The CBH School Blog

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Last Sunday, Rabbi G led family minyan and introduced the theme of “Ometz Lev,” which means "courage." (It literally translates to "strength of heart.") She discussed what it means to have the courage to be yourself, quoting the story of Rabbi Zusha.

She also taught us how to bow to the prayer “Barechu,” and went over the historical reasons that Jews bow the way we do now, rather than fully prostrated.



We also had our first session of Parent n’ Me. It was a BLAST! As a group, we enjoyed some movement (with dance scarves!) to the "Dip the Apple In the Honey" song we sang together, and did a Rosh Hashanah “Apple Tree” yoga pose and movement game. We talked about our wishes for the new year (hint: most preschoolers' RH wishes involve unicorns) and created hand-print apples. Then while our parents/guardians enjoyed some learning with Rabbi G, the kiddos heard a story about a little apple tree and "acted out" the story using (gluten-free) apple pie-scented play-dough. They also decorated a Honey Apple Cake recipe card with apple stamping for their parents/guardians to use at home. With our parents/guardians, we did an apple-tasting of five different kinds of apples while reading a RH lift-the-flap book together. Our parents enjoyed 45 min of kid-free learning with Rabbi G, discussing personal Rosh Hashanah traditions and experience, as well as the food symbolism for Rosh Hashanah. Our 1-4 year olds and their families are more than ready for the new year!



K/1st Grade

This week at CBHCS, we…

  • Learned the differences between the English calendar and the Jewish calendar, colored our own individual classroom calendars, and found out our Hebrew birthday months.

  • We learned that the Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar, and did a sensory Play-Doh project to learn about the phases of the moon.

  • Played a group game, sorting the English holidays and the Hebrew holidays.

  • Practiced our Rosh Hashanah song and heard a Hebrew months song.


2nd/3rd Grade


Last Sunday, we talked about the upcoming holiday, Rosh Hashanah. We discussed that apples and honey are symbolic of wishing for a sweet new year. We talked about the sweet things and blessings we have had in the past year, and what we are excited for next year. We also created apple and honey plates!


So far in Hebrew, we have learned the letters aleph, bet/vet, gimmel, dalet, hay, vav, and zayin. We have also learned the ah, eh, ooh, and oh vowels.

Looking forward to seeing your children next Sunday!


4th Grade


Last Sunday, we learned that the Israelites’ freedom from slavery is a central focus of Jewish history, and that we recall the story of the Exodus in daily prayers and especially on Shabbat and holidays.


In Hebrew, we practiced reading and saying the Brachot prayers.


See you next Sunday!


5th Grade


In Hebrew, we split the class into two groups. The group with the stronger Hebrew foundation completed their first prayer—reading the Shema and V’ahavta. The other half worked with me on vowels and the letters that look alike; we came up with mnemonic devices to remember the sounds each makes.


In Judaics, we continued our journey through Genesis, acting out and discussing the story of Cain and Able. Sibling rivalry was not lost on these kids. The story also gave us a perfect opening to talk about the importance of always trying our best, to being “our brother’s keeper,” and the importance of honesty.


Because they were so focused, we ended the class with a magic trick — which seemed to be the perfect incentive to keep the kids engaged and motivated until the end of class. I’ll likely keep this up as a closing activity.


As always, please reach out to us if you have ideas or suggestions that would make our time together on Sundays more successful.


6th Grade


This past Sunday, we learned that Parshat Noach is a parshah in the Torah. In the parsha, God saves Noah, his family, and certain animals from the destruction of the flood. We also learn in this parsha that before people build the Tower of Babel, everyone can understand each other.


In Hebrew, we practiced working on our reading and letter skills, as well as important words from the prayers.


See you this weekend!


7th Grade


Last week, we talked about tzedakah and why it is such an important mitzvah. We also had a debate on censorship and political correctness as the new McCarthyism. The purpose of the debates was to offer thoughts to the students so they could polish their public speaking skills in preparation for their bar or bat mitzvahs. All of them are well on their way to being comfortable in front of an audience.


