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5th Grade (Hey) Class Update

Tues/Thurs 5th Grade Parents, click here and scroll to the bottom

Susie's Update

Dear Hey 1 and 2 Parents,

Now that the holidays are over, we can settle into our regular routine. It has been a month of teaching and getting to know our students better, albeit with weekly interruptions for the holidays. We have spent time during class to get to know your children better and connect with them remotely. I’m hopeful that now, meeting twice a week, the process of connecting will be enhanced and I look forward to good discussions with them.


We have been reading and learning the first two chapters of Genesis. Some of the questions that have come up in class are:

What kind of world did God create? (everything He created, He said “was good.animals and humans were vegetarian, humans were like children not knowing the difference between good and evil)

Why were people created last? (rabbis and students gave their own midrashim (interpretations) for that: 1) God prepared everything in advance for them; 2) they were the pinnacle of creation that went from simple to complex creatures; 3) so that they not be too arrogant, one can say that even the mosquito was created before people; 4) God prepared everything that they would be in charge of first and then created His partners who would do “His work’ tending to nature and its creatures.

What do we learn from the fact that all of humanity descended from one couple? Everyone in the world is equal to everyone since we have the same parentage, if one saves a life it is as if one saved an entire world since every person contains within him/herself all the potential descendants that will come from them.

We are now going into the story of Adam and Eve disobeying God’s command to not eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and what the implications of that story are. I asked them to contemplate why Steve Jobs chose the apple with a bite taken out of it to be the logo of his Apple company and what could that have to do with our story.

We are really enjoying your students and thank you for the honor and trust you place in us and in Talmud Torah. Please partner with us in making sure that your students have both the space, the equipment and computer connectivity to fully participate in class. Remind them to have their books ready in the quiet space that you have designated to be their learning space at home and that everything is working well. We are always happy to see you before the lesson starts and hope you feel comfortable getting in touch with us if you have any questions and concerns.

Thank you and be well,

Susie Chalom

Mary's Update

Dear Hey 1 and 2 Parents,

Our fall holidays have come and gone. Among other things, we had the opportunity to speak about forgiveness and about wishes we have for the Jewish people, the world, and ourselves. In relation to Sukkot we spoke about what life was like for our ancestors as they wandered through the desert for 40 years and about God’s ongoing protection. Students were asked who they would invite into their Sukkah from the past and the present. Many of their answers were heartwarming and thoughtful. Prior to Simchat Torah, we also spoke about the importance of the Torah and how the Torah is a “ tree of life” for us.

In Hebrew we are working on reading, saying short Hebrew sentences using common verbs, and root words. We also focus on key Siddur vocabulary like the words “baruch,” (blessed) “kadosh,” (holy) and “mitzvah”.

It is a pleasure to be working with your children and I appreciate your partnering with us.


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