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Week of March 21

Jules Oringel

Today was all about Pesach (Passover)!!! As always, we began by sharing our weekly highlights and I am happy to report that family was centric to each student’s favorite memory from the week. After briefly discussing Passover, we watched a super funny Shaboom episode that featured the Plony’s unusual Seder and holiday traditions. Our class learned about the four questions (our favorite being “why do we recline while we eat on this night?”) and watched another short video about Seders, having a Passover scavenger hunt for the holiday’s special food, drinks, activities, and more. Finally, students drew their own seder plates (using the craft supplies available at home). Keep us updated on who finds the afikomen this year!!!

Week of March 14

Jules Oringel

I first want to thank each and every student for showing Hesed (loving kindness) and flexibility today as we had some technical difficulties and needed to adapt the lesson a bit. However - like always - we had a blast. The theme of this morning’s lesson was Tikkun Olam, the Jewish value of repairing the world. We watched a quick Shalom Sesame clip and read Tikkun Olam Ted to learn how even small mitzvot can make a big difference for our communities and environment. We followed these videos with a short discussion and a round of Aleph Bet bingo! Congrats to Sarina on winning today’s game. Finally, we had a Jewish Tikkun Olam scavenger hunt which turned into a bit of puppy show and tell. I loved hearing students share their passions for animals and how they can care for their own and others’ pets. Additionally, students brought trash bags to clean our parks, tzedakah boxes to collect charity, and bandaids to help the injured, among other fantastic examples. Thank you students and parents for being the best ever!!!

Week of March 7

Jules Oringel

BINGO!!!! Today’s class focused on some Aleph Bet review in a super fun way – we played bingo online to practice recognizing these Hebrew letters. Of course, we began (like always) with our class bonding in the form of weekly highlights. I was happy to hear of wiggly teeth, bouncy houses, fun classes at school, and even some Minecraft achievements. However, students were eager to begin playing bingo. Shoutout to the winners: Louis Fish, Aliya Stanton, and Mayah Stanton 😊 Even if you didn’t win, everyone had fun calling out the letters and the anticipation that came with getting close to a victory. We concluded class with a video about this past week’s Torah portion, where Moses breaks the tablets at Sinai and learns to heal his emotions of anger and sadness. What an awesome class!!!

Week of February 28

Jules Oringel

Shalom! Today we reviewed Jewish values like Kehillah and Sukkat Shalom, while also learning a new Hebrew letter. At the beginning of class (in addition to our traditional weekly highlights), I asked students to share what else they want to learn this year, as we are approaching the end of the JEC La-Bri’ut curriculum about Jewish values in a virtual world. Most were enthusiastic about continuing with the Aleph Bet, and others expressed interest in learning more Torah stories. Please email me with any specific requests on what your child wants to learn and/or which activities best suit their learning style. I am here for them!!

To get some energy out, our class participated in a Kehillah Scavenger hunt around the house. Students shared face masks, hand sanitizer, Tzedakah boxes, stuffed animals, even toothpaste (😊!!), reflecting on how these everyday items can be used to better the communities in which we live. Next, we watched a short video about the Hebrew letter Kuf and practiced writing them on our own. Finally, our Shaboom fan club watched an episode of this Jewish cartoon series, which students have come to adore, about Shalom Bayit. The Plony family starts out fighting over loud drumming noises, sharing their favorite monkey towel, etc., but they soon learn to be kind to make their family Kehillah the best it can be!

Shalom, see you next Sunday!

Week of February 21--PURIM!

Jules Oringel

We dressed in our Purim Costumes today!



Our Purim celebration today was rocking! Thank you to all the students (and their parents) who came in costume to celebrate today, I enjoyed learning about everyone’s favorite movies/tv shows, and even matching with a couple more Queen Esther’s. As always, we began class by sharing the best parts of our week PLUS our awesome Purim costumes. Our students were very energetic this morning, making this one of my favorite lessons of the year. 😊 We watched “Go Esther,” a Purim story video, and danced along to her fierce, Jewish anthem of strength and perseverance. Following the story, our class got up and moving for a quick game of Purim charades and searching for makeshift groggers to use for our virtual Purim celebrations. The creativity in these groggers was fantastic: there were toys, water bottles, etc. I had to use my bag of cheerios!!!

Next, we learned about mishloach manot, which are special Purim gift baskets delivered to friends and family each year. Inside, there should always be a thoughtful card for the basket’s recipient. Students wrote their own mishloach manot cards of appreciation, which I ask you help deliver this week (even if it only goes to their sibling’s bedroom or a neighbor’s mailbox). Finally, we learned the Hebrew letters Peh and Feh before wrapping up our amazing virtual Purim celebration. Thank you everyone for an awesome class!!!

