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TIRS - Class News


GAN (Kindergarten)

ALEPH (1st grade)

BET (2nd grade)

GIMEL (3rd grade)

DALET (4th grade)

HEY (5th grade)

VAV  (6th grade)

ZAYIN  (7th grade)

IVRIT news

TROPE news




Gan (Kindergarten)


Week of May 6th

This week was our last day of school for the year. We reviewed the aleph bet, the blessings we recite over different snacks, as well as the Hebrew words we learned this year! I wish you all a good summer!

Week of April 29th

This week we learned about Shavuot. One of the traditions of this holiday is that people stay up all night and study Torah, in anticipation of receiving the Torah. We have planted two trees in Israel with our Tzdakah money. We learned that when reading the Torah we use a special pointer (called a yad), so we don't smear the words of the Torah.

I hope to see you for the last day of school May 6, 2018. We invite the parents to join us for the first hour in the sanctuary for an end of year celebration.

Week of April 22nd

This week we celebrated, Yom Ha’aztmaut, celebrating Israel's 70th birthday. Morah Nancy taught lots of traditional Israeli songs to celebrate Israel’s 70th birthday!

We made edible Israeli flags (degel) and then looked at pictures of different locations in Israel such as the Dead Sea and the Kotel (Western Wall). We learned that Israel is the size of New Jersey.



Kitah Aleph (1st grade)


Week of May 6th

This last week of class was bittersweet…..the year went by so quickly, and we saw so much growth among the students in so many areas. We started the morning with an assembly, showcasing much of what TIRS has accomplished this school year. When we returned to the classroom, the children enjoyed a “color by number” picture of Israel. We then read The Two Brothers: A legend of Jerusalem by Neil Waldman, in which two brothers shared all that they had with each other. was followed by a lively discussion about the values shown by these brothers, and how we can learn from them. We then counted our tzedekah, and learned that we have $42.00 to give to the food pantry at Jewish Family Services, so that we can share with others who are in need. We ended the morning with Alef/Bet bingo and lots of hugs.

Please enjoy your summer. Keep reading to and with your children. As a reminder, the library at the JCC has a fabulous children’s section! We will see you back in the fall, as your children move upstairs to the Bet class!

Shalom, Morah Devora and Morah Yudi


Week of April 29th

This past Sunday was our next to last class of the 2017-2018 school year. It’s impossible to fathom how quickly the year went by! It was appropriate, therefore, that we study about Shavuot, the holiday commemorating the giving of the Torah in our pajamas, since it is traditional to study all night long on Erev Shavuot. We read the story of how the Jewish people, led by Moses, made it to Mount Sinai. They waited and waited for Moses to come down from the mountain, and in their fear, impatience, and ignorance created a “Golden Calf” to help them through. When Moses returned with the tablets containing the Ten Commandments, he was so furious at the sight of them worshipping an idol, he threw it down, smashing it. The people realized how wrong they were and promised to follow all of God’s laws. To illustrate this concept, we took a sheet with a picture of the tablet, cut it apart, and reassembled it. We also learned that Shavuot is the celebration of a harvest. Picking up the grain that is left in the field is called “gleaning”, and harvesting this grain is one way we can help feed those who are hungry.

We read The Littlest Mountain by Rosenstock, Ten Good Rules by Topek, and The Eleventh Commandment, Wisdom From Our Children by Jewish Lights Publishing. After much discussion, the children wrote in their notebooks what their choice for an 11th commandment would be. The results were so thoughtful! Some of these commandments were: “Stand up for others.” “Be kind to the earth.” “Treat others as you want to be treated, even if you don’t know them, so that they can learn.” “Respect parents.” “Don’t judge others.” “Don’t punch people.” “If you cut down a tree, plant two in its place.” “Be nice to God.” “Teach others to act the right way.” “Be a mensch”. As you can see, your children are learning many of the concepts of how to live a good life with Jewish principles. We hope you will enjoy reading the notebooks your children brought home, and discussing the concepts with them over the summer. We voted on how to use the tzedekah that we have collected during the second half of the year. The children chose to donate it to the food pantry at Jewish Family Services. Sunday, May 6 will be our last Sunday school class of the school year. Please bring the children to Temple Israel for a closing assembly and please stay with them for this assembly. Around 10:30 we will walk back to the classroom, where we will stay until dismissal at the regular time.