In Hebrew, we broke into three groups and read the Ashrei prayer.


Finally, we ended by playing Jewish/Hebrew hangman where each student had to get the class to guess a Jewish or Hebrew related clue.

See you this weekend!

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We had a lot of fun last week at CBHCS!


During family minyan last Sunday, Rabbi G introduced the middah of Kavod, which means “honor.” She tied the idea of honoring others into diversity and inclusion. We are proud of the diversity of individuals that make up the whole at CBHCS! As an extension of this morning learning, Rabbi G had a project for students to complete once they got into their classrooms: Each student selected a person-shaped cardstock cut-out (from an array of different skin colors) and decorated it to look like themselves. Some students wrote words on their people that they felt went with their identities. At the end of the day, each class turned in their cardstock people to Kate. We will be using them as part of a future school project that will continue to expand upon the theme of celebrating diversity, a little later in the year.



Last Sunday was also the first meeting of our new teen program, Rise up with Rabbi Josh. Rabbi Josh and our teens went on a guided tour of the history of Black Atlanta. (Be sure to check out our teen page and/or our social media to see more pictures!) This year, our Rise Up program is focused on the themes of leadership and social issues that are currently relevant to our teens.



This coming Sunday, our school is on break due to Labor Day weekend. We hope all our families have a lovely extended weekend, and we look forward to seeing you all when we resume on September 8th!


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 that there are 613 mitzvot in the Torah, and mitzvot help us think about what kind of people we should be, how to be good to others, and ways to respect the people, animals, objects, and nature around us.

  • Learned that a “mensch” is someone who is a really nice person who does good things.

  • Went on a “Mitzvah Treasure Hunt” and got to do some mitzvot in our classroom!

  • Next class, we will do a glow stick science project, and discuss that mitzvot are like pieces of shattered light hidden throughout the world. When we find an opportunity to do a mitzvah, we bring more goodness and light into the world.

  • Began learning a Rosh Hashanah song, in preparation for the upcoming holiday!

Can’t wait to share more learning and fun with your kiddos once Sunday school is back in session!


2nd/3rd Grade


Last Sunday, we learned about the Jewish story of the birth of the world. We learned that in the story, God created the world in seven days, and rested on the 7th day. We discussed that this is where the concept of Shabbat comes from. We split our class into seven teams, and each team worked on a collaborative picture of one of the seven days of creation. We also learned the concept of Betzelem Elokim - that we were all created in the image of God.


In Hebrew, we introduced and practiced the Hebrew letters gimmel, dalet, hay, and vav, and the “eh” vowel. We introduced a tactile element into this, by having the students create the Hebrew letters and vowels out of pipe cleaners.



Can’t wait to see your kids again after the break!


4th Grade


Last Sunday, we learned the story of God passing down the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai. We learned that the Torah gives a total of 613 commandments, and that five types of mitzvot can be found throughout the Tanakh. We also talked about the story in which God punished the Israelites for worshipping the golden calf by destroying the Ten

Commandments.


In Hebrew, we continued to practice reading and reciting the Modeh Ani prayer.

We are looking forward to picking back up where we left off after the break this weekend.


Enjoy and see you soon!


5th Grade


Another Sunday, another great morning of learning and laughs.


In the first half of class, many of the kids read their first prayer: Shema.

We started by finding the prayer it in the Torah and understanding not only what the prayer means, but also its context within the week’s Torah portion.

And then we read it — one letter at a time, slowly blending the letters and vowels into words.

It wasn’t easy for them, but the sense of accomplishment was palpable!


Next class: those kids that had a harder time will get (re)introduced to the letters; we won’t move on until they get it. We’re working on building a foundation.

However, those kids that are ready, will move on to the the rest of the prayer.


