December 1, 2021 |

Grades 2 and 3 (2020-2021)

Posted on September 6, 2020

May 6 – Update from Elana

Shalom Bet and Gimel Families,

Last week students talked about Shavuot.  Through video, read aloud and conversation, students learned that on Shavuot we celebrate receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai.  Students also had an opportunity to think about rules that are relevant in modern times.  This week we will discuss Shavuot as a harvest festival.

In Tanach we read the story of Deborah.  Students had so much fun pretending to be an Israelite in Deborah’s time and asking Deborah to help with important decisions, with one student each weekday playing the part of Deborah.  It was awesome to hear their creative questions and “Deborah’s” creative answers!

Next week we will discuss the theme of working together,  as a wrap up to our Deborah unit, and learn the story of Ruth (Megillat Ruth) which is read in services on Shavuot.

We look forward to seeing everyone for Tefillah on Shabbat morning at 9:15am with Anna.

Shabbat Shalom
Elana

Update from Elana (April 16, 2021)

Shalom Bet and Gimel Families,

After a busy Passover season, students spent our holiday class on Sunday learning about counting the Omer and Yom Haatzmaut.  They shared some fun facts they have learned in their Israel class and listened to some Eurovision songs won by Israel in past years.  We also listened to the story Hare and Tortoise Race Across Israel.
In Torah we completed our unit on Joshua and students shared some great insights about responsibility making our community stronger.  They also shared some thoughts about the responsibilities that come with our freedom.

This week we began a new unit, and will be revisiting the concept of good leadership and working together with the story of Deborah and Barak.  Students added their ideas to a Jamboard from the fall about leadership.  Each group had an opportunity to work together to create a Help Wanted advertisement for a new leader of the Israelites to replace Joshua.  What qualities does the new leader need to have?  What will their job responsibilities be?

Wishing everyone a wonderful April vacation.

Shabbat Shalom,
Elana
Update from Elana (April 2, 2021)

Shalom Bet and Gimel Families,

I hope everyone is having a Zissen Pesach!

In Torah we are working on the theme of freedom and responsibility through the story of Joshua sending two spies into the city of Jericho.  Students enjoyed a readers theater of the story and an illustration activity.  We also had a lot of fun explaining why the spies are not named in the story, and each student had an opportunity to name the spies themselves!   Students have also shared insightful comments about freedom and the responsibility that comes with our freedom.

Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach.

Elana

Update from Elana (March 12, 2021)

Shalom Bet and Gimel Families,

Students have been very busy reviewing Passover, and this week we reviewed the story of Passover with a Readers Theater, and an online board game.  In Torah we completed the story of Joshua and Caleb and the 12 spies.  The students shared great insights about courage and positivity through conversation and journaling, and also discussed how having a positive attitude makes us good community members.

We look forward to seeing everyone for Shabbat Tefillah tomorrow at 9:15 with Anna.

Shabbat Shalom

Elana
Update from Elana (March 4, 2021)

Shalom Bet and Gimel Families,

This week we started talking about Passover.  The students accessed their background knowledge with a music video and game, and used Readers Theater to review the Passover story.  During the week our Torah class focused on the value of positivity with the story of Joshua and Caleb and the 12 scouts. Students had a great time sharing their ideas through different online tools.

Wishing everyone a Shabbat Shalom

Elana

Update from Margie (February 17, 2021)

Shalom Gimmel Class Families,

I hope that you are all enjoying school vacation and the break from the daily routine.  In class last week we finished our tour through Jerusalem spending some time learning about the old city and its importance  in Jewish history.  We ended at the Kotel, the Western Wall, where we thought about what prayers and wishes we might write on notes to put into the cracks in the wall.
Hope you are all enjoying the snow as much as this girl in Tzafat this week!
Margie

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Update from Margie (February 5, 2021)

Shalom Second and Third Grade Families,

This past Sunday our classes visited the port of Yaffo which is just south of Tel Aviv.  I wonder if anyone remembers who from the Bible fled on a boat from this seaport? (A hint is in the sculpture of a giant whale we saw in Yaffo). From there we “took” the new high-speed train from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and spent a little time seeing the New City. We ended the day in the Knesset building where the Israeli government meets.  We saw the beautiful tapestries created by Marc Chagall which hang in the Reception Hall and noticed how he had included figures and scenes from Jewish history.  From here it’s on to the Old City of Jerusalem!
Shabbat Shalom,
Margie
Midweek Update from Elana (February 5, 2021)

Shalom Bet and Gimel Families,

This week in Hebrew School we reviewed the story of Purim with a Readers Theater and an online board game.  In Torah class we read the story of the giving of the Ten Commandments and talked about what it means to be G-d’s special treasure.  Using Padlet, we shared our ideas about Brit/covenant and why it is important for the community.

