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 21, 2018

HaShavuah December 21

HaShavuah December 21, 2018 13 Tevet 5779 Today at Ma'agal Shabbat, Rabbi Chai taught us about blessings and told the story of Jacob blessing the sons of Joseph in this week's Torah portion Vayechi. We talked about how we bless each other. In Nachshonim we had a cymbals parade. We mixed paints and worked on the easel, using large and small motor skills. We explored foam paint in the sensory table. We had lots of fun with train tracks, building and rebuilding! We made collages using feathers, corks, glue and stickers. We "cooked" sticky foam. Ruth spent one morning with us. In Nevonim, we have increasingly been taking our older children out on adventures, one day to the park with Angelina and one day on a walk with Tati. Tuesday Lior (Reef's Dad) came and led an amazing music session with special instruments from India and Japan. He told us to listen to our hearts while he played the instruments. We planted our baby succulents. We included plants from the garden in our Havdallah circle to be our spices, besamim. We practiced our small motor skills with sewing cards, and free-form weaving. We had a lot of fun with marching bands outside. We had a lovely goo bye snack with Eitan and his family on Thursday. We explored foam paint and shaving cream and eye droppers to make our own foam paint.

Friday, December 14, 2018

HaShavuah December 14

HaShavuah December 14, 2018 6 Tevet 5779 Hanukkah is over and we have been settling down all week to non-holiday learning and play. We have also been enjoying the beautiful weather outside. Rabbi Chai and Melita both came to visit our classes to sing with us. We had a lovely Ma'agal Shabbat and learned a new Shabbat song about greeting each other. We are practicing Chesed as much as we can! In Nevonim we began focusing on Gardening - we planted nasturtium seeds (z'raim) - we are beginning to make connections between nature and the Jewish yearly cycle. We tested our large motor skills on the Ninja line, sometimes it is a spider web and sometimes it is just a fun way to climb. We explored art with 3d tiny balls collage. We also did lots of painting, using our fingers for mixing. We ate papaya and studied the seeds closely now that we are looking more at how things grow. We played many rounds of magic statue garden, as we became clay taking different shapes. In Nachshonim we built with soft blocks and used shaving cream as the mortar. We had great tactile and sensory fun with oobleck. We climbed the web outside. We had plenty of parties with our new tea set. We used small cookie cutters to make shapes in playdough. We invited Nevonim friends for lunch almost every day. We have come up with a new name for our new hamster, Oggy from the Hebrew word for hamster, oger

Friday, December 7, 2018

HaShavuah December 7

HaShavuah December 7, 218 29 Kislev 5779 We have had a lovely week of Hanukkah festivities. One of our own Hanukkah miracles was the reappearance of Otzar the Hamster, so now we are blessed with two hamster which is doubly fun for all of us. Another joyful event was the very successful Netivot Hanukkah party which so many of our families participated in - latkes, dreidel, activities and music were appreciated by all! We also danced and sang with Melita with Chanukah songs of course. In keeping with the joy of the holiday we are beginning to explore the Jewish value of Chesed (lovingkindness) - this is something we emphasize all year long, but we are really expressing it this month. At Ma'agal Shabbat Rabbi Chai talked about Joseph and his dreams and we danced to Hanukkah music. Maor and his family were the Shabbat Mishpachah. In Nevonim we lit the chanukiyah together every day. We explored the history of Hanukkah and the rededication of the Temple by making Chanukah medallions similar to Maccabbee coins from the Revolt. We first crafted a salt dough which we rolled out and cut into Magen David shapes. We lit a giant hanukiyah and all shared in the beauty of the lights on a very dark and rainy day. We explored reflected light by putting CDs in the sun and creating rainbows of light. We explored the medium of wax by melting candles and dripping the wax onto paper and onto water. We explored oil shemen of all kinds as we learned about the oil lasting eight days. On Thursday we had a fabulous sun-filled field trip to Strawberry Creek Park. On Friday we talked about chesed and we could all be kind to each other. In Nachshonim we played with a giant piece of wax, heating it and watching it melt, chiseling it. We explored light and darkness with flashlights. We experimented with shining the light on Anna's eyes and seeing her pupils change! We brought the light table into our kitah and used colored plastic blocks to see the difference between opaque and clear. We built a tent out of a giant parachute and huddled and played inside it on a very rainy day. We did more candle exploration by dripping wax into water, dipping the candle in water and then trying to light it.

