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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)


Mark your calendars: the Gan Class Shabbat will be Friday, April 20.

Week of March 11th

This week we continued our learning of Passover. We talked about the foods on the sedar plate and drinking four (arbah) glasses of wine/grape juice. In addition, we learned how Moses became an Egyptian prince (his mother and sister put him in a basket and sent him down the Nile river in order to save his life). We have been practicing for our Friday night service which is Friday April 20, 2018. I hope to see everyone there.

Week of March 4th

This week we learned about Joseph and his brothers and that he was his father's favorite son. He was thrown into a pit and then sold to the Egyptians by his brothers. Then we started talking about Passover. It is a pleasure to write our Hebrew letters and find them throughout the room. We also enjoyed singing with the cantorial candidate.

Week of February 11th

In Gan this week we learned about Purim and an evil man named Haman wanted to kill all the Jews. But instead Queen Ester broke her secret of being a Jew and saved them; while Haman was killed. We created groggers to make noise every time his name was spoken. In Hebrew, we learned our colors; red-adom, yellow-tzahov, green-yarok, Orange-katom, blue-kachol. We encourage you to come in costume on February 25 to celebrate Purim!




Kitah Aleph (1st grade)


One more save the date….the Aleph class Shabbat will be Friday, April 13.

Week of March 11th

March has certainly come in like a lion! Despite the cold, dreary day, and an hour less of sleep, the Aleph class had a fun day of learning about Jewish names: the customs behind how they are chosen and what they mean. We talked about the various places in the world our families have come from. We made bracelets or necklaces using the Hebrew letters in our Jewish names. We made posters with the Jewish names, which will be laminated and sent home next week. Best of all, we had the chance to visit with our classmates and parents or grandparents! Most of you brought home a mezuzzah and the Kosher klaf (parchment) to go in them. We will send home the rest next week. Just a reminder that when everyone has sent a picture to Rabbi Kornsgold of the mezuzzah hanging in your home, we will have a special celebration in the classroom, courtesy of the PTO!

Week of March 4th

Sunday will be exciting for the Aleph classes! Our family education program is March 11, 2018. It will take place in the Temple Israel Social Hall from 9:30 to 11:00. You should go directly to the social hall with your child rather than to the classroom. The program is titled “What’s in a Jewish Name?” During this time each child will need an adult to stay with them as we explore Jewish traditions of baby naming and the significance of those choices. If a parent is not available, of course a grandparent, aunt or uncle, or special friend, may come. Please have a conversation with your child about the origin of their name before we meet. As part of the morning we will create a poster showcasing your child’s Hebrew name. There will be a space for your child’s name in Hebrew, the meaning of their name, and something about the reason for their specific name. If your child was named after someone special, and you have photos (or copies) of that person, please bring them with you. They can be shared verbally or attached to your poster. Our “Ask the Rabbi” feature will take place towards the end of the program, and should be a lot of fun, as well as educational! Afterwards, the students will be practicing for their Class Shabbat which is on March 23. Dismissal will be as usual, 12:05, from the school building. The weather forecast calls for rain, so please make sure they are dressed appropriately if they will be walking back to the classroom with us.

Last Sunday, March 4, we talked about how there are Jewish people all around the world. The synagogues may be different—or even may just be a room where people gather. The languages people may speak can be different. The people may look or dress differently from us here in North Carolina. They may have different foods—and so we made non-traditional charoset using things like M&Ms, chocolate chips, marshmallow fluff, raisins, cherries, and of course, apples and juice. But, we all celebrate the same Jewish holidays, read the same parts of the Torah every week, and say many of our prayers in Hebrew. In other words, though we may be different, we are also the same! One of the books we read was What Makes Someone a Jew? by L. Seidman. We also began preparing for Passover. It is hard to believe it’s in just a few weeks!

We are looking forward to seeing you all at the class family education program.


