Religious School Update from Rabbi Evon Yakar

Message from Rabbi Evan

Shalom,

“Turn it and turn it, for everything is in it!” said Rabbi ben Bag Bag (Mishnah Avot 5:22). Each year, our Jewish tradition charges us to continually engage in Torah. By scrolling back to the beginning each year, by celebrating and marking holy days in similar ways each year and by committing once again in the Fall to Jewish life with a new year, we live Rabbi ben Bag Bag’s teaching. So, too, it is with the beginning of a new religious school year. I am excited to learn with all of you at North Tahoe Hebrew Congregation. I have already begun to sense the engagement and excitement you all have for your Jewish community and the opportunities of our lives in the mountains.

As we move through the year together, it is important to remember that the investment of time and energy we put in, as individuals and families, will allow the seeds of Jewish learning and thought to grow. In the coming days and weeks we will learn more about one another and help our year of learning unfold. In the first couple of sessions (1-3 Tuesdays) we will engage in understanding more about where each of our learners is on his or her Jewish journey as well as marking the Jewish High Holy Days.

Again, I am looking forward to a great year. If you would like to be in touch or have specific questions, it is best to email at: rabbi@tbytahoe.org.

L’shalom – Towards Peace,
Rabbi Evon

 

 

A Strong Finish in Religious School – Year 5774

Bonnie Meyers, NTHC Religious School Director

Passover, Yom Hashoah, Yom Ha’Atzmuut, and Games Day, OH MY!

The last of the Religious School year is action packed! Between the model Seder for Passover and the year in review played in games, we are still able to pack in lessons on Torah, Avodah (prayer) and Gemilut Chasadim (acts of love and kindness).

My personal favorite class, during this time, is directed by the curriculum for Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. We specifically center the day around anti-bullying. I coined it, “Having a voice for those who can’t,” as well, we worked to inspire each other to perform “good deeds” throughout the year. We read Dr. Suess’ “Sneetches,” and each received green “stars upon thars.” We also read, “Brundabar” a book illustrated by Maurice Sendak. We read it in the Garinim class as a rousing story of anti-bulling. It was, in reality, once a children’s opera performed in Terezine Concentration Camp. Summarized in a sentence: How the Nazis conned the world by using a children’s opera to deceive international observers. Our older classes, Alim and Anafim, read the “Numbers on Grandfather’s Arm” and learned about Holocaust Memorials, as well as, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in DC. Rabbi and I take great pains to make this particular day, both age-appropriate and child-centered. As well, we want it inspiring for the students looking towards the future.

The following week is always the greatest of celebrations! It’s Yom Ha’Atmaut, Israeli Independence Day! The day is Israeli centric. This year we learned to sing the national anthem, made art on Challah covers in the technique of past and contemporary artists, and we made all kinds of food to eat! In addition, we wrote our own prayers for the “Wailing Wall” that will be taken to Jerusalem this summer by Aaron Weiner when he attends Birth Right.

Our last day of school is always (review) Games Day! This day is everything from relay games to Jewpardy, and ends with an ice cream social! It’s fun for all and filled with energy and excitement!

Thank you to all the families for taking turns hosting Family Shabbat dinners this year. The dinner makes the evening so much more social and fun for young families in school and the community. Family Shabbat is the second Friday of every month. The last hosted dinner for this school year, is May 9th. The next hosted dinner will be September 12.

As much confusion and turmoil as this year had in October, Rabbi Beth and I have worked tirelessly together to make needed changes and still maintain cohesion and progress. I am pleased to say, we have come out the other side as a stronger collection of students, teachers and families. Our students have all risen to our (high) bar and they all shine with pride! We are extremely impressed with our three B’nai mitzvah students: Eliana (Eli) Sass, Ethan (Etan) Reichwald, and Sawyer (Shia) Thompson. Rabbi Beth, Aaron and I are delighted by the incredible enthusiasm and amazing attendance in our student body this year! I also want to give a special shout out to our amazing classroom helpers- Cookie Steinberg and Devi Meyers. You have made so much more possible in our classrooms this year.

Of course, we wouldn’t have anything if it weren’t for our wonderfully supportive parents! Thank you for bringing your child(ren) each week, encouraging them to do their homework, and allowing us to share the time together!

