents will pick up their student in the Sofen Room at the south end of the school hallway. 1st & 2nd grade parents can pick up their student in the Library. If parents of these children would like to sit in on the library or music class, please come to the south door by 11:45am and see Nora or Rob.

Teachers & Classrooms

Class Schedule

Calendar

Be sure to see the school calendar that is linked from the sidebar. It is a Goggle Calendar that can be downloaded to your device by clicking the plus (+) sign in the bottom right corner of the calendar.

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Parent To Do List

Here is what you need to do so that your student will be ready for school on Sunday, September 8:

  1. Complete the online registration if you haven’t already.
    • Go ahead and start it now, you can stop and return to the registration at a later date.
    • This must be done BEFORE your child is allowed into class.
  2. Assign a bag for your child to use as their school bag this year.
    • This can be a cloth shopping bag, book bag, backpack, etc.
    • Put their name on it.
  3. Find your returning 3rd-7th graders Green Folder and Black Binder.
    • Put these in their bag.
  4. Remind your 3rd-7th grader to play games in their Shalom Hebrew or Hebrew in Harmony App every day this week. Just games. Tell them they can’t do anything else.

Your student(s) are ready for school. Now that wasn’t hard, was it?

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