Friday, November 30, 2018

HaShavuah November 30

HaShavuah November 30, 2018 22 Kislev 5779 After making it through the bad air of last week, and then the rains, and then Thanksgiving, we have all felt a strong sense of togetherness at the school - truly a kehillah! With this joyful feeling we have jumped right into anticipating Chanukah with its emphasis on lights, love and miracles. We now have so many children at school that we are going back to having Melita stay for an hour on Thursdays, 9:30 with Nevonim, followed by 10:00 with Nachshonim so we had lots of extra room for dancing to fun Chanukah music! This week's festive Shabbat Ma'agal was led again by Lior - Todah Rabah! Instead of a Shabbat family we have a new tradition of Shabbat Helpers since our school is itself a family - this week it was Shaya, Teo and Rafi G. who were the designated leaders. In Nevonim we talked about Parshat Vayeshev and learned about Joseph's striped coat and his dreams, emphasizing the importance of sharing. We played with stripes and paper strips. We introduced Chanukah with an abundance of beautiful chanukiyot that children brought in from home. We spun dreidels. We played musical chairs with mats. We did Alef Bet Yoga with the letters on the dreidel (Nun, Gimel, Hey, Shin). Because of the rain, we looked for worms outside and fed them. We also enjoyed getting wet, making puddles and fishing objects out of them. In the afternoon we did a felt board of the book "Rain". Nevonim kids have been very excited about creating an enchanted forest in the classroom and we have begun this exploration. We also harvested our last pomegranate from the trees in the year and ate it with great gusto. Angelina was sitting inside watching this feast, when many children came in to spontaneously share their pomegranate seeds with her - it is wonderful to see this generosity happen so naturally. In Nachshonim we made new green playdough with Elizabeth. We explored citrus fruit - we compared parts of a pomelo, a grapefruit, an orange, a tangerine, a lemon and a lime. We checked out the peel, the segments, the little juicy parts of pulp and, of course, we sampled all the fruit in a citrus frenzy which carried over to snack time. We started talking about Chanukah, the miracle of the little pitcher of oil that lasted for 8 days and nights. We sang Chanukah songs about chanukiyot and dreidels (s'vivonim). We also looked at a chanukiyah, loaded it with candles and lit them. We looked at the flame and the dripping wax and we talked about safety. We looked at dreidels, we talked about the letters and we tried spinning them. We had a fire drill and now we all know how to keep safe. We also had great fun playing in the rain on Thursday!

HaShavuah November 16

HaShavuah November 16, 2018 8 Kislev 5779 This week saw lots of kehillah, community, as we all pulled together to make a hard situation better. Naturally we had lots of quality time in the social hall - so thank you to the Netivot staff as we played in earshot of offices. Melita came to sing with us and we especially enjoyed her song "Thanks A Lot" in the spirit of Thanksgiving and acknowledging everything that we are grateful for, especially as so many people have lost so much this fire season. Because we have been talking about babies in the Nevonim kitah, we are collecting baby supplies to donate to the Berkeley Women's shelter if you have extra diapers and other baby related products. In the Nevonim kitah we talked about the Torah portion Parashat Vayetzei; we made and studied ladders like in Jacob's dream. We learned the Hebrew word for ladder "Sulam" . We also talked about Yaakov meeting Rachel at the well and we built wells for different communities of animals (kehillot). Itamar sang a song for us about it called "El Ha Maayan"! On Thursday Yael's Imah Idit came in to talk to us about being the mother of twins (Nilli and Orly). The children asked a lot of very good questions about what it is like for twins, comparing it to Yaakov and Esav who were born to Rivka. In the afternoon many of the older children practiced their math and classification skills with sets of bugs and other insects - we then studied all the different interesting adaptations that insects have - most of whom live in communities and work together. In the Nachshonim kitah since we couldn't go outside, we used the social hall for big body play (running, balancing, throwing balls goofing and wrestling on the mats. We also had fun with pom poms by picking them up with grabbers and we had an art table. WE used chalk pastels on colored paper and on boards. We went through gallons of tempera paint- on big paper, on our bodies, and mixing colors ourselves!

Friday, November 9, 2018

HaShavuah November 9, 2018

HaShavuah November 9, 2018 Kislev 1 5779 Today because of the poor air equality outside, we spent our Friday indoors, which was great fun because we have been learning about kehillah - community and we explored all parts of the synagogue today especially the social hall, and met many of the people who work here. In Nevonim we learned about Parshat Toldot which tells the story of the rivalry between Ya'akov and Esav - we worked really hard over 3 days making lentil soup, even chopping the onions ourselves. On the third day we ate the soup for snack. We practiced yoga, introducing the concept of Aleph Bet Yoga. We did art with powder paint. We used our marble run with paint to do some exciting art work. Rabbi Chai visited on Wednesday and taught us a creation song with hand gestures. We have been talking about different communities as we explore the idea of kehillah - many children created a feline community by becoming leopards with capes and tails. Next week on Thursday we will walking to the Berkeley Community Garden. In Nachshonim we did Q tip painting, we read some fun books like "Is Everyone Ready for Fun?" and we reinvented them. We built trains and underpasses in the social hall and ran around in the courtyard. We glued using squeezy Elmer bottles and feathers and yarn. We have introduced scissors and are learning how to handle them safely even when walking, we practiced watching what our hands are doing. We also welcomed our new friend Jonah to the kitah - we are all happy to have him to play with!

Friday, November 2, 2018

HaShavuah November 2

HaShavuah November 2, 2018 24 Cheshvan 5779 This was a week when all of us adults especially appreciated the joy and happiness in the classroom. The children got to practice their joyfulness twice this week with Abba Lior (Reef's Dad) who came to lead a musical circle on Tuesday and led Ma'agal Shabbat on Friday. Melita sang songs about animals and zoos with us, she gave us rhythm sticks to play with and did a feltboard game of "Polar Bear, What do you See?" Rabbi Chai came to visit both kitot on Wednesday and she made an even bigger tent this week. In Nevonim we explored Havdala with Judy, using herbs we picked from the garden. We talked about kindness to animals in Parashat Chayei Sarah which includes the story of Rivka offering water to Isaac's camels. We learned about bears and dens. We made apple sauce by first cutting apples with a spiralizer. We collected apple seeds and planted them. In Nachshonim we did beading with big beads and pipe cleaners. We explored seashells with magnifying glasses. We played with zebras in moon sand. We created with clay outside. We practiced our balance on the stumps around the sandbox. We poured water down a long shute into the sandbox. We sorted bears.

