Message from Michelle Folickman, Education Director

Well— we did it! We made it to 2021! If you wanted to look back at the year in just 10 minutes, I recommend CNN10, a 10 minute student news cast that airs on school days. Their end of 2020 episode is here. I asked some students to come up with their own looking back on 2020 highlights, and answers ranged from “new fashion accessories– the mask!” to “more time at home playing with my busy parents” and everything in between. Silver linings! After you watch the year in review, I’d encourage you to come up with your own list of 2020 silver linings.
Looking back at Sunday School for Jewish Studies’ 2020, like the rest of the world, we too lost a lot. Most profoundly, we lost our beloved long-time ivrit aleph teacher, Renee Abramson. We will never forget the amazing woman that she was and the impact she had on her students and our school. Zichrona livracha, may her memory be for a blessing.
On a much smaller scale, we lost a bit of our community’s togetherness and family feeling, having to be remote all year. Remote learning is hard. It’s hard on our kids, it’s hard on our parents, and it’s hard on our teachers, but boy has it been a success overall! Our pivot to the remote Shalom@Home program allowed us to seamlessly continue delivering engaging, accessible, and high-quality Jewish education to our students from safe@home. In doing so, we lost revenue, slashing our tuition in half to make this program accessible to more families in this challenging time. But our pivot allowed us not only to survive, but in some senses to thrive. We even have a handful of students learning from out of state! How incredible is that? 
Starting this month, we will be launching a preschool program due to popular demand. This will help us to broaden our reach and provide an SSJS education to even younger children and their families. It will also help us ensure stability in the future in a time when across the board, recruitment for Jewish education programs is challenging.  Contact SSJSNewton@gmail.com for more information. 
If you are wondering how you can give back to SSJS this holiday season, your donations are more crucial than ever before. In addition to donations, your referrals will help both the Sunday School, and the family you have referred. Some of our classes still have spots available for this year, and we hope to welcome returning and new families back onsite next year assuming it has been deemed safe to do so. 
We hope you will invite friends and family to join us for our Challah@Home virtual challah baking workshop on February 28. ‘Challah Guru Carbologist’ Mandy of Mandylicious Challah will teach a really fun and delicious kid-friendly workshop just for us! As promised, we will learn to bake the most delicious stuffed challah, two ways! It’s much easier than it looks and is sure to impress. Bring the kids for a safe and fun boredom-busting afternoon activity! RSVP to SSJSNewton@gmail.com to receive the link, and don’t forget to spread the word!

January Calendar

The full 2020-21 calendar can be found here. The password was sent out via email.

Sunday, January 3:
No School – Winter Break

Sunday, January 10:
PreK- Grade 7 in Session

Sunday, January 17
No School – MLK Weekend

Sunday, January 24:
Preschool – Grade 7 in Session

Sunday, January 31:
PreK – Grade 7 in Session