April 14, 2024 |

Grade 5/ Kitah Hey 2018-2020

Posted on May 12, 2019

Need a link for a class? ZOOM links are here.

I am looking forward to our classes today and tomorrow.  We will be doing something fun and I need you to bring the following items to your Zoom class.  You are welcome to join any of my classes.  I teach 4th grade at 4:00 and 5th grade at 5:00. Tuesday and Wednesday. 
I hope that you are all doing well, staying busy learning and creating.  I have been finding that being in nature and creating art are relaxing and refreshing.  
For class:  Paper to make a sign.    3-4 pieces
                  Markers, or crayons      colors
                  Hebrew binder              
                  One Item to share         special to you
See you soon!  Bring your smiles!

Hi Fifth Graders!

I hope you are doing well! Below is the schedule for the remainder of our school year:
This Sunday (vacation socializing) – Show and Tell. Bring something you’d like to show the class and tell us about it!
May 3rd – Yom Hazikaron and Yom Haatzmaut.
There is no formal assignment. However, it’d be great if you could share some thoughts on what you think makes Israel special.

May 10th – *** Sharing Family History Projects ***

May 17th – Last Day Jeopardy!!!

*** The Family History Project was intended to be shared in a museum-style gathering in Temple Israel’s Social Hall. Due to current circumstances, that sort of interactive event between students and parents will not be possible. However, the project can still be as interesting and meaningful to you and your family! 
Please keep working on your projects and be ready to share a visual (could be a family tree or something else related to your background) and at least two comments, about what you either learned or found interesting, about your family’s history on May 10th.
Shabbat Shalom,


Hi Fifth Graders,

I hope we’re all feeling well and staying safe!
The next two Sundays are part of April vacation, but we will still offer social activities for our class during regular class times! Please read a guide for the remainder of the school year below.
This Sunday – Building. Bring building materials (Legos, blocks, play dough, etc) and we’ll all build while chatting.
Next Sunday – Show and Tell. Bring something you’d like to show the class and tell us about it!
May 3rd – Regular class, details to follow
May 10th – *** Sharing Family History Projects ***
May 17th – Last Day Party


Hi Fifth Graders!

I hope you’re all excited for your Passover seders tonight! Mine starts in 10 minutes!
I’m providing you with a link to a Sports Illustrated article (yes, you read that correctly) about the decision Sady Koufax made regarding Yom Kippur and game one of the 1965 World Series. Some of you will want to read the entire article and some will not – both are ok.
What I’d like you to focus on is this quote:
“There was never any decision to make … because there was never any possibility that I would pitch. Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the Jewish religion. The club knows I don’t work that day.”
Be ready to discuss on Sunday:
– why is it a big deal that a professional baseball player chose Yom Kippur over playing in game one of the World Series?
– how does this relate to our ongoing discussion about practicing Jewish religion in American culture? 
– what do you think about the fact that this happened in 1965? Do you think it could have happened twenty or thirty years earlier?
– how does Sandy’s decision inspire you?
– can you relate to his dilemma?
See you at 9:15 on Sunday!


Hi Fifth Graders!

I hope you’re having a great week!
There are two assignments for this week that I think you’ll enjoy.
1) Since we started studying Israeli artists during our elective unit, I thought you’d enjoy learning about another Israeli artist, Hanoch Piven.      
His art is playful and fun! He creates portraits out of things you can find around your house.
Please check out his website (link below) to see examples of his work (and notice the Hebrew option), find things around your house that could be used for your self-portrait, have a great time creating your self-portrait in Piven’s style. Bring it to share with the class on Sunday.
If you don’t want to do a self-portrait, you may create a portrait of what you picture someone we studied to look like. 
2) During the Passover seder, we sing Dayenu – it would have been enough. This makes me think of gratitude and a well known saying from Pirkei Avot (Ethics of our Fathers) 4:1, Ben Zoma teaches: “Who is rich? The one who is content with what one has.”

Think about what that means to you. We all have much to be thankful for and it’s a good time to think about those things. Write a list of what makes you “rich” in your life.
Next week, I plan to have you work with that list for an art project.

 Class is 9:15-10:15 on Sunday. Please access the link on from the bottom of Robin’s emails


3-20-2020 (Marsha)

We will continue meeting at our regular class time, 5:00 via Zoom.  If you are a Tuesday or a Wednesday student the link is the same.  
We will be reviewing the 4 questions. Please bring a Passover object or another piece of Judaica from your home to our class.

