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Students in grades Gimel (3rd) through Zayin (7th) receive  credit for attending Shabbat services throughout the school year.


Kitah Hey (5th): 10 Shabbat services



May 7, 2023

Judaic Studies:

Students completed the end of year Hebrew assessments and worked to finish the current Ramah (level) they are working on in Mitkadem.


Students in the Hey class continued to sharpen their Hebrew reading skills and increase their reading fluency of tefillot (prayers). They specifically worked on the blessing for an aliyah to the Torah and the Friday night kiddush. Some students also worked with partners and quizzed each other with flash cards of words commonly used in prayers.

April 30, 2023

We spent our time in Judaic Studies today practicing for our Class Shabbat which will be held Friday night, May 5.  Please be sure you have this special night on your calendar so you can join us as the Hey class will lead services and present their class tallit that we have constructed together. Students should arrive at the Temple by 5:15 for a quick review before services begin. Also, for any parents that were not able to attend our Family Education Event earlier this year this is your opportunity to add to our class tallit. I will have the tallit and pens available while th students practice so that you can add your messages.

April 23, 2023

Today we continued our study of marriage in the Jewish life cycle by further examining the role of the ketubah. We recalled that it is a contract of Jewish law intended to protect the kallah (bride) so in itself is not romantic or emotional.  However, many couples today choose a ketubah design that adds a loving sentiment to the contract.  We examined several contemporary designs and explored what message we believed they were meant to convey.  Ask your child about the designs they saw, the meanings, and which one they liked best. Finally, students created ketubah designs of their own. Ask your child about their design and what it contained; what did they want their message to be?

March 26, 2023

Today in our life cycle study we examined marriage, the Chuppah, and all the elements of a Jewish wedding ceremony. Ask your child which feature of the ceremony they matched in our card game and what it stands for in terms of Jewish tradition.  We then examined the concept of ketubah.  Ask your student if they were surprised by some of the things the ketubah does and does not guarantee.  Then ask which ketubah image they liked best, what did they think it means?

March 19, 2023

Judaic Studies:

As we wrap up our study of Bar/Bat Mitzvah we put the finishing touches on our large class tallit.  Students that were not at our Family Education class added their handprint, signifying their membership in our community of Jewish learning.  Students then worked on all the remaining parts of the tallit.  We added the corner pieces, the neckband, and the tzitzit. We are excited to share the completed tallit with you at our class Shabbat on May 5th.



Students continued working in their mitkadem binders. Students are making great progress and hopefully will complete the ramah (level) they are currently working on by Passover.




Judaic Studies:

Today we finished watching the movie Praying with Lior.  Did your child explain to you last time how Lior is special?  That he has Down’s Syndrome, yet was still able to study for and have a Bar Mitzvah?  We watched Lior struggle with writing his D’var Torah, deal with some nerves as his big day approached, and celebrate his success, all very ordinary parts of any Bar or Bat Mitzvah.  But we also watched Lior’s family and classmates talk about his struggles and their worries because of his developmental differences.  Discuss with your child how they related to Lior.  What did they find in common with him?  What did they respect or admire about him?

Due to time constraints we were only able to watch select segments of the movie, but many of the students wished to see the entire film.  Here is a link if you’d like to watch the movie with your child/family. 



The kids did amazing work on the Ramot , putting extra focus on reading, practicing prefixes  in (ב)  , and (ו) , to(ל)

So proud of the students.  They are dedicated and work hard.  

February 26, 2023

Judaic Studies:

Today the students identified the Torah portion for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah and began to generate ideas on what topic they might make the center of their D’var Torah.  We have studied the giving of this talk as one of the duties a Bar/Bat Mitzvah often performs and we discussed how it is another example of taking on the role of a Jewish adult.  Ask your child what ideas they have based on their parasha. We then began viewing a film about someone having their Bar Mitzvah.  Ask your student about Lior, and why his having a Bar Mitzvah might be a bit more special than most.



Students did some work in their Mitkadem binders.  Then, they took a break from Mitkadem and spent the morning learning different words and phrases associated with the Purim, including the 4 mitzvot of Purim.

February 12, 2023

Do you know who Judith Kaplan and Sally Priesand are and why they are important to modern day Judaism?  Ask your child NOT to outright TEll you, but to play 20 questions with you (as we did) to figure this out.  We also continued today with our study of B’nai Mitzvah and looked more closely at some of the parts they might take in their own service.  Will they lead prayers?  Read Torah or HafTorah? Give a D'var Torah?  As an example we looked at the Torah  portion for this week and began to think about what we could write in a D'var Torah about it.  Ask your student to give you some of their ideas (Exodus 21: 1-18). Next week we will look closely at the portion they may be reading for their B’nai Mitzvah. 

February 5, 2023

Judaic Studies:

In our continuing study of B’nai Mitzvah we examined the differences between adult and child rights and responsibilities in various aspects of life:  money, school/work, food/drink, transportation, etc.  We discussed at what age you make the various transitions in these areas and why.  When are our minds and bodies ready to take on certain activities?

