Weekly Summary Page

Pre K Through 1st Grade

November 22, 2020

Dear Families, 

I am so thankful to be with your children on Sunday mornings.  What a creative, bright and funny group we have!

Today we reviewed the Hebrew consonants we know and Hebrew vowels. We practiced “The Itsy Bitsy Spider with some Hebrew vocabulary works.  They are:  Akavish (spider), Mayim (water), Geshem (rain) and Shemesh (sun).  

Our theme today was Thanksgiving.  We added new verses to our Thank You song:  Baruch Ata Adonai, Thank you G-d, to express our gratitude.

We played Thanksgiving Mad Libs.  Children supplied the nouns, adjectives, people, foods, etc.  The  resulting story was hilarious.  Here is the link for more fun at home: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/82/6a/8f/826a8f9e91260769820eaeef64e62855.jpg

There is no Sunday school next week.  Wishing all of you a delightful two weeks.    

Love, Mindy

November 15, 2020

Dear Families, 

In preparation for the upcoming holiday of Thanksgiving, our theme today was gratitude.  We learned the song “Baruch Ata Adonai, Thank You, God”. We sang the verses in the song, and then added our own thanks in newly composed verses.  

The two new Hebrew consonants from today’s lesson are Lamed (L sound) and Yud (Y sound).  Lamed is the largest Hebrew letter and Yud is the smallest.  Our key words are Lulav (Sukkot tradition) for Lamed and Yad (hand) for Yud.  Each of us traced our Yad.  Yad is also the name of the hand shaped pointed used to read the Torah.  Please go over the Lamed and Yud pamphlets in the “Now I Know my Alef Bet” kit.  Each pamphlet contains games and writing practice exercises.

I read the book The Tale of Meshka the Kvetch.  Kvetch is the yiddish word for complainer.  In the book, Meshka’s woes increase as she complains.  When Meshka learns to express gratitude, she becomes happy.  It’s a great book to borrow from the library.  

I told the story “The Rabbi and the Lion” and your child made a related art project.  Please ask for a retelling of this fabulous story.

Have a wonderful week.  

Love, Mindy


November 8, 2020

Dear Families,

Your amazing children brought extra sunshine to our morning! We are developing a nice repertoire of Hebrew songs which enhance vocabulary.

Our topic of focus continues to be Shabbat. We are exploring the rituals and symbols of this weekly holiday: namely Shabbat candles, Kiddish cup and Challah. We read a book entitled “The Shabbat Box” which highlights the happy anticipation that accompanies Shabbat.

For Hebrew, we zeroed in on the Hebrew vowels which enable learners to read Hebrew. Once one is adept at reading Hebrew – there is no longer a need for vowels. In Israeli newspapers and in the Torah, the consonants are omitted. I personally still need to read words with vowels, but am continuing my Hebrew study. Please practice the vowel sheet we worked on in class with your child. It will boost our progress!

I told a story about value of making mistakes. Please ask your child to retell the story about the crack in the diamond. It is a beautiful example of how disappointments can lead to great outcomes!

Next week, we’ll be doing a project that requires a large piece of paper. The other supplies have been sent to you.

Have a great week! Shavuah Tov!

Love, Mindy

November 1, 2020

Dear Parents,

Today we began learning about the holiday of Shabbat, which begins each Friday evening and ends on Saturday evening with the Havdallah ceremony. Our Hebrew lesson included two new letters: Shin (makes “sh” sound) and Tav (makes “T” sound). Your child can now spell the word Shabbat in Hebrew with the letters Shin, Bet and Tav. We practiced writing the letters and you will see the Hebrew word “Shabbat” on the Challah cover your child created. The letters we’ve learned include: Aleph, Ayin, Bet, Dalet, Shin and Tav! Please look over the pamphlets for Shin and Tav with your child. Some Hebrew vocabulary words from this morning are: Sheleg (snow), Mishpacha (family), Challah (Shabbat bread), Kiddish (blessing for the wine).

I told the story “Mrs. Moskowitz and the Shabbat Candlesticks”. It is a heartwarming story about a woman who has downsized from the family home to an apartment. Initially, she is sad about the move stating “This apartment will never be a home”. When Mrs. Moskowitz’ son arrives after finding her Shabbat candlesticks in the old house – the magic begins. Please have your child tell the story of how the candlesticks transformed an apartment into a home.

Attached below is a fabulous list of Shabbat vocabulary words. Please enjoy! If you wish, you can even make flash cards for games and further study.

Have a wonderful week! Love, Mindy

October 25, 2020

Dear Families,

Your children are wonderful!

Today we spoke about the autumn harvest and discussed pumpkins. Alex, our assistant teacher, showed us photos of pumpkins grown in Israel, as well as Shabbat candlesticks made from two small pumpkins. There was also a photo of a Shabbat o Lantern!

