Dec 13

Chanukah Continues In Anafim v’Alonim!

This week in Anafim v’Alonim (“Branches” for 4th grade and “Oak Trees” for 5th) are powering through their Chanukah projects.  There are three possible endings to the Chanukah story that children have been exploring for the past couple of weeks.  Some children are comparing the different endings while others are digging deep into one or two.


Some children are recreating the story through a skit!



…others a movie reel!


“We are making water colors of the most important scenes in all three endings,”  Wow!! The detail!!


Today two children took on the challenge of building the destruction of the second Temple in Jerusalem.  During the process WOW such interesting ideas were flowing!!

“People then were sad because all of their important stuff that was destroyed. It was their important things like the alter for sacrifices, pillars that support the building.”

“I think they [the Jews] can do whatever they wan’t [in reference to assimilation to Greek culture] but back then I think it would be a tighter cut like if you did certain stuff you wouldn’t be a Jew anymore.  Like eat non-kosher food or make sacrifices to other gods.  Now I don’t have to keep kosher but I can still consider myself a Jew.  [It is determined by] how others perceive you.


We are so excited to see how it all comes together!!!


Dec 13

Celebrating Hanukkah in Shalom Chaverim

Over the past two weeks, the zero to three years olds (and their grown-ups!) in Shalom Chaverim have been celebrating and exploring Hanukkah together.

There were ritual objects to explore in many ways. The children discovered hanukkiyot buried in the sensor table, in stories, in singing, and even through artistic expression.

As the children developed a deeper understanding of what a hanukkiyah is, and how we use it, they set to work (with the support of a grown up!) to create their own.

It was exciting to observe the children painting with careful focus and attention. “I am making mine so beautiful,” remarked one child as he worked.


We continue exploring symbols of Hanukkah in our play. The children used tiny tea lights to build their own hanukkiyot, carefully counting out 8 candles and one shamash.

In play dough, the children used cookie cutters to form dreidels and hanukkiyah.

And, of course, we learned together that Hanukkah is a happy holiday for special time together, and of course special treats! The children made their own Hanukkah cookies and enjoyed them at kibud.

Dec 12

Anafim Dives Deeper into Chanukah

What a month we’ve had in Anafim (“Branches” for 2nd and 3rd grade)! Not only did we finish up and celebrate the amazing work we did for our Ya’akov v’Esav final projects, but we’ve also started mini-projects to explore the different possible endings to the Chanukah story!

While the Ya’akov v’Esav collages allowed the children to feel the power of seeing their own individual project through to completion, this is also a group that loves to collaborate. Children have been sharing their ideas about what they imagine the story to look like, dividing up responsibilities for how to build and draw their ideas, and collaborating on how to present their work to their peers!

And wow, we’ve had some amazing recreations of the Chanukah story!

I can’t wait to keep learning more about Chanukah with Anafim!

Dec 11

What does Chanukah Look Like in our Group?

Chanukah is going strong for שׁוֹרָשִׁים (Shorashim– ‘roots’ for nursery) and שְׁתִּילִים (Shteelim– ‘saplings’ for kindergarten). We have been playing lots of ways of celebrating Chanukah and testing out our recall of the Chanukah story.

We all had a chance to share ways that we might celebrate Chanukah with our families, or at the Jewish Enrichment Center…

Here are some of the things that children said, most of which we played:

I get presents!

We light candles and sing songs like I have a little dreidel!

We got gelt (in this case referring to chocolate coins)!

We made latkes!

I played סְבִיבוֹן (sevivon-dreidel)!

My Mommy came to school and we told everyone about Chanukah!

Chanukah Cookies!

We also made Chanukah cards…


We did some Chanukah yoga….


We made עברית (Ivrit- Hebrew) choices using the letters on a  סְבִיבוֹן (sevivon-dreidel)….

Some of us even built the Temple in Jerusalem from the text associated with Chanukah…

These are the Jews being led into the Temple by Judah so they could clean it up.







Dec 10


Can you believe it’s already December? Where has the time gone? It feels like only yesterday that Nitzanim children were starting a new year in a new space with a new morah (teacher). Children have grown and learned so much since September! There’s so much to celebrate!
We’re celebrating the way that children tried a Chanukah think-pair-share today with a new partner! Children figured out who would be the first talker and who would be the first listener. Then, each group took turns sharing their ideas for the whole group!
We’re celebrating all of the our Hebrew learning so far! At the beginning of the year, children didn’t know the Hebrew vowels kamatz, patach, or chirik and now they confidently say the sounds all three Hebrew vowels make.
We’re celebrating the close of our first theme and children’s AMAZING final projects that they couldn’t wait to share with each other. In their projects, children discuss issues in the text that really bothered them like favoritism and fairness, how parents should treat their children, and how brothers should act.
Wow, Nitzanim!

