…And the excitement is growing!
We made hamantaschen With Ms. Freed during Family Cooking:
And Shaloch manot – (gift baskets) to give to friends and family:
And masks to wear:
We also practiced for the ‘Big Show,’ learning the song that will end it all (and many are joining in for just the last few verses):
Can’t wait until our ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ Purimshpiel this Saturday night? Here are some pictures of the AWESOME cast to tide you over until then:
See you on Saturday at Temple for the Purimshpiel and on Sunday at the JCC for the Community Purim Carnival. Have a Happy Purim!
Family Days are opportunities for parents and children to learn together. We had two this month – and they were awesome!
3rd Grade family day started with “get-to-know-you-Bingo. We learned a lot about each other: who can wiggle their ears, who knows how to write their name in Hebrew, who has visited Israel, who is allergic to homework and other important and interesting things.
Next everyone participated in a ‘walking text study.’ Participants responded to questions by writing their answers on large pieces of paper posted on the windows of the social hall:
And then we learned about the Mezzuzah – what it symbolizes in our tradition. Did you know that the “shin” that is often a part of the design of the Mezzuzah case represents one of God’s names? It is the first letter in the acronym “Shomeir Deltot Yisrael,” meaning, God is the guardian of the doors of Israel. Cool!
As part of their family day, 5th grade students and parents received a special treat – Mifgash (community encounter time) led by the 6th grade (Yasher koach – you did a great job!)! They discussed and shared examples of “wow moments” in prayer:
Afterwards they joined the Social Action Team in making sandwiches and gift bags for the residents of Miryam’s Shelter:
All in all, two great mornings!
- There will be NO Torah Center/SHJCHS classes Wednesday, December 23rd – January 3rd. Classes will resume on Monday, January 4th (SHJCHS) and Wednesday, January 6th & January 10th (TC).
- Sunday, January 10th is 1st Grade Family Day. Please plan on joining us!
- SAVE THE DATE! on Sunday, January 24th, students in grades K-2 and their families are invited to join their Torah Center friends for a Pool Party from 1:30 – 3:30 pm at the South Hills JCC.
Sukkot is a favorite around here…its a lot of fun decorating the sukkah and shaking the lulav and etrog! Our sukkah looks beautiful; now if only the weather would cooperate!
On Sunday, Pre-K through 2nd grade students made decorations to hang in the sukkah. They visited the outdoor sukkah, learned about the symbolism of the lulav and etrog and got the chance to give them a shake. Ms. Freed also helped them to sing Rabbi Mahler’s Sukkah Song – a much anticipated holiday highlight!
Our older students in grades 3-6 learned about Ushpizin, the mitzvah of inviting guests into the Sukkah. Besides the traditional Jewish ancestors, they shared who else they would invite and the question they would ask given the chance:
A few examples:
Join us for our First Fridays Shabbat Service THIS Friday to see more!
On Wednesday, between the rain drops, the older students visited the outdoor Sukkah to see their work and take a turn at lulav shaking:
- Erev Simchat Torah Family Celebration THIS 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!
- Save the Date! Sunday, October 11th is 4th Grade Family Day! Join us as we take the food collected during the High Holiday Drive over to the South Hills Interfaith Ministry Food Pantry. More information to come – check you email.
- Save the Date! Students in Kindergarten-2nd grade and their families are invited to come to Simmons Farm for an afternoon of fall activities on Sunday, October 25th following Torah Center Classes. Look for the flyer coming your way for more details.
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:
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!
- 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!
L’Shana Tova…I hope the New Year has gotten off to a great start for you and your family!
It sure has been a terrific beginning here in the Torah Center! It was wonderful to see our students’ smiling faces! Now that summer is officially (well, as of Sunday!) over, its time for the fun (and learning!) to begin here at Temple. Rosh Hashana was a great way to kick it off – our students reconnected with old friends, met new ones, learned about the holiday, prayed together, and so much more. Check it out!
Kindergarten learned that Rosh Hashana is the birthday of the world and that hearing the shofar is an important part of the holiday. They decorated New Year’s Cards and made shofar necklaces:
1st Grade learned about the story of Creation and made booklets with pages for each day:
2nd Grade read a story about the World’s Birthday and made backpack pulls:
3rd and 4th Graders read a story about tashlich (the ritual of symbolically casting off the sins of the previous year by tossing pieces of bread or another food into a body of flowing water) and made bags to carry their pieces of bread. Some of them brought their bags to the Temple tashlich ceremony later that afternoon!
5th and 6th Graders read a story about the power of words – how our words can’t be taken back once spoken. They decorated challah covers to be distributed by Temple’s Caring Community to congregants recovering from illness:
It was a great morning!
- 1st day of Sunday Torah Center Classes – THIS Sunday, September 20th, 9:30 am-12 noon [Grades K-6, Pre-K starts next week]
- 1st day of 7th Grade and the South Hills Jewish Community High School [SHJCHS] – THIS Monday, September 21st, 6:30-8:30 pm [Grades 7-10]
- Torah Center Yom Kippur Programming for Kindergarten-6th Grade Wednesday, September 23rd at 9 am
- Teen Yom Kippur Service for grades 7-12, Wednesday, September 23rd at 11:45 am
Once again we really outdid ourselves…our Purim celebration was truly amazing from start to finish.
It was a night not to be missed with a “Billy Joel Purimshpiel.” Congratulations to the cast – it was a wonderful performance!
And Hamantaschen of course!
At Torah Center the fun continued:
And then there was THE CARNIVAL:
What a great weekend…let’s do it again next year!
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This Sunday, March 30th at 12:15 pm, is the next Jewish Cooking for Families. Melinda Freed will be making Passover treats, including 2 kinds of charoset. The class is recommended for ages 5 and up and the class fee is $5 per person/$20 family maximum. Pizza will also be available for an additional nominal charge. Please RSVP to Torah Center as class size is limited.