Our Hebrew studies are progressing! Each child now has a flannel board kit with which she can write any Hebrew letters. Today’s Hebrew letter is Dalet (d sound) , chosen in honor of the Hebrew word for pumpkin D’Allat. We reviewed Bet, Aleph and Ayin, and the vowels which make the “Ah” sound. We also reviewed our Hebrew vocabulary including Ken (yes), Lo (no), Yeladim (children), Todah (thank you), Boker Tov, (good morning) and Laila Tov (good night), Shavuah Tov (good week).

I told a story of two farmers. One farmer’s crops were successful, but his neighbor was not knowledgeable about farming. Please ask your child to retell the story.

An umbrella theme in our class is kindness. We watched a short YouTube video entitled “Shoulda Done Better”, which models forgiveness and kindness. Your children are working on their own show by decorating three cardboard figures.

For homework, please go over the Dalet pamphlet with your child. It will be great if she can practice writing Hebrew letters on the flannel board and white board.

For the next class, everyone is invited to bring a stuffed animal to introduce to the class.

Have a good week! Love, Mindy

October 18, 2020

Dear Families,

Your children continue to brighten our Sunday mornings.

Today we began learning about the Torah in honor of the holiday of Simchat Torah. On Simchat Torah, the Torah readings for the entire year are completed, we roll the scroll up to the beginning. Then we start reading all over again. Each child told us about a favorite book or series that they love so much, they immediately want to read it again! Your child made a Torah with stickers and markers.

We learned two new Hebrew letters today, Ayin and Aleph. They are silent letters whose pronunciation depends upon their vowels. One way to think about it is: “Ayin and Aleph are Absent”. We studied the vowels which produce the “Ah” sound, and practiced them with the three Hebrew consonants we know, Bet, Ayin and Aleph.

We are learning to write Hebrew print with “stick figure” letters as in the chart you received in the mail. Please keep this chart, and all the Sunday school supplies, in one bag, so they are accessible to your child.
I told a story about a Rabbi on a ship to Israel whose possession was a Torah, while the other passengers had great riches. Please ask your child to retell the story.

Hebrew words to practice this week are: Boker Tov (good morning), Laila Tov (good night), Ken (yes) Lo (no) and Shemesh (Sun). For homework, please go over the Ayin and Aleph pamphlets and invite your child to engage in the activities.

Have a wonderful week! Love, Mindy

October 4, 2020

Dear Families,

It was a delight to be with your children this morning. We reviewed the High Holidays, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and recalled the symbols of these special days. We then switched our focus to the current Jewish Holiday, Sukkot. On Sukkot some temples and some families build a temporary hut to enjoy the autumn. Sukkot commemorates the time in which the Jewish people wandered in the desert after fleeing Egypt, and also the times in history when our people were farmers and set up shelters out in the fields. Sukkot is a joyous holiday of gratitude for the fall harvest. Each child made a miniature “Sukkah”, and will collect branches to make the sukkah roof.

We are learning the Aleph Bet song composed by Debbie Friedman. We looked at the first Hebrew letter in our packet – the letter Bet. Please review the Bet pamphlet with your child. There is a space for writing practice and an opportunity to make the Bet into a house or “Bayit” in Hebrew.

Key words for this week are “Shemesh” sun, “Shafan” rabbit, “Sukkah” a temporary shelter, and “Sukkot” the name of the current holiday.

We finished our morning with the beautiful Havdallah ceremony, wishing one another a good week.

Sending love and thanks, Mindy

September 13, 2020:

It was a joy to reunite with familiar friends and meet new students today.  Our class centered around the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana.  We learned about some holiday traditions, including dipping apples in honey for a sweet New Year.  Your child made an apple and honey plate for your holiday table.

Some of today’s Hebrew words and phrases included:

Tapuach – apple

Rosh – head

Shana – year

D’vash – honey

Shofar sounds – Tekeya, Teruah, Shevarim and Tekeya Gadola

Shana Tova – Good New Year!

I told a story about a man named Naftoli, who was fortunate to find employment picking apples (tapuchim).  Please ask your child to retell the story.  I will attach a photo that embodies the spirit of the story.  

Homework for third graders is to complete chapter one of our new textbook, which involves reading and writing in Hebrew.

I am thrilled to be sharing this year with you.  May you be blessed with good health and happiness!    Love, Mindy

Mindy Elins

Mindy Elins

Mindy has been a teacher at SSJS for many years. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education (expressive therapies) from Lesley University, and a Master’s certification in Early Childhood Education from Hebrew College. Mindy completed a graduate fellowship in Leadership Education at Brandeis University. Ms. Elins loves to interact with students and their families. She weaves storytelling, art, movement and music into fun-filled sessions.
Mindy Elins

Mindy Elins

Mindy has been a teacher at SSJS for many years. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education (expressive therapies) from Lesley University, and a Master’s certification in Early Childhood Education from Hebrew College. Mindy completed a graduate fellowship in Leadership Education at Brandeis University. Ms. Elins loves to interact with students and their families. She weaves storytelling, art, movement and music into fun-filled sessions.