Amazing First Days

We are officially open!

There was much excitement and the halls were bustling with activity as students, parents and teachers gathered for the first days of classes. Our students in Grades 3-6 returned on Wednesday, September 16th for a day of review fun and games. Some highlights:

Reviewing the Hebrew alefbet through Twister with a twist:




Hebrew Bingo:



And of course, everyone’s favorite activity – GaGa! Excuse the blurry pictures – its a fast-paced game!



It definitely was all fun – but not all games! The 6th Grade decorated Torah covers to be given to our newest students in Kindergarten-Grade 2 at our Simchat Torah Consecration ceremony:




Look what they created!



On Sunday, September 20th the younger students came too…and enjoyed a full morning! Among the activities – Hebrew games, time in the Art Room and Kehillah (Community Time):






On Monday, September 21st, nearly 70 teens joined us for the first night of 7th Grade and the South Hills Jewish Community High School (SHJCHS) Program. Once again, it was great to be together!






Finally, many of our students joined us for the Torah Center Yom Kippur Programming – as participants or as Madrichim – student aides. Despite the solemn mood of the day, many smiles were seen in the classrooms and hallways:














Thank you to everyone – our teachers, parents & teens – who made the day a success!

What a week!

Coming Up:

  • Erev Sukkot Services THIS Sunday, September 27th will begin with noshing in the Outdoor Sukkah (weather permitting) at 5:45 pm followed by services at 6:30 pm. 
  • Erev Simchat Torah Family Celebration on Sunday, October 4th. There will be NO TORAH CENTER classes in the morning. Instead – the celebration begins at 4:30 with family activities and crafts.  Followed by a FREE pasta dinner at 5:30 and a special Simchat Torah Family Service beginning at 6:30.  As part of the service, we will be welcoming children in Grades K-2nd as our newest Torah Center Students. RSVP to Paula or Dawn at [email protected] to let us know that you’re coming!

Is it Spring Yet?

It may be cold outside, but its warm here at the Torah Center! Keeping busy and having fun are sure ways to pass the time until spring comes. Look what we have been up to these past few weeks…

At 6th Grade Family Day, students and their parents got a close-up look at the Torah scroll with Rabbi Mahler:


Thank you to the madrich who held the Torah scroll open the entire time!


6th Graders also made tzedakkah boxes and talked about the ways they can help others. They came up with some great ideas for their upcoming Bar/Bat Mitzvah Mitzvah projects!



The 5th Graders discussed the marriage ceremony in their Lifecycle class. After looking at examples of Ketubot, they designed their own:


4th Grade students showed off their Hebrew reading skills and made dream catchers:




3rd Grade students practiced writing the Hebrew letters and vowels they’ve learned and worked on their end of the year projects:





Kindergarteners joined their 5th Grade buddies in the library for story time:





And Israeli dancing was fun for everyone once again:




The latest installment of Family Cooking made for another successful afternoon. Everyone enjoyed hanging out with Melinda Freed and learning how to make matzah…it was fun to beat the clock. Who knew that you only have 18 minutes to go from dough to oven?




Chag Sameach! Have a very Happy Passover!


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Coming Up:

There will be NO TORAH CENTER OR JHS CLASSES on Sunday, March 24th- Monday, April 1st. Have a great Pesach/spring break!

A Whirlwind of Activity…

As always, things are happening at the Torah Center…Hurricane Sandy can’t stop us! Our hallways are warm and dry and full of activity. Take a look at what our students have been up to these past few weeks…

Our Pre-K class learned all about the rituals of Shabbat and made candlesticks to help them celebrate at home:

Kindergarten students took a tour of the synagogue and learned about many of the ritual objects it contains, including the Ner Tamid, the Everlasting Light. They had fun making their own:

The 1st Grade students made miniature Torah scrolls and arks to put them in:

Our 2nd Grade students made ‘Creation mobiles’ as they learned about the days of Creation leading up to Shabbat – the day on which God rested.

Our 3rd Graders were hard at work practicing their Hebrew letters and vowels:

But there was also time to lend a hand…the 3rd Grade helped our Caring Committee make Shabbat bags by decorating an essential piece – the challah cover!

Our 4th Grade students talked about the Creation story and tried their hand at creating:

The 5th Grade practiced for the upcoming Family Service. Hope you are planning on joining us THIS Friday!

And continued learning about the Prophets in Mrs. Oshlag’s class:

A 10th Grade student cheerfully ran the bagel sale (to raise money for the class trip to Washington, DC):

And the Madrichim (Student Aides) were AWESOME as usual…the Torah Center wouldn’t be the same without them!


Another great week!

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NEW!!!!!!!! The Return of the Trivia Question on THE BLOG!!!!!!!

Here is how it works: the question will be posted here on the blog. Help your child to find the answer and then 1) post it in the comments below, or 2) email it to me at [email protected] or 3) write it down on a piece of paper (if you can find a writing utensil!) and send it via child messenger to the Education Office. Your choice…just make sure you take the time to participate as your child will get a prize for knowing the correct answer. Let the games begin!

Last Week’s Trivia Question: What is a prayer book called in Hebrew? Answer: Siddur

[Thank you to everyone who answered last week…if your child did not receive their prize for answering correctly, please have him/her come see me next time we have class]

THIS WEEK’S TRIVIA QUESTION: What is the Hebrew word for Prayer?

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Coming Up:

Our next Shabbat LaMishpacha Dinner and Family service of the year is THIS Friday, November 2nd! Please let Lori in the main office know if you are able to attend the dinner. The cost is $15 for adults, $5.50 for children under 14. Can’t make it to the dinner?  Join us for the service.  This is a “don’t miss” event! See you there!

Don’t forget to “fall behind” this Saturday evening – set your clocks back an hour and enjoy an extra hour of sleep!

There will be NO TORAH CENTER classes on Sunday, November 4th, due to Yom Limud, (a day of learning) for our teachers

Calling all Bakers! On Sunday, November 4th, join Jr. J-Club (Grades 4-6) for an afternoon of baking yummy treats for the Election Day Bake Sale. Join us from 2-4 pm in the Temple kitchen. Please RSVP to Jodi Kart at [email protected] to let her know that you’ll be attending.

On Tuesday, November 6th, join other J-Club Members (Grades 7-8) and volunteer at the Temple Election Day Bake sale! Contact Eileen Geffrey at [email protected] to sign up for a two hour time slot to help. This activity will fulfill a Kehillah requirement and also count towards community service hours your child may need for public school.

Kindergarten Family Day is Sunday, November 11th from 9:30 am – 12 noon. Please plan on joining your children at Torah Center for activities that will allow you to learn and experience Judaism together.

3rd Grade Family Day is Sunday, November 18th from 9:30 am – 12 noon. Please plan on joining your children at Torah Center for activities that will allow you to learn and experience Judaism together.

On Sunday, November 18th there will be a combined Youth Groups outing for J-TEAM (Grades 9-12) and J. Club (Grades 7-8) at Dave and Busters at the Waterfront from 1-3 pm.  It’s an incredible deal – $10 will get you a $10 power card AND lunch! Rides are available. Please RSVP to Jodi Kart at [email protected] or Marsha Morgenstern at [email protected] to let them know that you’ll be participating!