5th-Grade (Kitah Hey) Class Update

Updated: Apr 30



Hey 1 & 2 (5th-grade)

Dear Kitah Hey 1 & 2 (5th-grade) Parents,

As we reread last month’s newsletter to know from what point to start our update, it struck us that when we wrote the March newsletter, we had just had our wonderful Living Museum and we had seen so many of you parents and dear grandparents - we were living in such a different reality from today. Well, we are now in Zoom School as you know, and that has had its rewards as well as its challenges. We have been hard at work learning new technologies in order to make our lessons engaging and compelling online, and the students have had their own learning curve with the technology and with their attention span and focus while learning in this “Hollywood Squares” format. Thank you for helping us, on your side of the screen, by ensuring that your student is in a quiet space and able to focus.

Torah

We are finishing up with Jacob’s story. One of our goals in teaching our students about Jacob’s life is to show them how, even when one has made mistakes in the past (he deceived his father, stole the birthright from his brother and had to flee from home because Esau, his brother wanted to kill him) there is always a chance that a person will change and become a better person.

Life, as portrayed in the Torah, often gives us “מידה כנגד מידה” Measure for measure--these words (often attributed to Shakespeare who wrote a play by that name and before him, to Jesus,) are really an ancient Jewish saying meaning “as you do to others, life will give back to you”. In Jacob’s case, just like he deceived his father (who was blind)--he was deceived in the darkness of his wedding night (getting Leah instead of Rachel as his bride), and his own sons will deceive him when they sell Joseph as a slave and show their father the bloody multi-colored tunic and let their father believe that Joseph was killed by a wild animal. But Jacob’s life is a long life and as he ages, there is redemption. He changes from Jacob to Israel (one who struggles with God) in the coming chapters. Jacob certainly is one of the most compelling characters in the Torah.

Israel

In honor of Israel’s Independence Day on Wednesday, April 29, we began study about Israel over the course of three lessons. We will continue to use videos to “tour” Israel and discuss our connection to and our love of this country that is the homeland of us all.

Jewish Living

April and May are filled with holidays and commemorations. We spent much time preparing for Pesach: the story, customs, rituals, and selections from the Haggadah. We moved from Pesach to Yom HaShoah. The children knew quite a bit about the Shoah but wanted to know more. We spoke about Anne Frank and why her story is universal and so popular now during COVID-19. They were very impressed by some of her quotes which exuded optimism and positivity even during the darkest of times. Our next topics will be Israel’s Yom Hazikaron and Independence Day, Yom Ha’atzmaut. My goal is to share with them the great pride that we all should have in this wonderful small country of ours.

Ivrit

We will be working on the last unit in our book. The theme of the story is that of a mezuzah from Israel. I took my classes on a tour of some of the mezuzot in my home and they were quite impressed by their beauty and variety. I also gave them a few minutes to design a mezuzah of their own. The results were remarkable. In addition to some new vocabulary and grammar (possessives), we will continue with some reading practice. Our text will be the first paragraph of the Shema. They will surely be eager to chant it as well as many of the students have been learning Torah trope at Beth El and Adath.

Thank you for making sure that your children are Zooming in. As much as we would like to see them in person, we enjoy having them with us on Zoom! We will continue to do our best to keep them engaged for the last weeks of our school year.

Stay safe and healthy.

Mary and Susie


Hey 3


Dear Hey 3 (5th-grade) Parents,

I hope that this communication finds all of you well. As much as I would love to be with your children in person, we are doing our best staying connected via Zoom. I appreciate all your efforts in making sure that students Zoom in and have their materials. Here is a recap of what we have been doing:


Jewish Living

April and May are filled with holidays and commemorations. We spent much time preparing for Pesach: the story, customs, rituals and selections from the Haggadah. We moved from Pesach to Yom HaShoah. The children knew quite a bit about the Shoah but wanted to know more. We spoke about Anne Frank and why her story is universal and so popular now during COVID-19. They were very impressed by some of her quotes which exuded optimism and positivity even during the darkest of times. Our next topics will be Israel’s Yom Hazikaron and Independence Day, Yom Ha’atzmaut. My goal is to share with them the great pride that we all should have in this wonderful small country of ours.

Ivrit

We will be working on the last unit in our book. The theme of the story is that of a mezzuzah from Israel. I took my classes on a tour of some of the mezuzot in my home and they were quite impressed by their beauty and variety. I also gave them a few minutes to design a mezuzah of their own. The results were remarkable. In addition to some new vocabulary and grammar (possessives), we will continue with some reading practice. Our text will be the first paragraph of the Shema. They will surely be anxious to chant it as well as many of the students have been learning Torah trope at Beth El and Adath.

Torah

We continue to learn the stories of our patriarchs, most recently, Isaac and Rebekah, and Jacob and Esau. The families we learn about are not perfect and many mistakes are made. We see that people can change and that forgiveness is possible. Jacob’s family develops into the 12 tribes of Israel and his name is changed to Yisrael--that’s us! Our final unit of study will be about Joseph and our growth into a nation.

Thank you for continuing to make sure that your children are Zooming in. I will continue to do my best to keep them engaged during our ZOOM sessions for the last weeks of our school year.

Stay safe and healthy.

Mary


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