מַה נִּשְׁתַּנָּה הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילוֹת

How different this night is from all other nights!

  1.  שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין חָמֵץ וּמַצָּה 

 הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלּוֹ מַצָּה

On all other nights, we eat חָמֵץ and מַצָּה. Why on this night, only מַצָּה?

  1.  שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין שְׁאָר יְרָקוֹת 
 הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה כֻּלּוֹ מָרוֹר
On all other nights, we eat all vegetables.  Why, on this night, מָרוֹר (bitter herbs)?
  1.  שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אֵין אָנוּ מַטְבִּילִין אֲפִילוּ פַּעַם אֶחָת 
 הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה – שְׁתֵּי פְעָמִים
On all other nights, we don’t dip even once.  Why on this night do we dip twice?

  1.  שֶׁבְּכָל הַלֵּילוֹת אָנוּ אוֹכְלִין בֵּין יוֹשְׁבִין וּבֵין מְסֻבִּין 
 הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה – כֻּלָּנוּ מְסֻבִּין
On all other nights, we eat either sitting upright or reclining.
Why on this night do we all recline?
The Order of the Seder

The first of four cups of wine is poured; the kiddush blessing is recited to sanctify the feast day.
1 קַדֵש
The hands are washed before handling the karpas.
2 וּרְחַץ 
A vegetable is dipped in salt water, then eaten.
3 כרְפַס 
The middle of the three matzot is broken. The larger half is wrapped in a napkin and hidden for afikoman (dessert).
4 יַחַץ 
The second cup of wine is poured, and the story of the Exodus from Egypt is told.  It is a story about going from slavery to freedom.
5 מַגִיד 
The hands are washed before the meal.
6 רָחְצָה 
A prayer is said before eating the matzah, the bread of slavery.
7 מוֹצִיא 
A blessing for eating matzah is recited.
8 מַצָה 
The bitter herb is tasted.
9 מָרוֹר 
A “sandwich” of matzah, bitter herbs, and charoset is eaten.
10 כוֹרֵךְ
Shulchan Orech
The meal begins.
11 שֻׁלְחָן  עוֹרֵך
After the afikomen has been hidden and found by adults and children, it is eaten.
12 צָפוּן 
The third cup of wine is poured, and the birkat hamazon/blessing after the meal is recited. An extra cup of wine is poured for the prophet Elijah.
13 בָּרֵךְ 
The fourth cup of wine is poured, followed by psalms of praise and a prayer.
14 הַלֵל 
The seder concludes with songs and the statement, “L’Shana Haba’ah B’Yerushalayim/Next Year in Jerusalem”
15 נִרְצָה

If you have any questions or need to reach me, you may email me at horovitzmarsha@gmail.com.

I look forward to seeing all of your smiling faces again.


3-25-2020 (TALI)

Hi Fifth Graders!
It was so great to hear your voices again during Sunday’s Zoom class!
We’re going to meet again this Sunday from 9:15-10:15. You will then have tefila at 10:30.
During our most recent in-person classes, we were learning about the U.S., Israel, and Europe in parallel. We left off post WWII and learning about Israel’s independence in 1948.
Before next class, you are being asked to read two articles. One is about Israel in the 1950s and the other is about the U.S. in the 1950s.
After reading them, please write down two pieces of information you found interesting from each article. Bring the paper to Sunday’s class and use it in our discussion.
*** These articles are at a higher reading level from what we usually read in class. Please ask me, a parent, or sibling for help if you get stuck on any words or understanding.
Israel 1950s:
U S. 1950s:
In addition to the total of four talking points you are bringing to Sunday’s class, please be ready to discuss evidence of resiliency and the ability to adapt in both Israel and the U.S. post WWII.
Our schedule will start with morning meeting and end with a closing meeting. If we reach full participation during class, you are welcome to invite a favorite stuffed for closing meeting (only).
See you soon!

