The CBH School Blog

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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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This past Sunday, Rabbi G introduced the middah of Anavah, which is Hebrew for “humility.” She explained that humility is a balance: Having too little humility leads to bragging and arrogance, and having too much humility leads to low self-esteem and an impaired ability to connect and help in your community.


After family minyan, our parents stayed while their children went up to their classes, for the CBHCS Parent Engagement Team-sponsored “Raising our Kids in a Gender Diverse World.” This fantastic discussion was facilitated by Rebecca Stapel-Wax, Executive Director of SOJOURN, together with Rabbi G and CBHCS parents Robyn Painter and Peter Isbister. It was a fantastic offering, and we are so grateful to everyone involved in organizing it for our parents.


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 Rosh Hashanah!

  • We saw what month Rosh Hashanah is in on the Jewish calendar, sang our Rosh Hashanah song, and did a “how many apples tall” activity to measure each student in our class.

  • Learned about tashlich and did a tashlich meditation.

  • Played a group “Rosh Hashanah Traditions Charades” game, and discussed traditional Rosh Hashanah activities, rituals, and symbols.

  • Heard some Rosh Hashanah stories and discussed our thoughts about them.

See you this Sunday!


2nd/3rd Grade


Last Sunday, we continued to practice the Hinai Mah Tov prayer. We are reading the words, learning a couple of tunes, and learning the meaning behind the prayer.


For Judaics, we continued to learn about Rosh Hashanah. In addition to discussion, we read some great books about Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and began to introduce Sukkot with a fun Sukkot story.


Can’t wait to see your kids again this weekend.


4th Grade


Last week, we continued to work on our literacy skills in Hebrew, and also continued practicing the Brachot.


In Judaics, we learned the story of when Moses sent 12 scouts to Canaan to explore the land and report back. In the story, Moses, and most of the Israelites who participate in the Exodus from Egypt, were not allowed to enter Canaan. We explained the differences between the reports of the various scouts sent to Canaan, located Egypt and Canaan on a contemporary map, and put the order of events during Moses’s life in proper chronology.


See you next weekend!


5th Grade


Last week we focused on the kids’ least favorite subject: Tests.


We started by discussing why teachers (other than me), use tests. And then we segued into our Judaics’ discussion on the first three tests in the Torah:

> Adam and Eve’s temptation in the Garden of Eden

> Cain’s sacrifice and whether he is (and all of us are) “our brother’s keeper”?

> Noah’s response to the flood (whether he was more like the raven or dove — https://www.bimbam.com/noah/)


In Hebrew, we worked on Bar’chu, in our small groups. One group worked on sounding out the letters and vowels to make words; the more experienced group read the whole prayer.


It was a great Sunday! Thanks for sharing your kids with us.


6th Grade


This past Sunday, we introduced the Ki Mi'Tzion/Baruch Shenatan prayers in Hebrew, and began to practice reading and saying them.


In Judaics, we went over Parshat Lech Lecha. Parshat Lech Lecha covers the beginning of Abraham’s life. We learned that Abraham was the first Monotheist--the first person to believe exclusively in one God. We discussed the covenant God made with Abraham.


Looking forward to seeing your kids this Sunday!


7th Grade


Last week we did a discussion of Joshua and walls. We discussed who had the obligation to break down walls--Judges? Legislators?

We tied this into the Supreme Court case of Endrew v. Douglas County Schools: A case where the Supreme Court discussed what a school district must do to provide a free appropriate education under IDEA.


We also had a discussion of the multi-faceted meanings of humility, which was the middah Rabbi G covered in family minyan.


In Hebrew, we broke into our groups to practice our Hebrew literacy skills, and learn the Avot v’Imahot blessings.

After that, we continued what is now our tradition of playing Jewish/Hebrew Hangman. What is great to see based on that game is how positive so many of the kids are about their Jewish identity.


Looking forward to seeing you all again this coming Sunday.


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