Happy rainy Thursday and winter break, everyone!
Here's a recap of last Sunday's session, plus highlights for what's coming through the rest of December, into January, at TNS.
December 19 recap
Our last Sunday before winter break coincided with the last parsha of Genesis (Vayechi). It's where the brothers (Jacob's sons) do come back together, grandchildren are blessed, and we move on to the stories of Exodus.
Rabbi Micah kicked off the day with a Torah Talk focused on the power of names, which are highlighted in this parsha. We made up poem songs for many of our students' names and practiced blessings.
Following rabbi time, our kids split into their classrooms. Gan and Nitzotzot zeroed in on lessons on Shabbat, and our Shalhavot class cracked open our Chumashim and read through the torah portion to understand and discuss in more detail. We learned about the definition of "Israel," took in more detail of Jacob's sons, and discussed the blessing he gave to his grandsons, Ephraim and Menasseh, that we carry on today each Shabbat to our sons and daughters.
A thank you to the Hartless-Romero family for providing snacks - and leading in blessings! Please remember, I really need you to sign up for such help starting in January through the end of May:
Parent Sign-Up 2021-22
What's Coming Up
All my best
Happy Friday, everyone, and an early Shabbat Shalom.
This is a reminder that we DO have Sunday school this weekend, December 19. After that, we will continue online Hebrew sessions (through Wednesday) and not be back for school until January 9th! Please remember to text me (805-295-0890) or email me if you know you will be absent.
December 9 review:
Last Sunday was super fun and different. We started out the morning with an impromptu play on the story of Joseph - acting out how his brothers mistreated him after feeling like he was spoiled with the gift of his beautiful coat from his father Jacob. Then we showed how even when they threw him in a hole and he sent to Egypt for slavery, Joseph found a successful path for himself, and stayed true to his Judaism. When the brothers were suffering from famine, they came to Joseph to beg for relief not recognizing him, but he knew who they were. Eventually, they reconnected, Joseph forgave and helped his brothers, and in the end, believed he was meant to have such a fate so eventually he could bail out his family. Here were the kids performing (Leo Feldman as Joseph):
Also from last Sunday, I want to send a hearty "Yasher Koach" to Emma, who subbed for our teacher Michal for the first time! Emma taught this class on the details of Havdalah. Here is a summary, plus below are the vocabulary words this class has been learning for the last number of weeks. Please review with your kids - no matter their age!
This week we experienced Havdalah הַבְדָּלָה, specifically focusing on the smell, the besamim of Havdalah הַבְדָּלָה and the beginning of the creation story. We experience the light and darkness created on the first day, water and air on the second day, and land and plants on the third day. We enjoyed learning the song “Seven Days” (https://youtu.be/u7HgGU-Cr7U) which helps us remember what was created on each day. We engaged with most of our senses today, including sight, touch, sound, smell, and movement.
In the Gan Zikukin class, teacher Amber also focused on Shabbat, and the kids made challah covers that we hope you can use at home. They reviewed the letters of Shabbat - Shin, Bet, Tav and are practicing the blessings.
In our oldest class, Shalhavot, Joel completed the curriculum unit on Gevurah גְבוּרָה (inner strength). Part of gevurah גְבוּרָה is knowing how to argue and compromise with dignity. In previous weeks, we talked about showing courage at personal risk. This week, the class focused on showing other strategies that are not either/or situations. Compromise (peshara) is one way to turn an argument into a win/win situation. Very often, an argument (machloket מַחֲלוֹקֶת) is based on more than one person believing that they have ALL the truth. But the root of the Hebrew word machloket מַחֲלוֹקֶת is chelek חֵלֶק (part). We may say that all parties to the argument have a חֵלֶק chelek or piece of the truth. This allows the parties to compromise with dignity.
Here are some ways you as parents can reinforce what was discussed last week:Car Talk
What are some times that we need to compromise as a family?
With your child, listen to a song about building relationships: “Chazak” by Dan Nichols https://safesha.re/1xl (5.3.4 “Chazak” with Music—Dan Nichols).
The mezuzah מְזוּזָה is a symbol of compromise. Can you think of another symbol of compromise? Take a picture of it and explain.
A few last reminders:
All my best
Religious School Director, Lauren Bandari
Mom, educator, Jewish community advocate, Lauren Bandari, has the privilege of running the TNS religious school. She is passionate about teaching and connecting our kids, solidifying a strong sense of Jewish identity, and finding joy in our beautiful traditions.