Week of February 7

Melissa Lefko

This week Melissa taught the class. We learned all about Hesed--loving kindness. We all talked about the acts of loving kindness we do for our families, our friends, and our pets. We listened to a story called "One Good Deed", in which a boy noticed his neighborhood seemed quiet and lonely. Most people kept to themselves and did not spend time with each other. The boy decided to do something nice for one of his neighbors, so he picked some berries and gave them to his neighbor. The neighbor decided to bake some pies with the berries, and she gave the pies to her neighbors. In the end, everyone in the neighborhood found a way to spread loving kindness by doing good deeds, or mitzvot.

At the end of class, we found something to shake and we shook our "groggers" while dancing along to the song Chag Purim. Everyone is very excited about Purim and dressing up in costume. 

We do not have TIRS this Sunday, February 14, as it is President's Day weekend. We will see you back in the virtual classroom NEXT Sunday, February 21. PLEASE DRESS IN YOUR FAVORITE COSTUME! We will celebrate Purim together!



Week of January 31

We are learning so much in our Gan, Aleph & Bet Virtual class!

Today we continued learning about Kehillah and introduced Tzedakah! In the beginning of class, we shared our weekly highlights, a class tradition I’ve come to love as it promotes optimism during this challenging time. Additionally, a few students played around with virtual backgrounds and filters while we waited for our friends to join the Zoom call. I was impressed with everyone’s memory and understanding of Kehillah (community), the Jewish value we introduced last week. Students were excited to watch an episode of Shaboom, our favorite Jewish cartoon, about Tzedakah, charity that we give to help others – even strangers – in our Kehillah. After the fun-filled episode, we discussed how the Plony family eventually learned to donate clothes and toys people truly needed, not a ripped up stuff animal or rotten leftovers. This is a wonderful example of Tzedakah! Students spent the rest of class drawing themselves doing good deeds for their Kehillah, whether that be planting trees, setting up Tzedakah boxes, etc (see below). A few students also participated in an awesome Jewish scavenger hunt around their homes!


Thanks again for another amazing week!


Week of January 24

Jules Oringel

Today was a super energetic day in our Kitah Gan, Aleph, and Bet class! Our Jewish value of the week is Kehillah, which means community and social connectedness, my personal favorite value of this year’s curriculum. As always, we began by sharing our weekly highlights, keeping us connected to our friends and classmates. Special shoutout to the Stanton girls who shared they played outside with my dad over the weekend in our neighborhood 😊 !! We also heard about special community service projects from last week’s Yom Gemilut Hasadim event, which multiple students participated in. Next, I introduced Kehillah and its importance to our lives, both in normal and pandemic worlds. Your children shared their favorite Kehillot with the class, everything from gymnastics to Minecraft. My special community is URJ Camp Coleman, who I traveled to Israel with in 2018. I shared with students a short video I made from this trip, and they enjoyed pointing out all the Israeli landmarks they spotted, recognizing that Israel is the Jewish world’s biggest Kehillah. Our class then had a dance party while listening to Dan Nichols’ song Kehillah Kedosha – so fun!!!!! Finally, with our few final minutes in class, we played a game of Jewish would you rather, debating which foods, holidays, and traditions are our favorites. Thank you to everyone for continually attending and participating in this online learning environment, I absolutely adore our class!

Week of January 10

Jules Oringel

Our class was super energized to be together for our first class of the spring semester! We enjoyed catching up with our friends, discussing the highlights of our winter break and family Hannukah traditions. Reviewing the class rules we made in the fall also helped us focus on being successful this spring. Students learned more about the Jewish values of Sukkat Shalom, Ometz Lev, and G’vurah by watching another Shaboom episode and drawing pictures of these values in action. I loved seeing the creativity of our artists! Some drew the scenes directly from Shaboom, while others took this inspiration to imagine scenarios in their own life where these Jewish values are important. This semester, I look forward to introducing new Jewish values relevant to your children and family during this pandemic, as well as bonding more with each individual student. We will also learn about Jewish holidays coming up this spring. As always, thank you for sharing your children with me each Sunday morning, I love seeing them learn and grow 😊

Week of December 6

Jules Oringel

Our class was all about Chanukah!!!!! After taking some time to catch up with our classmates after the Thanksgiving break, we quickly reviewed G’vurah, the Jewish value from two weeks ago. I then told the story of Chanukah, and students energetically acted out the plot, from fighting Antiochus and his army, to cleaning up the Temple, to the miracle of the oil lasting eight days. Each child shared their favorite family Chanukah tradition and food. Big latke fans in our class! We then learned why Jewish people eat fried food for Chanukah – to commemorate the oil lasting eight days. We watched the Shaboom Chanukah video to learn more about the holiday’s story and celebrations. Finally, students learned the Hebrew letter Chet in honor of this week’s upcoming Holiday. I look forward to hearing all about your children’s Chanukah experiences next Sunday!