In Judaics, we acted out the story of Creation.

To help them with their critical thinking skills, we discussed how light was created on day one, even though the sun wasn’t created until day four. The kids had amazing thoughts: one offered that maybe the miracle of day one was the “idea” or “feeling” of light and darkness, rather than literal light. I was really impressed with their thinking.


Next class: We’ll introduce them to The First Family — Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel and Seth.


The kids are a joy. Thanks for sharing them with us this Sunday.


Have a great Labor Day weekend (no class next weekend) and we look forward to seeing you all in two weeks.


6th Grade


This past Sunday, we continued our Introduction to the Torah. We learned that the Torah is the collective story of the Jewish people, the Torah has a specific instruction, including books, chapters, verses, and units of stories called parashiyot, and that there are many opinions on how the Torah was created.


We also learned that “Shmirat HaGuf” means “taking care of your body,” and discussed ways we can take care of our bodies and show gratitude for our bodies.


In Hebrew, we introduced the Ein Kamocha prayer, and began to practice reading and reciting it.


Looking forward to seeing you after the break.


7th Grade


During our last class, we practiced the prayer for the tallit and discussed what the tallit represents, as well as the purpose it serves. Our people-identity-diversity project led to a discussion on how to honor relatives with fundamentally different views (each of the 7th grade students has relatives who practice a different religion than they do, and who have different political backgrounds).


In Judaics, we discussed what a prophet is, and what a prophet does in Judaism. We compared this to Christianity and Islam. We also introduced and analyzed the concept of justice, and discussed that what you personally think is right doesn't always match up with what the law provides. We tied this into a real-life justice example, using title III of the ADA as the vehicle for that discussion--asking the question of whether the Internet was subject to the Americans With Disabilities Act.


See you after the break.

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Last Sunday, we kicked off the new year at CBHCS with our first day back at Hebrew school! We were so happy to see so many familiar faces back at Sunday school, as well as some new. It was also exciting to share our biggest change this year at our school: The addition of our new secondary rabbi, Rabbi G, and her new role at CBHCS! Rabbi G will be leading our morning family minyan service most Sunday mornings--though Rabbi Josh will still visit throughout the year to lead a few special services, don’t worry!

Rabbi G led family minyan beautifully, also introducing the first middah of the school year: Chesed (kindness). We discussed and shared what it means to be kind. Student volunteers came up from the audience to demonstrate kindness in helping to hand out prayer cards to everyone in need of them. Kate introduced Rabbi G after minyan with some fun interactive get-to-know-you games that the audience got to participate in.


After family minyan, parents got to stay for the first parent discussion of the year, coordinated by our fabulous Parent Engagement Team. Rabbi G led the discussion, speaking on introductions and inclusion, and giving parents a chance to get to know her better.


This year, we are using the Institute of Southern Jewish Living (ISJL) curriculum for 2nd-7th grade Judaics, and all of our Hebrew classes. In K/1st, we have introduced our new, first-ever CBHCS curriculum for Judaics. We are excited to hear feedback from our parents on what their children are learning, as we continue to grow and develop our curriculum over the next few years for our older grades, as well.


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 four new Hebrew words, and how to sing them in the song “Shalom, Chaverim.”

  • Discussed that Hebrew school is a fun place to learn about being Jewish, and that there are so many ways to be Jewish. We also discussed that it’s important to celebrate everyone’s Jewish identity and be inclusive.

  • Heard a story about friendship, and discussed what it means to be a good friend.

  • Created a “Classroom Kehillah Agreement,” and together came up with classroom rules that would help us create a safe and happy place for everyone to have fun at Hebrew school.

  • Began to work on our “CBHCS Journals,” which you will get to see at the end of the year!


2nd/3rd Grade


For our first day of Sunday school, we focused on getting to know each other and building connection in our new classroom kehillah (community). Together, we came up with our "Classroom Agreement," a set of rule to keep our class safe and fun for everyone. Some of the rules included the following:

  • Treat others with Kavod (Honor)

  • Tzedakah - help others

  • Have fun!

