Susie Chalom & Jeff Miller
(Mon/Wed & Tues/Thur):
Dear Vav parents,
It has been a hectic time with all the holidays until this week.
For the holidays, we covered the customs, ceremonies and rituals for Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur and the various holidays included in Sukkot. We also studied the Book of Jonah and discussed the various aspects of forgiveness that are the book’s main theme.
I introduced them to the custom of “Magash Brachot” (a tray of blessings) where one eats foods to ensure that good blessing come to us in the New Year. Just like we all eat apples and honey for a sweet New Year. Sephardim (people who trace their descent from the Jews of Spain) have a whole ritual around specific foods.
Our class variation of that was:
popcorn - may good ideas “pop” into our heads this year.
Grapes - may we be “grapeful” for what we have
Fish crackers - we bit the heads off so we would be “heads and not tails”
Berries - a berry sweet year and a few more.
This is part of my intent to add relevancy and fun to our traditions so our children cherish and love being Jewish. Please share with me if your family has any different rituals or traditions around Hanukkah, our next holiday. I will be most appreciative.
The Sacred Text we will cover this year is the section of the Tanach (Bible) called Nevi’im (Prophets). Before we start Nevi’im, we are reviewing the narrative of of the Torah so to provide the continuity of the time line. Your child might feel we are repeating material they learned before, but we are doing it at a deeper level than last year and it is providing us with many opportunities to discuss questions that are relevant to their lives.
The book we are going to study from (The Explorer’s Bible part 2) has been out of stock so we are taking steps to remedy that situation and we will have the material ready in a week or two.
I want to address an important issue I am challenged with. The issue is that some of the students’ behavior in class is rude and is disruptive to our study and discussions. Because of the many breaks from class because of the holidays, I tried to be tolerant and patient with the disruptions. Now that we are getting into the flow of the school year, I expect the students to focus in class and do their best to have respect of each other and of the teachers.
We have discussed KAVOD (respect) and they all agree that a respectful classroom is one where people listen to each other without interrupting and feel heard by their peers.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case in class and we are taking steps to remedy that.
I consider you parents my partners in this. I hope you all agree that we are partners in the Jewish education of your child and you want your child to be respectful.
I am working with our Head of school Jody Moreimi and our administrator Michelle Parks to ensure that respectful behavior is the norm in both classes.
Please talk to your student and impress upon them the importance of acting respectfully not only in Talmud Torah class but everywhere.
Please feel free to call or text me with any concerns or questions you have.
My cell is 612-916-8799 and please add your name to the text so I recognize you.
Thank you for your support and for entrusting your child to Talmud Torah
Susie Chalom and assistant Jeff Miller