We then did the same for Judaism.  When are we expected to take on adult responsibilities?  Why?  What does it take to be prepared for taking these on?  Discuss with your child the age at which they will take on their secular adult responsibilities and then their Jewish adult responsibilities.  Which do they feel is going to take more preparation?


Hello Parents,

This week we Continue to work on the ramot (levels) in Mitkadem. We focused on root words, pronunciation of words from Amidah, and we played with some Hebrew flashcards. I wish you all a blessed weekend.

See you Sunday 

January 29, 2023

Still in the midst of our study of Bar/Bat Mitzvah we engaged in an exercise today where students visualized their own Bar/Bat Mitzvah and then answered questions regarding details:  what symbols are present, who is there, what is the best thing that can happen, what is the worst thing, what have you seen happen at other celebrations that you hope happens in yours, etc.  Students then interviewed each other on their answers, and finally we shared in the whole class.  This is always one of my favorite activities in the Life Cycle curriculum and students take the discussion very seriously.  Ask your child how they answered some of the questions and share with them your thoughts. 


Hello Parents, 

This week we continued to work through the Ramot (levels) in Mitkadem. 

We paid special attention to oteyot sofeyot (Special letters that ends the word, also known as final letters)

January 22, 2023

Many thanks to parents that were able to make our Family Education program.  As we move on in our study of the Jewish life cycle it was a pleasure to begin to explore B’nai Mitzvah with you and to focus on one particular aspect of the ceremony–the tallit/tallis.  The large class tallit we created together is a beautiful marking of this community of Judaic scholars and will be present as each of them celebrate their Bar or Bat Mitzvah at Temple Israel.  Yasher Koach also on your tying of tzitzit.  This is a difficult skill and you all approached it enthusiastically and courageously.  I hope you and your child will practice it more and consider tying the tzitzit on their tallit when the time comes.

For parents who were not able to participate on Sunday you are welcome to come into class any day to add your messages of encouragement, hope, and/or support to your child and the community  of the class–or send them along in note form and we will be sure they are added.

Likewise, for students that had to miss today we will be sure their handprint is added to the class tallit as a sign of their membership in the community and we’ll add your messages as well.

In coming weeks we will complete the tallit with the neckband, four corners, and tzitzit–and we look forward to sharing the finished product with you at our Class Shabbat Celebration.

January 8, 2023

Judaic Studies

Today we reviewed our first semester lifecycle study by playing a game.  Students answered questions regarding all the aspects of the lifecycle we have studied thus far–birth, baby naming, brit bat and brit milah, and consecration.  Ask your child about the team on which they played and which questions they were able to answer.  Next class we will begin  our second semester of study on the lifecycle with an introduction to Bar/Bat Mitzvah.


Hey students sharpened their Hebrew reading skills by reviewing the Hebrew letters and vowel flashcards and reading aloud with lines of Hebrew that emphasized reading with the Hebrew letters Samech and Sin. Some of the Hey students, who are already proficient Hebrew readers, worked in their Mitkadem binders on the unit about the blessings that are recited for eating foods and lighting candles. They also considered times when we want to pray individually or collectively as a community.



December 11, 2022

Judaic Studies:


We most recently studied the Jewish life cycle event of consecration, so today we went back and reviewed what we learned in our earliest days of Jewish studies.  All students participated in a game of Kahoot! focused on the Jewish holidays–the curriculum from the first years of religious school.  Ask your child which team they played on and how they did in the game.  Teams had to not only pick the correct answer, they also had to explain why that was the correct answer.  Ask your child why the challah is round at Rosh Hashanah or on which holiday we wear white and why.  It was a fun and rousing review of early learning.



I wanted to take a moment  to rave about your wonderful children who did an amazing job this week in the find the word game for Chanukah and matching the holidays symbols to the words in Hebrew and writing them. In addition. They are all doing a great job in their different ramot in Mitkadem. Wishing you a great week and Happy Chanukah.


December 4, 2022

Judaic Studies:

We continued our study of Consecration as the next big event in the Jewish life cycle.  We were reminded that some of our earliest learning in religious school is around the Jewish holidays–so we started a review of what we first learned back when we started our Jewish learning.  Ask your child about some of the questions in the quiz and how they answered them.  Did they remember all their early learning?  We  only got half way through the quiz–so what other questions do they think might be on there?

The students then had the opportunity to shop at the Chanukah boutique.  They were very excited to do their holiday shopping.




November 20, 2022

Judaic Studies:

Today we moved on in our study of the Jewish life cycle by examining the point in a child’s life when their parents set them on their Jewish learning journey–Consecration. Students completed a chart that helped them remember when and how they learned important skills and knowledge–how to say please and thank you, how to tie their shoes, how to do their multiplication tables etc.  We then also looked at when they did their first Jewsih learning, when they learned the Shema, the Four Questions, Hatikvah, and when they began Hebrew School. We discovered that we usually experience Consecration around the same time we begin our formal secular education–in preschool or kindergarten.  Finally, the students experienced what it used to be like to begin learning the Hebrew alphabet–ask you student about the role of honey and sweetness in this exercise.


