Jun 06

Preparing For Sunday

This week, the educators of the Jewish Enrichment Center have been very busy getting ready for our Shavuot End of Year Torah Celebration, taking place this Sunday, starting at 9 AM!

Setting the stage for remembering and discovery.
Creating cue cards.
Preparing project descriptions connected to projects created by children.

We are looking forward to sharing all of the Torah we have explored at the Jewish Enrichment Center through the years! See you on Sunday!

May 31

Remembering Our Year

Wow! What a year of exploration we have had in שׁוֹרָשִׁים (Shorashim– ‘roots’ for nursery) and שְׁתִּילִים (Shteelim– ‘saplings’ for kindergarten)!

We have been remembering the ways we have played during our themes from the year and from our experiences of Jewish Holidays.

Ya’akov v’Esav was our first theme this year! The children remembered so much about the text, including the following interactions between characters:

Rivkah (the mother) telling one Son to take the other’s blessing:

Esav (the hairy hunter) being angry and sad when he learn that the blessing was given to his brother:

One of our popular explorations from the first theme was dancing to music that connected to character feelings, identified by children. So we danced again!

One popular way that we remembered some of our experiences with Jewish holidays, was by building parts of texts that are associated with the holiday. Here, children built the temple in Jerusalem being messed up, from a text associated with Chanukah.

We have been making frames for group photos (to take home), to help us remember who we played with this year.

What a wonderful year we have had together!

May 31

All the Anafim News That’s Fit to Print

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Anafim wraps up the year by making a newspaper with all of the biggest stories from our year of learning together!

The Anafim news team is covering a wide range of stories, from our favorite themes to our most memorable modalities.

We’ve got one reporter providing live coverage of the story of Chanukah from 200 B.C.E. Another is interviewing her peers to find out what their favorite projects have been and what they’re looking forward to doing in the future.

This team polled all of Anafim to get the stats about which kibud (snack) options are the group favorites. They are making a graph to display their findings.

Another reporter is interviewing her peers about their thoughts and feelings about the Ya’akov and Esav text. She even reached out to a member of Anafim v’Alonim to get her thoughts!

We can’t wait for you to read our paper next week when it’s hot off the press!

May 30

Short and sweet

It was a short week in Beit Nitzanim, but we filled it it up with joyous Hebrew play…

… and designing a masterpiece.

See you next week!

May 30

Reflecting On Our Sukkat Shlomecha

Earlier this year during a Saturday special session, children in Anafim v’Alonim (“branches” for 4th grade and “oak trees” for 5th grade) built a Sukkat Shlomecha (shelter of peace) just for our kvutzah (group). We discussed what brings us peace as individuals and a community.

To make our space cozy, children made pillows, added blankets, and soft rugs. Some children chose spices like cinnamon to include in small jars to have “calming scents.” Other things children compiled a list of all the visuals children in our kvutzah (group) associated with the word “peace.” Some of the things collected were shells, sand, pictures of puppies, and paper to doodle with. Shells we placed around the perimeter and pictures of puppies, drawings of peace were hung up around the inside.

Yesterday in Anafim v’Alonim (“branches” for 4th grade and “oak trees” for 5th grades) we continued the process of closing out the year together.  With just a few sessions left, it was time to say goodbye to our Sukkat Shlomecha (shelter of peace). At the beginning of session we took a moment to reflect on some of the moments we found peace in the Sukkat Shlomecha (shelter of peace), or a time it was used and was helpful.

Taking the Sukkat Shlomecha (shelter of peace) down was just as much of a communal effort as putting it up. I look forward to seeing what other awesome things children in Anafim v’Alonim (“branches” for 4th grade and “oak trees” for 5th grades)  create to find peace as they grow older!

May 23

Remembering and Reflecting

Can you believe it’s already the end of May? With just a few weeks left of the school year, Anafim (“Branches” for 2nd and 3rd grade) is taking some time to remember all of the awesome things that we’ve done together as a community this year.

We started by thinking about our current theme, nosei v’ol im chaveiro (helping a friend carry a burden.) We’ve made up stories and read texts about nosei v’ol im chaveiro, but have there been any examples of it in our classroom this year? Anafimers responded with a unanimous “YES!”

Some examples of nosei v’ol im chaveiro from our classroom that Anafimers came up with were going slowly with your partner during Ivrit, inviting other children to build with you, taking turns talking, and cleaning up materials.

Next, we looked at pictures of some of the awesome things we did together this year, like all of our past themes, holidays, and Hebrew challenges.

Then it was time to really step back inside of those moments from this past year that we loved. Children set to work recreating their favorite explorations and activities from the year.