3-23-20 (MARSHA)

Monday, March 23, 2020
Shalom Kitah Hey Families,
We are going to be meeting on Zoom this week.
If you are a Tuesday student we will meet on Tuesday at 5pm.
If you are a Wednesday student we will meet on Wednesday at 5pm.
THE ZOOM LINK FOR BOTH CLASSES IS: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/6227691830
If you need to change days, please let me know in advance.
We are all learning to use Zoom.  We will practice patience and follow some general guidelines. 
1.  Please have your Hebrew School binder with you when you log in.
2.  Please have a pen and paper available.
3.  You are able to raise your hand virtually while using Zoom. We will need to take turns, wait patiently and be respectful of each other. I will go over this in class.
I am looking forward to checking in with you and practicing Hebrew learning.  In addition to the prayers we are working on, we will also be practicing the Four Questions.  You can print this sheet or have a haggadah handy when we meet online.  Please continue calling our google voice number 508-656-0441 and leave a message of you practicing.
I am excited to see you all online this week.

3-20-20 (TALI)

Hi Fifth graders!

I miss you and can’t wait to see you for a virtual class on Sunday!

Our first virtual class (my first time hosting one) is to regroup, ask any questions about your family project, and discuss the article sent in this email (please read it before Sunday morning).

Here is a document of additional ideas for your project. There are many ways you could go with this (no two should look the same) as long as you tie it into Jewish American immigration.
Here is the link to the Elijah Packet and here is the link for how to make an AGAMOGRAPH.  You can still do the elective unit!

On Sunday morning we look forward to joining Anna, our song leader, for some virtual Tefillah.  This will be from 10am – 10:30am. Here is the link to join:
– Please click on this link to join our class on Sunday morning at 10:30 am:
Click https://us04web.zoom.us/j/124856953?pwd=QW8rQ0poaFFJN3c2SGFMSGw3NUJudz09 to start or join a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Please bear with me as I learn to navigate the technology.
See you soon!


Dear Fifth Grade Families,

Our class has been learning about Jewish American History with a
strong focus on immigration. Each of you has ancestors who immigrated
to America at some point. Your mission is to learn more about your
family’s stories and how you became Americans. You will fulfill this
assignment and, hopefully, enjoy learning more about your background
by completing the following tasks together with your parent(s):

Create a family tree that goes back as far as you can with the
information you and your parents/grandparents/other family members
have. For each person on the family tree, try to add where he/she
lived and, if he/she emigrated from his/her country of birth, where
did he/she immigrate?

 Write or type your family’s story.  Just as we read in Journey to
America and watched on An American Tail, inform us (your class) of the
circumstances that brought your family members to America:

– How did they arrive?

– Where did they settle?

– What was like life upon arrival?

You may need to write/type separate stories for the different sides of
your family. You are also
encouraged to include family heirlooms, photos, letters, recipes, etc.

Please use this as an opportunity to bond as a family and feel a proud
connection to your history as a Jewish American. Hopefully, this is
something you can pass on for generations to come.

This take-home assignment is a great way to connect while home! I would like to give families a month for this assignment. What happens in the coming weeks will determine if we will share our work in person or online.

 If you have any questions, please reach out to me.


Tali Brauner-Pell


Grade 5-Hebrew
The Kitah hey class continues to work on the Torah service. They are chanting and reading more confidently. The students enjoy sharing their work with others. This picture is a proud student posing with his work. 


Grade 5-Judaics
Fifth graders had an impressive, active discussion about the conditions in Europe, America, and Israel in the years between WWI and WWII. Students appreciated the need to learn about all three in parallel in order to understand the immigration patterns of the time. Fifth graders also focused on the four main ways European Jews reacted to antisemitism and thought about what they would do under those conditions. Students had an amazing debate about the responses European Jews had in response to antisemitism. They provided persuasive reasoning and even asked to keep going when class came to an end. We also played a fun listening/direction giving game with a Tu Bishvat theme.
Enjoy February break!

Grade 5-Hebrew
The 5th grade celebrated Tu B’Shevat last Sunday. Happy birthday to the trees!  We discussed the 3 types of fruit, with Skins, we eat the inside, with pits or seeds, and entirely edible. Thank you to the PA for providing us with our fruits. 

Grade 5-Judaics
Fifth graders had a great time playing Jewish American History Superbowl on Sunday. They enjoyed throwing the ball and picking from the selection of questions. Just as in real life, the Chiefs won. Midweek, students learned about different fruit trees that grow in Israel and tasted dates, oranges, and olives in honor of Tubishvat.

Grade 5-Hebrew
This week fifth grade had a workshop for our Sunday class time. They did not have class that day. The students continue their progress and are all moving forward. To know exactly where your child is, please ask them to read to you. Please sign the date box and be prepared to be impressed. 