Friday, October 26, 2018

HaShavuah October 26, 2018

HaShavuah October 26, 2018 17 Cheshvan 5779 We had a very busy week, continuing with Shomrei Adamah. Rabbi Chai made a tent out of two tallitot for the children to sit under and enjoy and Melita sang with us on Thursday . At Maagal Shabbat, Abraham the puppet came to visit again and talked to us about welcoming strangers into his tent. We also learned a great song with hand movements for Breishit about the Days of Creation - it was written and recorded by Shaya's aunt Elana Jagoda! In Nevonim, the big highlight of our week was our trip to Urban Adamah. Despite delays with AC Transit, everything went smoothly. We had snack, heard stories about Mitzvot and Compost Soup, then divided into groups to plant seeds in the greenhouse (beans and kale) and to feed the chickens. We all had a great time. Thank you to Judit Pap and Aliza Weiss who were able to join us as chaperones. Additionally, with Judy we also built Abraham's and Sarah's Tent with a doormat that each visitor had to cross. We talked about the Torah portion of the week where Abraham and Sarah display hospitality and share bread with others, so we made homemade pita which was a big hit. In the afternoon we acted out "Caps for Sale." Many children have been exploring nature and asking for more information about geckos and chameleons - toy ones have been camouflaging all over the classroom. In Nachshonim we painted rocks with tempera paints which quickly turned into a fingerprinting session (along with other body parts). We also used the paints outside on a giant piece of cardboard. We experimented with printing from our hands onto paper and had lots of sensory experiences spreading and washing paint. We played with plastic animals in sticky foam. We explored with magnets, using them with fishing rods to pick metal objects up. We talked about hard toys and soft toys and what happens if we swing hard toys around and how we have to keep everyone safe. We sorted toy fruits into cups and bins. We spent time playing with Otzar. Every lunch we compare lunches and have learned the word for apple in Hebrew, tapuach, because Anna usually has one in her lunch! Friday Barack shared a pomegranate at snack.

Friday, October 19, 2018

HaShavuah October 19

October 19, 2018 10 Chesvan 5779 Our second full week was full of nature, singing, art and learning through play. Both kitot did Havdalah together on Monday morning, Rabbi Chai came to both classes on Wednesday and we sang with Melita together on Thursday. We are all exploring the theme of Shomrei Adamah, being guardians of the earth. In Nachshonim we explored color mixing with finger paints. We played with dinosaurs in play dough. We played rocket ship outside with cardboard boxes. We practiced using scissors with wrapping paper. We played a lot with the farm, farm animals and dinosaurs. We read Ma'ase Be-5 Balonim, I want my Hat, 10 Little LadyBugs, No/Yes, Ain't Gonna Paint No More. We "cleaned" the play structure with water and paintbrushes. In Nevonim, we explored Shomrei Adamah in so many ways - by picking, seeding and eating pomegranates (rimonim), by creating earth sculptures with clay outside, by rooting and planting succulents, by making a nest and hanging it on a tree, by talking about trees, by taking care of animals like Otzar and making dog treats for Ducky and other school dogs. We also did ephemeral art with shells and take home art with watercolors. Rabbi Chai came and read "Because Nothing Looks Like G-d" and we had a great discussion about what the children think G-d looks like. Miriam said "I keep G-d in my heart." We had a lovely circle time where each child got to silently cast a vote (a lego block) for either of two Friday dough related books (Pete's a Pizza and In the Night Kitchen). Angelina also taught us sign language motions for play and snack. Many children expressed interest in learning more about eagles and insects which we will continue to do next week. We are going to Urban Adamah on Tuesday next week (Nevonim parents will get a separate email with details on Monday morning).

Friday, October 12, 2018

Hashavuah October 12, 2018

HaShavuah October 12, 2018 3 Cheshvan 5779 We need to say a Shehechiyanu prayer that we had our first full week of school this year! It was a lovely week of learning. Both kitot welcomed in new students, Gabriel to Nevonim and his brother Rafael to Nachshonim - both boys became a part of the Netivot Shalom Preschool community right away! Both classes got to sing animal songs with Melita. Rabbi Chai taught everyone a new version of our good morning song "Modeh Ani" and at Ma'agal Shabbat talked to us about Noah's Ark. We also discovered a yellow jacket nest in our yard which is being removed today by a man who keeps bees and sells honey - he is able to remove the nest so that our yard will be safe, but still keep the bees alive as he relocates them - since we all know that bees are important for our ecosystem. In Nevonim, we read lots of stories about Noah and the Ark. We made our own arks, following the directions that G-d gave Noah in the Torah portion, making it 3 stories with compartments. We talked about rain, floods, rainbows and what makes things sink or float. We read a book about opposites. In circle one day we heard two different books, Little Pea and Na'ama, Noah's Wife. We voted on which book we preferred, counting the votes 2 by 2 - Little Pea won 11:6. We explored the value of Shomrei Adamah in a variety of ways - by looking at a variety of succulents and how they are related to cacti. Gabriel said, "they are cacti's cousins!" We picked our first pomegranate (rimon) from the play yard tree - we ate it and it was good. We made banana bread with bananas that we did not want to waste, and it was also good! Tati led a yoga story about butterflies, snakes and dogs travelling on an adventure. Teaching assistant Jesse led a "monster clean-up game" in the afternoon. In Nachshonim, we played with farm animals in honor of Noah's ark. We made lots of rainbows with CDs on the ceiling. We made rainbows by mixing paints at the easel. We played with boats with animals and play dough. We read about Noah and his ark. We also read about Na'ama, his wife, and her important job. We played with a wooden ark full of animals. We read more animals including Bark George, Going on a Bear Hunt, and Baby Owl. We did floating and sinking experiments with tubs of water and various materials.

