Congregation Netivot Shalom Preschool seeks to create a stimulating and enriching educational environment for each and every child.
We are devoted to helping children learn socialization skills, building their self-confidence and teaching them the preliminary skills to explore and experience the world independently from their parents.
In addition, we seek to ignite a spark in each child to lay claim to her or his Jewish heritage and commit him or her to a lifetime passion for learning.

Friday, December 2, 2011

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

Shalom Nachshonim Families,
Here are the hightlights of our activities in the kitah both this week and last week.
Last week,
-Ofra was away in Spain (Having an excellent time by the way) and Nina with in as our substitute teacher.
-The children practiced Aleph-Bet Yoga with Nina and Anna, it was an opportunity for the children to explore the things that their bodies are capable of doing.
- At circle time last week, the children sang "Thanks A Lot", a song that we have learned from Melita.
- The children practiced their balancing skills by walking on the edge of the sandbox, an activity that has been enjoyed a lot. Inspired by our snail/mouse song, the children were walking slowly like a snail or quickly like a mouse.
This week:
- We celebrated the birthdays of Ellie and Danielle this week!
Pajama activities
- At the beginning of the week we talked about PJ Havdallah that is happening at Netivot Shalom this weekend. We discussed having a pajama day at school and the children expressed excitement.
- We read "Bear Snores On" at circle time, a story about about a hibernating bear who missed the party in his lair.
- We have included several nightime/sleepytime books in our library such as "Owl Bablies", "Good Night Moon", The Napping House" and more.
- As we do often at circle time, we pretend to sleep and then "Wake Up!" Shalom Nachshonim Families,
Here are the hightlights of our activities in the kitah both this week and last week.
Last week,
-Ofra was away in Spain (Having an excellent time by the way) and Nina with in as our substitue teacher.
-The children practiced Aleph-Bet Yoga with Nina and Anna, it was an oportunity for the children to explore the things that their bodies are capable of doing.
- At circle time last week, the children sang "Thanks A Lot", a song that we have learned from Melita.
- The children practiced their balancing skills by walking on the edge of the sandbox, an activity that has been enjoyed a lot. Inspired by our snail/mouse song, the chidlren were walking slowly like a snail or quickly like a mouse.
This week:
- We celebrated the birthdays of Ellie and Danielle this week!
Pajama activities
- At the beginning of the week we talked about PJ Havdallah that is happening at Netivot Shalom this weekend. We discussed having a pajama day at school and the children expressed excitement.
- We read "Bear Snores On" at circle time,  a story about about a hibernating bear who missed the party in his lair.
- We have included several nightime/sleepytime books in our library such as "Owl Babies", "Good Night Moon", The Napping House" and more.
- As we do often at circle time, we pretend to sleep and then "Wake Up!" The moment after we wake up we sing "Mode Ani".
- We talked about and acted out night time routines such as getting dressed in Pajamas, brushing teeth and reading books.
-We sang "Thank you G-d" and the children mentioned the things they are grateful for. Then we sing about it. Some of the mentioned that the children are grateful for are mermaids, giraffes, kitty cats, and princesses. 
-On our two pajama days we used a large blanket to snuggle under for story time. We also sang "Ten in the Bed" several times.
- We cooked eggs in a nest on Wednesday. We did this by taking an upside down cup and using it to cut a circle out of a slice of bread. We cracked an egg and dropped it right in that hole and cooked it that way.
- We made some Q-tip paintings with tempera paint.
- We have included some collage materials at the easel that the children stick to the wet paint.
-We found a snail in the play yard today. Anna taught the kids a song in Hebrew that is sung to snails when they are asked to come out. "Berale, tze achootza" which means Berale, come out! The children took turns holding the snail in their hand and had the opportunity to look at it up close.
We would like to remind you all that we will be observing Channukiot next week. Please bring yours in to share with the kitah, we will take good care of them and be sure they get back to you before Channukah starts.
We hope you have pleasant weekends.
Shabbat Shalom
Ofra v'Anna

HaShavuah - Nevonim

December 2, 2011
6 Kislev 5772
Dear Nevonim Parents,
In keeping with PJ Havdallah week and with winter approaching,  we had a very cozy week.  On Monday we have started having a weekly obstacle course lthat encourages age motor play in the social hall.   We celebrated Asher A's Birthday with delicious frozen yogurt popls.  We started weaving on small cardboard looms.  We had Havdallah with Malkah and Nachshonim in the sanctuary/  We read many versions of Stone Soup including Bone Button Borscht and Pumpkin Soup.  Over several days we made our own Stone Soup - first we gathered the vegetables, then we picked our own herbs, then we chopped,  then we washed, then we measured, then we cooked.  Over two days we ate the soup for snack - once with big pieces of vegetable, the next day with all the veggies (but not the stone) blended together - yum! 
While collecting the herbs from our herb garden we found a mushroom which we brought inside, we then did research on the internet and then collected a spore sample to see what kind of mushroom it was - with an important lesson that we don't eat mushrooms we find!
On Tuesday, we sang with Melita and we danced with scarves and played rhythm games.  We went on a field to Charlie Dorr Park on Acton Street since we wanted a dry sand area for building sand castles.  We played Bingo several days.  We made bubble wrap prints on large paper bags for an ongoing tzedakah project with Jewish Children and Family Service that delivers meals to the elderly and housebound. We built forts and used flashlights and had Pajama Day Fun on Thursday and Friday. Today we created a large tentlike fort where we could all fit for circle - we read the "Bear Sleeps On" and popped corn and brewed herb tea as the animals in the story did.  It was a great experience to watch the corn pop and talk about how it happens.
We hope to see you all tomorrow night for more pajama fun at PJ Havdallah Night.
Next week we will be talking about Chanukkah and as always encourage children to bring in a family chanukiyah from home to share with the rest of the class - we will make our own Chanukiyah Museum and study the similarities and differences among them - we will take good care of them, but perhaps choose to send those that are special and sturdy!
Shabbat Shalom,
Nevonim Teachers
Caitlin, Ruth and Shirley

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Netivot Shalom PJ Havdallah Page!

PJ Havdalah-wear your pajamas!

Saturday, December 3, 06:15 pm
1316 University Ave, Berkeley, CA, FREE

Please join us at Netivot Shalom in Berkeley for Havdalah with Rabbi Menachem Creditor and Amazing Story Teller Liora Brosbe.Come receive your free PJ Library lunch box and share a snack afterwards. Families are encouraged to bring new pajamas, pillows, or new/gently used blankets to be donated to the Ursala Sherman Village, a shelter for homeless families. Questions? Contact

Havdalah Family Resources!

- Havdallah How-To pdf!

Friday, November 18, 2011

HaShavuah - Nevonim

November 18, 2011
21 Cheshvan 5772

Dear Nevonim Parents,

We had a great week. We continued talking about fall. We worked more
on our leaf mural, adding leaves we collected, feathers and even sand to
make a fall nature collage. We noticed signs of fall at the park even
as we played soccer and other games.