Students are progressing at their own pace through their binders. Some students are learning vocabulary related to the Friday night Kiddush, some are learning vocabulary related to blessings over food and some are working on vocabulary and concepts connected to the blessings before and after having an Aliyah to the Torah. Students are working diligently and making progress.

November 13, 2022

Today was a very celebratory day in Hey.  We held a Brit Milah and a Brit Bat.  Ask your child for details on what role they played.  Were they a parent, a godparent (kvatter or kvatterin), a mohel or sandek?  What did they name their baby and why?  What familiar prayers did they hear recited in the services?  It was fun welcoming two new souls into the Jewish faith.  It was also fun to hear recollections the students had of Brit Milah and Brit Bat services they have attended.

November 6, 2022

Today the Hey students continued in their study of the first major event in a Jews life cycle–the Brit Bat or Brit Milah.  They matched vocabulary words for the parts of the Brit Bat or Brit Milah with their English meanings.  Ask your child who is the mohel and the sandek and why do we put out an empty chair at a Brit Milah.  They also divided up into groups and began exploring Hebrew names for boys and girls.  Next class they will hold a Brit Bat or Brit Milah for their baby girl or boy.

Judaic Studies -Today in our study of the Jewish Life Cycle we studied the importance of names.  We explored why each of us wants our own name and how we each received ours-especially our Hebrew name – a very important starting point in our life cycle. Thanks for sharing with your child how you came to choose their names. We then created poems about ourselves and our names. Ask your child about the poem – we will send them home at some point, but first we want to display them for awhile. Have you shared with your child how you received your names, especially your Hebrew name?

Hebrew -

Dear parents,

I wanted to take the a minute  and formally introduce myself, my name is Rotem Eckman.

And I’m your child's new Hebrew teacher on Sundays and Tuesdays.

This week we continued our work on the different Ramot, and on Tuesday we even got to play a little game ״Simon says״ but in Hebrew😊

Feel free to reach out with any questions. I am super excited and honored to teach your child.

October 23, 2022

Judaic Studies -

In honor of Simchat Torah we reviewed our study from last year of the structure of Torah–5 Books, each with chapters and verses.  Students worked to locate specific chapters and verses when given notation (i.e. Shemot 3:2-5).  If you have a Chumash or other version of the Torah readings at home practice finding specific portions–you can even find an entire parashah. Can they find your parasha from your Bar/Bat Mitzvah?  We then turned to Bereshit and the students found the record of the first babies being born–Cain, Abel and Seth.  A great discussion then occurred.  Since there were no men or women before Adam and Eve, did their creation count as a birth?  Discuss this in your family–is there a consensus?  The Hey students also have homework for next week–they are to find out how you, as their parents, decided on their English and Hebrew names. Please tell or review with them any details or stories you have about thee choices.


Hebrew - Students continued working in their Mitkadem binders. They are making  great progress. Students are working on various tefillot, including Friday night Kiddush, The Amidah as well as learning the blessings over different foods.

October 16, 2022

Judaic Studies

We added a bit to our life cycle study by recording facts we already know about the once in a lifetime events we identified a couple of weeks ago and by posing questions about things we want to learn about each of these events.  Ask your child to give you examples of each–what are some facts we already know and what do we hope to learn. Some excellent questions have been asked. 

We also identified the recurring events in the Jewish life cycle.  Ask your child to list some of these and how your family celebrates them–Shabbat, Jewish holidays, Hebrew birthdays, etc. 


Students started working in their Mitkadem binders.  Mitkadem is the self-paced Hebrew program, based in Tefillah, which our students use to learn Hebrew and the meaning of different tefillot.

Sunday, October 9

JUDAIC STUDIES - We helped prepare for Sukkot by making mini bead garlands for the Temple sukkah.  Some students also made one to take home for the family sukkah.  We want the garlands to bring light and happiness to this festive holiday.  Chag Sameach.

HEBREW Students learned Sukkot related Hebrew words and practiced writing these words. Then, students played Sukkot Bingo with these Hebrew words while reviewing the concepts and mitzvot associated with Sukkot. Next Sunday, students will begin working in their Mitkadem binders.

First day of TIRS is SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11!

It was so great to be together again. Our class came back together seamlessly and we picked up as a group right where we left off last year. We did play a game where we tried to learn something new about each other —ask your child if they learned anything new about a classmate. We then began our study of the Jewish life cycle by listing all the important events in a person’s life. We put these in chronological order and next class we’ll pick up with this and as in any important Jewish events we missed. We will then study each event in depth. Looking forward to another great year with this group.

Tue, October 3 2023 18 Tishrei 5784