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.

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