We wrote the word for fall in Hebrew (Stav) with our bodies using Aleph
Bet Yoga. We sang with Melita. We told stories using feltboards of
books about Rain and Feelings - this inspired some children to draw
pictures and write stories about these subjects. We played a Jewish
symbol matching game. Caitlin brought her ukulele in a few times and we
all loved that! We have been talking alot about food and cooking (and
will be more as Thanksgiving approaches) and we read as a class The
Hungry Thing which is a great classic that includes fun rhymes that
inspired us to rhyme also!

Our children are such voracious Torah scholars that we have already
finished all of Breishet (Genesis). We said a "Shehechiyanu" and a "Kol
Ha'Kavod" and a "Yishir Koach!" We will start reading aloud Shmot
(Exodus) next week. We also heard this week the fun that Shabbatasaurus
had Adel's house and Wild Thing had at Raya's house. - we can't wait to
hear more as these creatures travel to each of your homes.

We spent several days talking about grandparents and decorating the
beautiful frames for the even more beautiful photographs. We used
watercolors one day, wood pieces and buttons on the next few days. We
also read aloud Toad and Frog and the Buttns. On several days, we had
children who created a "Mobile Library" as they carted books around
outside (one even disappeared under our couch for a few days!) Today we
made challah and challah bags and had rainy day fun with an obstacle
course in the social hall, a Shabbat band in the kitah and playdough
animal soup in the water table. We also sang Shabbat songs including
one about making soup! We also made cards today, one to thank Milt for
all he builds for us (including great closet shelves that have made our
lives much easier) as well as a Mazel Tov card to Nevo and his family
for the birth of his new baby brother.

Next week will be a short week, but one which promises to be full of
food and fun. The following week (just to give you a heads up) we will
be launching the PJ Havdalah by having pajama day on Thursday and Friday
as well as other tzedakah related activities.

Shabbat Shalom,

Nevonim Teachers

Caitlin, Ruth and Shirley

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

November 18, 2011
21 Cheshvan 5772

Shalom Nachshonim Families,

Another exciting week has passed. We would like to share with you some
of the things that took place in the kitah.

- We have been decorating our picture frames that we will be sending as
gifts to Sabas and Savtas/ Grandparents during Hannukah time.
- We turned this art project into a multiday project. First the children
painted their frames. Then they glued nature materials onto the frames,
needles from the redwood tree and a wooden cirlces that came from a
branch that was chopped on a chop saw.
- We had some discussion about a chop saw.

- At some point in the past, a teacher showed the kids that you can blow
up a rubber glove so it looks like there is a hand in there. We
discovered that if you flip it upside down, it resembles the udders of a

- We have some really great books in the kitah this week. Including
"Where's My Teddy" by Jez Alborough, " The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe
Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear." and "Go Away Big Green Monster" by
Ed Emberly.

- We had an enjoyable visit from Nora the Librarian. She brought some
fun books to read with us and shared some songs with us. One book we
really enjoyed was called "Press Here", and interactive book that we
found to be really neat.

- We watered the plants that we planted last week. We used spray bottles
to wet the soil.
- At circle time we had a close look at one of the plants that we did
not plant in a pot yet. We saw the brown roots covered in dirt. We spoke
about the job the roots do to help a plant grow. We also mentioned that
all plants have roots in the dirt.

- We have been using our puppet theater in the kitah for the last couple
of weeks. Apparently it also serves as a great ice cream shop.

- We had some activities in the social hall on a wet rainy Friday. We
had our balance beams out, our large mats for tumbling, our tunnel, and
the plastic chairs that make for excellent trains when lined up. We also
had a chance to use our toy trains and tracks in the large room,
allowing for a larger track to be built.

- We talked about how Ofra will not be here next week. She is getting on
an airplane and flying to Madrid, Spain to be with her family. We talked
about Nina, our substitute teacher who most of the children have met
before, and how she will be in the kitah with Anna. We also talked about
how we will miss each other.

Shabbat Shalom,
Ofra v'Anna

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A special project ...

A Special Project ...

During the coming weeks our children will be working on a special project in conjunction with Jewish Family and Children's Services of the East Bay. JFCS has two food programs including providing holiday meals and a bag of  Kosher groceries to 175 homebound older adults and people with disabilities 3 times a year, and Shabbat meals that are delivered to 20 homebound people in Alameda and Contra Costa counties each month. These meals are delivered in beautifully decorated bags ... and that's where we come in!

With the growth of the Shabbat meal program coming in 2012, our preschool children have 60 bags awaiting them! The staff has brainstormed a variety media and techniques the children might use decorate these bags and the teachers are happily planning the all of the ways our children's artwork can be shared in a special way. When speaking with Kathryn Winogura at her JFCS office in Walnut Creek, she told me that while she gets many calls of thanks for the meals, some of the most enthusiastic comments come in response to the beautiful bags the meals arrived in!

We are so happy to be taking part in this special project as we work toward expanding our connections and tzdakah within the wider community!

PJ Havdallah! - December 3

Netivot Shalom Preschool and
The PJ Library

(yes, wear your pajamas!)
Saturday evening, December 3

Please join us for Havdallah, and
Amazing Storyteller, Liora Brosbe.

Receivea PJ Libray tote bag and
enjoy a snack afterward.

Families are encouraged to bring new pajamas, pillows
or new/gently used blankets
to be donated to the Ursala Sherman Village,
a local shelter for homeless families.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

CANCELED due to illness - God Talk

Due to illness ...Rabbi Creditor has lost his voice ...
this evening's adult education class,
will be CANCELED.

The Rabbi wrote to me that
"God is present in the silence"

We will let you know when this can be rescheduled.
Thank you for your understanding.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Save the Date: "Almost Chanukah!" Fair

Save the date:

Congregation Netivot Shalom's
"Amost Chanukah!" Fair
Sunday, Dec. 11
11:00am - 2:00pm

Hope you can join us!

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

November 4th, 2011
7 Cheshvan, 5772
Shalom Nachshonim Families,
This week was another eventful week full of interesting activities. Here is are some of the things that occurred in the kitah this week that we would like to share with you.
- Our Explorations of corn continued this week. We made corn muffins on Wednesday and ate them with our lunches.
-We did a science experiment on both Monday and Tuesday and we placed pop corn kernels in the microwave and waited in the kitchen for the microwave to stop running. While we waited we hypothesized about what we think might happen. We observed the color of the kernels and noticed they were yellow, the children hypothesized that when they come out of the microwave they will still be yellow, but alas, they were white.
- Our felt board pieces for the story of Teeras Cham/ Hot Corn are out in the kitah. The children have been placing them up on the felt board and singing "Bim Bam Bam. Teeras Cham!" or requesting to read the story.
-We have been involved in various art activities this week.
-We mixed paints on Tuesday from primary colors. We watched how mixing certain colors together will make different hues of color. This reminded us of a book we have been reading called "Little Blue and Little Yellow" by Leo Leoni. In this story Little Blue and Little Yellow hug each other and they turn green.
- We had a popular art session outside on a table that the Nevonim had brought out there. We used oil pastels and made small drawings.
-Anna taught us a new song in Hebrew about yadaim/hands and the things they are able to do.
- One of our more challenging puzzles of the train has been quite popular. We even pulled out another puzzle that is equally as challenging of an airplane.
-We have been using our long handle shovels out in the play yard. They are excellent for serious digging. They even became a device to push balls around the play yard (like a hockey stick).
- On Thursday we played with shaving cream on the table. We spread it on the table and noticed we can make designs or letters in it by using our fingers.
- We had a very large cardboard box in our kitah this week. Large enough to fit multiple children.
- We are currently in the process of removing and replacing the artwork that was hanging on the wall with new pieces of art.
We hope everyone has a pleasant weekend.
Shabbat Shalom
Ofra and Anna