Week of April 22nd

It is absolutely astounding to us that there remain only 2 Sunday classes left for this school year!  Next week we will be studying Shavuot.  Since it is traditional to study all night long as part of the observance of Shavuot, our class will have a pajama party this Sunday, April 29.  Feel free to send your children dressed for the night!  We teachers will certainly be comfortable…..Next week will also be the last class with Morah Devorah.  On May 6, our last day, she will be at a family wedding out of town.

We began our morning with music with Morah Nancy—always a nice way to begin! As a lead-in to the holiday of Shavuot, the folder for this past week was titled “Lifetime of Study”.  We talked about how learning never ends.  One way—but only one way! that Jewish people continue to learn is by studying Torah each week.  As we have learned, when we get to the end of the Torah on the holiday of Simchat Torah we rewind it to the beginning.  Each time we read it with fresh eyes we learn something else.  In our notebooks we completed the sentence “I like learning about___________because____________." Such interesting responses from the children!  We also worked on beautiful velvet art pictures of Jerusalem.

As always, please feel free to contact us with any comments or concerns. We are looking forward to seeing your children next week in their PJs!


Morah Devorah and Morah Yudi





Kitah Bet (2nd grade)


Week of May 6th

We have thoroughly enjoyed teaching your children Hebrew and Tefillah this year. We learned to read with eleven Hebrew letters and eight Hebrew vowel sounds. In Tefillah, we learned six prayers from the Friday night service plus the Shehecheyanu and Ein Keloheinu. On the last day of TIRS, we celebrated the student’s completion of their Bet year at TIRS with a class party on the playground! We also played a great game of Jewpardy where the students used teamwork to show off their knowledge of Bible stories and their Hebrew reading skills. They also had fun playing “Name that Tune” for prayers that we learned this year. It has been a wonderful year with lots of Jewish learning in the Bet Class!

Shalom, Margaret and Mary


Week of April 29th

Last Sunday, we studied Lesson 11 in Tiyulim and learned to read with the letter “Vet”. We read and re-read lines of Hebrew in small groups, and the students had fun playing “The Valuable Vet Race” board game, Hebrew Reading Tic-Tac-Toe, and Hebrew Reading Connect Four. The students that were absent should learn Lesson 11 at the following website:

Next Sunday, May 6th, is the last day of TIRS. We will practice our Hebrew reading and play interactive Hebrew games. We will also celebrate the students’ completion of their Bet year at TIRS with a class party on the playground!


Week of April 22nd

Last Sunday, we studied Lesson 10 in Tiyulim and learned to read with the letter “Resh” and the “eh” sound vowels. We read and re-read lots of lines of Hebrew!! The students that were absent should learn Lesson 10 at the following website: Morah Nancy also taught lots of traditional Israeli songs to celebrate Israel’s 70th birthday!




Kitah Gimel (3rd grade)


Week of May 6th

It feels like this year has just flown by. We had a great last day of school. We started with an all school assembly with music and a montage of photos from this year. Once we were back in class, we spent time looking back at all of the things we had done by sharing what we enjoyed most this year.

Here are some of the responses:

Tower of Babel project with marshmallows

Noah’s Ark project

Learning the stories from entire first book of the Torah

Garden of Eden

Sending letters to the IDF soldiers in Israel

Making chew toys for the animal shelter

Making birthday bags for the food pantry

Rolling the Torah back to the very beginning with Cantor Roochvarg

Making hamentashen

Friday Night Services for the Gimel Class

Becoming our Jewish Superhero identities

Tikkun Olam

Shalom Bayit – peace within the household

Comparing the size of Israel to the size of North Carolina (Israel fits inside NC almost. 47 times!!!)

Shabbat Box

Making a cup for Elijah to use at Passover

Visiting the Sukkah

Counting the Omer

And our final project that we did on the last day:

Writing down what we hope to learn in Kitah Dalet next year.


I will have the shutterfly site for the Gimel class up for at least two more weeks. Take a look at the photos from the year and feel free to download any you would like. There are a few from today’s school assembly as well. You can find the photos here:


I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed having your children in class. Have wonderful summer!