Our next Shabbat LaMishpacha Dinner and Family service of the year is Friday, April 4th! 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!
Sunday, April 6th, is Pre-K Family Day and Kindergarten Orientation. Please plan on joining your children at Torah Center for activities that will allow you to learn and experience Judaism together. The program will run during Torah Center hours from 9:30 am-12 noon in the Social Hall. A bagel breakfast will be served. Please RSVP to [email protected] and let us know that you can attend! If you know of anyone who may be interested in attending the Kindergarten Orientation, please ask them to contact Paula or Rachel.
What a crazy start to the holiday season – Thanksgiving and Chanukkah on the same night? We’ll always remember the hype fondly… the Menurkeys, hybrid recipes, silly songs, greetings and the like. Here in the Torah Center, it was just the usual eight days of celebrating…. many of the pictures that follow were captured on film by our own photographer Jason Richards (thank you!).
It began with the annual Mitzvah Mall…an opportunity to make donations to important agencies and organizations in honor of our friends and relatives. Thank you to everyone who volunteered their time and/or made donations!
Next was the annual Interfaith Thanksgiving service, hosted this year at Temple. Thank you to everyone who came and joined Rabbi Mahler in his sermon through song:
In our hallways and classrooms, there was much excitement – the B’nei Mitzvah tutorial became a place for a competitive game of Dreidel:
The 4th Graders decorated their blessings for the home in this season of “dedication”:
The 3rd and 6th students worked together on a Tzedakah project – decorating book marks to go along with books to be given to those in need of gifts during this season:
And the 5th Graders had a great time producing yet another AWESOME Chanukah video:
Finally, our 8th night Chanukah dinner was a blast!
Whew! What a holiday…Let’s do it again next year!
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THIS Saturday, December 21st at 9:30 am, is our next Torah Growers Shabbat Service designed specifically for our K – 2nd grade students and their families! Younger (and older!) siblings are welcome to attend. Participants will use the new Mishkan T’fillah for Children to experience the joy of Shabbat while being introduced to the structure and order of the Shabbat morning prayer service. Following the service there will be a light bagel brunch. We hope to see you there!
There will be NO TORAH CENTER CLASSES Sunday, December 22nd- Wednesday, January 1st. Classes will resume on Sunday, January 5th. Have a great winter break!
There are SO many smiles around here! Why? Because the Torah Center is THE place to be! Check it out:
The 3rd grade is loving learning to read Hebrew – they can’t help but smile!
The 4th Grade smiled as they worked hard to create beautiful blessings for their homes:
Celebrating a mock baby naming ceremony and just hanging out in class brought smiles to the faces of our 5th Graders:
The 6th Graders had a great time decorating Challah covers for the Caring Community to distribute:
Even the Madrichim (teen assistants) can’t help but smile while they work:
Looking forward to sharing many more smiles in the weeks to come!
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THIS Saturday, November 16th at 9:30 am, is our first Torah Growers Shabbat Service designed specifically for our K – 2nd grade students and their families! Younger (and older!) siblings are welcome to attend. Participants will use the new Mishkan T’fillah for Children to experience the joy of Shabbat while being introduced to the structure and order of the Shabbat morning prayer service. Following the service there will be a light bagel brunch. We hope to see you there!
Kindergarten Family Day is NEXT Sunday, November 24th 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.
The Annual Mitzvah Mall will be NEXT Sunday, November 24th. For more information, please check the weekly Torah Center email.
Tuesday, November 26th at 7:30 pm, Temple Emanuel will be hosting this year’s South Hills Interfaith Thanksgiving service. That evening, Torah Center students are invited to participate as part of a group singing songs throughout the service. If your child is interested in being a part of this beautiful service, please RSVP to Rachel or Paula at [email protected].
Welcome Back to the start of another GREAT year at the Torah Center!
What a weekend it was…the observance of Yom Kippur followed by the first day of classes. Throw in an open house and there was a lot happening around here! There were plenty of smiles as teachers welcomed students and met parents…all in all it was a great start to the New Year!
* * *
Our Yom Kippur Torah Center programming was once again a great success. Thank you to everyone who helped make it happen – our parent and teen volunteers, our teachers, and of course, our students!
Sunday kicked off the year with an Open House – an opportunity for parents to meet with teachers and learn about the curriculum. The younger students brought their parents to class while the older students joined their parents in the Sunday Morning Minyan before parting ways – parents to meet with teachers and students to various Hebrew review and Sukkah decorating activities. It’s amazing how much Hebrew was remembered (and forgotten) over the summer! It was a day full of activity and excitement…
The Jewish High School started on Monday night. The evening started off with an awesome BBQ Dinner. Good food, good company, a little learning thrown in…who could ask for more?
Stay tuned…..more great things to come!
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~”In the Kitchen with Ms. Freed” for Jr. J-Club (grades 4, 5 &6), THIS Sunday, September 22nd right after Torah Center Classes. Cost: $5.00/person. Please RSVP to [email protected]
~10th Grade Confirmation Consecration & Parents Meeting THIS Monday, September 23rd at 7:20 pm
~Erev Simchat Torah Dinner and Service THIS Wednesday, September 25th; Free Spaghetti Dinner at 6 pm, Festival Service at 7 pm. The service includes the Consecration of our newest students in Kindergarten-3rd Grade. All are invited to attend! RSVP for dinner to Rachel or Paula at [email protected]
~Our first Shabbat LaMishpacha Dinner and Family service of the year is on Friday, October 4th! 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!
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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There will be NO TORAH CENTER OR JHS CLASSES on Sunday, March 24th- Monday, April 1st. Have a great Pesach/spring break!