Chabad Hebrew School is off to a great start! The weeks just seem to be flying by as we are learning, experiencing, and enjoying our new program this year.
We would like to welcome our returning students and our new students as well. We are always happy to see familiar faces walking through our doors and are always excited to welcome new friends and families to our CHS Family. Welcome to Molly Hauck and Brady Singh in Kitah Aleph and Shayla Singh in Kitah Bet!
Before we take a pause on our present Jewish History Curriculum which all grades are partaking in on different levels and move on to our Chanukah unit, we wanted to give you an idea of what is going on in the classrooms and share what we are focusing on. The pictures will speak more than anything as you can see the excitement in your children's eyes and get a feel for the great learning atmosphere created at CHS!
We always start the day with Jewish prayer, our way of recognizing the good that we have in our life and thanking G-d for providing all our needs and desires. Students in Kitah Aleph drew pictures of what they appreciate in their lives, and Kitah Bet did the same.
Some things that our students are thankful for:
"Being good at soccer" - Alex H.
"My parents who provide for me so that I can excel in cheerleading." -Brooke D.
"My family." - Alex R.
Kitah Aleph is coloring their own siddur. Each week, they add another page and learn the basic meaning of that specific prayer. Prayers are lead in song and movement to help students remember the words and make it more fun!
Kitah Bet is learning the deeper meanings of each prayer and discussing the practicalities of the context. As well, our students who all are already familiar with the prayers are now learning to read from the siddur, prayer book, vs praying through memorization. We are focusing on reading transliteration until we are more fluent in our Hebrew reading. This is an important skill for time spent in synagogue. Students take turns being "chazzan" or "chazzanit", prayer leaders which give them the practice that they would need to pray, lead a congregation in prayer, and read from the Torah. It is challenging, yet the progress is rewarding!
Students have learned about the High Holidays and focused on Sukkot being that Hebrew School did not start until after High Holiday season, due to the early Jewish calendar. Students made paper link chains to decorate the Chabad Sukkah. Each student made their own chain and then we linked it all together - a perfect activity for the holiday of unity! We then celebrated Sukkot with "Pizza in the Hut". Families enjoyed hot pizza from Philly, shook the lulav and esrog, and made those awesome edible Sukkahs!
With Chanukah around the corner, and Thanksgiving too, we are eager to start our Chanukah story and tie in the idea of giving thanks and miracles, big and small.
Kitah Aleph is studying the very first book in the Torah, "Bereishis". They have studied the six days of creation and made a creation collage as a class which is hanging on their classroom walls. After G-d created the world, He took a day of rest, to set an example to us to take a day off, a day to recenter, focus on our family and spirituality. That day is called Shabbat. Kitah Aleph made challah, a very traditional and most delicious way to celebrate this special day!
Kitah Bet is learning the story of "Shemot", Exodus, in depth. We have completed a thorough review of the first book of the Torah, Bereishis, ensuring that our students have a strong familiarity with the story of how our nation began. We made a large family tree to enforce everything we have learned about our Matriarchs and Patriarchs. Students are learning to distinguish between slavery and work. They are learning the details of how we were afflicted, how we persevered and all the miracles that took place. The story of our freedom from Egypt is incredulous in all its details, and is celebrated once a year on Passover. This year and in all the years to follow, your children will have a deep appreciation for the freedom we have today as Jews!
When it comes to learning Aleph Bet and how to read, our students are thoroughly engaged in a multi-sensory Hebrew-reading experience. Learning songs for each new sound, drawing the sounds with creative mediums, and playing with tactile mnemonics are just some the exciting methods used to teach your children how to read. Kitah Aleph has mastered the first few letters and Kitah Bet is onto reading three-letter Hebrew words! We are so proud of the quick progress and we know you will be impressed at this years end! Just remember - keep on practicing!
With Chanukah just around the corner, we will be learning the history of the Jews in Modean and the story of Chanukah. Kitah Bet will be learning some additional stories and related customs. Of course, with Thanksgiving coinciding with Chanukah, being thankful for miracles will be a core theme!