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Last week at Sunday school, we welcomed Rabbi Josh to lead family minyan at CBHCS. We so enjoyed having him visit!


During family minyan, Rabbi Josh went over the middah of Ometz Lev. Ometz Lev means “courage,” and literally translates as “strength of heart.” Rabbi Josh guided us in exploring this middah through the lens of having the courage to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions. To help illustrate this theme, he had some of our madrichim come up and help perform a brief skit about the Garden of Eden. He pointed out that rather than having the courage to take responsibility for their own actions, Adam and Eve both pointed fingers at someone else. Members of our audience then gave suggestions on how Adam and Eve could have showed ometz lev in their responses to God about having eaten from the forbidden tree.


Last Sunday was also our second session of CBH Parent n’ Me. This session was entitled “Sensory Shabbat.” Our parents and kids sang "Shabbat Shalom" and danced with scarves, did a yoga Shabbat Candle Pose, discussed how different families relax and connect on the weekend, and saw some pictures of traditional Shabbat symbols/came up with movements to go with each. While our parents discussed personal Shabbat customs with Rabbi G, our kiddos did a Fizzing Grape Juice experiment (and got to drink some regular grape juice), used lots of different sponges to paint challah covers, heard some Shabbat stories, and played Shabbat Simon Says. To end the session, we passed around havdalah spices for parents and kids to smell, and gave each family a sensory Shabbat mural project to do together at home.


To find out what fun is on the horizon, check the bottom of each blog post for our "Upcoming Events" section.


To find out what our students were up to in their classes last week, see below:


K/1st Grade


This week at CBHCS, we…

  • Learned about the Jewish Creation story.

  • We saw a Shalom Sesame video about the Creation story and read about the Days of Creation together.

  • Talked about the meaning/significance of the word “Bereishit,” and colored a Days of Creation coloring page for our student journals.

  • Played a group movement game to learn the Days of Creation, and learned/sang the Avodah-Menuchah song together (a Hebrew song about the Days of Creation).

  • Explored the Days of Creation through tactiles, with a “Creation Grab-Bag” group game.

  • Practiced our Chanukah song, "Sevivon."

Our K/1st Grade B class also created watercolor paintings, to be sent to our local Jewish senior citizen home, to help brighten the lives of those who live there.




2nd/3rd Grade


Last Sunday, we learned the story of Noah’s ark. We discussed that, in the story, Noah is the only righteous person in a world full of wicked people; God chooses to start the new world

after the flood; and God creates the rainbow as a sign that the earth will never be destroyed again.

We also combined both of our 2nd/3rd grade classes, to do a special project together: Each child created a mezuzah using a plastic test tube. We had so much fun!


In Hebrew, we learned and practiced the Shema and Ve’Ahavta prayers.

Can’t wait to see you this weekend!


4th Grade


Last Sunday, we learned about Joshua and his fight for freedom. We learned the story of when Joshua led the Israelites at the Battle of Jericho. We discussed that freedom is a blessing that comes with responsibilities.


In Hebrew, we learned and practiced the Brachot shel Mitzvot--blessings that one says when doing different mitzvot.


5th Grade


This past Sunday, our theme was “Zicharon,” which means remembrance. As a continuation of our Holocaust unit, we attended the speaking event of a child-of-a-Holocaust-survivor who was a guest at CBH on Lavista. (This followed our Holocaust tour of the Breman Museum on 10/6.) Though this year’s speaker chose to focus on family members who were more fortunate during the Holocaust, any survivor or family-of-a-survivor’s experience is incredibly important, as it reminds us that this was a real event, and that there are living people who are still personally and more directly affected by it.


One of the takeaways from our Holocaust tour at the Breman was “So the Holocaust was real? I thought it was a story, like Pharaoh and the Jewish slaves.”

It is incredibly important to emphasize the difference between Jewish religious stories and world history, especially as fewer Holocaust survivors remain alive than ever before. We find it so important and meaningful at CBHCS that we are able to offer this unit to our 5th graders/5th grade families, to help preserve the knowledge, awareness, and remembrance of this enormously impactful historic event.