Friday, October 5, 2018

HaShavuah - October 5, 2018

HaShavuah October 5, 2018 26 Tishrei 5779 This week both classes welcomed Melita who sang songs about geshem (rain) . On Friday, we welcomed Reef's Abba Lior as the leader of our Ma'agal Shabbat. We owe him a big thank you for the great music (including Shabbat music and a class reggae favorite Three Little Birds) and great energy that he brought to the our gathering. As many of you know who attended our Preschool Simchat Torah celebration, now is the time in the Jewish calendar when we finish reading the Torah and then start all over again from the beginning - with Parashat Breishit which we have started talking about. Next week is a favorite parashah for preschoolers and teachers alike - Parashat Noach. This is appropriately enough the month where we are focusing our attention on the Jewish value of Shomrei Adamah - the idea that we are the guardians of the earth and it is our job to take care of it and all of its inhabitants, (plants, animals and people). In Nevonim, Judy introduced the Torah, its clothing and belt and the Torah Ark. Then the children used sticks and paper to make their own mini Torahs. Many children got a chance at Simchat Torah to dance with toy Torahs and talked about the joy in their lives. Big sources of joy this week in the kitah was the new garbage truck, toy geckos, making Torahs and playing with friends. Today the children made a giant Breishit cardboard painting as they partook in their own creation art. In the afternoon, a lot sensory activities including making playdough, oobleck and paint mixology happened. In Nachshonim, we welcomed Lenny for her first week of school. We played with sticky foam. We read lots of books including Duck/Rabbit, No/Yes, and Choo’s Day. Eliezer V’Hagezer, a wonderful book in Hebrew, continues to be a big hit. We also read the songbook “We All Go Travelling By.” We spent time today looking at the oven heating up as we got ready to bake our challot. We put a CD in the sun and watched the lights turn into a rainbow on our ceiling!

Friday, September 28, 2018

HaShavuah - September 28, 2018

HaShavuah September 28, 2018 19 Tishrei 5779 This week was all about Sukkot. We had a lovely Preschool Dinner in the Sukkah Wednesday night which was a rewarding experience for all who attended, young and old. The children sang Sukkot songs with Elizheva, made their own edible (and healthy) mini lulav and etrog out of celery, parsley, dill and yellow cherry tomatoes, decorated paper etrogs with a pom pom for each guest they wanted to invite to their sukkah. They also danced the sukkah shuffle and went on the Sukkah train. A big thanks to Elizheva for working with us, to Rabbi Idit for teaching the parents, and thanks to all the parents who helped organize and clean up. In the classroom a lot of Sukkot education and fun took place as well. Both kitot had the opportunity to eat snack and lunch in the sukkah, sing Sukkot songs with Melita, do sukkah art and shake the lulav. Friday's Maagal Shabbat also included more sukkot lulav shaking and dancing with Rabbi Chai. The Nevonim class started the week with a walking field trip to go visit teacher Judy's sukkah. While there we heard Sukkot stories, ate a special snack that included figs from her tree and Sukkot pumpkin challah. We went on a tour of her sukkah and saw how special it is to decorate and spend time in the sukkah. We played outside with movement and music with Tati in the sukkah and the courtyard. We also decorated our own mini sukkot. The Nachshonim is practicing their Hachnasat Orchim as they welcome a new student to their class. Lenny and her parents Assaf and Talia came to visit a few times this week and Lenny will be starting school next week. We are all happy to have them join Netivot Shalom Preschool. In Nachshonim we also made sukkah decorations. We took Otzar out of his cage, cleaned it and described what we saw. We celebrated Rafi's 3rd Birthday. Rafi and his family were the Shabbat Mishpachah in honor of this event.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

HaShavuah - September 21, 2018

HaShavuah - September 21, 2018, 12 Tishrei 5779 This week in the Nachshonim kitah we continued our exploration of color mixing. We made yellow, orange, light blue and purple. We have had a lot of fun playing with and feeding Otzar in the morning. On Thursday we made eggs in the nest - each child made a hole in a slice of bread, broke an egg and poured it in the bread - teachers cooked it and then children got to eat it for snack. We played "the floor is lava" outside (we put wooden blocks on the woodchips so we could walk "safely" and practice our balancing skills). We practiced Hachnasat Orchim as we welcomed Maor to our class since he is now two years old and ready to join the fun! Mazal Tov! In the Nevonim kitah we sang Happy Birthday to the world and blew out candles. We used eye droppers to mix liquid paint in trays. We made "I'm Sorry" cards for Yom Kippur. We fed and handled Otzar the hamster. We did Yom Kippur art. Melita came to sing with us on Tuesday and Zahava joined in with her drums and we had a dance party! On Thursday we made challah and had our first attempt at building a sukkah. We have been really enjoying playing with trains, blocks, cars and all kinds of transportation. We have also been practicing Hachnasat Orchim and cooperating with each other. On Friday Rabbi Chai (along with puppets Miriam and Moshe) talked to us about building a sukkah.