HaShavuah - Nevonim

November 4, 2011
7 Chesvan 5772

What a busy week we have had in Nevonim! We continued with our themes
inspired by the children including building, baking and gardening. Over
a few days we soaked white beans, measured them before and after, then
planted them in individual pots - we leraned this from reading "Harvey
the Gardener". We sang "Inch by Inch" as we wait for the seeds to grow
- the rain probably has helped alot! We baked our own individual apple
pies one day (regular and gluten free!), ate them the next day with
cream that we whipped ourselves. This was also inspired by a book
"Apple Pie for Dinner." After singing with Melita on Tuesday, we went
on a field trip that included two construction sites and then our own
sand castle building at a new park on Acton Street. We have been
reading lots of construction books alsp. We built an airplane out of
wood using real nails, hammers and safety glasses. We finally "sewed"
together our paper quilt by gluing it together - it looks fabulous as
does all the children's artwork which is adorning our walls. We started
the very labor intensive project of making our own very popular fishing
rods. In keeping with the baking excitement, we added chocolate chips
to our challot. Over several days we very enthusiastically sorted
buttons and learned the Hebew words for heart (lev), star (cochav) and
flower (perach) as well as camel (gamal) from the Bible story of Rebecca
at the well.

We have in our class children with a voracious appetite for stories from
the Tanach which we continue to tell everyday at lunch! Yasheer Coach!

Finally, we have brought back two classroom friends that go home on a
regular rotation: Shabbatasauras and Wild Thing. Both bags contain
journals for you and your child to record the Shabbat or wild things
that take place at your home over the weekend. Both friends will go
home on Fridays and should be returned Monday if possible, so that they
can go out again on Friday. We read what you wrote at circle each week
so that all the children get a chance to share some of their home fun as

Todah Rabah,

Nevonim Teachers: Caitlin, Ruth and Shirley

DATE and TIME for Parent Education w/ Rabbi Creditor

God Talk with Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Rabbis have amazing God-conversations with children fairly regularly.
Why we don't continue these conversations as easily as we age? The
questions certainly don't get any easier! Perhaps we forget, over the
years, that sharing doubts and yearning for hope is what makes us human.
Join us for an open and caring – and non-judgmental – conversation. You
bring your questions. I'll bring mine!

at Congregation Netivot Shalom *

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Parent Education Opportunity

God Talk with Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Rabbis have amazing God-conversations with children fairly regularly. Why we don’t continue these conversations as easily as we age? The questions certainly don’t get any easier! Perhaps we forget, over the years, that sharing doubts and yearning for hope is what makes us human. Join us for an open and caring – and non-judgmental – conversation. You bring your questions. I’ll bring mine!

Cosponsors Congregation Netivot Shalom, Building Jewish Bridges

Friday, October 28, 2011

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

October 28, 2011
30 Tishrei, 5772

Shalom Nachshonim Families,

We have exciting things to share with you about the highlights of our
week at school. We continued our explorations of corn as well as our
interest in worms.

- Ofra brought an ear of fresh and uncooked corn to lunch on Monday for
everyone to taste. We looked at the structure of the corn and how it is
covered by many layers of the husk. At circle time we passed the husk
around to sense what it feels like
- Anna reread the book "Teeras Cham"/ Hot Corn at circle time. Many of
the children joined in at the parts where the characters in the book
sing "Bim Bam Bam. Teeras Cham!"
-For snack on Tuesday we ate Teeras Cham! The children removed the husks
themselves. Then they filled a pot with water and our corn. We all
walked to the big kithchen to put it on the stove and turn on the flame.
- OOBLEK!!! A combination of cornstarch and water makes for an excellent
sensory experience.
- We baked a corn casserole that we ate with our lunches on Thursday.

- We fed the worms more bananas this week.
- We have a selection of books about worms from the library including
"Diary of a Worm" and "Bob and Otto". Bob and Otto are a caterpillar and
worm. They play together very well until one day Bob the caterpillar
feels the need to climb up a tree and Otto the worm feels the need to
dig in the dirt.
- We have been listend to and singing "The Worm Rap" from Melita's CD.
This is a song about the things that worms do not have or need such as
bones, eyes, teeth and feet.
- We covered our eyes at circle time to imagine what it feels like to be
a worm in the dark.

- We noticced that the sun is no longer shining dirctly on our stack of
CDs, which means that a rainbow was not appearing on the ceiling. Right
now at lunch time the sun shines on the carpet. We brought down two CDs
that are now in the science area. The children can now place them in the
sun and make rainbow reflections on their own. It is a great science
experiment to see how we can control in which direction the sun reflects.

-We enjoyed munching on some parsley the we have been growing in the yard.

- We have new documentation boards hanging in the hallway. Have a look
at what we posted and you will be able to see for yourself some of the
things we do at school. We have been jotting down some quotes as the
children speak about the things they see in the images.

We hope everyone has a pleasant weekend.
Shabbat Shalom

Ofra and Anna

HaShavuah - Nevonim


October 28, 2011

30 tishrei, 5772


Dear Nevonim Parents,


        We had a very exciting week filled with a lot of building and baking, just like in the book Bim and Bom! We were really inspired by the work we did to build our Sukkah and wanted to learn more about the steps of construction. We read “Bruno the Carpenter” amd “Fix-It Sam." We began to take down our Sukkah, but as we removed the decorations some children pointed out how easily our Sukkah could be converted to a train depot, a house, or a fort. We are now in the process of deciding what our Sukkah will become.

    We expanded our construction skills by borrowing styrofoam and golf tees from the Nachshonim kitah for hammering practice.
Then Caitlin made a trip to Habitat for Humanity and purchased some 'real' tools. We practiced using screwdrivers and screws in Styrofoam and soft wood. We used these construction skills to make a plan for a fishing pole built with wood and magnets. The first pole off the production line is ready for use in the water table!

      We baked individual corn muffins and ate them with some of our homemade butter for snack. We read “Bruno the Baker." We were so excited about baking we began a pretend bakery and used playdough to make cupcakes, challah, and muffins. We made a pretend pie at circle time and each child contributed their own favorite fruit. 

We also read “Bruno the Tailor” at circle. We continued to work on our tye-dye paper towel quilt. It is hard work! 