Rebuilding the ladder that appeared in a dream to Ya’akov.
Revisiting reasons someone might do a tefilla (prayer).
Retelling the Channukah story

All of this is in preparation for our end of the year project, which is a newspaper covering all of the biggest stories from Anafim this year! Keep your eyes peeled for it to be hitting the shelves at a local newsstand near you!

May 21

Making Memories!

In שׁוֹרָשִׁים (Shorashim– ‘roots’ for nursery) and שְׁתִּילִים (Shteelim– ‘saplings’ for kindergarten), we have been reflecting on all the wonderful ways we’ve played as a community this year. To help us wrap up our year together we are making a memory box with many handcrafted treasures inside for us to look back on in the years to come!

What can we but in our box to remember Sukkot? A lulav!
What can we put in our box to remember our first theme Ya’akov v’Esav? A tent!
What else can we put in our box to remember our first theme Ya’akov v’Esav? A pot of stew!

I can’t wait to see what else shorashim v’shteelim thinks up to put inside…

May 21

Acquiring Torah from nosei v’ol im chaveiro

This week children in Anafim v’Alonim (“Branches” and “Oak trees” for 4th and 5th grades)  took the example of נוֹשֵׂא בְעֹל עִם חֲבֵרו (nosei v’ol im chaveiro–helping a friend carry a burden) from the text of Megillat Rut, and thought about what it means to get Torah from doing  נוֹשֵׂא בְעֹל עִם חֲבֵרו (nosei v’ol im chaveiro–helping a friend carry a burden).

Many children explored the burden that Rut carried with Naomi by staying with her. Children who chose this example took some time to think about what it might have looked like or felt like in that moment.

First, children chose a couple of words to describe the setting. For example: “old village” and “sidewalks”.

Then, children said what was learned during the instance of נוֹשֵׂא בְעֹל עִם חֲבֵרו (nosei v’ol im chaveiro–helping a friend carry a burden) they chose to explore.

“It’s important because they’ll be stuck together for the rest of their life”

Then each child created a sentence starting with: “The kind of Torah a person can get from נוֹשֵׂא בְעֹל עִנוֹשֵׂא בְעֹל עִם חֲבֵרו (nosei v’ol im chaveiro–helping a friend carry a burden) is”

This child finish that sentence saying “… to learn more about your friend because you’ll be with each other the rest of your life.”
Each child has created a sentence to reflect what they believe is the kind of Torah one can get from נוֹשֵׂא בְעֹל עִם חֲבֵרו (nosei v’ol im chaveiro–helping a friend carry a burden).

Over the next few sessions as we wrap of this theme, children will continue to grow their sentences as they read each others’ and find words they connect with.

May 20

A new project

It’s hard to believe that we only have a few weeks left before we say goodbye for the summer. Nitzanim children are beginning to reflect on all of the learning, playing, and growing we’ve done as a community this year.

Today we started working on a final project that makes visible the immense kindness and love these children have for each other.

Step one? Interviews!

Last week, children brainstormed a list of questions they wanted to ask each other like, “What theme or Jewish holiday was your favorite this year?” and “What project were you the most proud of?” Children are asking each other these questions in pairs, listening closely, and very carefully taking notes.

Step two? Kind notes.

Children are writing post-its to each other with kind words and wishes. How exciting to write and receive anonymous notes!

Children jumped right in, overjoyed to be starting our super special final project. I can’t wait for them to share it with you!

May 17

Does The Story of Rut Have Examples of Nosei v’Ol Im Chaveiro?

In שׁוֹרָשִׁים (Shorashim– ‘roots’ for nursery) and שְׁתִּילִים (Shteelim– ‘saplings’ for kindergarten), we are well into our theme, נוֹשֵׂא בְעֹל עִם חֲבֵרוֹ (Nosei v’ol im chaveiro– Help a friend carry their burden, or, their heavy thing). This week we have been reading the story of Rut and trying to find examples of Nosei v’Ol Im Chaveiro.

Here are three ideas that children shared:

  • When the family moves to a new place because of famine, the characters were helping each other with moving which can be hard, by staying together.
  • When Rut stayed with her mother-in-law after her husband died, a hard thing that happened to both of them, they were helping each other with their feelings and take care of each other.
  • When Rut goes to glean in the field to get food for herself and her Mother-in-law, Rut is helping with hunger (a hard thing).

Here are some photos of the children acting out parts of the story of Rut:

Harvesting Wheat!
Rut follows behind the harvesters, gleaning any wheat that they drop.
Rut gleaning wheat, again!
When Boaz, the owner of the field notices Rut gleaning in the field, he asks her to stay at his field and offers her water. Rut bows to Boaz for being so kind to her.

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