Friday, September 14, 2018

HaShavuah, September 14, 2108 5 Tishrei 5779

HaShavuah, September 14, 2108 5 Tishrei 5779 In keeping with our theme of Hachnasat Orchim, we welcomed a few new and old guests to the kitah. On Wednesday, Rabbi Chai came to both kitot to sing Rosh HaShanah songs with us- we also talked about Yom Kippur and the times we say sorry to people - the Nevonim children came up with many good examples. After learning with the Rabbi, the Nevonim class went on our first fieldtrip to Strawberry Creek Park to throw our "mistakes" and "sorries" into the running water as we practiced the custom of Tashlikh. Then we played at the park. Thank you to Teo's father Brett for joining us. On Wednesday we welcomed a new friend/teacher who is in high school named Jesse Gerwein who will join us sometimes in the late afternoons on Wednesday. On Thursday, we welcomed Melita who sang with us and taught us a new Yom Kippur song and sang one of our favorites about the Shofar - "I Love to hear the Shofar Blast, Sometimes Slow and Sometimes Fast.". The Nevonim class also read a PJ Library book "The Vanishing Gourds" in which a hungry squirrel comes to visit a family's sukkah. From the book we made a "Hachnasat Orchim" mobile and added some ideas of our own. We also welcomed into our community a new arrival, Eitan's brother, Doron, who was born on Monday. Children made some cards of welcome for him and others in their families. On Friday, we started the tradition of reading Hebrew books at circle - today it was "Zeh Lo Argaz" - It's Not a Box - because so many children have been playing with our own giant cardboard boxes, making fire engines, houses and rocket ships. We also looked at the blueprint drawings for something that we will build in the classroom - it will start as a sukkah and then we will make it into a tree house, an alligator house, and a fire house- these were some of the children's very creative ideas! We made our challot, including a round one for the new year. In Nachshonim, we did q-tip painting with primary colors and some color mixing exploration. We also did a lot of big painting on the easel and continued mixing colors. The Nevonim kitah welcomed us as guests on Thursday with Melita and for lunch.

Friday, September 7, 2018

September 7, 2018 27 Elul 5778 What a great first week we have had! Our theme of Hachnasat Orchim (Welcoming Guests) continued all week as we welcomed new children, new teachers, new families and even a new pet, a hamster named Otzar (Treasure in Hebrew). This week we welcomed Vinnie to the Nevonim class, along with his helper Soheyla who will be in the classroom everyday until 12:00. This week we began our celebration of Rosh HaShanah. We talked about apples and honey for a sweet new year. We sang lots of songs about apples and honey. We made individual honey cakes (oogat d'vash) with Judy. We heard the shofar. We learned a shofar song with Rabbi Chai. We sang Rosh HaShanah songs with Melita. We enjoyed our new outdoor "ninja" line as we explored large motor skills. Finally, we had our first Ma'agal Shabbat of the school year - we met Rabbi Chai and her puppets Miriam and Moshe. Lev and his family were the Shabbat Mishpachah. In Nachshonim, we got to know each other and our new friends, Lev, Aryeh, Barack, Rafi, Yael and Maor. We explored floating and sinking in the water table with a glass full of air and a glass full of sand. We are learning and practicing school routines and ways. We welcomed Otzar the hamster. We looked at him sleeping. We experimented with setting up his water bottle and food bowl. We took him out of his cage and gently petted him. We tasted apples and honey. We tried the new zip line. We sifted and played together in the sand box. We played with playdough. We sharpened pencils.

Friday, August 17, 2018

HaShavuah - Summer Fun Week 8

We had a lovely week to end our summer fun. We challenged ourselves with ropes on the structure. We made environments for animals with sawdust. We worked really hard moving mounds of wood chips into big piles, and jumped in them to spread them while singing "how much wood can a woodchuck chuck!" We also sifted sand, so it will be nice and ready for us to play with in the fall. We played, "the floor is lava" to practice our large motor skills. In the sensory table we used building materials to create great inventions. On Thursday we took a small field trip next door to Target to buy stickers for our Friday Shabbat challah bags. We sang with Melita and did Havadalah with Malkah. We read the "Funny Lion" in Hebrew many times! On Friday we celebrated Raina's 3rd Birthday with delicious fruit and popsicles. We made challah dough and challah. We had our Ma'agal Shabbat without Rabbi Chai. Instead of Miriam and Moshe puppets coming to visit, we had a visit from Leah. Anna taught us about this week's Torah portion, Shoftim, how we set up judges to help people stay safe and get along.

Friday, August 10, 2018

HaShavuah - Summer Fun - Week 7

This was a wonderful week of summer fun. Anna was back which was a great reunion for her and the children - Noga also came to visit a few times. On Monday we had Havdalah with Malka and on Tuesday we sang with Melita. The big theme all week was firefighters - we wore uniforms, hats and made fire trucks out of giant boxes. We also made small firetrucks with glitter, because even firetrucks need some sparkle! On Wednesday we took a field trip to Strawberry Creek Park. We enjoyed delicious smoothie popsicles that we made last week. We also made ephemeral art with glass beads and squares and we made collage art. We had a pom pom festival and walked around offering pom pom cotton candy. Rabbi Chai and her puppets taught us about this week's Torah portion at Ma'agal Shabbat, how like Moshe we all have choices that we can make...choices about how we treat each other.

Friday, August 3, 2018

HaShavuah - Summer Fun Week 6

August 3, 2018 15 Av 5778 Malka came to lead us in Havdalah. We did book inspired art work - one based on the Very Busy Spider and one based on It Looked Like Spilt Milk. The art is displayed in the classroom and hallway. We went to Strawberry Creek Park. We enjoyed playing with children from other summer camps and we enjoyed the help of Vered's sons Nico and Seba. We made delicious berry smoothies and froze some for popsicles. We dressed up as firefighters in full gear and walked around the building looking for fire extinguishers. We made challah. We learned about Parashat Eikev and the Birkat HaMazon blessing after meals with Rabbi Chai. It was a good week!