Grade 5-Judaics
Fifth graders had a great discussion about upward mobility among Jewish American immigrants. They learned about the rise to middle class and the Americanization of Judaism. Another topic of discussion was the ways in which antisemitism was still present as Jews were becoming increasingly blended into American culture. For example, some universities, social clubs, and businesses would not accept Jewish applicants. We spoke of resiliency and the ways in which many Jews worked around the discrimination by starting their own businesses, universities, and social clubs.

Grade 5-Hebrew
Today in 5th grade we worked on the Barchu and the Aleinu. We broke down the Aleinu and discussed why we bow and why we stand. 


Grade 5- Judaics

Fifth graders are showing how much they have learned through their creative and informative posters! We will be very proud to have them displayed on the classroom walls! While wrapping up this activity, we also started to read about European Jews during and immediately after WWI. Later, we will discuss how the war impacted Jewish American immigration. During the week of Martin Luther King Day, students will also discuss MLK’s legacy and how it relates to Jewish history.

Grade 5- Hebrew

 The fifth graders are progressing with the Aleinu. They are all working at their own pace and encouraged to progress. The incentive charts and rewards are ingrained in their practice. Many students are moving on with the Torah service. Ask your student to read to you. Please sign their calendar. 


Grade 5-Hebrew
The kitah Hey class, was happy to tell each other about their adventures or their down time during winter break.

We practiced the Aleinu and reviewed some other blessings from the Torah service. Shana Tova, happy new year was discussed as being used for Rosh Hashanah and we could use it for our calendar new year as well. 

Happy 2020! Fifth graders started the new year with a review of the first semester. They are working on posters that illustrate their understanding of Jewish immigration to America in the early 1900s. They are using information from our class readings and their notes from An American Tail to guide them through this project. Later in the week, we will turn our attention to the three percent of Russian Jews who left Russia between 1881 and 1914 for the Land of Israel. 

Fifth Grade-Judaics

Fifth graders enjoyed delicious latkes, apple sauce, and apple cider, provided by the Men’s Club, on Sunday. It was a great opportunity to talk about family traditions while eating together. Yahav challenged the fifth graders to work in teams in building towers out of marshmallows and sticks as well as decoding a Hebrew message. Students also started to think about how they will format their An American Tail/Jewish American history posters. We completed our week with Hanukkah activities. Enjoy a wonderful Hanukkah and Happy New Year!

Fifth Grade-Hebrew

We had a wonderful class with a lively group discussion about the meaning of the Aleinu.  We used some discussion sheets, to aid our journey into the reason behind, our bowing and standing while our prayers.  


Fifth Grade – Judaics
Fifth graders continue to learn and have fun! They continue to work on the sun elective unit and are ready to share their work. Students recently worked together to write immigration story scripts. Fifth graders also had the special opportunity to listen to Claire’s family immigration story in addition to seeing and holding her family’s certificate from Ellis Island when leaving Poland. It was great to see students connect what they’ve learned to Claire’s personal story. They also had the chance to watch An American Tail while taking notes on the similarities between what they’ve learned in class and the movie. More fun to come next week!

Grade five—Kitah Hey-Hebrew
The fifth grade is moving forward with their Torah service study. They enjoy reading aloud as a group as well as reading alone to earn boxes on their charts. All of the students are progressing well and are happy when they are together in Hebrew class. 

We are finishing up the fall electives and have truly enjoyed studying together in Havrutah and working in our groups learning about the sun. Projects will be coming home soon. 

Marsha Cerel-Horovitz


Fifth Grade-Judaics
Fifth graders continued to work on the elective unit this week. They also learned more about immigration to America and were introduced to Zionism. Students partook in an activity in which they took on the persona of a Russian Jew living in the early 1900s and wrote a journal entry describing their circumstances and plans moving forward. Each child’s work was unique and impressive! 

Fifth Grade-Hebrew
The fifth grade is moving along nicely with the Torah service. The students are excitedly accumulating boxes on their incentive charts. 
 The electives are going well so far and your student is working on a project with their group. The groups are Batik, scratch art and STEM. Be sure to ask how their projects are coming along.

Marsha Cerel-Horovitz


Fifth Grade-Judaics
Fifth graders attended a Veteran’s Day assembly where they had the opportunity to listen to military experiences from three members of Temple Israel. They were very interested and asked great questions! In class, students continued to learn about Jewish American history and were introduced to the terms Zionism and Aliyah. Our class loves listening to the book Journey to Ellis Island and is better able to understand the history through the lens of the main character, Yehuda. We look forward to continuing our elective unit on the sun this week! 