As we do every week, we shared Monday morning Havdallah with the Nachshonim class. Melita came to sing with us on Tuesday, and after circle we took a stroll to the library. There were six new, and very funny books for us to hear this week, each one made us giggle. We stopped at the park on our way back to our kitah!

Ruth was helping her son get ready for his Bar Mitzva on Thursday and Friday, so we met a new substitute teacher, Sarah! We welcomed her and played many name games so she could get to know us.

We had a lot of fun this week!


Shabbat Shalom


Nevonim Teachers,


Caitlin, Ruth, Shirley

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

HaShavuah - Nevonim

October 19, 2011
21 Tishrei 5772

Dear Nevonim Parents.

Another short week, but another fabulous week of Sukkot and Simchat
Torah. We started the week by learning about the symbols of Sukkot,
the four species. We talked about which plant has smell and which has
taste, and how people can be different from each other as well. We
smelled the etrogim that Naomi's family brought in from their tree We
took turns saying the blessing and shaking the lulav. We learned
that one of the reasons we shake it is to make the sound of rain,
because we want the rains to come to help with crops. . One day we
ate snack in the sukkah and the next day we ate lunch in it,
overlapping with our Nachshonim friends. On Tuesday, we sang with Melita
and then went for a nice long "Sukkot Stroll" to Nevo's house.
We sat in his sukkah and took turns shaking his family's lulav and
etrog and admired all their lovely decorations. On his short street
(literally Short Street) we were lucky enough to visit three sukkot!
We played eye spy in one of them and compared what was the same and
what was different about each one. We had shade, could have seen the
stars if there were any, and noticed that the walls are temporary. It
was a great field trip - thanks to Elana and Adam and their neighbors
for their hospitality! We saw pictures in our kitah of a squirrel
eating the pumpkin that we put into our play yard sukkah - so now we
know who really enjoys fruits and vegetables as sukkah decorations!
In keeping with building our sukkah, we have been practicing with our
pretend tools, building lots of things including machines. After the
holidays, we will expand into the interests of our children by
starting to use real tools! Today, we used our lulav shaking skills
to expand to shaking cream to make butter! - it was a huge and tasty
success. We also looked at our collection of miniature Torahs at
circle - every child got a chance to hold a Torah and say the Shema.
We also unrolled a miniature Torah to see how incredibly long the
Torah is. We sang "Torah Torah" and anticipated dancing with the
Torah for the upcoming chag. We also took short trips into the
social hall to see the adults who were enthusiastically praying in the
sukkah and dancing with the lulavs for Hoshana Rabbah Services and the
mystical beating of willows! We really packed a lot in!

Chag Sameach,

The Nevonim Teachers
Caitlin, Ruth and Shirley

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

Hashvua'im/ The two weeks
October 19, 2011
21 Tishrei 5772

Shalom Nachshonim Families,
We would like to share with you a list of the interesting things that occured in the kitah these last couple of weeks. They have been short school weeks, but still very condensed with explorations.
- As the sukkah in the court yard was being constructed. We had oportunities to go and see Milt and his crew building it up.
-We sang songs in Hebrew that Anna taught us about Sukkot.
- We discovered a small Sukkah in the play yard that the Nevonim had constructed
- Last week we made decorations for the sukkah out of fallen leaves that we had gathered the week before. We then hung them up this week in the sukkah.
-We ate our lunches in the sukkah on Monday and Tuesday and then enjoyed playing in the courtyard and inside the sukkah.
- Last week we used our toy hammers and pretend nails (they are actually wooden golf Ts) to hammer into styrofoam. We were practicing the building skills that people use to build sukkot.
- Out in the play yard, we had the oportunity to hold and shake the lulav. We listend to the sound the palm makes and looked at all the plants that are part of the lulav.
- We gathered some stuffie Torahs for our kitah. We danced and sang while holding them in our hands in honor of Simchat Torah
- We looked at our miniature Torah scroll as we discussed how during the time of Simchat Torah we come to the end of the stories inside and start all over again.
- We walked to the sanctuary today and had a look at the Torahs inside the Aron Kodesh. We noticed that the Torahs are still covered in white decorative fabric for the chagim.
- We are still seriously interested in our worms inside our worm bin. Last week we fed them a banana peel.
- We noticed that the food we had put in the worm bin in the past is no longer there, what we have now is a dark colored compost that is perfect for our garden.
- We had some indoor water play. We looked at the water in the tubs we put out and when the water was still and we were able to see our own reflections in the water, just like a mirror.
- These last couple of weeks, Ofra has been bringing ears of corn for lunch. This led to a conversation about who likes corn and how we like to cook it (or uncooked the way Ofra likes it). We then read the classic book in Hebrew called Teeras Cham/ Hot Corn, a story about a group of children who march and sing about hot corn. We also used our felt board pieces that coincide with the story.
We are looking forward to continuing our topics of interest next week.
Chag Sameach L'Kulam
Ofra and Anna

Monday, October 3, 2011

JFCS/East Bay offers new Parenting Education Series

CIRCLE OF SECURITY: A Parenting Series


Offered by Jewish Family & Children's Services of the East Bay


--What do your child's behaviors really mean?

--How do you create the right balance between protection and independence?

--How can you be a kinder, wiser, stronger parent?


Circle of Security is a nationally acclaimed approach to parenting young children (up to age five) that provides parents with a deep understanding of their child's behavior and emotional development. In this eight-week series, you will develop a comprehensive understanding of what your children need from you in particular circumstances, and why they act the way they do. Through this process, you will develop the ability to become a wiser, kinder parent who can respond supportively to your own child's unique behaviors and the meanings behind them.



Eight sessions, starting October 19

(except for November 23)  

7:00 to 8:30 pm



Group leaders: Kimberly Kerlin, MFTI, and Carol Singer, LCSW

Please contact: (510) 704-7480, ext. 527


Jewish Family & Children's Services of the East Bay

2484 Shattuck Ave., Suite 210, Berkeley

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Holiday Challot

Shalom Families,

We will be making a special challah order for the High Holy Days that fall mid-week. Please let me know by Monday, September 26, if you would like to receive round, 1 pound challot here at school from Grand Bakery for Rosh HaShanah. They will be delivered to CNS by 1pm on Wednesday, September 28. Please note that fruit challot will be available throughout the holidays along with our regular plain, raisin, whole wheat, sesame and poppy options. You may email me your Rosh HaShanah requests. Typically, you must use the sign-up sheet on your child's kitah door.



Friday, September 9, 2011

HaShavuah/This Week - Nachshonim

HaShavuah - Nevonim

Dear Nevonim Families,

Wow! What a wonderful first week of learning we have had! We started
the week by learning Bruchim Ha'Baim (welcome) in Hebrew and making
aleph and bet with our bodies using Aleph-Bet Yoga. We sang Thank You
God and talked about what we are thankful for. We learned about the
Jewish value of Nedivut (Generosity) as we reached out to help new and
old friends. We also said the Shehechiyanu prayer for the first day
of school for all of us, adding that to our daily Modeh Ani and Shema

We talked about Mishpachah (family) and started the process
of making family portraits to see who is in each of our families. We
sang about a mishpachah of sharks in our new song "Sharks", even
saying our daily Shema prayer as a shark might! We read several Ms.Frizzle science books including one about volcanoes which led us tocreate our own erupting volcanoes outside with baking soda and Hvinegar. Inside we made tie dye paper towel art which we are going to
sew together to make a paper quilt. We learned the Hebrew words for
circle (Igul), square (Ribua) and triangle (Mishulash) as we began
exploring shapes. Today for Shabbat, we sang the Shabbat Shuffle and
started talked about Parashat Noach and the story of Noah's Ark.