BLOG Gan (K), Aleph (1st), Bet (2nd) VIRTUAL Week of November 22

Jules Oringel

Our class had a wonderful time learning about G’vurah (strength and power for good) this morning! After spending some time catching up with each other and bonding over our mutual love of turkey, macaroni & cheese, and pumpkin pie, I introduced our third Jewish value of G’vurah. Each student got the chance to strike a power pose and name their favorite fictional or biblical superhero, symbolic of G’vurah, power and strength for good. Lots of wonder woman fans in class! Each student has many talents (art, engineering, love for animals, sharing, etc), so we discussed how they could use those to demonstrate G’vurah and help others in the community. I cannot wait to see how these kids change the world 😊. Next, we watched a short animated film about David and Goliath, as David is a true Jewish superhero. We ended class by leaning Gimmel, another Hebrew letter. After watching a video about the letter, students practiced writing them on a piece of paper at home.

Looking forward to another great week soon!

BLOG Gan (K), Aleph (1st), Bet (2nd) VIRTUAL-Week of November 15

Jules Oringel

Today, our class continued learning about Ometz Lev – inner strength. After a few minutes of chatting, we watched another SHABOOM video that students loved. This one was about welcoming guests into the home, an example of both Sukkat Shalom and Ometz Lev! We also learned about Miriam, a strong woman from the Torah who showed her hero heart after the Israelites escaped Egypt. Of course, we had to have a dance party to Miriam’s song!!!!! Finally, students learned a new Hebrew letter, Lamed, in honor of our Levs (hearts). They did a fantastic job writing this new letter, some even illustrating it with fun emotions. This Sunday was another fantastic morning of connecting, laughing, learning, and a little bit of dancing 😊

BLOG Gan (K), Aleph (1st), Bet (2nd) VIRTUAL-Week of November 8

Jules Oringel

Today, our class learned about Ometz Lev, our second Jewish value of the year! Ometz Lev means inner strength or courage of the heart. Each student shared examples of how they use their “hero hearts,” whether that be reaching out to a new friend in the neighborhood or navigating the halls at school. Sometimes, life can be scary, so it’s important that we show Ometz Lev to persevere through challenges. Our class watched a super silly video about Ometz Lev and an outer space invasion (Shaboom!) and drew pictures of us using our hero hearts. I was very proud to see all the students fully engaged, whether that be cheering on their friends in the chat, answering my questions, or participating in our “This Is Me” dance party!!! We definitely learned a lot today, but still took time to be silly and strengthen our connections to one another.

Thanks for another great week!

BLOG-Gan (K), Aleph (1st), Bet (2nd) Virtual -Week of November 1

Jules Oringel

Virtual K-2  - Today we had another awesome morning together! We started the class by chatting about our favorite Halloween candies and costumes, so the kids continued getting to know their friends. We concluded our Sukkat Shalom portion of the curriculum with a bit of review on what one looks like, a silly storytime about Rabbi Hillel getting stuck in the snow, and a picture game. We also learned our first two Hebrew letters: Sin and Shin for Sukkat Shalom. The students especially enjoyed a video we watched to introduce the letters. After, they each practiced writing the letters and drew a picture to represent the letters’ personality in the video. Sin wanted to stay up late singing, but Shin was tired and wanted to say the Shema. With the last minutes of class, we had a dance party and listened to Debbie Friedman’s Aleph Bet Song.


I’m very proud of how engaged our students are in class, especially in this virtual format. Thanks for another fantastic week of learning, connecting, and having fun!

BLOG-Gan, Kitah Aleph (1st), Kitah Bet (2nd) Virtual

Jules-Week of October 25

Today, our class learned about our first of five Jewish values for this semester: Sukkat Shalom, or shelter of peace. Students discussed what places they felt were Sukkat Shaloms, as well as who made these places feel so safe and peaceful. We drew pictures of these (attached), sharing our favorite places with our friends. Additionally, we learned about Shabbat and watched a funny story video about cooking Shabbat dinners. As always, we spent lots of time connecting with our Jewish friends through icebreakers and weekly highlights! Next week, students are excited to learn their first Hebrew letter for the week and continue learning about Sukkat Shalom 😊

BLOG - Gan (K), Kitah Aleph (1st), Kitah Bet (2nd) Virtual

Week of October 18

Last week, our class spent most of the morning getting to know each other! We discussed our favorite Jewish foods, what we hope to learn this year at TIRS, etc. The students all expressed that they are eager to learn more of the Aleph Bet. Additionally, we practiced our Zoom skills, came up with a colorful and fun list of class rules/expectations, and learned about this year’s new curriculum. We ended class with an exciting Jewish scavenger hunt around our house!

Looking forward to another wonderful session this Sunday as we begin learning about Sukkat Shalom!

Jules Oringel

Tue, April 13 2021 1 Iyyar 5781