Sunday, September 23, 2012

Preparing for Yom Kippur!

We had another great day at TBTRS!  It was a busy day and there was a lot going on!

The 9th grade Confirmation Class joined Rabbi Offner at the Beaverbrook Cemetery for class instruction and the Memorial Service with congregants.  The students arrived early to meet with Rabbi and talk about Jewish traditions of burials, mourning, etc.  They talked about why one often sees rocks on top of the headstones at a Jewish cemetery.  If you want to know why, ask one of our 9th graders!

Back at TBT, the 8th grade discussion group engaged in a meaningful group debate about the merits and justifications of war.  Touching upon politics, the upcoming elections, and current wars, the students were able to make connections between Afghanistan, 9/11, WWII and Darfur.  They talked about the theory of there being three types of war: Obligatory, Optional, and Preventative and assessed the justification of each type of war.

Our seventh grade students continued working on their dissection of the Torah portion about Jonah and the Whale, reading to identify the story and the implications of each event, not only in the story, but as a modern commentary.  In further preparation for Yom Kippur, they reviewed the Avinu Malkenu and the Confessional, Al Chet.  These students continue to impress me with their thoughtfulness and dedication as they work in Religious School!

Our sixth graders spent a bit of time starting to look into script writing, using Yom Kippur vocabulary.  Mr. Holum shared videos and stories to help the students think about repentance, forgiveness and the meaning of Yom Kippur.  They engaged in a discussion on the topic of why and how we still praise and thank G-d even after bad things happen.

The fifth graders had a special day in Tefilah as they were called up to the bimah to share the opening song with the whole school.  The students did a wonderful job!  In class, they discussed forgiveness and how they might feel about forgiving someone who has been a bully or isn't making amends.  They also talked about Tashlich, Kapparot, and  the rules for fasting on Yom Kippur and how they aren't currently obligated to fast but may try to make some sort of personal sacrifice on Yom Kippur.

Third and fourth graders continued to review the basic Hebrew vocabulary words that they began working with this year.  The kids are feeling more and more confident with the words for basic communication and specific to the High Holy Days.  The kids finished their acrostic poems for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and saw them posted around their classroom.  Ms. Besser shared that she was impressed with the reflection and discussion the resulted from their homework from last week and assigned new homework, An essay on the topic:  What I wish for the New Year for myself, family, friends and at Hebrew School.

The second graders began working on their Hebrew alphabet, coloring their Alephs and listening to Mrs. Pozzi read a story about the letter.  Today was a literary day for the second graders as they were able to visit the Library as well.  Mrs. DeRusha read a story, Sound the Shofar by Leslie Kimmelman, to the class!

The first graders recalled their experiences from Rosh Hashanah and reviewed vocabulary words for Yom Kippur in both Hebrew and English.  Ms. Green berg read about Yom Kippur and the students added personal experiences and their knowledge to the information that they learned in class.  They were able to participate in a classroom Tashlich activity as a group and talk about why Jews participate in Tashlich services.

In music, Mr. Calvert taught the students the song, "I like to Hear the Shofar Blast" and the students sang with great enthusiasm.  The "tekiah gadolah" from the two music classes I heard was IMPRESSIVELY long!  The students got a second chance to show off their musical talent as they sang the song in Tefilah too.  They were treated to the amazing Shofar blowing of Doug L who had a tekeiah gadolah blast the was loud, long and clear!  Eighth grades Ilana and Natalie joined Rabbi Offner and Mr. Calvert on the bimah to lead the congregation in chanting the V'Ahavtah.  As the next and most recent TBT B'Nai Mitzvah students, they confidently and beautifully lead the group.  

Thank you to all of our madrichim who helped with the service as well as the various activities going on a TBTRS today!  The students especially thank you for prepping and bringing the apples and honey to each class!

Your children should have received two flyers today, one about the Pizza in the Hut event and the "Cooking after Hebrew School with TBT cooks" flyer.  If you received a paper bag for food donation, please bring back the bag with non-perishable food items to be donated when you attend the 10 am Yom Kippur Morning service on Wednesday.

This year the “Cooking after Hebrew School with the TBT Cooks" will be on Sundays after Hebrew School. Events will take place once a month at our TBT kitchen to benefit the Branford Community Dining Room.   
We want our kids to understand the importance of being involved in the Mitzvah of volunteer work and helping others in our community. We believe this will be a great and fun way to get them started! 
On the day of the event we will meet at the TBT kitchen soon after Hebrew school dismissal (12pm). We'll make a casserole dish and baked goods and we will need a volunteer to deliver them.
We will spend about 2 hours in the kitchen.  Due to the size of our kitchen, space is limited.  All kids are welcomed and must be accompanied by an adult. 
The dates set are October 28th, November 18th, December 2nd, January 13th, February 3rd, and March 10th 
To register or for more info on this event please contact Vanessa Patrizio. 
If you would like more information on how you can help the Branford Community Dining Room or to cook at their premises please contact ‘TBT cooks!’ Amy Eppler-Epstein and/or Claire Morduch.

Thanks for another great day.  There is no Religious School on Wednesday, September 26th as it is Yom Kippur, but we will meet again on Sunday, September 30th as we begin to get ready for Sukkot!  It will be a crafty day as make sukkah decorations and talk about the meaning of Sukkot.

Shana Tovah!

-Miss Kahrimanis

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