We look forward to seeing everyone for Tefillah tomorrow at 9:15am with Anna.

Shabbat Shalom

Elana

Midweek Update from Elana (January 29, 2021)

Shalom Bet and Gimel Families,

This week we had a great time talking and learning about Tu Bishvat.  The highlight of our week was a visit from Rabbi Liben who shared some great insights about the Tu Bishvat Seder and seven species.  Through story read aloud, illustration, and text study, students explored the importance of trees and the environment.

We look forward to seeing everyone at Tefillah on Shabbat morning at 9:15 am with Anna.

Shabbat Shalom,
Elana

Sunday Update from Margie (January 24,  2021)

Shalom Second and Third Grade Families,

On Sunday the class had a quick trip through the Israeli city which never sleeps.  We started by enjoying a quick “g’lee-dah” (ice cream) and visited the Dizengoff Mall in the center of Tel Aviv.  I wonder who remembers which popular American brand of ice cream you can also buy in Israel?  We noticed lots of Hebrew signs and even a mezuzah on a shop door.  We compared the shopping experience in a modern mall with that of shopping in the outdoor marketplace Shuk HaCarmel. We saw lots of modern buildings and some older ones and of course the beach!
This coming week we will have a quick tour of Yafo and then onto Jerusalem, maybe we’ll take the new high-speed train. Please make sure that your student has his or her Israel book for class.
Happy Tu’B’shvat,
Margie
Wednesday, January 2020- Update from Elana (Torah)

Shalom Bet and Gimel Families,

This week in Torah we started a new unit on the Ten Commandments.  Through games, the textbook,  and conversation, students explored the concept of being committed to something and learned how the Israelites committed to receiving and following God’s Mitzvot.  They also enjoyed a Readers Theater of The Ten Commandments.

Next week, during the week, we look forward to a visit from Rabbi Liben to our Zoom Room.

We are excited to see everyone on Shabbat morning for Tefillah with Anna at 9:15am.

Shabbat Shalom!

Elana

Israel Update from Margie (Friday, January 15, 2021)

Shalom Bet and Gimmel Families,

In class this past week we finished our “trip” to the Galilee.  We visited Tzfat and learned that it is possible to downhill ski in Israel and to soak in hot springs on the same day!
We saw that the day of an Israeli kid is similar to the days of the kids in our classes, the biggest exception is that school in Israel is six (!) shorter days. The other big difference is the role that the Scout Movement plays in Israel, enrolling tens of thousands kids; secular Jews, observant Jews and Arab Israelis alike.  One of the most defining aspects of the Scouts is the principle of “For Kids By Kids”, the older participants, the High School Students run most of the programming for the younger kids, helping them learn leadership skills and how to work in groups.  Some of us remembered Yahav, Nitzan and Bar who worked at Temple Israel in a year of service before going into the Israeli Army. They had all been active in the scouts and shared lots about that with us.
Next week it’s on to Tel Aviv!
Margie
Torah Update from Elana (January 8, 2021)

Shalom Bet and Gimel Families,

Happy New Year!  It was great to welcome the students back this week.  In our Torah class, we reread the story of the Crossing of the Sea, listened to the song, Miriam’s Timbrel by Debbie Friedman, and in breakout rooms talked about why the Israelites sang songs to G-d.  Students also had an opportunity to choose a scene from the story to illustrate and share.
This Shabbat we look forward to seeing everyone for Tefillah with Anna at 9:15am.
Shabbat Shalom
Elana
Torah – Update from Elana (12/18/20)

Shalom Bet and Gimel Families,

We had so much fun celebrating Hannukah!  On Sunday we had a blast playing a virtual dreidle game, as well as a Hannukah matching game.  During the week we enjoyed lighting the Hannukiyah together!  In our Torah class students worked on a craft project as a tool for sharing their feelings about justice and compassion.

We would like to extend a warm welcome to Elizabeth Nemira who joined the Wednesday group this week.

I look forward to seeing everyone for Tefillah tomorrow at 9:15 with Anna, and on Sunday for our 4th virtual tour to Israel.  I can’t wait to visit the shuk and make some delicious hummus!