Fifth Grade-Hebrew
We have been making fine progress with the Torah service.  The 5th graders are currently learning the Aleinu. They are chanting and enjoying earning sweet treats for their hard work filling their incentive charts. Ask your 5th grade to read to you. You will kvell!


The fifth graders are working on filling their incentive charts. To fill in a box they need to earn it. The ways to earn boxes are:  reading aloud to teacher, having signatures on their calendar and going above and beyond in any notable way. The full chart earns a sweet reward. The class is practicing the Aleinu this week. Ask them to read to you. 
Marsha Cerel-Horovitz


Fifth graders have recently had the pleasure of visiting a Sukkah at the Klawans’ home. They enjoyed listening to the story of the Sukkah’s first time being built, looking at pictures of Israel hanging on the walls, and munching on some delicious snacks. Students also had the chance to build their own Sukkahs in class using a variety of materials. Most recently, fifth graders read about the push and pull factors that caused Jews to emigrate from Russia and Eastern Europe to America in the early 1900s. There was some thoughtful discussion about what it would take to leave the home and community you know for a place where you would be new to the language and culture. Lastly, we were so excited to receive a visit from Bar – our ShinShin from two years ago! He is now two years into the army and still remembered everyone’s name! 
On Mon, Sep 16, 2019, 10:09 AM Avital Brauner <abrauner123@gmail.com> wrote:
Dear Kitah Hey Families,
We’ve had an exciting first week of school and are thrilled to work with this class again! Fifth graders participated a variety of games during the annual Apples and Honey Olympics. They also had the opportunity to celebrate Temple Israel’s 75th birthday with a fun family fair! In addition to all of the celebrating, students sang blessings with our new song leader, Anna, and played a game with our new ShinShin, Yahav. During class time, we played an acting game, similar to charades, as a way of sharing exciting moments from our summers. As a class, we also brainstormed ideas for how we would like our class to look, feel, and sound throughout the school year. We will use our ideas to create a class Brit. We’re off to a wonderful start and look forward to an amazing year! 
Please see attached photos.

Kitah Hey Team


Kitah Hey, fifth grade, has been enjoying high holiday activities and they have been studying their Torah blessings. The students are practicing their Hebrew homework daily and calling into google voice. The homework calendars are a guide to current learning. The students have practiced shofar blowing and have made decorations for the TI sukkah. Next Sunday, they will go on a Sukkah walk to a local sukkah for snacks and games. This will be a fun activity, be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes. 

Fifth graders made beautiful, artistic sukkah decorations with the sisterhood. They used stickers, Sharpies, glue, and sequins to decorate old CDs. Everyone had a great time! Our class completed an assignment that required students to think of the importance of Judaism in their lives. This assignment is a way of introducing push and pull reasons for Jewish immigration. We also discussed Rosh Hashanah and reflected upon this past year. Shana Tova!


Dear Kitah Hey Families,
We’ve had an exciting first week of school and are thrilled to work with this class again! Fifth graders participated a variety of games during the annual Apples and Honey Olympics. They also had the opportunity to celebrate Temple Israel’s 75th birthday with a fun family fair! In addition to all of the celebrating, students sang blessings with our new song leader, Anna, and played a game with our new ShinShin, Yahav. During class time, we played an acting game, similar to charades, as a way of sharing exciting moments from our summers. As a class, we also brainstormed ideas for how we would like our class to look, feel, and sound throughout the school year. We will use our ideas to create a class Brit. We’re off to a wonderful start and look forward to an amazing year! 
Please see attached photos.
Kitah Hey Team


Fifth graders enjoyed an end-of-year celebration on Sunday! It’s sad to say goodbye and we all look forward to seeing each other in the fall! Students also wrote letters to the incoming fifth graders on what they can expect to learn next year. A common theme among them was enjoying the art projects throughout the year.

Lastly, we started a game of Jeopardy that reviewed Jewish American history, holidays, Israel, and Hebrew. The fifth graders really showed how much they have learned! Ask your child about something they have learned and enjoyed this year. This group has been amazing, thoughtful, and creative – thank you for a wonderful year! Enjoy summer!