Friday, July 13, 2018

HaShavuah - Summer Fun - Week 3

July 13, 2018 25 Tammuz 5778 What another lovely week we had at Summer Fun. A reminder that I will be away for two weeks and if you have any scheduling issues or changes, please let Angelina know. This week we made oobleck and fairy goo and mixed them together as a science experiment. We also made clay sculptures. We made collages with diverse materials. We made lemonade which we later used to make popsicles with berries to celebrate Shaya's 4th birthday. Outside we experimented with pulleys, ropes and buckets to pull up water and other materials to the deck. The afternoon children helped open the packaging for a new toy barn, which we decided is not a barn for children or toy animals, but a barn where toys live. The packing material scattered all over the yard and the children were helpers, practicing "Shomrei Adamah" to collect the materials (even using the pulley they invented). On Friday Rabbi Chai led another great Ma'agal Shabbat, using her puppets Moshe and Miriam to teach about the Israelites taking 40 years to reach Israel. We counted our toes and fingers with a buddy to equal 40. She also taught us the word Chumash for the five Books of the Torah from the word Chamesh (Hebrew for Five). We were joined by Emah April, Emah Leora and Emah Brenna and Teo's Savta who was visiting from Jerusalem.

Friday, July 6, 2018

HaShavuah - Summer Fun Week 2

We started the week by having Malkah join us to lead Havdalah. We added to our fairy garden by hanging streamers and planting fairy flowers (pink Echinacea). We built our own individual fairy houses out of boxes and flowers.We made fairy sand with soap, shells, and glitter. We explored many kinds of art projects including spray bottles of paint on a giant box from the garden shed that some children helped Ruth and Colin put together. We played with balance beams to make obstacle courses inside the kitah. We made fairy sand with soap, shells, and glitter. On Thursday we made challah dough and Melita came to sing favorite animal and transportation songs with us. On Friday we baked our challot and had our very first Ma'agal Shabbat with Rabbi Chai. She brought with her a guitar, her beautiful voice, lots of ruach, and two new puppet friends, Moshe and Miriam, to teach us Torah. We were also joined by Ruth and the new Youth Education Director Elizheva. It was a good week of learning!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Ha Shavuah - Summer Fun Week 1

June 29, 2018 16 Tammuz 5779 We had a wonderful week of summer fun. We welcomed a new friend named Reef as well as many old friends! We made marble paintings with small and medium boxes with red, yellow and blue paint. Melita came and sang with us. We played with kinetic sand. We had lots of outdoor pool time, outdoor art time and even outdoor snack time. The theme that emerged this week was fairies. We talked about fairies, brainstormed fairy houses, and then we designed and built our own fairy houses and garden which will be a project we keep going all summer. Next week we will add plants. Friday was bittersweet as Lauren led us in her last (for now!) ma'agal Shabbat. We will miss her, but we welcomed in Ruth as our new director. Shabbat Shalom

Monday, June 4, 2018

HaShavu'im - Nevonim

June 1, 2018 8 sivan, 5778 Shalom everyone, Last week we did a lot of art projects! We made soap bubble art with Lauren We made fold over art with acrylic paint and with a mixture of glue, paint and glitter in squirty bottles We also made water color drawings We had a fun visit from Zahava. She came to play with us when Angelina was away Outside. we played catch with Colin, and also helped him fix the outside sensory table. This week we started our teacher swap. Jennaba came to be with us one day, and Miri came for two days. It was fun. We created a lot of art with craft sticks, glue, tape and oil pastels We also did some ephemeral art. We looked at different parts of a melon through a magnifying glass. Later we ate it for snack. We had a lot of yarn in the sensory table, and the children used it in various ways like leashing stuffies, cutting and throwing it up to "make it rain" Some of the children were 'baby raptors' this week We played different games in small groups, like 'Duck, Duck, Goose' and creating marble runs Outside, we watered our beans, corn, sunflowers and peas. We also filled up the basketball hoop base with water and the children are shooting hoops! Shabbat Shalom, Anna, Colin and Angelina

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

May 25, 2018 11 sivan, 5779 Shalom Nachshonim families, We had Monday off in observance of Shavuot. On Tuesday Jennaba was out and Marie joined us in the kitah. We brought out the sticky foam and the yeladim used scissors to cut it like they do with play dough. The sticky foam stuck to just about everything! The children also explored plastalina (modeling clay) that Miri brought in. Later on in the yard we sifted some sand from the sandbox and brought it in to the kitah to play with. The yeladim also helped shovel the sand into the buckets to be sifted they watched as the sand went from having wood chips, leaves and other debris to becoming soft smooth sand again. Melita joined us and we all sang songs together especially songs about animals which is always a favorite in our kitah. After lunch the yeladim have been doing a lot of exploring in the kitchen area and putting on "Shabbat dinner." Building choo choo trains out of chairs is also a very popular activity these days! Shabbat Shalom, Miri and Jennaba

Thursday, May 24, 2018

HaShavuah - Nevonim

May 18, 2018  4 sivan, 5778

Shalom Kulam

Last week we had our parent teacher conferences. It was a pleasure to have a quiet time for some adult conversations. Please remember that you can ALWAYS approach us and if we cannot help you at the moment we will schedule a time to speak.

We did fold over art with tempera paint in squirty bottles

We had another beading session

We played "what's missing", first with a teacher leading the game, and then with a child leader.

We played in small groups in the social hall, and built our marble run in the small classroom

We had a fun session with Colin's mandolin

We finished a WHOLE HUGE watermelon in about two hours. What can I say- we work well as a team...

More in the food department- we tried to make cheese corn muffins for Shavuot. but they didn't turn out so yummy...

