5th Grade (Hey) Class Update



Susie's Hey 1 & 2 Letter:

Dear Hey (5th-grade) Parents,

I want to thank all of you who were able to come to our parent-student-teacher conferences last Sunday. It was certainly my first set of remote interactive conferences in my life, and I felt that it was a success! Attendance was high, parents were able to have one-on-one private conferences, and we communicated easily. I was happy that the students participated in both showing appreciation for what they have been learning, and were able to provide very good feedback on what it has felt like on their end. I think most students were surprised to hear that the game Kahoot! (that they enjoy so much) is also an assessment tool that gives me an idea of how the material is being learned and when there is a need to review some content more deeply. It is a very enjoyable game and I am glad it is also so useful for my teaching.

Torah Class: We have finished the first 11 chapters of Genesis and now it’s finally “our” turn -- the first Jew will come into the story. Avram heard God’s command and followed it, made a covenant with God, and the rest is, of course, history! I am excited to explore Avram’s life with your students in the coming months and, based upon the way they have been engaged with the characters so far, I think they will find Avram--and especially his relationship with God and with others--very interesting.

Some interesting discussions took place in class when we learned that Noah heard God’s command to build an ark and complied with God’s request with no comments of his own .

Some students’ comments were:

  • “How come Noah didn’t say “What?! The whole world will be destroyed? Every man, woman, and child? How can everyone be wicked !?“

  • “How come he just stood there and was quiet?"

  • “Noah should have said something to God!“

This will stand in juxtaposition to Avram who, upon hearing from God that He intends to destroy two towns (Sodom and Gomorrah), argues with God and bargains with Him to look for righteous people. I think the students will enjoy that.

I hope you are all keeping healthy and safe during this time. Thank you for the trust you have in all of us here at Talmud Torah!

Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year!

Susie Chalom


Mary's Hey 1 & 2 Letter:

Dear Hey 1 & 2 Parents,


It was a pleasure seeing so many of you at our recent parent-student-teacher conferences. I hope that you and your families enjoyed a wonderful Hanukkah together.


After completing our unit on Shabbat, I asked my students if Thanksgiving was a Jewish holiday. We decided that it was indeed very Jewish without being a Jewish holiday per se. Gratitude and giving thanks is one of our paramount Jewish values and we need to take every opportunity to express our gratitude.


We have been spending a lot of our time learning about Hanukkah, especially its relevance to us today. Although Hanukkah is not considered one of our major holidays, it’s message reflects the core of our being Jewish. It brings up the question of how important our Judaism is to us.


We continue our study of Hebrew by practicing our reading, adding to our Siddur vocabulary, and learning new modern Hebrew words as well.


I wish you and your families an enjoyable winter break. It continues to be a joy working with your children!


L’hitraot,

Mary Baumgarten


Hey 3 (Tues/Thurs)


Dear Hey 3 (5th-grade Tues/Thus) Parents,


It was a pleasure seeing so many of you at our recent parent-student-teacher conferences. I hope that you and your families enjoyed a wonderful Hanukkah together.


After completing our unit on Shabbat I asked my students if Thanksgiving was a Jewish holiday. We decided that it was indeed very Jewish without being a Jewish holiday per se. Gratitude and giving thanks is one of our paramount Jewish values and we need to take every opportunity to express our gratitude.


We have been spending a lot of our time learning about Hanukkah, especially its relevance to us today. Although Hanukkah is not considered one of our major holidays, it’s message reflects the core of our being Jewish. It brings up the question of how important our Judaism is to us.


In our study of Torah we spoke about the importance of our choices, related to Adam and Eve. “Am I my brother’s keeper,” was our focus as we learned about Cain and Abel. When learning about Noah we spoke about what it means to “walk with God” and how we interpret that Noah was “righteous in his generation.”


We continue to work on our Hebrew reading, both modern as well as Siddur Hebrew. It is important to me that students learn to recognize and comprehend basic Siddur vocabulary and phrases. Our vocabulary continues to grow as well as our knowledge about root words and prefixes. Prior to Hanukkah students made simple Hebrew sentences related to Hanukkah and said them out loud.


I wish you and your families an enjoyable winter break. It continues to be a joy working with your children!


L’hitraot,

Mary Baumgarten

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