October 28, 2020 |

Grades 6 and 7 (2020-2021)

Posted on September 6, 2020

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Hello 6th and 7th Grade parents!

We hope you all had a nice week and restful Shabbat. This week during our weekday classes, we continued learning about Jewish life cycle events, focusing on baby naming ceremonies. We talked about your children’s names – what their name means and who they may have been named for, and the amount of responsibility that goes into naming a child.
Then, we learned a bit about Jewish Ashkenazi last names, where they came from, and what they mean. It was fun to see some of our last names in the list!
We look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow morning at 9:30 for the Apple and Honey olympics!
Gerry and Hilary


October 18, 2020

Dear Grade 7 Parents,

It was great seeing your kids this past Sunday.

This past week we started our Jewish Literature curriculum with Pirkei Avot/Ethics of the Fathers. We learned about where Jewish law and texts come from (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTiQb_3FGSE), and then learned about Pirkei Avot (https://www.ccarpress.org/shopping_product_detail.asp?pid=50434) and read and discussed the first “Mishna” in Chapter 1 on the transmission of Jewish tradition, followed by a Kahoot on Jewish tradition.

For our second hour, we began our Facing History and Ourselves curriculum with a discussion of what elements make up one’s identity, how we change our identity depending on where we are, and how others treat us based upon their perception of our identity. We then watched and discussed a film clip on “Identity in a Changing World,” about the author Sholom Aleichem and changes in Jewish identity in Europe and America before World War II (https://www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/video/sholem-aleichem-identity-changing-world).

This coming Sunday we’ll be participating in the Apple & Honey Olympics – please pick up supplies at Temple Israel. We’ll then continue our study of Facing History  about the history of Anti-Semitism, with a focus on Christian Anti-Semitism.

For discussion, please ask your kids to discuss what they consider to be the things (Jewish and general) that are parts of their identity, and how it changes in different places (e.g., home, school, synagogue, sports, etc.).

Also, please encourage your kids to go to the Zoom Tefilah on Shabbat morning at 9:15 a.m.

Shabbat shalom,


September 30, 2020

Dear parents,

We hope you all had a meaningful Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Our first week together we learned about Rosh Hashanah, the shofar, and family traditions. We watched and discussed a great Bim Bam video on Rosh Hashanah (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AuMXq5sHDw&feature=youtu.be), heard the shofar and learned its fuels, and saw how a shofar is made (https://youtu.be/orbGA3wD4qM). We then wrote a short personal story in our ongoing Jewish Stories about our own family Rosh Hashanah traditions.

The following week, we focused on Yom Kippur and different Yom Kippur traditions. We watched another Bim Bam video about Yom Kippur and learned that we read the book of Jonah. We had a nice discussion on Teshuva, what that means and how we do it. We learned that when we apologize to people we may have hurt, it has to be sincere and we have to try three different times/ways if that person doesn’t forgive us right away!

This week we will be learning about and discussing Sukkot!

For the next class, please discuss with your children about your own family Jewish holiday stories.



Gerry and Hilary


September 18, 2020

Hi everyone,

It was great seeing your kids on Sunday for the first time this year, even if it was on Zoom.

This past week, we started working on our class “Brit”, the rules for our virtual classroom. We then had an introduction to our Sunday curriculum, which will include Facing History and Ourselves (Holocaust), Judaism’s Great Debates, Israel, and Jewish Literature (Weekly Torah Portion and Pirkei Avot – Ethics of the Fathers). We introduced our theme of “Writing Your Jewish Story” by viewing an amazing video from Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, “On Being Jewish,” that you can find here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7B8ycURLGc

Due to the Jewish holidays, we won’t be having a formal class again until October 18. However, I look forward to seeing all of you and your children on Sunday morning, September 27 at 11:15 for Tashlikh at the South Natick Dam (sunny side). When we pick up in October, we’ll be starting our study of the Holocaust, as well as beginning our Israel curriculum.

Until next time, please discuss with your kids the question of “what kind of bread crumbs are we discarding at Tashlikh, before Yom Kippur, and why?”

Shana Tova U’metuka – best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.



Early September 2020

Dear Families of 6th and 7th Graders:


We, Gerry, Hilary, Margie, and Cantor Ken, are writing to introduce ourselves as the grade 6 and 7 teaching team.




Hi everyone, my name is Hilary, and I am excited to be teaching your children this year! I am originally from Worcester and have moved around quite a bit since then. I graduated from Gann Academy, attended Binghamton University for my undergrad studying Arabic and Hebrew, and then continued at Gallaudet University for a MA in Deaf Education and Early Childhood Education.  I am a Deaf teacher, teaching students across different grade levels, and I am beginning my fourth year at Temple Israel. 


This year, I will teach the 6th graders on Sundays about Values and Israel. Each week we will look a the Parsha and see what we can extract and apply to our lives.  Our Israel unit will focus on modern Israel and our partnership with a school in Haifa. My teaching style revolves around mutual respect. I believe that I have just as much to learn from my students as they have to learn from me. I believe in student-centered activities and look forward to many projects throughout the year!  




My name is Mr. Frim, and I grew up in Newton. I received undergraduate degrees from Hebrew College and the University of Pennsylvania and my law degree from Penn.  After some time in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Israel, I returned to the Boston area. I am thrilled to be returning for my third year at Temple Israel. Though my day job is as an attorney, my passion is helping your children develop a strong Jewish identity. As a teacher, I try to have my students learn to explore on their own and to question themselves and me in their Jewish journey. I expect that the students will respect each other and contribute to an environment where they can learn from me, our texts, and, most importantly, from each other. 


On Sundays, the 7th graders will focus on Jewish Literature, History (focusing on the Holocaust), Israel, and Values.  On weekdays, Hilary and I will teach the 6th and 7th graders lessons on Jewish Holidays and the Jewish Life Cycle. We will be using a mix of texts, multimedia materials, discussion, small group work, and hands-on projects. 




I’m Margie, and have been a member of the Temple Israel community as a teacher, parent, and congregant for many years. Like Gerald, I grew up in Newton and spent ten years living in Israel after college before moving to Natick. For many years I taught both Second Grade and the Gesher (7th grade) class. I am excited to have the opportunity to be with the 7th-grade students on Sunday mornings for Conversational Hebrew. We will be learning basic vocabulary, playing games, and having some simple conversations.  We are fortunate to have Shira Taman, a native Hebrew speaker, joining us in class as an aide.




During the week, Gerry and Hilary will teach the 6th and 7th graders a course on Jewish Holidays and the Jewish Life Cycle. We will be using a mix of texts, multimedia materials, discussion, small group work, and hands-on projects. 


The 6th graders will also attend trope during the week with Cantor Ken. Please watch for an email from Cantor Ken with more details about trop.  Trope will begin in the last week of September.


The aides and madrichim assisting in grades 6 and 7 are Naomi Hoffman, Emma Freedlander, Carter Freedlander, and Sam Burg, all of whom grew up at TI.  Naomi is a junior in high school and lives in Framingham.  Emma is currently a UMASS student, Sam is a student at Temple University (and spent much of last fall and spring in Israel), and Carter is a recent college graduate.


You can reach us:

Gerald: gfrim@hotmail.com

Hilary: hilary.henninger@gmail.com 

Margie: margie.matross@gmail.com

Cantor Ken: cantor@tiofnatick.org 


We look forward to welcoming our students back as we begin the Jewish Year 5781. 




Hilary, Gerry, Margie, and Ken


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