We talked about how the people of Israel used to go to the Temple with their first harvests, to give it as offerings to the Cohanim (priests)

We read the book "You're Welcome" about excluding. We are also reading "How full is your Bucket"

Outside, we brought a big box, that turned into a trampoline, and later to a pool. Colin brought a few pool noodles that turned into jet packs. We also turned our slide to a water slide

This week, we harvested our first snow pea, to celebrate Shavuot! We cut it to 8 pieces (!) and shared it.

We also planted more sunflowers, and some succulents
We are practicing playing catch with bean bags and real balls

We made art with liquid paint and droppers

We celebrated Shavuot this week- we decorated baskets, crowns and bracelets. We brought fruit and "Bicurim" (first harvests) from home and had a Shavuot parade. We filled a big basket with all our offerings and later it was delivered to people in need.
We also sang some Shavuot songs with Melita

On Thursday we had Pajama day, complete with snuggles and cuddles, blankets and nap books galore.

Have a great long weekend everyone, see you all on Tuesday!
Anna, Colin and Angelina

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

May 18, 2018   4 sivan, 5778

Shavua Tov Nachshonim Families,

Today we joined Nevonim for Havdalah Raina and Noga were helpers. Miri was out and Marie and Taylor joined us.

We decorated Shavuot fruit baskets which we will use for our parade tomorrow. Read books about Moses receiving the 10 commandments and talked about rules and words that may hurt others,“no hitting”, “ you can’t run out the door”, “I’m not your friend”, “you can't play with me” our some of what was said.

With baskets in their hands and song in their hearts... we joined Nevonim for a parade around the school stopping off at the office and handing out some fruit ending up in the Sanctuary leaving all the fruit to later be taken to someone who may be in need.

 The dramatic play area has gone from two yeliudim exploring to four in the past week noticing this has started us all thinking that space may be too small on Thursday we moved the book area with the dramatic play area which allowed for a bigger dramatic area and a cozy book area. Talking with the yeliudim they have expressed that we should add more pillows, blankets,  and lovies.

Miri and Jennaba

Monday, May 14, 2018

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

May 14, 2018   1 sivan, 5778

Shavua Tov Nachshonim families,

On Tuesday we had a lot of fun playing with playdough.  The yeladim brought out scissors and popsicle sticks and got to cutting.  On Wednesday we made fluffy slime, which consits of glue, shaving cream, contact solution and food coloring.  It was a lot of fun rubbing our hands through it.  On Thursday we got to make the challah dough!  It was really fun getting all sticky mixing up the dough.  The yeladim made a boat outside with a big empty box in the sanpit, it was great to see them all working together carrying buckets of sand and water back and forth from the sensory table to the sanbox.


Miri and Jennaba

Monday, May 7, 2018

HaShavuah - Nevonim

19 iyer, 5778   May 4, 2018


We had lots of fun the last two weeks!
Last week, the children noticed we don't have a lot of art on the walls, after everything was taken off for spring break painting. The kids made lots of art projects and hung some of them on the walls.  There's a fascinating art gallery in the pretend kitchen area.

We also did some gluing of sequins and paper shapes on cardboard, and experimented with watercolors and water color pencils.

We had a beautiful face/body paint session

The children put on another show for circle time

We read "The Invisible String" and talked about how we are all connected with strings of love

Outside, we continue planting- this time we planted sunflowers and green beans

We washed our chairs and scrubbed them

We had an obstacle course that ran from the sand pit to the trampoline and from there to a mattress. We also had a 'lazer maze' up on the deck, with rope criss-crossed all over the deck and the children maneuvering without touching it.

In the sensory table we had lots and lots of shredded paper from the office (reusing is the name of the game!)

During lunch we had a wonderful plan- we will take a helicopter and fly to Hawaii. Then, we will tie a zip-line to the pool and slide down right into the water. Who wants to come??

We also celebrated Matan's birthday. Happy birthday!

This week, we experimented with powder paint and water

We played with shaving cream and toy cars

We listened to stories by storyteller Michael Katz

We "fixed" the outside play structure

We played "baby Moses" in the sand pit and the water table

Colin brought two corn plants to plant, so we observed them and talked about them. We also compared a sunflower baby plant and a green bean baby plant during circle time.

A shaker broke and we collected and looked at the little beads inside it. We figured that the little beads are made of metal, as they stuck to our Magna Tiles.

We had some small group fun, which always helps to make sure every child feels seen and appreciated.

In the afternoon we did some fold over art with tempera paint

We decorated tote bags with acrylic paint

We celebrated Sarah's birthday!
Shabbat Shalom,
Anna, Colin and Angelina

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

Sun, 6 May 2018
21st of Iyyar

Shavua Tov Nachshonim Families,

Monday Miri was out sick and Maire joined us. After lunch, we turned into ducks and went on an adventure around the building.

Tuesday Angelina was here and we did lots of painting some on the easel and others painted the white cardboard containers. We had lots of fun mixing colors to make new ones.

Wednesday Miri was back and we painted with watercolors using eye-droppers.

Thursday we used red, blue and yellow tempera paint and contact paper adding and mixing the different colors on to the contact paper.  We also celebrated Itamar’s birthday with a special snack yogurt and melon. Toda Raba Itamar.

Friday in our Maagal Shabbat, we learned Torah with Linda, Noam’s mom and Colin played the guitar.