We look forward to returning to our regular classes this weekend, and to any follow-up discussion or questions that the kids have.


6th Grade


In 6th grade last week, we learned about Joseph. In the story, Joseph’s brothers are jealous of the way he is favored by Jacob. We discussed that Joseph and his brothers serve as an example of a bad family dynamic which ultimately is resolved.


In Hebrew, we are continuing to try out our new grouping system: Some students are working on more foundational aspects of Hebrew (such as recognition, decoding, blending, etc) and some practiced Lecha Adonai and began learning Birchot HaTorah.

Looking forward to seeing your children this Sunday!


7th Grade


Last weekend, we did a review of our judges unit. We discussed that the stories of the judges provide us with guidance, the prophets were spokespeople for God during biblical times, and that we can link the stories of the prophets to modern day issues of social justice (as we have done in this class since the beginning of the year).


In Hebrew, we practiced V’Shamru.

See you on Sunday!


Upcoming Events at CBHCS


  • 11/03 - Rabbi Josh visits and leads family minyan

  • 11/03 - Rabbi Josh leads the Rise Up social activism class for our teens

  • 11/10 - Chana Rothman visits and leads family minyan, followed by a parent workshop

  • 11/24 - Thanksgiving Break

  • 12/01 - Thanksgiving Break

  • 12/08 - Rabbi Josh visits and leads family minyan

  • 12/08 - CBH Parent n’ Me

  • 12/08 - Rise Up teen social event in the afternoon (details TBA)

  • 12/15 - CBH congregational meeting at CBH on Lavista

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Now that we are past the High Holidays, we are happy to be back to our regularly-scheduled weekly newsletter!


Last Sunday at CBHCS, Rabbi G led family minyan and introduced the middah of Shalom. She went over what it means to have peace, and discussed how prayer/meditation can be used as a way to ground oneself in peace. Rabbi G used the analogy (as presented by Alan Morinis in Everyday Holiness) of riding the waves of the ocean on a surfboard: The waves are unpredictable, but peace and equanimity help us to stay balanced as we ride out whatever comes our way, just as a surfer does, rather than being tossed around by the waves of life.


To find out what fun is on the horizon, check the bottom of each blog post for our "Upcoming Events" section.


To find out what our students were up to in their classes last week, see below:


K/1st Grade

This week at CBHCS, we learned all about Sukkot and Simchat Torah! We...

  • Practiced saying the blessing for eating inside of the sukkah, and saw where Sukkot and Simchat Torah fall on the Hebrew calendar.

  • Saw pictures of different sukkahs, learned the rules for building a sukkah, and designed our own sukkahs.

  • Saw pictures of a lulav and etrog, learned what they are, and practiced shaking them in the traditional way.

  • Played Simchat Torah Freeze Dance, learned how to say “Torah tziva lanu Moshe” and what it means, and made “Why I’m happy for the Torah” pages.

See you this Sunday!



2nd/3rd Grade

This past Sunday, our two 2nd/3rd Grade classes combined and did a lesson on Sukkot. For Judaics, we did a really impactful lesson on where does food come from, what does food mean to different families around the world, and how that relates to Sukkot.


For Hebrew we read through the prayer for God commanding us to dwell in the sukkah.


We have a lot of fun planned for next Sunday--see you this weekend!


4th Grade

Last Sunday, we went over a few different themes:

We learned that...

  • God is a major character in the Torah.

  • Sukkot is a Jewish harvest holiday during which we thank God for food.

  • Each year we re-read the Torah and there is always something new to learn.

  • Simchat Torah is the holiday on which we celebrate the completion of reading the Torah and starting over again.

Looking forward to seeing you this Sunday!


5th Grade

Last Sunday, we learned about the important mitzvah "Lo l’vayeish," which means "do not embarrass." This is a fundamental Jewish value that teaches us not to embarrass others and teaches us how we can avoid doing so. We discussed that it is also important to apologize when we have embarrassed others.