Week of February 11th

This past Sunday we learned about the fun holiday of Purim! We talked about how silly King Ahashuerus wanted to party all the time, and he got angry when Queen Vashti refused to come to his party and dance in front of everyone. This led to a discussion about how no one should ever be forced to do anything they don’t want to do. Esther won a beauty contest to become the new queen—and we talked about what exactly truly makes someone beautiful. We learned the Jewish people were saved through the efforts of Queen Esther and Cousin (or Uncle, depending on the source you are reading) Mordechai from harm by evil Haman. On Purim we should celebrate by doing certain things—read the megillah, send shalach manot, (baskets with fruits and treats). have a festive meal, and give tzedekah. We also like to eat hamentaschen and dress in costumes. We made stick puppets to help tell the story, and groggers to make noise when the name Haman is said. We will continue with this theme when we come back to school on February 25. Please feel free to send your children in costume so they can participate in the school Purim Parade! Books included The Purim Surprise by Simpson, It Happened in Shushan by Feder, and Sammy Spider’s First Purim, by Rouss. We also learned that the parsley planted for Tu B’Shevat is growing in many homes!!!

Reminder our family education program is on March 11 from 9:30am-11am in the Social Hall.



Kitah Bet (2nd grade)


Bet Class Shabbat will be on Friday, March 23rd. We will be performing a play, and each student has a speaking part. If your child will not be there, please e-mail Margaret at The children will need to arrive at 6:00, and services will start at 6:15. If your child was absent, please have them complete Lesson 9 in the Tiyulim book on this page:


Week of March 11th

Picture Day!!!!  First thing in the morning we had our class picture taken and displayed our best smiles.  We returned to class to meet the letter Reish and practice reading it with other familiar letters and vowel sounds.  Morah Nancy joined us to practice Tefillot for our Class Shabbat - which is March 23rd.  We worked on our class presentation for the Shabbat service and then went to Temple Israel to practice on the bimah.  Back in the classroom, we reviewed our stories from Torah and then learned about Abraham, Sarah, Lot and the cities of Sodom and Gemorrah.  The children’s favorite part, I think, was watching me demonstrate how Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt.

Week of March 4th

Today we covered the Torah account of the Tower of Babel. We began the lesson by having the children work together using blocks to build a structure. They completed it quickly and were proud of their creation. Next, each child was given only one sound they could make and they tried to make another structure without being able to communicate. We ended up with a big pile of blocks. We learned this was exactly what the Torah says happened at the Tower of Babel when God confused the language of the people. This forced them to abandon their “tower to Heaven” and go forth and replenish the earth, just as God commanded Noah and his sons.

On Sunday, we learned to read with the letter Hey. We read in small groups and solved Hebrew word riddles. For Tefillah, we practiced songs from the Friday night service. The children that are attending regularly are making amazing progress with their Hebrew reading skills!!


Week of February 11th

The very first rainbow!!!! Today we learned about the Torah account of Noah, the ark and the flood. We learned about the awful state of humanity in the time before the flood, we discussed what the earth may have looked like then and what the people may have thought of Noah and his family. Then came the animals, God closed the ark door and the rain came! Only Noah and his family survived and were told to replenish the earth. We colored our own rainbow and learned that it was a sign of God’s promise not to destroy the earth.

On Sunday, we learned to read with the letter “Nun” and “Nun Sofit” in Lesson 8 in our Tiyulim book. The students read in small groups and practiced writing Nuns and words with Nuns. We continued learning the prayer, “Birkat Hamazon”-the prayer thanking God for a meal. For Tefillah, we practiced prayers from the Friday night service. If your child was absent, please have them complete Lesson 8 in the Tiyulim book on this page-



Kitah Gimel (3rd grade)


Just a heads up for a date to put on the calendar: April 15th is Gimel Family Education. I hope to see you all there. Please watch for more information to come from TIRS in the coming weeks.

Week of March 11th

This past Sunday was amazing! We finished the book of Genesis with a discussion on the 10 plagues. The class was interested in how each step happened, so we discussed connections we could make with each time Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and a then a new plague came about. Your children were fascinated that the plagues could happen around the Israelites, but would only affect the Egyptians. We stopped along the way for visual learning by watching scenes from Disney’s Prince of Egypt. This helped put pictures to our reading and kept our discussion lively.

