Dearest families of UJS.
We hope you had a fantastic Purim! Here at the United Jewish School, we’ve had a month of silliness, wackiness, and upside-down fun! Last Sunday, students came to school wearing their costumes and all students were sent home with a box of food and other goodies in honor of Purim called “Mishloach Manot.”
Two weeks ago, Zoe Post, Jewish baker extraordinaire, came to bake hamantaschen (and teach about its history) with the kids. Thanks so much for this, Zoe!
Another treat last month was having UJS Alum Miriam Chrenka come back to talk about her experience at Camp Tavor, and to teach the children traditional Israeli Folk Dancing as well. How Fun!
This week, students K-7 will begin the unit called Koach Haddibur (Understanding the Power of Words). Here are some of the messages teachers sent home to parents last week:
Kindergarten (Morah Claire): We reviewed the Purim story, why Esther and Mordecai are heroes, and then the students shared how they would use their words to stand up for themselves and others in various situations. We then made hamentashen out of playdoh, colored some Purim coloring sheets, and learned a Purim song.
1st grade (Morah Katzman): We moved on to the letter Resh which makes the sound of R. We then listened to a Purim story read by Sarea and engaging in some fun Purim activities.
Fifth grade (Morah Shelby): We wrapped up our unit called Hakarat HaTov (recognizing the good) by writing letters of gratitude to someone in their life. We then discussed how to judge others favorably (dan l’kaf zechut) and workshopped scenarios where we should give others the benefit of the doubt.
Sixth grade (Morah Shelby): We wrote letters to loved ones and then memorized blessings over food and drink as a way of expressing gratitude daily.
7th grade (Moreh Jordan and Morah Nicky): We started our unit on Koach Hadibbur, the power of speech. We also spoke about the concept of Lashon Hara (literally the evil tongue), meaning, harmful speech. Everyone understands what it is to gossip about others and recognizes that it’s discouraged but it may not immediately be clear why and in what situations we are forbidden to speak unflattering or negative information about others. We talked about how this ties into our values as Jewish people.
I am so proud to announce that the goal I set for raising $613 to plant trees in the Coretta Scott King Forest in Israel was met! If you go to our JNF website, you’ll see a list of incredible classes and individual tzaddikim who contributed. Thank you!
An important note, especially for 3rd, 4th grade and 7th, 8th grade families: The United Jewish School has had to restructure our personnel for the remainder of the year. Our 8th grade students will be joining the Newman’s 7th grade class. Third and Fourth grade Judaica classes will be taught by Avi Forstein. We regret that family circumstances have led to the resignation of our gifted 3/4 grade Judaic teacher, Elisheva English. We will miss you, Morah Elisheva! Thank you all for your understanding and flexibility.
Please be aware that our Spring and Passover Break will mean that UJS will not be meeting on April 3rd, 10th, and 17th. We will resume classes in time to observe Holocaust Remembrance Day, called Yom Hashoah.
As always, it is an honor and privilege to share in the joy of Jewish education with your children.
Cantor David Fair
Educational Director of the United Jewish School
(616) 591-1007 (school office)
(616) 591-1010 (Cantor’s private line)