For Hebrew, we introduced a new system in which we combined with the 6th Grade class: This gives us more flexibility in separating students into groups that match their level of Hebrew experience, so we can better tailor to each student's needs and "divide and conquer." With this system, we will have two teachers and two madrichim available--meaning that each group will have more individualized attention, so that we are able to work with them at their level and pace. This intro week was mostly about evaluating and placing students in groups. We look forward to continue this new system, and we have high hopes for its efficiency!


6th Grade

Last weekend, we went over the Parshiyot Toldot, Vayeitzei, and Vayishlach. We learned that in these parshot, Jacob and Esau are twin brothers who have an intense rivalry. We discussed that this rivalry is present amongst Jacob’s twelve sons as well.


For Hebrew, we introduced a new system in which we combined with the 5th Grade class: This gives us more flexibility in separating students into groups that match their level of Hebrew experience, so we can better tailor to each student's needs and "divide and conquer." With this system, we will have two teachers and two madrichim available--meaning that each group will have more individualized attention, so that we are able to work with them at their level and pace. This intro week was mostly about evaluating and placing students in groups. We look forward to continue this new system, and we have high hopes for its efficiency!


7th Grade

Last week, we learned about Samson from Tanakh. We discussed that each of us has strengths, strengths can be used positively and negatively, and justice and revenge are different. We learned that Samson, the judge, was occasionally motivated by revenge.


In Hebrew, we practiced the Kedushah prayer.


Looking forward to seeing you all again this coming Sunday.



Upcoming Events at CBHCS


10/25 - Rise Up Teens: Shabbat Dinner & A Movie with Rabbi Josh


10/27 - Guest child-of-a-Holocaust-survivor speaker event (open to the community/continuation of the 5th grade Holocaust unit*)

*This will be in lieu of regular classes for the 5th grade class.


10/27 - CBH Parent n' Me: Sensory Shabbat


11/3 - Rabbi Josh leads family minyan


11/3 - Rise Up Teens: Social Activism Class with Rabbi Josh


11/10 - Chana Rothman visits and leads family minyan/parent workshop

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After many years, I have decided to up our Brit Mitzvah game. Our current guidelines requiring 15 Shabbat morning over the course of two years are over a decade old. Over the years, I have listened to parents' and children’s feedback and I think it is time to try something new.


I started by going back and reviewing some of the original goals of the process that inspired the requirement.

  • Develop a deeper connection to the CBH community

  • Cultivate a meaningful understanding and a spiritual connection with Shabbat services and prayer

  • Enable our families and children comfort and confidence in participating and leading Shabbat services

  • Spread the commitment over 2 years to make it easier to achieve

While the vast majority of our children do achieve the 15 services guideline and are well equipped to lead their services, it is not without a fair amount of urging and reminding from staff and complaints from families. Moreover, this achievement does not always fulfill the goal that our families develop a deeper connection to the community.


One unspoken goal that I have is that our children enjoy and look forward to the process. And the 15 Shabbat morning requirement has been the area with the greatest pushback. I thought this could be a good time to make a change.


Rather than requiring 15 services, I have decided to look at the goals and make a game out of it: Bingo! To “win” the game, each child will be asked to fill either 3 columns or rows. There is one row that is required, which has 5 squares of Shabbat morning services. In addition to the Shabbat morning services, kids can mark off other squares like Friday night services, Holidays, Finish Tikkun Olam Project, Meet with the Rabbi, Have Shabbat dinner at home, etc. Most of these may also be substituted by a Shabbat morning service if your family chooses. (See the image of the card)


Instead of a sign-in sheet, there will be a bingo card with your child’s name on it at all services. We will also send you a copy of the card so you can see the options. When a child finishes a column or a row, their name will be put in for quarterly drawings of gift cards to Bruster's Real Ice Cream. And if a child should complete an entire card, they will be able to draw for a money amount from $18 - $180 to be donated to their tikkun olam project.


My hope is that this will be fun for all our kids. On one hand, Bingo Brit Mitzvah diversifies and eases up on the requirement for families who need it and gives incentives for families who strive to do more. Most importantly, I hope it will strengthen the connection between our families and the congregation.


- Rabbi Josh


(To see full card, click on the PDF link on our B'nei Mitzvah page.)

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