Next week, we begin ‘Passover boot camp’ - everything you ever wanted to know about Pesach!! This will be a two part class which will end in a wonderful craft to add to your Seder table. Just looking ahead – please note we do not have school on April 1st or April 8th. When we return on April 15th I look forward to seeing you with your child at the Gimel Family Education. Please look out for information about our day!


Week of March 4th

I cannot believe how fast the year is going!! This past Sunday we began our discussion on Moses, as both a baby and adult. Your children are so insightful as we read and have wonderful comments to add to our class discussion! As an example, after reading about Moses as a baby the discussion turned to children in Judaism. The class discussed how even small kids, like themselves, can make a difference in the world whether just at home, in school or our community. When reading about Moses as an adult, we stopped our discussion to watch the scenes from Dreamworks’ Prince of Egypt movie. We watched the burning bush scene which really made the words we read come to life. The class really enjoyed it. Next week we will finish our journey through the Book of Genesis with the final story of Moses asking for the Jewish people to be freed from slavery. We will be watching the scene from Prince of Egypt once again, bringing to life the words they read and to stimulate discussion. Finally, please keep the date April 15th clear. This is the date of the Gimel Family Education Program. You will not want to miss!


Week of February 11th

This week we expanded on the discussion we started last week about Joseph. We read and finished our discussion on the story of Joseph and his brothers. We found that Joseph and his brothers met again in Egypt. His brothers had no idea they were asking their own brother for food. We discussed all of the different ways Joseph could have handled seeing his brothers again but chose forgiveness. It was a great discussion and we could have kept going but decided to do a little acting of our own. The students paired up and acted out a scene where they had to show how they would do the opposite of forgiving. After all the groups had gone they did their scenes again but this time with the outcome being the right way – with forgiveness. We all agreed that with each scenario they acted out, being forgiving was so much easier and felt it was the right way to go.

When we are back in school on the 25th we will be getting ready for the very festive holiday of Purim. We are going to learn the mitzvahs of Purim story, watch music videos of Purim by the Maccabeats and make a video of our own!! I can’t wait to share. We have a super day planned!!!!




Kitah Dalet (4th grade)


Week of March 11th

This week we returned to Jerusalem and began to learn about the political system in Israel. We discussed advantages and disadvantages of different types of democratic systems. Each student created his or her own party with a 3-item platform. Next week we will hold elections and students will have a chance to try to form a majority government!

Week of March 4th

Morah Karen was out this past Sunday. The topic was interpersonal relationships. The focus of the class was to figure out how people can respect others even when there are differences between them. Students were partnered up with someone they did not know very well. They interviewed each other and took notes on the person’s responses to specific questions. Then the partners created a Venn Diagram of “Our Favorite Things” and looked to find the areas where their likes overlapped with each other.

Week of February 11th

Today we discussed the elements of a writing a good letter and then wrote notes to you describing what we have been up to in the South of Israel. Look out in the mail to receive these most excellent letters! We also discussed the Jewish perspective on gossip and why we should avoid it.


Kitah Hey (5th grade)


Week of March 11th

Thank you to all the Hey students and their families who participated in our Family Education program.  Parents and siblings, you really helped us show the Hey students what great people they are and how their Jewishness  (in their hearts and their heads) shows itself in their daily actions.  They have every reason to #Believeintheirselfies. They are also well on their way to being spectacular Bar and Bat Mitzvah ladies and gentlemen. I’m excited to see and hear progress made on the projects that you planned. This little project will be a great start and conversation piece for a year from now when your children will be choosing the  larger Bar/Bat Mitzvah project.  Hopefully it will help the students begin to feel even more like the Jewish adults they will soon become. Don’t forget to stop by our room after next week to see our posters fully complete with all photos.  Thanks again for a great morning’s work!