Fifth graders have had another wonderful week! They learned about You Ha’atzmaut and discussed both how Israel became an independent country and why the Jewish people have a homeland. Students also started to talk about Shavuot. We discussed why the Torah is a gift and why people need commandments/rules/laws. Fifth graders also had the chance to create their own version of 10 commandments. Ask your child about why they think Moses and the Israelites received the Torah.


Fifth graders read two books on Jewish baseball players Sandy Koufax and Hank Greenberg. They discussed character traits that made these men succeed and stand out among Jewish American athletes. Students presented their family history projects on Sunday. Each fifth grader did an amazing job researching their family history and learning more about their background. We look forward to connecting the family projects to the history we have learned in class this year.


To connect the fifth graders back to the work of their family history projects, we spent the day on Sunday discussing stories of our ancestors. The students recalled several well known Bible characters we know as our patriarchs and matriarchs and, through a given passage, gained a bit more insight into these characters’ personalities. The students then spent time thinking about ancestors of their own, or other more immediate members of their families. The students shared stories they remember hearing of these relatives and memories they hold themselves. One student shared that he remembers his grandfather as hero who helped 8 Jews escape from Europe during the Holocaust by marrying them and bringing them to America!



Fifth graders have been working on their Passover games and reviewing the story of Passover. They have also focused on the four children during our elective unit. Each student had a chance to artistically represent each of the four children. Fifth graders also discussed a distinction between Jewish American and American Jewish.
Students can look forward to learning about two Jewish baseball players who made history!

Ask your child how all four children are within each of us.


Fifth graders excitedly welcomed our new student, Dylan, to our community. They summarized the history we have studied this year so that Dylan can feel up to date. Both Dylan’s interest in what the class has learned and the content of the summary were very impressive.

The class discussed how assimilating into American culture changed the shape of Judaism.  We also started to make Passover board games. During our elective unit, students are learning about the four children in the Haggadah.

Fifth graders can look forward to playing the games they create and continuing the elective unit!

Ask your child why they think there are four types of children in the Haggadah.


Fifth graders learned about the rising status of American Jews from 1945-1965. They discussed why many Jews became active in the Civil Rights Movement and were introduced to Rabbi Heschel. Students also focused on the concept of indifference being the opposite of hate.

Fifth graders can look forward to playing more games this week. They can also look forward to our new elective unit!

Ask your child to explain the relationship between good, bad, and indifference.


The 5th grade finished working on the Aleinu prayer. The kids did a wonderful job with their singing! The students also continued doing some research on the iPads of ways to bring peace to different communities and make a difference.



Fifth graders decorated gift bags and filled them with candy to send mishloach manot to one another. Part of this activity included writing a personal compliment to the recipient. Students also started to learn about the “golden age” in American Jewry post WWII. To demonstrate their historical knowledge, fifth graders wrote memoirs from the perspectives of Jewish American immigrants. Through their writing, they reviewed reasons for leaving their home countries and what it was like to be a Jewish immigrant in the time period they chose to write about.

Students can look forward to learning more about Jewish American Life between 1945 and 1965. They will also learn more about how practicing Judaism has changed over time in American culture.

Please ask your child what they hope to learn about his/her background through the Family Project.


On Sunday, the fifth graders continued their work on the Aleinu prayer. We discussed the fact that the Aleinu has a lot of words in it that mean “us”, “we”, or “our”. The students shared ideas about why these words would be included in this prayer. We discussed the importance of community and working together. In order to better understand the idea of communal responsibility, the students were encouraged to think about sports, activities, and clubs they are a part of and why it is important they collaborate and cooperate rather than work alone. 



Fifth graders learned about the birth of Israel followed by Israel’s War of Independence. We also discussed Golda Meir signing Israel’s Declaration of Independence. Students reviewed the Purim story and discussed the custom of mishloach manot.

Students can look forward to making and exchanging small gift bags in class on Sunday. They can also look forward to a drummer during tefila.

Ask your child about the conflict that occurred when Israel became an independent state. You can also ask your child why they think it’s important for Jews to have a homeland.


This week, fifth grade learned about the circumstances that led to Hitler’s rise to power and discussed the different responses Jews had to rising antisemitism. Students were also introduced to the birth of the modern State of Israel.

Coming up, we’re going to learn about the reasoning for and against a Jewish state, and we’re going to learn about Golda Meir!

Ask your child about their feelings surrounding Jewish history in the US and Europe during the 1930s.