 

Save the Dates! Three Very Special Events to mark on Your Calendar:

May 24, 2014 Eliana Sass is called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah

July 12, 2014 Ethan Reichwald is called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah

August 16, 2014 Sawyer Thompson is called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah

 

We look forward to next year, starting September 2, 2014.

*****************************************************

A Strong Finish in Religious School – Year 5774

Bonnie Meyers, NTHC Religious School Director

Passover, Yom Hashoah, Yom Ha’Atzmuut, and Games Day, OH MY!

The last of the Religious School year is action packed! Between the model Seder for Passover and the year in review played in games, we are still able to pack in lessons on Torah, Avodah (prayer) and Gemilut Chasadim (acts of love and kindness).

My personal favorite class, during this time, is directed by the curriculum for Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. We specifically center the day around anti-bullying. I coined it, “Having a voice for those who can’t,” as well, we worked to inspire each other to perform “good deeds” throughout the year. We read Dr. Suess’ “Sneetches,” and each received green “stars upon thars.” We also read, “Brundabar” a book illustrated by Maurice Sendak. We read it in the Garinim class as a rousing story of anti-bulling. It was, in reality, once a children’s opera performed in Terezine Concentration Camp. Summarized in a sentence: How the Nazis conned the world by using a children’s opera to deceive international observers. Our older classes, Alim and Anafim, read the “Numbers on Grandfather’s Arm” and learned about Holocaust Memorials, as well as, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in DC. Rabbi and I take great pains to make this particular day, both age-appropriate and child-centered. As well, we want it inspiring for the students looking towards the future.

The following week is always the greatest of celebrations! It’s Yom Ha’Atmaut, Israeli Independence Day! The day is Israeli centric. This year we learned to sing the national anthem, made art on Challah covers in the technique of past and contemporary artists, and we made all kinds of food to eat! In addition, we wrote our own prayers for the “Wailing Wall” that will be taken to Jerusalem this summer by Aaron Weiner when he attends Birth Right.

Our last day of school is always (review) Games Day! This day is everything from relay games to Jewpardy, and ends with an ice cream social! It’s fun for all and filled with energy and excitement!

Thank you to all the families for taking turns hosting Family Shabbat dinners this year. The dinner makes the evening so much more social and fun for young families in school and the community. Family Shabbat is the second Friday of every month. The last hosted dinner for this school year, is May 9th. The next hosted dinner will be September 12.

As much confusion and turmoil as this year had in October, Rabbi Beth and I have worked tirelessly together to make needed changes and still maintain cohesion and progress. I am pleased to say, we have come out the other side as a stronger collection of students, teachers and families. Our students have all risen to our (high) bar and they all shine with pride! We are extremely impressed with our three B’nai mitzvah students: Eliana (Eli) Sass, Ethan (Etan) Reichwald, and Sawyer (Shia) Thompson. Rabbi Beth, Aaron and I are delighted by the incredible enthusiasm and amazing attendance in our student body this year! I also want to give a special shout out to our amazing classroom helpers- Cookie Steinberg and Devi Meyers. You have made so much more possible in our classrooms this year.

Of course, we wouldn’t have anything if it weren’t for our wonderfully supportive parents! Thank you for bringing your child(ren) each week, encouraging them to do their homework, and allowing us to share the time together!

Save the Dates! Three Very Special Events to mark on Your Calendar:

May 24, 2014 Eliana Sass is called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah

July 12, 2014 Ethan Reichwald is called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah

August 16, 2014 Sawyer Thompson is called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah

We look forward to next year, starting September 2, 2014.

***************************************************************************************************

Religious School News- for January 2014

By Limore Sass & Bonnie Meyers

We are all so delighted to have Rabbi Beth Beyer with us in the Religious School.  She has taken in our Tahoe family with all her heart. She has not only brought so much enthusiasm and sparkle to the school, she has also included Hebrew in our daily lives- Israeli foods for snacks, we refer to each other by our Hebrew names and we’re learning and using more Hebrew in our daily language. A sort of Heb-glish! We are also including the weekly parasha in school discussions, now. There is a new buzz and enthusiasm in the school!

