To all UJS families.
The United Jewish School is getting ready for Purim! This is such a festive
and fun time of year to express our inner child and be truly silly. I
remember when I was studying in Israel how the entire country comes alive
for the fun of Purim. Here at UJS, I am seeing art projects, storytelling,
and songs sung about Queen Esther, Mordechai, Achashveirosh, and Haman!
(Boooo!!!) Aside from Purim, this month, children Kindergarten through 7th
grade are examining the Jewish value of Hakarat Hatov, which means “seeking
joy and being grateful.” This has a direct link to Purim in that we
experience joy in the celebrating of this wacky holiday, and when we give
mishloach manot (gifts of food to each other), we are reminded of our own
In our emails teachers send home, some highlights have included:
Kindergarten: “We learned about loving your neighbor as you love yourself.
We heard the story of the man who wanted to learn the Torah while he stood
on one foot. Rabbi Hillel told the man ‘The whole of the Torah is this:
treat others how you want to be treated. All the rest is commentary.’ We
talked about how many of the stories in the Torah teach us to treat people
how we want to be treated.”
3rd grade Hebrew: “The 3rd graders are up to Lesson.16 in our Tiyulim textbook, and have learned an amazing 20 letter forms (with 12 more to go), 10 different vowel sounds (with 3-4 remaining)!”
7th grade: “We continued our unit on Hakarat Hatov (recognizing the good).
We watched a short video about the evidence that gratitude can make us
happier, read passages from our literature describing the value of
gratitude, and learned about the differences between envy and jealousy.
Finally, we talked together about the parashah Ki Tisa which describes the
events surrounding the golden calf incident.”
8th grade: “We played a game I invented called ‘Emigration to Live.’ The
students took turns trying to get their family members out of Germany during
the 1930s.After the game, we talked about the struggles the students had
with getting family members out alive and the many, many, many hurdles Jews
faced when they wanted to leave Germany in the 1930s.”
9th and 10th grade: “We learned that all have love and light within us in
the context of Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism). We also learned that Jewish
niggunim (wordless melodies) can help a person achieve that level of
spiritual connection. We related to the event of receiving of the Torah on
We want to remind parents about a fun event at Temple Emanuel called “Winter Wonderland” on February 27th, right after school.
It is an honor and joy to share in the joy of sharing
in Jewish education and being a source of
community for our community!
Cantor David Fair