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, 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