Next week we look forward to continuing all of this and starting to
talk about Rosh Ha'Shanah. We were hoping that if you have any
shoeboxes or lids, you could send them in next week for a family
project. Also, we are in the process of replacing all of our plastic
pretend food with wooden food, but until then, we would love any
empty, safe, food containers that you have lying around - especially
if they have Hebrew written on them! Next week Melita will rejoin us
for singing on Tuesday and we will go on our first field trip to the
park - if you can join us, please do!

Thanks for sharing your children with us,

Nevonim Teachers: Caitlin, Ruth, Shirley

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pretend Shabbat Tomorrow!

We hope to see you at
tomorrow, Friday, at 12:30.
The children from both kitot
will gather in the sanctuary
and we would love to have you join us!

Our pretend Shabbat song sheet is attached
if you would like a  peek at what's to come!

You can also find the
Pretend Shabbat Family Tip Sheet,
at the back of the attached family handbook
so you can get an idea
of the flow of this special time together.

Friday, August 12, 2011


12 Av, 5771
August 12, 2011

Shalom Netivot Shalom Families,

Another exciting week has passed and we have the highlights of our week listed here for you.

-At circle time we read Pezzetino by Leo Lionni.  This book features a creature that is an orange aquare and other creatures made soley from colored squares.  In addition to this book we had many books by the legendary Lionni in our kitah this week.
-Lionni uses cut paper collage for the illustrations in his books and this week we also explored collage as a medium.  Our multimedia collages were made utilizing foam, tape, toothpick, feathers, cardboard, wood, and pipe cleaners.
-We also read the books Wet Dog and Doggone Dogs, both illustrated by David Catrow, the same person who illustrated I Ain't Gonna Paint No More.  Wet Dog can be read in a rhythm similar to the old school hip hop song Rapper's Delight by the Sugar Hill Gang.  And Doggone Dogs lends itself nicely to an Elvis-like rockabilly sound.
-Inspired by a book about magnets illustrated by one of our favorite illustrators, Crockett Johnson, we explored magnets this week and last.
-We also have books in the kitah introducing us to the work of artist such as Edgar Degas, Mary Cassat, Paul Gaugin, and Pablo Picasso.
-We made individual corn muffins with carrots by following a step-by-step recipe placed buffet-like at the table.  The next day we repeated the recipe, substituting olives for carrots as suggested by one of the children.
-We went to the library to hear a musician play songs about ladybugs, dandelions and crazy hair.  After that we went to the park.
-We are learning the alphabet with our alphabet train floor puzzle.
-At cirlce time we spelled tootim/strawberries, on Tuesday, using AlephBet Yoga.  We spelled rakevet/train, on Thursday.  And after hearing a story about monkeys following Caitlin around in the jungle and trashing her tent (literally throwing trash on it), we spelled kof/monkey, and kofim/monkeys. 
-Caitlin is one of the new teachers for this coming Fall in the Nevonim classroom.  She visited us on Friday, helping to lead our circle, among other things.  Another new teacher for this coming Fall, Anna, visited the classroom on Thursday.  I hope she returns after being chased by lions and a baboon! :)

Shabbat Shalom
Toby and William

William Levwood

Friday, July 29, 2011

HaShavuah - July 27

27 tammuz, 5771
July 29, 2011

Shalom Netivot Shalom Families,

Another exciting week has passed and we have the highlights of our week
listed here for you.

-This week we continued our progress on our Netivot Shalom Camp book and
we finished it up at the end of the week. The children have decided to
call it "I Love Netivot Shalom Camp". As a group we look at the images
on the pages and write down our thoughts and quotes. Come in and read it
sometime this coming week and you can see what we have been up to.

- We keep finding more spiders on our play structure and we keep moving
them to the bushes where they won't get stepped on.

- At circle time on Monday, the children and William used our tape
recorder to practice call and response the way William sometimes does at
circle times.

- On Tuesday we had an excellent fild trip to The Berkeley Youth
Alternative Community Garden a few blocks away. We got to see what kinds
of plants Ofra is growing in her plot as well as the plants growing in
other's garden plots. On the way, we passed by Tobie's and Shirley's
homes and both of them came out to see us. Shirley even decided to come
along and join us on our field trip. Tobie considered it but was unable
to join us. In the garden itself we saw a huge variety of plants,
flowers and edibles. We some older kids gardening with the BYA garden
programmer. We checked out the bee hives that we keep there. One bee box
has a wooden panel that can be removed revealing a window with a view of
the inside of the bee hive. We saw how it gets very crowded in there
with bees, the honeycomb, and the honey of course. The children had a
chance to pick some tomatoes and harvest some carrots. On the way home,
Shirley brought out her little dog Daisy and we had a chance to say
hello by petting her. When we got back to school, we ate carrots,
tomatillos and plums with our lunches.

- On Wednesday we planted three types of organic carrots in the play
yard garden bed.

- We opened up the worm bin and took out some compost to use in the
garden bed. While we were at it, we held the worms in our hands. One
child commented a few times on how "cute" they were. We mixed the
compost with our existing dirt before planting the carrots.

- Inspired by "Pancakes for Breakfast" by Tomie DePaolo we cooked
pancakes for snack. We made gluten-free and buckwheat pancakes. We had a
discussion about gluten and how it is not good for some people's bodies.

- We read "Eliezer v'Hagezer"/ "Eliezer and the Carrot" this week. On
Friday we got to act it out at circle time. A child acted as the carrot
by laying on the ground and we had Eliezer, Elisheva, Avigail, the dog,
the cat and the mouse pull left and right together to get the carrot out
of the earth.

- Our insect identification book was used several times this week. We
found a couple of insects that nobody knew to identify. One child
suggested we use our book to see what the insect is named. We are pretty
sure that what we found were weevils. Another time we identified an
earwig and even found the matching information card from the set we are
keeping in the science area.

- We continue to enjoy the many books we have written and illustrated by
Tomie DePaolo.

Shabbat Shalom
Ofra and William

Friday, July 22, 2011

HaShavuah - July 22

Shalom Netivot Shalom Preschool Families,

We have had a most enjoyable week at school and we explored and partook
in several new experiences.
Here are the highlights of our week:

- We took our first field trip of the summer to Berkeley Way Mini Park.

-We keep discovering more insects and critters in the play yard. We have
been taking close looks at them.

- We have been reading several insect and bug related stories, both
science related and fictional stories.