Morah Ilene


Week of April 29th

This past Sunday we continued our discussion about Shabba. The students had a lively discussion on whether or not Shabbat is a major or minor holiday. We broke into groups by ideology and discussed and wrote down reasons we felt the way we did, how we brought Shabbat and Judaism into the home and then compared our lists. The final conclusion of the discussion, which the students led, was that there is more than one way to celebrate Shabbat and what connects us more than anything else is all being Jewish. It was a moment every parent would have been proud to hear!

When we were done the class took a walk across the street to Temple Israel to enjoy the Israeli Art Fair. The students really enjoyed looking at all of the different art! Before we left I asked the class to stand next to their favorite piece of art in the show. I loved seeing how each child was drawn to different pieces of art and the reasons why.

Next week is the final day of class for this year. Religious school will begin at 9:30am in the Sanctuary at Temple Israel. We will all celebrate together until 10:30 when the students will come back to class with me. Pickup time will remain the same at 12:05pm.

I can’t believe we are coming to the end of the school year but I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed having your children in class!

Week of April 22nd

This past Sunday we began our discussion about Shabbat. The students listed all the things people do on Shabbat. They were so surprised how long the list turned out to be. After that was completed we began a conversation about Shabbat and how we celebrate it. One of the topics that came up a multiple times is family – having time with family, eating dinner with family and just being together. In order to reinforce their interest in celebrating Shabbat with their family, each student had a chance to decorate a Shabbat box and fill it with questions and conversation starters during Shabbat dinner. The box doubles as a place to store your cell phones or other technology – this gives everyone a chance to start Shabbat off right. I hope you enjoy using these boxes as much as we enjoyed decorating them. Add more questions that you come up with to add to the box!! Next week, we will be discussing the prayers of Shabbat and things we do that make it different than every other day of the week. We will also have a chance to visit the Israeli Art Show. It will be so much fun! I can’t believe we are coming to the end of the school year, but I can tell you how much I have enjoyed having your children in class! I am looking forward to our last two classes together!!




Kitah Dalet (4th grade)


Week of April 29th

This week we celebrated Israeli art by creating our very own Aleph Bet music video. The office will be sending the video to you so you can enjoy watching it with your child. My sunflowers have just begun to sprout, I hope yours have too!


Week of April 22nd

Dear Parents,

Thank you so much for taking the time to learn with your students on Sunday. I really enjoyed having the chance to speak with so many of you. For those of you who were unable to attend, we spent the morning learning about the benefits of cultivating a growth mindset.


Week of April 15th

The students went over various Jewish ethical dilemmas and debated over how they would respond to the dilemmas. It was very interesting to hear their thoughts and reasons.



Kitah Hey (5th grade)


Week of May 6th

I had such fun exploring the Jewish life cycle events with you. Thanks for all the hard “brain work” you did all year. I am so impressed with what great thinkers and problem solvers you are. Have a great summer and don’t forget your Hey teacher when you are a hard working Vav student.

Week of April 29th

We completed our study of the important events in the Jewish life cycle by studying some of the rituals around death. As students matched terms and their meanings they were uncovering pieces of a rebus puzzle. In the end, when they solved the puzzle they learned “We do not believe that death is the end of life, but a part of it.” Help your child review the terms for the practices around death.

Week of April 22nd

In class we returned to our study of the Jewish marriage celebration and some of its rituals. We especially studied Ketubot and each student designed their own Ketubah, portraying what they believe should be the message along with the traditional language of responsibility and commitment. Students had some beautiful designs and ideas. Next week we will be finishing up our study on the Jewish life cycle. It is hard to believe there are only a couple of classes left in this year.






Kitah Vav (6th grade)


Week of May 6th

This year has been a whirlwind of a year for our class!

We have enjoyed teaching your children Judaic history from the Exodus to the destruction of the second Temple along with Judaic ethics of the Exodus to further understand Jewish law and the mitzvahs we follow. This curriculum worked hand in hand for the student to understand and better explore their Jewish identity. We truly enjoyed spending time with them each Sunday!

Have a wonderful summer and we wish the students all the best in Zayin next year!