  • Treat others with Chesed (kindness)

  • Treat others the way you want to be treated.

We also learned about what a mitzvah is and how to do tzedakah.


In Hebrew, we learned the letters alef, bet, vet, and the "ah" vowel. We made many silly words using these letters and vowel in different combinations, like "baba" (like a sheep says!), and real words like "abba" (father).


Looking forward to an awesome year with your children!


4th Grade


This past Sunday, we started the school year off by getting to know each other. We designed a classroom agreement together. Our classroom agreement is a set of rules we came up with for our class, that everyone agrees to follow. By working together, we can create a safe space for Jewish learning.


We also went over the themes for the year, including God, Prophets, and the Holidays. We are excited to delve into these topics and explore them together!


Our Hebrew class was mostly focused on introducing how Hebrew will be structured throughout the rest of the year, as well as getting an idea of where every student is with their Hebrew skills. Next week, we will begin learning prayers, starting with “Modeh Ani.”


Looking forward to a fantastic year with your awesome children!


5th Grade


We accomplished a lot this week:


First, we spent time getting to know each other. Each student shared their name and at least one thing they like about themselves. It served as a way for everyone to learn about each other and to start the day thinking positively about themselves.


We also evaluated each student’s Hebrew knowledge, enabling us to meet the kids where they are. It looks like we’ll have two groups this year: one that’s going to be initially focused on learning letters; the other that is ready to start blending letters and learn to read prayers.


We began our Hebrew lesson by discussing why, how, and when we pray — the foundation for embracing the prayers we’ll start learning next week. (We’ll learn the meaning behind every prayer as a combined group before we split up, based on language knowledge.)


In Judaics, we discussed Jewish values and how we can “embody” them. (We drew a giant person and discussed what we can do with our feet, hands, eyes, heart, etc. to act on these values.)


Snuck into every activity was a lot of fun and laughing.


I’ve taught Sunday school for seven years and received my favorite all-time compliment today: A Mom told me her son had to go to the bathroom before going home because he was having too much fun in class to want to leave.


Next week:


1) We’ll begin our tour of Genesis by acting out each story. We’ll start next week with Creation and Adam/Eve/Cain/Abel and Seth.

2) We’ll also learn our first prayer — an exciting moment as we begin to put the pieces together they’ve learned (or are learning).


This is a great group of kids: supportive, intellectually curious, and eager to engage.


Thanks for sharing your kids with us.


6th Grade


We had a great first day in 6th grade! In addition to getting to know each other, we did an intro to Torah. We discussed that the Torah is the collective story of the Jewish people,the Torah illustrates Jewish values that provide guidance in our lives, and that certain themes recur throughout the Torah. In the coming year, we will also study Jewish values, Jewish lifecycle events, and Israel.


In Hebrew, we assessed where each student is with their Hebrew skills, in preparation to continue building our Hebrew skills in learning important prayers that we’ll need to know for our bnei mitzvahs.


Excited for this year of learning, growth, and fun!


7th Grade


Last Sunday, we started the day off by getting to know each other. For Hebrew, we broke into groups and did our beginning-of-the-year Hebrew evaluations. (Hebrew skills are important with everybody’s bar mitzvah and bat mitzvahs coming up!)


In Judaics, we explored the question: “What do people think about when thinking of someone who is Jewish?” We also discussed related topics, such as what it might mean to slow the world down in the spirit of Shabbat.


It was a great class for the first day, and I am very much looking forward to the rest of the year!


A big thank you to all the amazing teachers, parents, and madrichim who made the first day back so fantastic, and helped us have a smooth start to this new year at CBHCS.


We are looking forward to a meaningful and fun year with you and your families, full of learning, fun, laughter, and memories. See you next Sunday!

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