Updated: May 26, 2021
Dalet 1 & 2
Dalet 1 and Dalet 2 (4th-grade) Families,
It’s hard to believe, but this is our final 2021 Dalet Newsletter to you! It’s a Wrap to Talmud Torah 2021 Zoom Style. In Talmud Torah’s 126th year, we made history by teaching virtually during the entire year, the first time in Talmud Torah’s history.
We set out at the beginning of the year with goals in mind and reached to succeed.
Some Student Reflections of 2020-21:
I enjoyed the interviews. I really liked interviewing, because I got to learn more about other people and I got to learn about my grandpa!
I enjoyed making cheesecake, because it is the first time in awhile that I made something. It was fun and it’s fun doing things for the last time.
Learning about “The Lightning in the Jar” told me about something that I have never heard before.
I like our “break” because I can have a break from learning.
My favorite things were when we did Kahoot! because they were fun but you also learned from them.
Lessons from Hebrew and Etgar Yesodi
Our Kitah Dalet curriculum took us on an integrated approach journey to teaching Hebrew and Judaics. Our learning invited students to find personal meaning in their Judaism through a variety of learning modalities, including text study, art, music, writing, projects, Hebrew vocabulary, and other hands-on experiences. We participated in lessons which included experiences that explored: זִכָּרוֹן (Zikaron)/My Roots, My Memories,The Importance of Family Stories, Stories of a Jewish Family, Learning from Our Family, Jewish Ways of Remembering, and Remembering Our Stories
We celebrated and dealt with difficult times with lessons through our Blessing unit, which included lessons of Counting Our Blessings, Responding to Difficult Circumstances, and culminated with our wonderful Dalet Family Program, “An Attitude of Gratitude.”
We shared stories that helped us form a personal connection to Eretz Yisrael. We began to understand the significance of Israel as the Jewish homeland and as a contributor to our world through stories, songs, videos, games and discussions.
The festival of Lag Ba’Omer commemorates two historical events according to Jewish tradition: the passing of revered Second Century sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, who made the anniversary of his death be a time of rejoicing at his life; and the end of a plague which killed some 24,000 students of another great rabbi, Akiva Ben Yosef (who lived around the same time as Bar Yochai). Celebrating with a bon-fire, singing and cooking potatoes reminds us of this special day. Our students went outside in their own yards, grabbed some sticks to build a mock bonfire and potatoes from their kitchen’s for our Lag BaOmer celebration.
We read, learned, and sang the Hebrew song, “Dear Precious Mother- Ima Yikara Li,” and watched a video of a secular school choir also singing this song in Hebrew. We celebrated our mothers by using the lyrics of the song to make cards.
Shavuot, a holiday that has many names. Chag Hashavuot (Holiday of Weeks), Chag Hakatzir (Holiday of the Wheat Harvest), and Chag Matan Torah (Holiday of Receiving the Torah), all representing this very special day. We discussed the Counting of the Omer, which takes place from the second day of Pesach and continues for 49 days until Shavuot. We discussed the bringing of the harvest and fruits to the Temple Mount. Shavuot is a harvest festival but it’s also the day we received the Torah at Mt. Sinai as a gift. It is traditional to eat dairy foods on Shavuot, which makes it unique. Why? According to Rabbinic tradition we compare the Torah to honey and milk. So, like milk, the Torah is life-sustaining to those who speak its words and live by the commandments. So we celebrated with a dairy treat Zoom style, and made an Israeli cheesecake to celebrate Shavuot! It was a dairy special treat.
Have a Happy Healthy Summer!
Noa and Morah Schear
Dear Dalet 3 (4th-grade) Families,
I sit here incredulous that I am writing this on the last day of Talmud Torah for this school year.
At the start of the year, all of us were so concerned about how we would keep things together during such turbulent and challenging times. How would we manage remote learning? How would we keep our students engaged? Would we be able to give them what they needed and deserved? Would we be attune to their emotional and social health and well being?
I must tell you that I think we did OK. No, it was not my preference to teach remotely, and it was not ideal. Yet, somehow, we managed to create community, progress in our learning and keep a close watch on what was happening in the lives of our students. None of this would have been possible without your support and without you partnering with us. I am deeply grateful to you for that.
I am so looking forward to next year when I will be able to see my students (past and present ones) in the halls at Talmud Torah. I can’t wait to look them in the eyes, ask them about their families, their summer and school. Maybe I will even be able to give them some kind of a hug?
I have so enjoyed getting to know your children this year. I found them to be eager to learn, engaged and curious. Thank you for the privilege of working with your children this year.
I wish all of you a safe and enjoyable summer!