Week of March 4th

In Judaic studies this week we continued our study of B’nai Mitzvah. We watched excerpts from a movie called “Praying with Lior”. The movie tells the story of a young boy with Downs Syndrome who wishes to have a Bar Mitzvah. We observed as he prepared his reading, prayers, and speech, listened to his life story, and then had a great question and answer discussion in which we tried to decide-should he or should anyone have a Bar or Bat Mitzvah? What is needed to truly be considered a Jewish adult? The students gave such insightful comments and observations it was just a joy to participate with them. We look forward to continuing this conversation about B’nai Mitzvah this Sunday, March 11, 9:30am-11:00am, when we have our family education program. Looking forward to seeing you there.


Week of February 11th

This week students completed their studies of how trees and humans are alike in their life cycles. In their small groups they completed great representations of how both of these begin, grow, live, and eventually die. Students worked extra hard on these posters and all should be very proud of their deep thinking and great products. Ask your child about the parallel life cycle events of trees and humans.




Kitah Vav (6th grade)

REMINDER: Please mark your calendars for the Kitah Vav Family Education Program on Sunday, March 18 from 9:30am-11am in the Social Hall at Temple Israel.

Week of March 11th

Students explored the concept of Shalom Bayit (Peace within the household) by responding to and offering solutions for different family issues. Students also used the story about King Saul, his son Jonathan and his friend and future King, David to help the, write and share an advice column on how to ensure peach within the household for King Saul, Jonathan and David (despite the fact that King Saul wanted to kill David). The students came up with creative and interesting advice columns!

Week of March 4th

As we continue our study of Jewish history we looked at the friendship between Jonathan and David. How much of his own life did Jonathan give up in order to protect and help David? What would have happened if Jonathan had not been such a true and loyal friend? Would we ever have had David as a king? Would we have the parts of our legacy that we owe to David? It was a wonderful discussion about what we would give today for our friends. How do we know when it’s time to turn to our friends or family and how do we know what God really wants us to do? Another great day with Vav!


Week of February 11th

As an instructor this was perhaps my favorite lesson in Vav Judaic Studies class this year. As we continue to study Jewish history we’ve entered the period of the first king, Saul. Students first created a list of characteristics and traits they believed the first king of the Israelites should have; they then worked in small groups to formulate questions they would ask candidates for king. Our madrichot Samantha (Sir Samuel) and Abby (Sir Abraham) graciously agreed to be the candidates and answer the students’ questions which were insightful, in-depth, and so well formulated. Ask your child which candidate they chose after the interview. We concluded by discovering that the people, led by the last judge, Samuel, chose tall, handsome Saul as their first king. Why would that be good criteria for a king?




Kitah Zayin (7th grade)


Week of March 11th

We had another great week in Kitah Zayin. After singing Hatikvah, students learned about the Parasha in the Read/Pair/Share method. In their Writer’s Journal, students wrote about their Jewish goals in the future.

Students began learning the laws and customs of Passover. Students were divided into groups and given a plague to research, sharing their findings with the class.

Kitah Zayin students were introduced to ‘Seder Time’, a short skit they will be performing for all the students at TIRS.


Week of March 4th

We had another great week in Kitah Zayin! After singing Hatikvah, students studied the Parsaha in the Read/Pair/Share method. Kitah Zayin completed watching the Holocaust film, ‘Life is Beautiful’ discussing the connection between the movie’s characters and how they maintain this connection during the Holocaust. In addition, students discussed the movie’s powerful ending and the director’s choice to end the film the way it did. Student’s debated if the movie would be less impactful if it had an alternate ending. In their Writer’s Journal, students reflected on the movie ‘Life is Beautiful’ by writing their thoughts on the title of the movie and its’ connection to the Holocaust.



Week of February 11th

We had another great week in Kitah Zayin! After singing Hatikvah, students studied the Parasha in the Read/Pair/Share method. Following, students wrote in their Journal: The world’s poorest people give the most tzedakah- does that surprise you? Why or why not?

Students reviewed the laws and customs of Purim focusing on the 4 mitzvot: Seudah, Megillah, Shalach Manot and Matonot L’evyonim. Students enjoyed the Purim Shpiel, ‘A Dr. Suess Purim’ where students heard the story of Purim in Dr Suess’ style. Everyone has a great time listening! Kitah Zayin practiced the Purim Shpiel they will be presenting to the students and teachers of TIRS on February 25th.