It’s a banner year for school attendance. We have a total of 19 students in RS this year, in 12 families. We have 8 students in the youngest class, the Garinim. This is the largest class, yet, for the wee little ones! We are elated!

Rabbi Beth has been working one on one with our three B’nai’ Mitzvah students: Eliana Sass, Eli in Hebrew; Sawyer Thompson-Shia in Hebrew; and Ethan Reichwald-Eitan in Hebrew. They’ve all passed and received a certificate for knowing their letters and vowels, as well, each one is now reading out of their own Chumash. They are in the process of getting their prayers signed off – that they know the prayer and why we say it – from a siddur without transliteration. Rabbi is also working individually with one “pre” B’nai’ mitzvah student, Jacob Dickerman- Yaakov in Hebrew. They’re all working hard and have come a long way in a short time. Congratulations to Cole Thompson, who has received his Hebrew Aleph Bet & vowel certificate. The students are all engaged and succeeding! We are very proud of them!

Rabbi Beth has also tweaked our snack program so that it is an Israeli themed food each week: almonds, dates, oranges, etc.  We also learn Hebrew names of the snack as well as words around the snack, including please, thank you, more, etc.

Each week, in the Temple eBlast, there is now a link to the week’s Parasha, the specific week’s section of the Torah being read throughout the world. The link is to ‘child specific’ commentary, but that’s often good for all of us! Discussing the week’s Parasha is part of our Religious School ‘homework’ that the students will get credit for knowing. This helps keep us connected to not only the Torah, but also to Jews all around the world, all of Israel.

Our Hebrew schoolteacher, Aaron Weiner, is so excited to be in this new role.  Having experienced Jewish day school in elementary school he loves to teach Hebrew! He is making it his “goal” that each student understands why it is so important to learn Hebrew.  “All students are on different levels, so each of my students will get the personal attention from me and the TA’s to be able to learn the information they need to know.” Aaron also believes that transliteration does not help them learn.  He has been incorporating “practice work” rather than calling it “homework.”  Students receive extra points if they do this work at home.  At the end of the year, not only will they understand more Hebrew from the extra practice, but also there will be monthly prizes for students with the most points.  Let’s go kids…get all the points you can!!

Lisa Sussman has enthusiastically switched to teaching Judaica to the Alim & Anafim classes. She is spending time taking the kids through stories in the Torah: creation, Adam & Eve, Noah, and Abraham & Sarah. She says, “The kids have excellent questions and are engaged in the stories.” They are all enjoying the discussions and why the stories have prevailed through generations, and how the concepts can be applied to their lives, today.

Bonnie Meyers is back for her 8th year of teaching the youngest students! In the Garinim class the students receive an introduction to Hebrew, learning the names, sounds and how to write Hebrew letters and vowels to prepare them for the next class, Alim. They have also been working on the fall holidays, as well, Chanukah. This year the entire school made Chanukias to celebrate both Thanksgiving and Chanukah. This was the ONLY time that the 2 holidays will ever come together in our LIFETIME..or at least until 2070!

Our next celebration will be Tu B’Shevat Seder, the Jewish Arbor Day, on January 14th– We will have a formal sit down Seder with the whole school to celebrate the new year for trees. Please join us!

We want to offer a warm invitation to participate with us to see what the students are learning.  We want to encourage your involvement in every way.

The snow has started to fall, the roads are going to get a bit tricky, services and events are subject to change-that’s what living in Tahoe is all about!

Happy New Year and Stay Warm!

Calendar Dates to Note:

Winter Break No School December 24 and December 31.

School resumes on Tuesday, January 7th

January 10- Family Shabbat: Hosted by the Rogoff and Meyerholz families

January 14-Tu B’Shevat Seder at RS

February 14- Family Shabbat Potluck

February 18-No Religious School-Ski Skate Week

March 14- Family Shabbat-Hosted by the Dickerman and Weiss Families

Sunday March 16- RS Hosts Purim Carnival and Spiel

April 1-No Religious School- Spring Break

 Save the Dates! Very Special Events to mark on Your Calendar:

May 31, 2014 Eliana Sass is called to the Torah as a Bat Mitzvah

July 12, 2014 Ethan Reichwald is called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah

August 16, 2014 Sawyer Thompson is called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah

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