Fifth graders are learning about European antisemitism in the early 1930s. They read and discussed different ways Jews responded to antisemitism: integrating, living separately, believing in a Jewish homeland, joining the communist movement. Students discussed the pros and cons of each response. We also finished reading Journey to Ellis Island.

Students can look forward to connecting problems in Europe to American immigration and the Zionist movement. They can also look forward to February break!
Ask your child about the different responses to European antisemitism. 


Fifth graders created posters comparing An American Tail to what we have learned about Jewish American Immigration. They also continued listening to the book: Journey to Ellis Island. Fifth graders started to discuss the changes that took place from the 1920s to the 1930s for American Jews.

Now that we studied American Jewish life in the 1920s, leading into 1930s, we will focus on European Jews of that same time period – between WWI and WWll. While we will study the rise of antisemitism, we will not be studying the Holocaust in fifth grade.  Simultaneously, we will discuss the need for a Jewish state.

Please ask your child to describe the poster they created.


Fifth graders learned about Tu Bishevat. We worked in groups to create posters expressing the importance of trees through art and words. Students continue to learn about the Jewish immigrant experience in the 1920s by listening to another chapter of “Journey to Ellis Island.” We are looking forward to learning about a Tu Bishevat seder. And continuing to explore the Jewish immigrant experience. Ask your child: What does the way Jews celebrate TU Bishevat say about our relationship to trees and nature?

On Sunday in Hebrew school, we continued a conversation we had started the previous week about gratitude. We continued discussing all of the things we are lucky to have that so many others do not. We talked about the fact that, in Judaism, it is our responsibility to do mitzvot, or good deeds, for others. The students read an article in class about a boy who created the Gotta Have Sole Foundation to help provide homeless families with brand new shoes. The boy who took on this project actually started it as his Bar Mitzvah project, which the fifth graders found very interesting. The students discussed how much of a difference the boy made for the lives of so many people. A set of boy and girl twins he had helped had previously owned only one pair of pink sparkly shoes. Only one twin got to wear this pair of shoes to school at a time while the other stayed home. The students were horrified at how much school this meant the twins were missing.
After our discussion about this article, we took a look at the Aleinu prayer, our next focus in class. We had a conversation about the fact that Jews are often called “The Chosen People” and that God refers to us as such. The class spent some time thinking about what those words mean and spent time thinking about how Jews are different from other groups of people in the world and how they are similar. The fifth graders worked together to make a list of both of these ideas. They did a fantastic job! We then began diving into the Aleinu prayer and answering questions about some of the rituals performed during the prayer- like bowing and why bowing during the Aleinu prayer is considered to be so important. 

Have a wonderful week,


Dear Kitah Hey families,

Fifth graders made a canvas for a muslim fifth grade student who received unkind letters at school. They also completed their elective unit on Birkot Hamazon. Student then reflected on what they’ve learned from the elective unit. We are looking forward to reading about American Jewish history in the late 20s to early 30s. Also, we are looking forward to winter break – enjoy!

You can ask your child about what they have learned about Birkot Hamazon.


Dear Kitah Hey families, 

This Sunday, we had a chance to celebrate Hanukkah with lots of fun holiday-themed activities. First, we discussed the Hanukkah holiday and the history behind it while also connecting it to the Revolutionary War. To do this, we read a book called “Hanukkah at Valley Forge”, a piece of historical fiction. After reading this thought-provoking story, the students had a chance to connect the Hanukkah holiday to the Fourth of July holiday that we celebrate in America every year. The students were able to draw many similarities between the two special celebrations. 

After listening to this story, the students participated in a Hanukkah-themed jeopardy game where they worked in teams to answer a variety of questions about the history of Hanukkah, Hanukkah foods we eat, and questions about the menorah. Many of these answers were given in the story we had read. The students very much enjoyed this activity. Halfway through our day, the fifth graders went down to the social hall to participate in a Hanukkah celebration where the whole religious school sang songs, played dreidel, and ate latkes.


This week, fifth graders learned more about Birkat Hamazon in Hevruta groups. They read midrash and discussed why God could drip manna from the sky. Students also worked in their elective groups where they connect what they learned in Hevruta to a creative medium. Lastly, students reviewed the history of Hanukkah and thought about miracles. We look forward to Hanukkah games and Latkes on Sunday. We also look forward to continuing in our elective unit. Ask your child: Why did God drop manna from the sky daily and not yearly? And Why do we celebrate Hanukkah


Check HW Calendars.