Shabbat Shalom,
Elana

Torah – Update from Elana (12/11/20)

Shalom Bet and Gimel Families,

Last Sunday students enjoyed participating in a Readers Theater of the Hannukah story.  They demonstrated their learning with a follow up online board game.  During the week we further explored the value of justice and compassion through the story of the Ten Plagues.
Next week, during the week, we will light the Hannukiyah on Zoom at around 4:30.  Grown ups are welcome to join and students are welcome to bring their own Hannukiyah to the screen.
We look forward to seeing everyone for Tefillah with Anna on Shabbat at 9:15, and at 9am on Sunday for our third virtual tour of Israel.
Below is a link to some Hannukah activities to enjoy at home.  The first slide has books and games (please click on the pictures to open the links), the second slide has 3 online jigsaw puzzles and the third slide has a few Hannukah songs.
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Urim Sameach.
Elana
Israel Update from Margie – 12/8/2020

Shalom Second and Third Grade Families,

On Sunday we continued our “class trip” and left Haifa and drove north east towards the Galil (Galilee in English).  We looked at a map and some slides of the region and noticed that it is a very green area with a very large lake in the middle.  In English the lake is called the sea of Galilee and in Hebrew Kinneret, so named because the shape reminds us of a harp, referencing the biblical word Kinor.   We also stopped at a busy intersection on the highway (after we saw a picture of the weekend traffic, reminiscent of Cape Cod traffic) to plant a tree at the JNF center.  Many of the students knew exactly who they would dedicate a tree to, please ask your child.
I’m looking forward to the school trip this coming weekend, please remember to have the supplies provided by the school ready.
Chag Chanukah Sameach, Happy Chanukah,
Margie
December 4, 2020 (Update from Elana – Torah)

Shalom Bet and Gimel Families,

It was great seeing everyone after Thanksgiving break.  This week in Torah we wrapped up our leadership unit with a Padlet where students shared ideas about why leadership is important in a community.  We also started to explore the theme of justice in Exodus and our own lives through games and conversations.

We look forward to seeing everyone on Zoom tomorrow for Tefillah with Anna at 9:15, and on Sunday we will review the Hannukah story.

Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom,

Elana

Wednesday, November 25, 2020 – Update from Margie (Israel)
Shalom Bet and Gimmel Families,
I hope that your children have enjoyed the first part of our school wide Israel Trip. I’m looking forward to discovering which other senses we will use on our journey continues.
In class we read the  short story about Kedushah/Holiness in our Jewish Values text. We discussed what being  holy might mean, and what spaces may be holy or special.  In a way this was a continuation from conversations we had last year when we learned the Shema prayer and made mezuzot. Each child then made a “Zoom Mezzuzah” using the paper that they brought to class.  Please ask your child about what is written on the inside of the rolled up paper scrolls, and please help your child place this mezuzah near where they join in the prayer/singing/classes in order to make that space special.
Last week in class we finished our learning about the city of Haifa.  We read about the cable car which goes between the southern part of the city’s coast and the top of Mt. Carmel. We then took a ride on it, thanks to a video. Reactions were mixed as to if the students would want to take the short trip, or if it looked a little too scary.
We remembered Bar, Nitzan and Yahav when the text talked about Israeli teenagers being drafted into the army, and about the central role their service plays in creating lifelong skills, interests and friends.
We also talked about Israeli food, specifically falafel.  There are many who would argue that  Haifa is the best city to get falafel because of the wide assortment of toppings available in the falafel stands there.  We also had a brief discussion about the feelings and memories that food evokes in us, that it can be a great way to experience a new place and a great connection to family and friends.
I hope that you all have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving,
Margie
Thursday, November 19, 2020 – From Elana (Torah and Holidays)

Shalom Bet and Gimel Families,

Last Sunday students enjoyed the second tour to Israel and learned about how people get around Israel.  In the Holidays class we reviewed the Erev Shabbat blessings and worked on the Havdalah blessings.  In Torah Class students learned that a Midrash is a story that explains events that happened in the Bible.  This week students read a midrash explaining why Moses did not want the task of asking Pharaoh to free the slaves.
We look forward to seeing everyone at Shabbat morning Tefillah with Anna at 9:15am.
Shabbat Shalom,
Elana
Friday, November 13 – From Elana

Shalom Bet and Gimel Families,

Last Sunday we enjoyed our first virtual trip to Israel and we are super excited about our second one this Sunday.  In our Holidays class, students reviewed the Erev Shabbat blessings, including the Kiddush, and learned some of the Havdalah blessings.  In our Torah class this week, students explored the reasons why Moses was chosen as the leader of the Israelites, through discussions and a Midrash.

We look forward to seeing the students on Zoom tomorrow morning for Tefillah with Anna at 9:15am.

