CBHCS Weekly Newsletter: August 18, 2019

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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