- Photographs of our summer activities have been developed and mounted
on paper. We are in the process of making Netivot Shalom summer camp
book, inspired by Todd Parr.

- We have begun writing words and quotes to go with the pages of our
summer camp book.

- We have been looking at a few other books by Todd Parr and enjoying
his style of art and how he draws his people with colorful skin.

- We pitched a tent in the play yard on Wednesday and had it up for the
rest of the week. The children explored how the zippers function. Books
were placed inside and the space became a reading tent. We wanted to
experience some "camping" at school. We discussed camp fires and
different things that happen when people go camping as the children played.

- We played with shaving cream out in the play yard on a table. The
shaving cream makes great "mortar" when we construct with our soft foam

- At the begining of the week. William was reading stories with the
children. He shared the book "Pancakes for Breakfast" by Tomie DePaolo,
which is a story without any words. There was silence as William flipped
through the pages and the children looked at the images. On Wednesday,
we used our tape recorder to creat and record the words for "Pancakes
for Breakfast", for every page the children described what they were
seeing. The following day at circle time we listened to our recorded
voices as we looked at the images.

- We currently have a large selection of Tomie DePaolo books in our
library that have been borrowed from the Public Library.

- We cooked scrambled eggs on Wednesday. The children cut red peppers,
green onions and grated the cheese. Each child cracked their own egg and
added the ingredients of their liking, then William cooked them up on
the electric skillet.

- We have had an excellent time with Yarden these last four weeks. Today
was her last day with us. The children and the teachers made a special
card for her expressing our gratitude.

We hope everyone has a pleasant weekend
Shabbat Shalom
Ofra and William

Friday, July 15, 2011

HaShavuah - July 15

July 15, 2011

Shalom Preschool Families,

We continued our explorations of authors and illustrators this week,
along with many other interesting activities and moments throughout the
Here are some of the highlights of this week:

- From the public library, we now have a vast selection of Ruth Krauss
books. Ruth Krauss was Crocket Johnson's wife, and as we found out last
week, Johnson drew some illustrations in a couple of her books. We
discovered that Ruth Krauss has a few different people illustrate her
books. Some are illustrated by Maurice Sendak. In fact, one book she
wrote called "Bears" has a character in it that looks and is dressed
just like Max from "Where the Wild Things Are".

- At circle time on Monday, we listened to our tape recorder. Last week
we recoreded our circle time and we used it this week to guide our
circle time. We got to sing along with ourselves.

-We are still interested in the PJ Library book "I love Camp" by Todd
Parr. We related it to ourselves here at Netivot shalom. The children
mentioned the things we do and like at school in the summer time. The
teachers have been listing the things they mention as well as shooting
some photos of the very things they are talking about.

- While reading "I Love Camp", we talked about the page that shows a
campfire. We discussed how we don't have a safe place for campfires at
Netivort Shalom. From there we began to talk about fire safety. We had a
firedrill to practice our evacuation plan. We also talked about "stop,
drop, and roll", so we know what to do if we ever get into some danger
near a fire.

- We baked pies on Wednesday, we were inspired by Harold, because with
his purple crayon he made many pies and ate a piece of each one. We made
apple pie.

- On Thursday at cirlce time, we read " What a Good Big Brother", a most
relevant story to read right now seeing as we have a new big brother in
the kitah. Mazal tov to the Sorek Family, Hagit, Nadav and Ido, on the
birth of their new baby boy!

- We discovered a roley poley bug in the dirt. We watched it crawl on
the cement for several minutes. The chidlren also discovered a spider on
the play structure building a web. We observed it for several minutes
before we put it in the bushes to be sure we didn't step on it.

- The dead moth we found last week, and then misplaced last Friday was
rediscovered under a piece of furniture. We put it in our magnifying
container in our science area.

- We played with our toy bugs in play dough. We identified the insects
and bugs that we were familiar with from our selection of little bug toys.

- We did some collage work with glue and various materials.

- Some children got involved in writing notes and tucking them away in
our "kotel". This "kotel" is located in the corner of the room where the
"mishkan Shalom" is located. On the wall is a wooden lattice where the
kids have placed their notes.

- In our science area, we explored our magnets and used the image cards
that go with them. The children follow the patternes in the images and
replicate them with the magnets. We also explored different things that
can be done with magnets when the attract each other or repel each other.

- We are learning symmetry and counting and practicing our one-to-one
correspondense with our lady bug felt board activity. She has black dots
that the children place on her back.

We are looking forward to another week of great moments, as well as our
first field trip of the summer to Berkeley Way Mini Park.

Again, the invitation still stands for all of you to bring in your
favorite picture books to share with the kitah.

Shabbat Shalom
Ofra and William

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


~Shalom SUMMER FUN Families~

It time for SUMMER FUN! 
William and I are very excited to be starting our summer session with you next Monday, June 27.

Our theme for the summer will be
We will be exploring authors and illustrators throughout the summer and
where better to start than with your family favorites!
We would like to request that all the families to bring in 1 book from home on Monday
to share with the class in the first weeks.
We will then expand upon these selections and the children's extended interests as the summer moves along.

We do request that you do not bring commercialized books i.e.Disney, Star Wars, Thomas the Engine,
or books containing Superhero'ish' (violent) activity.

Another very important detail about the summer session is that we will be spending time outdoors .
Please be sure to apply sunblock on your child before coming to school.
We will only be applying sunblock to the children when we see the need for reapplication.

We are looking forward to seeing all of you
on Monday!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

June 16, 2011
14 Sivan 5771

Shalom Nachshonim Families,

This school year has truely been fantastic. We are such big fans of all
your children and we feel so lucky to have been a part of their lives
this year at school.

Here are some of the things we have been up to these last couple of weeks.
-On Monday last week before Shavuot, we continued our discussion about
Shavuot. We talked about the ten commandments, Moses on Mount Sinai,
spring harvests, wheat and flour, and G-d.
- We found and removed wheat berries from the wheat we looked at the
previous week. We ground them up in a mortar and pestle and got to see
exactly how flour is made. To continue our exploration of harvesting
wheat, we soaked some wheat berries and then put them in a little pot of
soil. Within a few days we had wheat grass growing.
- We decorated our kitah with plant life and wheat the way people
decorate their synagogues.
- We went on a fild trip last Tuesday to Berkeley Way Mini Park. In
honor of Shavuot, we called it a "pilgrimage" and we brought our
"bikurim"/harvest with us. We had a some banana slices when we arrived
to the park. We also had a chance to make it to the park this week as
well where we had a chance to enjoy the sunshine.
- Shirley sang with us the Shavuot songs that she knows in Hebrew.
- We got out our height chart the we made in the fall. We hung it back
on the wall and measured ourselves again. Then we observed how much each
of us have grown in the last nine months.
-We have been discussing the end of the school year of course and some
of the changes that will occur in the summer and the upcoming fall.
- On Wednesday of this week we baked pizza's with the help of Emah Edona
and Emah Jeannine. We made the dough from scratch in the morning and
then got to top it with a variety of different toppings.
- We have been enjoying our "What's wrong?" cards that have pictures in
which something is wrong or off in the image, we find them to be quite
- And today, for those of you who were not present, we had an all school
picnic in the courtyard as well as a large circle time at the end of the
day with everyone, including Menachem and his guitar.