Shabbat Shalom
Elana

Sunday, November 8 – From Margie (Israel/Values)

Hi Bet and Gimmel Families,

I hope that your children enjoyed the first part of our school-wide Israel Trip. I’m looking forward to discovering which sense we will use on our journey next week.
In class, we read the short story about Kedushah/Holiness in our Jewish Values text. We discussed what being holy might mean, and what spaces may be holy or special.  In a way, this was a continuation from conversations we had last year when we learned the Shema prayer and made mezuzot. Each child then made a “Zoom Mezuzah” using the paper that they brought to class.  Please ask your child about what is written on the inside of the rolled-up paper scrolls, and please help your child place this mezuzah near where they join in the prayer/singing/classes in order to make that space special.
Have a good week,
Margie
November 5 – From Elana (Torah)

Shalom Bet and Gimel Families,

Last Sunday students worked on singing some of the Erev Shabbat blessings after watching the video, Moishe House Rocks, about Shabbat rituals.  During the weekday Torah class we began exploring the value of leadership in the Burning Bush story as well as our own lives.  This Shabbat we look forward to seeing students in Tefillah with Anna at 9:15.  We are super excited for our virtual trip to Israel on Sunday morning at 9am.  Zoom links for this are in the “RS Zoom Links” document.

Wishing everyone a Shabbat Shalom.

Elana

November 4 – From Margie (Israel and Values)

Shalom Bet and Gimmel Families,

We had a fun morning of learning this past Sunday after having an extra hour of sleep.  We continued looking at our text about Israel, meeting our “tour guides” in the book, looking at a map of Israel, and learning some words that are similar in Hebrew and English.  Ask your students if they remember the words for television, telephone or chocolate in Hebrew.  We also saw a short slideshow of pictures from Haifa, highlighting different neighborhoods of the city as it rises from the Mediterreanean up the side of Mt. Carmel and the diverse population of the city.
I think that most of us would like to take a  ride on the cable car which soars above the city!
I’m excited for our upcoming “trip” to Israel this coming Sunday.  After the trip  we will be doing an activity which will require three pieces of paper about 4″x6″ in size.  The paper can be plain, be from a magazine, piece of wrapping paper or something colorful that your child likes.  We will also need a marker or two and some tape.
L’Hitraot (See You Later) ,
Margie
October 29, 2020 – From Elana

Shalom Bet and Gimel Families,

This week in our Holiday class students listened to the story, Starlight and Candles, and discussed how the characters in the story created Shabbat as an “Island in Time” for themselves.  In Torah class we continued our exploration of the value of courage in the story of Moses’ birth and our own communities.  Next week we will begin to explore the value of leadership in the Burning Bush story.

We look forward to seeing you on Shabbat morning at 9:15 for Tefillah with Anna.

Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom.

Shalom
Elana

October, 25, 2020 – From Margie

Dear Second and Third  Grade Families,

I hope that your children enjoyed the Apple & Honey Olympics as much as I did. It was great watching (and playing along) as the kids balanced, bounced and tossed foam apples and balloons.
Last week we began our trip through Israel meeting a character in our book who will be one of our “your guides” and looked at where in the world Israel is located and just how small it is.
Yesterday we began our learning about values by reading a story about Noah and the “Brit” he made with the animals on the ark. We learned that a “Brit” is a covenant, an important deal.  Please ask your child about the deal between Noah and the animals.
We will be going back and forth between the two subjects so please help your child be prepared for class with our books.
B’Shalom
Margie
2 Tefila Updates From Anna
Summary from 10/17:
Have you ever wondered why Jewish holidays start at night instead of during the day? Today, grades Pre-K through 4th learned about the lunar calendar and how the Jewish religion is tied to the moon. For example, the holiday of Rosh Chodesh celebrating the start of the new month begins the night of the new moon (or when no moon is in the sky).
Summary from 10/24:
Going with our theme of Jewish time, this Shabbat we learned a new way Jews mark the passage of the week- a new parshah in the Torah! Our torah portion on this shabbat is Parshah Noach, or the building of Noah’s Ark. As a group, we discussed what we would bring with us the ark (food, family, games, and our favorite animals) and sang the song “Rise and Shine” to tell the story of the great flood.

October 22, 2020

Shalom Bet and Gimel Families,

This week in our Holiday class, students talked about Shabbat as a day of rest and an “Island in Time,” which they illustrated.  In Torah class we began our Torah studies with the story of the birth of Moses, and focusing on the themes of courage, bravery and trust with different activities.

We look forward to seeing everyone on Zoom for Shabbat morning Tefillah, and on Sunday for Hebrew School and Apple & Honey Olympics.

Wishing everyone a Shabbat Shalom.

