Boker Tov (Good morning)!

A note from Morah Alyssa:

“Hi everyone,
This week was the second week of our intensive Hebrew mini-unit. We divided into two groups again to practice reading, and we did some fun body activities all together.

In my group, we added a few new letters (mem, dalet, resh, alef) and vowels (ay, ee) to our repertoire. We also practiced reading drills and sounding out words in Hebrew, and everyone got to take turns reading individually.

In Sigal’s group, the students had a lot of fun practicing rapid recall of letters and vowels, playing a “Mother-May-I” type game in the halls.  Correct answers allowed students to move forward as they raced down the hall! Their recall is improving quickly, and next week Sigal’s group will move on to reading full words and sentences in Hebrew.

As a whole class, we focused on learning some body parts (eyes, ears, head, nose, mouth, leg, hand). Last week, we started tracing each other and labeling thedrawings, and this week we finished and presented our “people.” We also played some games using the Hebrew words we learned.

Next week, we will be starting our unit on Hanukkah! While we are 6 weeks early, we will be doing both Hanukkah and Hebrew reading concurrently, so we are getting an early start.

Have a restful, peaceful Shabbat,
Alyssa”

On Wednesday, we spent some time at the beginning of the class discussing the election.  I gave students the time to ask any questions they had, while encouraging them to respect each other’s beliefs and opinions.  We studied a text from Pirkei Avot that explores personal responsibility and motivation.  I am attaching the worksheet here, if you’d like to consider these ideas as a family.   We discussed that regardless of political beliefs, we are at a junction in our history that, perhaps more than ever, requires us to consider carefully what we stand for and to work hard to make our beliefs a reality.  As the text says, if we don’t do it, who will?  If not now, when?  

In t’filah this week, we studied the story of Lech Lecha, in which God tells Abram (soon to be Abraham) to leave his home, to go to the land that God will show him.  We discussed how amazing it was that Abram listened to God, as he had little evidence to show him that God’s promises of blessings, protection, and making Abram a great nation would be kept.  We considered who we might listen to, if someone were to tell us to leave our homes, with the promise of something great.  While students said they were skeptical about listening to me if I were to insist on such a drastic change, most felt confident that they would follow their parents anywhere.  Many, however, were unsure what they would have done in Abram’s situation, emphasizing his great leap of faith to follow God’s command.

On Wednesday, we discussed the example Abram set for us, that we too must have faith, especially at this time.  We must hope that our new president will be a strong and good leader, and that our government will work to protect the rights and freedoms of all in this country, while still making sure to stand up for all that is important to us.

Shabbat Shalom,

Sigal