I have to say it again, this year has been wonderful and thanks to your
children, the nachshonim staff have had amazing and special moments all
year long.

Ofra and Shirley

Friday, June 10, 2011

HaShavuah - Nevonim

1 Sivan, 5771
June 3, 2011
Shalom Everyone, 
We had a rainy day this week so we spent some time in the social hall with the Nachshonim.

We played word games with books like "Runny Babbitt," and the "The King Who Rained," both emphasizing literacy and wordplay.

We looked at "blueprints" for designing the Mishkan as we explored building.

We celebrated Yom Yerushalayim by building the city in many ways, with mixed blocks (which was used at our midweek circle time), with wood scraps, glue, tape, and paint, and with foam blocks and shaving cream.  On Friday Jerusalem was reconstructed by a few of the children.  And Rabbi Creditor also sang songs about Yerushalayim in the sanctuary with both Nevonim and Nachshonim in attendance.  These included the Jerusalem song that was also featured at pretend shabbat (complete with hand motions the children created on-the-spot), and old favorites like the Yerushalayim "pointing song" and Am Yisrael Chai.

Over several days we sorted and then counted our tzedakah money for the year.  We raised $124!!!  We talked in a circle about people or places that need help.  Perhaps not surprisingly, with the celebration of Yom Yerushalayim this week, the children's suggestions centered around helping poor people, helping Israel, or helping poor people in Israel (although Nathan did suggest we send the money to Madagascar).  Per the desires of the children we would like to send the money to people in need in Israel, perhaps even in Jerusalem.  If anyone has suggestions for organizations we could donate through please let us know.

We continued this week with our counting of the Omer and tefillah at circle time.  The children even requested the Ella Jenkins call-and-response song "Jambo," which we sing in Kiswahili, English, and Hebrew.  Since shalom in Hebrew can be used to say hello or goodbye we used the song to say goodbye to William, who is leaving this weekend to officiate a wedding and visit family and friends in Colorado.  The children were able to expand beyond normal call-and-response, responding with "Shalom William" after hearing William sing "Shalom Yeladim." 

The children also sang our Elohai Neshama chant simultaneously in Hebrew and English, dividing the classroom in half with one half singing in Hebrew while the other sang in English.  This was initiated by Levi, who announced earlier in the week that he was going to sing the English while everyone else sang the Hebrew (or was it that he was going to sing the Hebrew while everyone else sang the English, I can't remember).  We always sing the song in Hebrew, then English, and conclude again in Hebrew.  On Friday Levi stayed with the English at the conclusion of the song, prompting a desire from the other children to do the same.

Shabbat Shalom,
Dinah, Eve, Ruth, and William

HaShavuah - Nevonim

June 10, 2011
8 sivan, 5771
We had a lovely, fun-filled holiday week even if it was only three days of class time!
We made our own blintzes to celebrate Shavuot - filling them with sweet cheese to represent the land of milk and honey.  We learned how Jewish children all over the world often start their Hebrew learning with a taste of honey to recognize how sweet the Torah is.
We also learned a Hebrew song (Eretz Zavat Halav) that speaks of milk and honey.
We finished counting the Omer (50 days from Pesah to Shavuot) and celebrated by making bundles of wheat to decorate the class and/or take home.
We read the Book of Ruth and acted it out many times as children shared the coveted roles of:  Elimelech, Naomi, Mahlon, Killion, Ruth, Orpah, Boaz, Camel and Donkey!
We gleaned our barley the way Ruth did in the fields of Boaz.
We read about the 10 Commandments in No Rules for Michael and then wrote our own classroom 10 commandments to summarize our most important values, they included: Not Stealing, Do Not Destroy Things, Be Kind to Parents, Be Kind to Others, Be Safe, Don't hurt peoples' feelings. Be Kind to Animals, Treat Others as you want to be treated, Don't Fight and Speak Hebrew!
We began talking about next week and how few days we have left together as a Kitah; we collected ideas from the children about what projects or ideas they wanted to revisit from this year: some of their ideas including making snacks including lemonade and cheesecake!! They also wanted to bring a frisbee to the park on Tuesday (so if you have one, send it to school on Tuesday!)  We will have a picnic lunch next week because that was also a popular idea.
Also, next week we will talking about the organization in Israel to help poor people that we have chosen,
Dinah, Eve, Ruth and Tobie

A Children's Play Performed in Hebrew

The Jewish Circle Productions presents : 
"What Would I Do If I Were Something Else"-
A children's play in Hebrew.
We will be presenting it in Berkeley only once.
On June 19th at 11:00AM 
At Live Oak Theater.
Tell your friends and come.
We would love to see you there.

Monday, June 6, 2011

End of the Year~

Who can believe we are coming up on the End of our School Year!
What an amazing year it has been!!
Thank you for sharing your children with us.

Just a few reminders for our busy last two weeks of the year ...

The children are busy preparing for Shavuot the next two days. Tuesday will be a full day, 8am-5pm.
We will have no school on Wednesday and Thursday, June 8 and 9, in observance of our holiday.
We return to school on Friday, June 10, ending the day with our last pretend Shabbat for the school year.
Next week we will have school Monday through Thursday, full days, 8am-5pm

On Thursday, June 16 we will have

At 11:15 we will celebrate


with our 7 oldest children who are heading off to Kindergarten in the fall.
The Nevomin class, family, friends and the community are welcome to join us for this very special event.

Following BaDerach, at 11:45,
are invited to join in our traditional end-of-the-year

This year we are asking that all families who are able
pick their child up at school at 11:45 and
walk them across the street to Berkeley Way Mini-Park.
There we will picnic, receive our special memory books and
enjoy our last hours together.
(please let your child's teacher know if you are unable to attend the picnic
and a staff member will be assigned to be with your child at this time)