Elana

October 15, 2020

Shalom Bet and Gimel Families,

This week we introduced our Torah curriculum with activities and conversations about community.  Students listened to a story about kindness, illustrated their ideal community and talked about important values.  Next week we will start reading about the birth of Moses.  I look forward to seeing the students at Shabbat services with Anna at 9:15am on Saturday.

Shabbat Shalom,

Elana

October 9, 2020

Shalom Bet and Gimel Families,

The students did a great job over the last month learning about the different fall holidays using different modalities such as stories, arts and crafts, games and conversations.  Next week we will start our Torah curriculum with stories from the Exodus.  This coming Saturday night, for Simhat Torah, we are excited to welcome the Bible Players, and we hope to see many of you there.  We also look forward to seeing the students for Shabbat Morning Tefillah with Anna from 9:15 – 9:45.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach!

Elana

September 18, 2020

Shalom Bet and Gimel Families,

It was so amazing to meet your students during the week and on Sunday for our opening days, and I am so excited to be working with them this year!

During the week we spent time getting to know each other and our aides and madrichim, Emma & Gabe (Tuesday), Carter (Wednesday), and Lisa & Kayla (Sunday).  After an ice (or Zice) breaker activity, we talked about the different communities we belong to and shared some rules that make our communities work.  This week we will do some activities around the value of Derech Eretz and use these conversations to make a Class Brit together.

On Sunday in our Holiday class, we spent time reflecting on last year, and thinking how to make next year better.  We also played a matching game to review what we already know about Rosh Hashanah.

We look forward to seeing everyone at our Taschlich program on Sunday, September 27.  Please watch your email for more details.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. Wishing you all a Shanah Tovah.

Elana

Sept. 13 – Music with Anna:
Shana Tova! Today, the PreK through 4th graders welcomed the new school year and the new year of 5781 with dancing (like Miriam) and a shofar blast (or at least the song version by Ellen Allard). It was wonderful to be together as a kehillah (community) again and to see so many familiar and new faces. I am looking forward to learning and growing through music and prayer with the PreK, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders!
Shavua Tov,
Anna

 

Dear Families of 2nd and 3rd Graders,

 

We, Elena Berelowitz and Margie Matross are writing to introduce ourselves as the Grade 2 and 3 Teaching Team.

 

My name is Elana Berelowitz. I am a member of Temple Israel of Natick and have been teaching in the Religious School since 1999.

 

I’m Margie Matross, and I have been a member of the Temple Israel community as a congregant, parent, and teacher for many years.  I grew up in Newton and lived in Israel for ten years after college before moving to Natick. I’m excited to continue working with the third graders and to get to know the second graders.  

 

CLASSES WITH ELANA

 

I am excited to be working with second and third graders on Jewish Holidays and Ritual, and Torah.   In our holidays class on Sundays, we will learn to recite blessings appropriate to the holiday and learn about ritual objects, traditional foods, themes, and historical backgrounds.  We will use a variety of modalities.  Much of our focus will be enhancing the home celebration of each holiday.  On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, we will explore different Torah stories focusing on the values of “community” in the book of Exodus and beyond, and will supplement our conversations with journal writing, art, games, and discussions. 

 

CLASS WITH MARGIE

 

One thing we will do this year on Sundays is travel to Israel. Well, maybe my imagination got the best of me, but we will be learning about Israel and doing a virtual scavenger hunt and tour through the country.  I hope that the students will share personal experiences and family connections to Israel during our Israel tour.  In addition to studying Israel on Sundays, the second and third graders will also have a unit on Jewish values, exploring where in Jewish texts they are found and how we practice them in our own lives.

 

HEBREW

 

Margie will be teaching all the second graders Hebrew in small groups.  Second graders will review the letters, add in more vowels and final letters, and put them all together to read. It’s always amazing to see the second graders realize that by combining the letter sounds with the vowels, they can decode simple words….and off they go looking everywhere for familiar words. 

 

We will both teach small groups of Hebrew to third-graders.  In third grade, students will apply the skills gained in second grade to decode different prayers, and they will also learn to chant them.

 

This summer, we participated in online professional development, and we look forward to sharing some of the resources with your students. We are also excited that we have some wonderful teaching assistants and madrichim working with us – Carter Freedlander, Emma Freedlander, Kayla Wilen, Lisa Clover, Gabe Klawans, Ari Klawans, and Ethan Duncan.

 

Please feel free to reach out with any questions:

 

Margie – margie.matross@gmail.com

Elana – eberelowitz@gmail.com

 

We are looking forward to connecting with everyone and forming a “virtual community” together as we begin the Jewish Year 5781.  

 

L’Shalom,

 

Elana and Margie

 

P.s. Please watch for an email from Robin with information on how to access Zoom links.