In Holocaust study, students continued to watch the movie ‘Life is Beautiful’ looking for clues that it is a Holocaust film. Students analyzed the clip searching for clues and themes. Kitah Zayin took special notice of how music can change the mood of a film. Students debated whether life is truly beautiful at this moment.





Ivrit (Hebrew)

Week of March 11th

Gimel (3rd)This past Sunday we played Hebrew Tic Tac Toe and Hebrew Basketball, with vocabulary from Ramah 3.


Dalet (4th) - Students read through the Shehechayanu blessing and went over the blessing vocabulary for Ramah (level )4. We talked about giving thanks to God for enabling us to experience a new or special occasion whenever we do something for the first time that year or in life 9 (first night lighting Chanukah candles, first night sitting in the Sukkah, first time eating Matzot). Students share with class for special events in their lives for saying the Shehecheyanu. Then they continued with their individual work.


Hey (5th) - (Family Education Program)


Vav (6th)After a brief explanation of long and short brachot and after the students recited the "bracha formula," they hunted in the Haggadah for brachot. This meant they needed to skim through a sentence that had the word "baruch" in it to be sure that it was actually a bracha. Next week, March 18, is the Vav Family Education Program, then the students will meet in the sanctuary at 11 to practicing reading prayers from the siddurim and conclude their day with tefillah with Cantor Roochvarg.


Zayin (7th) -Students, continue to make excellent progress in the Mitkadem program.  For reinforcement, students were given various prayers ( Ashrei, Y’hallelu, Aleinu) to read in pairs in order to improve their fluency in Hebrew.


Week of March 4th

Gimel (3rd) - We played “Hebrew Basketball”, reviewing vocabulary.

Dalet (4th) - On Sunday, we were able to accomplish many tasks 😊. We started with a game of vowel recognition. Then, we had a short reading session as a group. After that, we talked about the notion that when we pray or refer to God in Hebrew, we use masculine words, even though God isn't like human beings; a boy or a girl. Students shared their thoughts on whether to continue and follow this tradition or should we be sensitive to how we talk about God. Ask your child to share with you their thoughts. We finished class with individual work in the Mitkadem program. Please make sure your child practice daily letter and vowels recognition.

Hey (5th) - We played “Four Corners”, reviewing the different blessings in Ramah (level) 4, as well as “Hebrew Basketball”, reviewing vocabulary. 

Vav (6th) - Students were given a Haggadah and looked through the text for words built on shoreshim (root words) listed on the board. The first word found was "baruch" followed by "seder." Students recognized that the word "siddur" and the word "seder" are built on the same shoresh. They defined "siddur," based on the meaning of the root word, as the book that gives us the order of the prayers for a service. Then they noted that a "seder" is the meal with a specific order of blessings or prayers. Students read the words "seder shel Pesach" without vowels, then recognized that they were able to do that because they knew the meanings of those words. Another "aha moment" for our Vav students!

ZAYIN (7th)- Kitah Zayin is making excellent progress in Hebrew by reading tefillot in groups. This week, students read Lecha Dodi, Aleinu and the blessings before and after Torah Reading. Students furthered their Hebrew study in the Mitkadem program.


Week of February 11th

Gimel (3rd) We sang the Aleph-Bet song and reviewed the students' recollection of the complete Aleph-Bet.

Dalet  (4th) -We started Sunday's class with Reading Centers to allow students to practice reading Hebrew. Then, we had a class discussion on the different ways we feel and relate to God. אלוהים (God) is a common word we use when we pray. However, the different forms of that word (my God אלהי ; your God אלהיך ; our God אלהינו) change the meaning of the prayers for us. Ask your child which of these forms does he/she prefer to use when praying and why? After our discussion, students continued their individual work on the Mitkadem program.At the end of class, I gave out a sheet with letter and vowels to take home, so students can practice reading daily.

Hey (5th)  - Hey class reviewed the Aleph-Bet song and played Hebrew Basketball concentrating on vocabulary and prayers.