Morah Mary Margaret and Morah Ilene

Week of April 29th

We finished up our study of Jewish history by discussing how after the destruction of the Second Temple we no longer have one unified place to meet, sacrifice, and pray. Therefore we use synagogues as community gathering places and prayer instead of sacrifice. We recalled some of the most important prayers in our faith and then one that has only six words but yet is very powerful—the Shema. We then read a series of Six Word Memoirs to see if people could tell their story about their faith in just six words. Finally, the students worked on writing their own six word memoirs. Ask your student what their memoir said, there were some beautifully powerful statements. What would your six word Jewish memoir say?

Week of April 22nd

This week the class enjoyed a lesson planned by our madrichim, Abby and Sam. The Jewish value we examined was “do not destroy”. First the students experienced destroying an item (a paper plate) and then puzzled over how could it ever be fully put back together again. We learned it couldn’t; that’s what happens when we destroy things important in life. The students then acted out skits in which they depicted some sort of “destruction” and the class had to identify what was being destroyed (a person’s feelings, a reputation, a sense of safety) and what can be done to prevent it. The students did a fantastic job on the skits and the madrichim did a great job planning and leading this activity. We are sure the students are going to remember “do not destroy” for a long time.





Kitah Zayin (7th grade)


Week of April 29th

We had another great week in Kitah Zayin! After singing Hatikvah students studied the Parsha in the Read/Pair/Share method. Students continued to watch clips from the documentary, “Greek Girl in Auschwitz”. Following, students were presented handouts of an Anne Frank bio and a timeline to discuss their findings with a table partner. Students reflected in the Writer’s Journal on the famous Anne Frank quote: “How wonderful is it that you don’t need to wait a single moment before starting to improve the world”. Students reviewed ‘Tikkun Olam’ and discussed various ways they can improve the world.


Week of April 22nd

We had another great week in Kitah Zayin! After Hatikvah, students learned about the Parasha in the Read/Pair/Share method. Kitah Zayin discussed Yom Ha’atzmaut/Israel Independence Day, the background history and its significance. Students enjoyed a music video filmed on Ben Yehuda Street in Israel to the Fifa World Cup song, ‘Wave Your Flag’ demonstrating Israel pride during Israel’s 70th Anniversary. In their Writer’s Journal, Kitah Zayin wrote their wish for Israel for their future. During their Holocaust study, students watched a short documentary: 'A Greek Girl in Auschwitz'. Kitah Zayin debated why the Jews could not fight back or leave during the Holocaust and discussed what they would need in order to stage an 'Uprising'. Megan Harkavy, Director of Hebrew High, made a presentation to the students explaining all the amazing things at Hebrew High. Students created a ‘Jewish Selfie’ to take home. Students voted on the Mensch of the Month. Congratulations to Aidan Blumsack!

Week of April 15th

We had another great week in Kitah Zayin! After singing Hatikvah, students studied the Parasha in the Read/Pair/Share method. Kitah Zayin discussed Yom Hashoah (commemorated on April 12) and watched a short clip of Yom Hashoah-Holocaust Remembrance Day siren in Israel this week. Students discussed with their table partners a survey that claims how many people are unaware of main details of the Holocaust. Kitah Zayin watched a short documentary film about a Holocaust survivor who made an unfathomable decision to save herself and the surprising ending. Students find it hard to make sense of the Holocaust, but all agree on one thing. Never Forget. In their Writer’s Journal, students debated whether there should or should not be a law in the US against Holocaust denial.






Ivrit (Hebrew)

Week of April 29th

Gimel (3rd) - Our Madrichim did a great  job playing "Hangman" with the Hey Class, and"Jewpordy" with the Gimel class.  Both games were a lovely review of our prayers & vocabulary.

Dalet (4th) - 

Hey (5th) - Our Madrichim did a great  job playing "Hangman" with the Hey Class, and"Jewpordy" with the Gimel class.  Both games were a lovely review of our prayers & vocabulary.

Vav (6th) - 

ZAYIN (7th)During Hebrew, students worked in pairs reading the Amidah, Birkat Hamazon and the Shema.  Kitah Zayin continues to make excellent progress in their individualized Mitkadem program.


Week of April 22nd

Gimel (3rd) Our Madrichim did a good job playing "Jewpardy" with the Gimel class, which was a great review of the prayers!