Dec 07

Chanukkah Is Here!

What a week it has been for Anafim v’Alonim (“Branches” for 4th grade and “Oak Trees” for 5th)! The final touches were put on children’s Ya’akov v’Esav (Jacob and Esau) projects and we quickly launched our Chanukkah celebration. Children are already full of ideas about their projects!

After a few focused sessions, many children mastered new tefillot (prayers) this week. They’ve worked hard and we are so proud of each of them for the progress they’ve made! In addition to the Tefillah curriculum, children learn ivrit (Hebrew) foundations through letter and vowel recognition games, sight words, and script writing.

As exciting as this week has been, the best is still to come – Family Exploration and Celebration! This Sunday we will be supporting children in sharing their work with their grown ups. This is their time to shine, to showcase the incredible learning they’ve done this theme, and to feel the pride and joy they have so earned.

Dec 06

Chanukah Joy

It’s finally Chanukah! Every child at the Jewish Enrichment Center has worked SO HARD to finish up their final project for our Ya’akov v’Esav theme. They can’t wait to share their work and continue the conversation at our Family Celebration and Exploration in just a few days!

With the projects wrapped up, we’re diving into exploring the Chanukah story. Children have been building and drawing to show their interpretations of the texts that tell us about Chanukah. These Anafimers (“Branches” for second and third grade) even worked together to share the story out loud with their friends!


And after all of the drama and excitement of the Chanukah story, we all look forward to taking a moment to pause to marvel at the beauty of the Chanukah candles and play a friendly game of סְבִיבוֹן (“sevivon” – dreidel).



See you on Sunday at the Family Exploration and Celebration!

Nov 29

Wrapping Up Ya’akov and Esav In Anafim v’Alonim!

This week in Beit Anafim v’Alonim (“Branches” for 4th grade and “Oak trees” for 5th and 6th grades), we have been super focused on finishing any final details to our projects, sharing out our artist statements, and some editing around our words.  This is really such an exciting time.  Not only are we just over a week away from Family Exploration and Celebration but Chanukah is almost here!


Some children were ready to do their final edit on the artist statement for their project.  Taking a step away from your words and coming back to them can really help to formulate an idea you maybe weren’t able to articulate the last time!


Our grown ups are so eager to see what we’ve been working on, always happy to have visitors pop in and chat about our work!

As we approach Chanukah, we’ve begun to explore three different endings of the Chanukah story.  This interpretation was built off of the third ending which comes from the Talmud. Chanukah is just around the corner and I can’t wait for the creative ways we will explore the ending of the Chanukah story together!

Nov 29

Ya’akov v’Esav Final Projects

This week the children in שׁוֹרָשִׁים (Shorashim– ‘roots’ for nursery) and שְׁתִּילִים (Shteelim– ‘saplings’ for kindergarten), are working on our final projects for our Torah theme, Ya’akov v’Esav (Jacob and Esau). We can’t wait to share how much of the text we have learned and share our interpretations about characters at Family Exploration and Celebration!

Check out the joy and focus of the children as they paint parts of our final projects!

Check out the cool ways children moved their bodies to show their interpretations about character feelings!

Kol Hakavod שׁוֹרָשִׁים (Shorashim– ‘roots’ for nursery) and שְׁתִּילִים (Shteelim– ‘saplings’ for kindergarten), see you on December 9th for Family Exploration and Celebration!


Nov 28

Uncovering the Chanukkah Story

Making a final project is hard work! We’ve made drafts, constructed our collages, put on finishing touches, and discussed our interpretations! While we’re still making sure that every detail is just how we want it for the Family Exploration and Celebration, we took a break to build and draw about the Chanukkah story.

Different parts of the story stood out to different children:

I’m showing the archaeologists who found all the evidence for the Chanukkah story!

What did the menorah that was inside the Temple look like? How is it different from a חֲנוּכִּייָה (“chanukiyyah”)?

We’re showing the Maccabees fighting and winning.


What an exciting time of year at the Enrichment Center!

Older posts «

Facebook Like Button for Dummies