Zayin (7th)  Students continue to make excellent progress in the Mitkadem program working on their individualized lessons in groups. In addition, students practiced their tefillot by reading in pairs practicing the Shema and Ashrei together in class.






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

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!

March 4th

This week we learned 4 new Torah trope tunes! Sof-Pasuk (#5 - p. 15), Katon (#6 - p. 22), Pashtah (#7 - p. 23) and Mahpach (#8 - p. 24). Students are moving along very quickly with Torah trope, as they are already so familiar with the clauses, concepts and rules from Haftorah trope. We’re proud of their progress and wish everyone a good week! Please ensure that your children bring their Torah trope books to class and review their new tropes at home each week.

February 18th

Morahs Rochelle and Rachel are excited to announce that we have begun learning TORAH TROPE this week! Torah Trope uses the same symbols, names and rules as Haftorah Trope, but carries a different (more upbeat) tune. Since students are so comfortable with the concept of trope, they were able to learn their 1st 4 Torah trope symbols this week! We're using the same curriculum as we did for Haftorah trope, but the book cover is blue. This week, we learned the Etnachtah clause with tropes Merchah (#1 - p.6), Tipchah (#2 - p.9), Etnachtah (#3 - p. 11), and Munach (#4 - p.12). Morah Rachel will be reviewing these 4 tropes on Sunday, so please encourage your children to practice them for a few minutes per day. They're doing well and excited to learn Torah trope!



Experiential Education – Tuesday/Wednesday

Week of March 11th

For electives this week, students participated in a collaborative art project commemorating Israel’s 70th Anniversary to be displayed during the Israeli Art celebration in April.

Students learned about the Russian-Jewish artist and were shown a short video about Chagall’s life and viewed various samples of the artists’ work. Chagall interpreted the Torah through his art as depicted in the Hadassah Medical Center stained glass windows of the twelve tribes of Israel. Students began creating stained glass windows mimicking the artist’s style, composition and color.

Week of March 4th

This week during electives, students learn about Kol Yosrael Arevim Zeh B’Zeh- All Humans are Responsible for One Another. Students discussed responsibility and gave examples of how they can be responsible in their daily lives. Students were introduced to various ways we need to be responsible in Judaism. Tzniut/Modesty, Kavod habriot/ Respect for One’s Fellow Humans, Talmud Torah/Study and Learning, Seudah/Festive Meal, Tzedakah/Charity, Tzedek/Righteousness and Justice and Shomrei Adamah/ Guarding the Earth. All of these help connect us to God and strengthen our relationship with God.

Students watched a short video of Aesop’s fable ‘The Ant and the Grasshopper” and discussed the moral of the fable and debated the character’s actions. Students discussed in pairs whether one should help another who does not deserve the help. Student volunteers reenacted the skit through role-play and the audience was able to interact with the characters giving the characters advice for the future.

Students participated in a ‘Marker Sparker’ activity where they wrote reflections on Post-Its about their responsibility to self, family, neighborhood and Jewish community. Students concluded by creating their own Reponsi-BILL for the class Responsi-BILL–I-TREE. A great time was had by all!

Week of February 18th

During electives students learned about Ometz/ Courage. Students discussed what the true meaning of courage is and where courage comes from. Students were put into groups and acted out various scenarios demonstrating times where courage was needed. Students determined if the main character acted courageously or not and whether they agree or disagree with the character’s reaction to the scenario. Signs labeled “Agree’, ‘Disagree’ and ‘Not Sure’ were placed around the room. As students made their decision, they stood under the sign that portrayed their feelings about that act and explained their viewpoint with the class.

Students discussed various Jewish leaders from the Torah and the times where they have shown courage in trying times.Students also discussed courage the Jewish people exhibited during the Holocaust. Students learned of ‘Daniel’s Story ‘- an exhibit at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC - by watching a short video. “Daniel’s Story’ is a story of a family’s experience during the Holocaust from the perspective of a boy growing up in Nazi Germany. Students reflected and wrote their thoughts on courage on a Post-It to share with the class.













Thu, March 22 2018 6 Nisan 5778