Dalet  (4th) -

Hey (5th)  - The students were presented with words of prayer, determining prefixes/suffixes and their meaning.


Vav (6th)  -


Zayin (7th)  - 



Week of April 15th

Gimel (3rd)The class reviewed various exercises in Mitkadem.

Dalet (4th) - Students continue with their individual work.


Hey (5th) - The class reviewed various exercises in Mitkadem. Also, we looked at a short video from the students from Katzir school in Hadera.

Vav (6th)


Zayin (7th) -In Hebrew, Kitah Zayin worked Chevruta style and paired with students from Kitah Vav. Students in Kitah Zayin were excellent mentors and role models as they read various Tefillot together. Kitah Zayin continues to make excellent progress in their individualized Mitkadem program.




Trope (Similar to the Hebrew classes, you will be receiving an update every few weeks)

April 15th

Students worked in chavruta, using the skills they have learned to go through verses from the Torah and learn to chant them. They did a great job!

March 18th

This week, students learned 3 new trope symbols: T'vir (#12 - p.37), Darga (#13 - p.38), and Merchah Kefula (#14 - p.42).  Students are progressing very well - and fast! - and Morahs Rochelle and Rachel look forward to finishing out the Torah trope within the next 6 weeks!  Chag Pesach Sameach!

March 11th

Students are flying through Torah Trope at a really fast pace!  Morahs Rochelle and Rachel are really proud of their progress.  This week, we finished the Katon clause by learning the Munach-Katon combination (#9, top of p.27) and the stand-alone trope, Zakef-Gadol (#11, top of p. 36).  We are temporarily skipping Kadma (#10, p.31) and will come back to that trope later.  We have just a few more classes of Torah trope before the end of the year, so we will work hard to get through as many Torah trope tunes as possible!  Please remind your children to bring their books each week and review for a few minutes at home.  Because they did so well with Haftorah trope, they're able to go much faster through Torah trope.  Have a great week!




Experiential Education – Tuesday/Wednesday

Week of April 29th

This week during electives, students at TIRS celebrated Lag Ba’Omer. Lag Ba’Omer is a festive Jewish holiday celebrated on the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer (the 49 days between the second night of Passover until the holiday of Shavuot). In modern times, the holiday has come to symbolize the resilience of the Jewish spirit. During Lag Ba’Omer it is customary to sit around a campfire and tell stories. Led by Rabbi Kornsgold, students sat around a mock-campfire and listened to different stories while enjoying a marshmallow treat. Following, students created their own “Twisted Torah Tales” by recreating existing fairy tales with a Jewish theme. The stories were then shared by the class for all to enjoy. A great time was had by all!

Week of April 22nd

During Electives, students learned about Hiddur Mitzvah/Beautifying a Mitzvah. Hiddur Mitzvah, literally meaning, “the beautification of a mitzvah,” are actions that glorify, or beautify, the observances and celebrations within Jewish tradition, in particular Shabbat and the holidays. Jews are given instructions how to effectively fulfill a Mitzvah/commandment. There are specific ways in which we should light Shabbat candles, or how we should place the Chanukah menorah on our windowsill, or how we should construct a sukkah for Sukkot. Students discussed their previous experiences with blessings, explored different types of beauty, recognized beauty in the world and presented to the class something that they believe is beautiful. recited the bracha when they discover great beauty in the world and discussed how to bring Hiddur Mitzvah into their daily lives.

Students were able to decorate their own Mezuzah and Klaf (Parchment) to take home (This is not a Kosher klaf written by a sofer. Please do not use it when you hang up a Mezuzah).

Week of April 15th

This week for Electives, students at TIRS discussed Forgiveness/Machila. Students discussed what forgiveness is, how to forgive someone properly and debated whether you should forgive someone who treated you so badly.

Students learned about forgiveness in the Torah and why it is so very important to forgive someone. Paired into groups, students shared a time when they felt hurt by another’s actions. Students brainstormed with their partner how they can ‘let go’ of those negative feelings. Students concluded by sharing how it felt to forgive someone after they have said “slicha/sorry”. Students broke up into groups and recreated scenarios demonstrating the proper way to apologize and the gracious way to accept apologies.
















Tue, September 25 2018 16 Tishrei 5779