HaShavuah - Nevonim

June 3, 2011
1 Sivan. 5771
Shalom Nachshonim Families,
I hope everyone had a pleasant week. We had a few new activities in the class as well some really special moments.
-This week we have been using our "Feely Can" which is a short cylindrical tube that is wide enough to fit in a hand. It has a fuzzy sock glued on the top so putting your hand inside feels soft and warm. We place an object inside and lay out three objects on the floor, one of which is exactly like the one inside. Then a child can reach in to touch and feel the object with their hand and based on how it feels and the objects placed infront of them, they then can quess what it is.
- We pulled out our "tub of bugs" from the closet, the children were inspired by the toy flies we were using with the "feely can". The "tub of bugs" has many different kinds of little bugs and critters, and multiples of each. Through play, the children have been classifying and sorting the bugs. We have also explored some of the things we can do with these bugs and play dough. We made prints of various critters in our play dough. We have also been inspired to sing songs about bugs like "shoo fly don't bother me" and " The Ants go Marching 1 by 1"
- We have also been exploring bugs through science books and our bug flash card set. It was great to see the kids recognize the bugs in the images and find them in our tub of bugs.
- For Yom Yerushala'im/ Jerusalem Day, we made a trip to the nevonim kitah to see the Jeruslam that they had built out of blocks. Alas, Jeruslam had been knocked down by the time we arrived to see it. We had some special time with Rabbi Creditor in the sanctuary. He met all of the preschoolers in there with his guitar and sang with us songs about Jerusalem. We had another look at our poster of Jerusalem, noticing the wall around the old city and how it is all made out of stone.
- We started discussing the upcoming chag of Shavuot. We began the discussion by looking at some dried wheat. We talked about how this wheat is used to make four. We spoke of how wheat gets harvested at this time of year and how a long long time ago, people used to make a pilgrimage to the temple in Jerusalem with all of their harvested foods to celebrate the harvest.
-Another Shavuot topic we discussed was Moses climbing Mount Sinai when he recieved the ten commandments. We talked about what the commandments mean to Jewish people and how G-d gave the commandments to Moses in order to help the Israelites know the best way to treat each other. We agreed that we have rules in our kitah that also help us know the best way to treat each other. We will be compiling a list of kitah commandments next week.
- In addition to the discussion of Moses recieving the commandments, we had a very interesting and sweet discussion about G-d. The children shared their thoughts of G-d. Here are some of the responses we revieved. "G-d is in the sky." "G-d is Jewish." "G-d is in the mountain." This is likely to be the start of more similar conversations.
Sof shavuah tov v'Shabbat shalom
Have a nice weekend
Ofra and Shirley

Friday, May 27, 2011

Program Evaluation Survey

Thanks to all of our families who have turned in their Program Evaluation Surveys! If you have not done so yet, please turn yours is as soon as possible. We take your responses very seriously and would love to hear from you!!

Shabbat Shalom,


Monday, May 23, 2011

HaShavuah - Nevonim

16 Iyar 5771
May 20, 2011

Shalom Everyone,

This week we made many different 3-D vehicles out of sticks and corks.
We also had a rainy day social hall train party (imagine train tracks
spanning the width of the social hall). Some children wrote letters
this week and made mail pouches for delivering them. And we made
volcanoes erupt outside in our play yard.

There has been some boasting in the classroom lately which inspired us
to talk about the difference between fiction, fact, and opinion (eg. it
may be your opinion that your 3-D vehicle made out of sticks and corks
is better than everyone else's but that is just your opinion, not a
fact). This also inspired us to read The Littlest Mountain, a book
about how God chose humble Mount Sinai for the giving of the ten
commandments, rather than any of the other taller or more majestic, but
also more boastful, mountains. This also introduced the children to the
ten commandments and the giving of the Torah which we will explore more
in the next two weeks leading up to Shavuot. We also read the wonderful
PJ Library book, No Rules for Michael, and talked about treating others
the way we want to be treated.

We read from VaYikra, chapter 23, which commands the counting of the
omer. The children asked why we are commanded to count the omer and we
discussed the fact that no reason is given in the text of the Torah. We
have a board in our classroom which we are adding a new sheaf to each
day when we say the blessing for counting the omer during circle time.
We also learned how to spell baruch/blessed with our bodies using
AlephBet Yoga.

We had a picnic snack sitting on the carpet around a pretend
koomzitz/campfire, celebrating Lag B'Omer just like is done in Israel.
Our snack was special as well for this Pretend Lag B'Omer, roasted eggs
and roasted potatoes! Later in the day we had celebratory dancing!

We also welcomed Nadav back from his extended visit to Israel. He told
us about all the things he did there, especially about the Dead Sea!

Next week we will be joining the Nachshonim on their first field trip as
they join us in our weekly trip to the park. We are hoping that the
children will all wear their Netivot Shalom Preschool t-shirts for the day.

And we are still waiting to receive books back from many parents so that
we can fill them with photos and artwork from this year. Please bring
these in next week (on Monday Wm is going to begin nagging, conjoling,
pleading, whatever it takes).

It is such a joy to teach your children, each and every one. Thank you
for entrusting them to our care.

Shabbat Shalom,
Dinah, Eve, Ruth, and William

[Fwd: HaShavuah]

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Annual Preschool Program Evaluation

Shalom Preschool Mishpachot,

In the next couple of days you will be receiving an annual Preschool Program Evaluation Survey. Your input is very important to our staff and we asking that each family fill one out and return it to us by next Friday, May 27. Your responses to the questions will be complied and used to revise our program practices and create goals for the coming school year. We will share the outcomes of this survey with you before the end of June.

Thank you for your participation in this survey as we work together to create a wonderful setting for the children and families of Netivot Shalom Preschool.


Lauren and your Teaching Staff

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The First-Ever CNS Preschool Auction!

Congregation Netivot Shalom



Help support the Joe Meresman Preschool Scholarship Fund by bidding on the fabulous items, many of which come from the hands of our own very talented CNS Preschool families!


Please see the list of items and starting bids 

by clicking here!


To bid on an item, please e-mail your name, the item number and your bid amount to  We'll notify you via email if you get out-bid on any item!  Thanks in advance for your help in supporting our Preschool community!


Preschool Logo
Congregation Netivot Shalom

Friday, May 6, 2011

[nevonim5771] HaShavuah


2 Iyar 5771
May 6, 2011
Shalom Everyone,

 We made our own challah dough again this week.
The children are also still very excited, in a quiet sort of way, about our new "Mishkan Shalom."
This week we focused on Israel:
---We made passports, which we will add to next week.
---We talked about how Israel is both old and new.
---We were archeologists, digging up a broken bowl from the sand, cleaning it with brushes, and figuring out how the pieces fit together.
---We sang with Rabbi Creditor, "Am Yisrael Chai" and "Ha Tikva."  He also shared an Israeli flag and its father, the tallit.
---We read Sammy Spider's first trip to Israel.
---Ruth told a story, requested by a child, about Elmo taking a trip to Israel.
---We took a trip to Israel as a class.  After getting off the "airplane" we traveled to the Dead Sea and Masada. We were back in time for lunch.
---We made fruit kabobs (pineapple, bananas, melon, and strawberries).
Finally, we started our own Israel museum this week.  We have had a few submissions from families, including one from a family that is in Israel right now.  We will be continuing with our museum next week so if you haven't brought anything in yet or have something else you would like to bring in that would be fabulous.
Also, we will be talking with Adiel's aba, who is in Israel right now, via skype next week which will be very exciting!
Shabbat Shalom,
Dinah, Eve, Ruth, and William
William Levwood

Recent Activity:


[nevonim5771] Come Celebrate and learn more about CNS Shorashim Hebrew School


You are invited to our 

CNS Shorashim Hebrew School


Siyyum Celebration

Thursday May 12

5:00 - 6:00 pm in the Sanctuary


Class Presentations

A Torah Mystery


Celebrating a successful and enjoyable year of learning and growing!

This is a great way to check out our Hebrew School to explore options for Jewish education after PreSchool

Recent Activity:

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