The fifth graders visited Touro synagogue in Newport, RI.  They had the opportunity to sit in the oldest US synagogue and listen to the history of how it came to be.  Students split into two groups and  took a guided walking tour of Newport.  We learned about Newport’s prominent Jews of colonial times.  Fifth graders started a new elective unit focused on the first paragraph of the Birkat Hamazon!

We are looking forward to working in havruta partners to study the Birkat Hamazon and working in elective groups. Ask your child about what they learned about Touro synagogue that they didn’t already know.



Fifth graders–

– Discussed why Jews should help other Jews and why Jews should help other Jews
– Read about the U.S. Jewish population post World War I.
– Wrote notes on the Americanization of Judaism during the 1920s.

We are looking forward to our field trip to Newport, RI on Sunday! Also, we are looking forward to connecting what we learned about American Jews pre-American Revolution to the tour of Touro Synagogue.

Ask your child: What was important about the first American Bat Mitzvah?


Fifth Graders on Sunday —

-Continued their work on Prayer for the State of Israel.
-Began their work on the Vayihee Beensoya
– They played a game using Hebrew words from the Prayer for the State of Israel

Rachel (Sub on Sunday for Diana 11/4)


 Fifth graders …

– learned Hebrew slang words with Nitzan
– learned about the start of Zionism and the historical events that led to it.
– discussed the reasons for a Jewish state both then and now.

We can look forward to …

– learning about Louis Brandeis
– discussing increase in the American Jewish population and the Americanizing of Judaism itself

Ask your child about Pinsker’s quote: Jews “are everywhere as guests, and nowhere at home.”


Dear Kitah Hey families,

We had another wonderful week at TI! On Sunday, the fifth graders shared their art work from last week with the class. The students had worked hard to create their own special “ark”. As a class, we discussed that the ark in our sanctuary is opened after the Ein Kamocha prayer is recited during our Torah service. We also talked about how the Israelites had carried this special ark with them as they wandered in the desert for years. While the ark we generally think of holds the Torah, students were asked to think about some special items they would put in their own ark (things that mean the most to them). The students had some fantastic responses. One student explained that he would create a kind of time capsule, putting in various items like a tallit, prayer book, and kippah (items holy to our religion) so that no one ever forgets about Judaism which is so important to him. Another student explained that she would put her family and friends in the ark along with special gifts given to her by family members. Another explained he would put in some of his late grandmothers belongings as a way to keep her memory alive! 

We then discussed that when we open the ark and recite the Ein Kamocha, we imagine ourselves receiving the Torah for the first time at Mt. Sinai. It is said that “we were all there” (at Mt. Sinai). The students were asked to think of a dream, a book they read, or a movie they watched that made them feel as though it was truly real. The fifth graders were so excited to share about this topic. We connected these feelings to those we have when reflecting on our journey to Mt. Sinai.




Fifth graders …

1) learned about Jewish nationalists and the First Aliyah
2) met with Nitzan to learn about Yitzhak Rabin. They played games that focused on the importance of solving differences with words
3) continued to practice singing Ein Kamoch

Students can look forward to …
1) learn more about Zionism and American immigration
2) our upcoming field trip!

Ask you fifth grader about a time when they were an advocate or upstander.



Dear Kitah Hey families,

In class this week, the students continued working on the Ein Kamocha prayer recited during the Torah Service. We discussed the meaning behind this prayer and then students broke into partners to practice reading and singing their lines. The fifth graders are making wonderful progress! After learning some new lines, we discussed the translation of one line, in particular. This line asks G-d to rebuild  the walls of Jerusalem. We held a class discussion, focusing on what exactly is meant by this. The students had some amazing insight. Some explained that we are asking G-d to help us rebuild the holy temple that had been destroyed and others interpreted it as though we are asking G-d to help rebuild the Jewish community which has greatly decreased in size over the years. The students then read a story together which connected to this idea of rebuilding walls. 



Dear Kitah Hey Families,

We have had a wonderful start to the year!  Fifth graders worked together to create a class Brit, the class discussed why we celebrate Simchat Torah and several reasons to read the Torah again each year, and, most recently, students began learning about American Jewish history.  In preparation for our upcoming field trip to Touro Synagogue in November, we have been studying the Jewish community of Newport, RI in the 1600s and 1700s. In addition, students worked in groups to discuss the significance of a community’s first Jewish synagogue.