Miri and Jennaba

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

Sun, 22 April 2018
7th of Iyyar, 5778
Shavua Tov  Nachshonim Families,
What a busy week we had!
On Monday we played with popsicle sticks with sticky form, read books, danced to our favorite songs and a few of us made food for the babies.  It was also “Picture Day” and we took pictures in the Sanctuary and the yard. After snack, we joined Nevonim for Havdalah.
Tuesday we painted on cardboard and doilies mixing blue and white paint which gave us different shades of blue. We also used the same doilies to weave in and out with pipe cleaners.
Wednesday Jennaba made Oobleck with cornstarch and water and we got to watch it go from solid to liquid. We also made new Playdough after lunch.
Thursday we used our new purple Playdough and we painted with watercolor on the easel. In the yard, we put down a long piece of cardboard with yellow and blue paint took off our shoes and socks and got to paint with our feet. Sensory play at its best!

Miri and Jennaba

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

5 iyar, 5778  April 20, 2018
Shalom Kulam,
This week we continued our celebration of Israel's birthday!
  • We sang songs and read stories in Ivrit/Hebrew and English  about Israel. 
  • We had Israeli- flag inspired art, with the children gluing blue triangles and stripes on white paper
  • We made 'Magen David' (Star of David) shaped pancakes, using a cookie cutter in the shape of a six pointed  star. It Kind of worked...
  • We also baked a Magen David Challah for Ma'agal Shabbat
We had a successful picture day, with the wonderful Soey Sindel. If anyone has issues, please contact Sagar Pilania, Raina's Aba, from the Nachshonim group.
We received a donation of simple plastic bead necklaces. The children worked for a long time cutting and separating the beads, sorting through them and taping and gluing them, creating mixed media art pieces. They are still being used as "loose parts" in various pretend games. 
On Thursday we made a huge art creation using tape on our blue rug
Outside, we compared the new, rich soil that was added to the planters, with the sandy dirt from the sand box. We noticed that it looks different and even smells different.
We experimented with the slide. Some children slid down while sitting in a tin bin, others used cardboard pieces. We also pulled the hose up close and made a water slide.
We created a communal painting outside, using a very long cardboard piece and tempera paint.
Angelina created a spider web/maze on the deck, using elastic rope
Shabat Shalom,

Anna, Angelina and Colin

Monday, April 16, 2018

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

28 nisan, 5778

Shalom Nachshonim families,

Welcome back!
We all enjoyed coming back to our classroom after break.  We welcomed in the week with Havdalah in the Nevonim Kitah and Noam was the helper. 
The yeladim enjoyed messy sensory play at it's best with lots of shaving cream and blue food coloring! 
We had lots of fun doing q-tip painting, and in honor of  Yom haatzmaut (Israel's birthday) the whole class made a blue and white collage.  The yeladim used shredded paper, sparkles and pom-poms for the collage, you can see it on the wall over the book area. 
During our time in the yard the yeladim worked really hard together in the sandbox pouring water through a pipe into a whole they had dug in the sandbox.  It was quite a team effort!  They also built bridges with wood blocks and took turns walking on it and helping each other walk on it. The bridge kept falling so the yeladim once again worked together to figure out a way to make it sturdier.   It was really great to see them working as a community.

Shabbat Shalom,
Miri and Jennaba

HaShavuah - Nevonim

28 nisan, 5778

Shalom everyone!

It was so great to reunite and meet everyone after the break! I believe everybody grew by at least an inch (not the teachers, though, sadly...)

We did some finger paint art, using primary colors.

Angelina brought various kinds of loose herbal tea. We put it in the indoors sensory table and we use it for playing as we added farm animals, as a sensory activity (touching, smelling, looking and sorting) and for art- with glue on paper.

We made the elephant toothpaste experiment (here's a link in case you want to try this at home.
Here's how it looked like in our Kitah:

Still on the topic of mess, the children love making "potions" at the snack table. This week, we mixed mandarin peels with boiling water and created a fresh smelling natural spray that we can spritz on our plants.

We made fruit smoothie and shared it with our Kehila (community)

At circle time we were reminded of how we should take care of each other, help out and use our words. Anna said- "We are a..." and the children completed: community/ group/ pack/ family.

Outside- we showed love and kindness to the earth and animals by helping earth worms, that came out after the rain, and placing them in safe places

We also sorted seeds and got them organized for spring planting

We started talking about Yom Ha'azmaut, Israel's birthday. We read stories like "And Shira Imagined" and sang songs like "Erez Israel Sheli" (my country of  Israel). We also looked at a Talit and compared it to the Israeli flags we hung in the Kitah

See you  all on Monday

P.S- don't forget to sign up for parent-teacher conferences. We will have 2 conferences at each time slot, so two teachers can attend each meeting. Please don't add your name if there are already two meetings at that time. Thanks!!

Monday, April 2, 2018

HaShavuah - Nachshonim

Friday, 30 March, 2018
14th of Nisan, 5778

Chag Sameach ve Shavua Tov Nachshonim Families,

We started our week by exploring the story of  Pesach, reading books and singing songs. 

On Tuesday Miri was sick and Colin joined us. We had so much fun showing him the classroom and dancing to our favorite songs. We also loved the warm weather.

On Wednesday the yeladium made their own matzah covers. In the yard, they tied a rope to a box which they filled up with lots of different size wood pieces and got to experience what it was like for the Jewish Slaves to pull and push heavy bricks.  Then a few of them were Slaves, others Moses or Pharaoh, and they started acting out the story. Things we heard, “ no rest for you” “ we are hungry and need a break” “Pharoah please let us rest” and “ no, you will work day and night”. 

Thursday the yeladium had a great time experiencing “ Cleaning up for Pesach.” They cleaned up the classroom tables, chairs, paint off the doors/ walls, toy shelves, and the classroom floor.  We also loved reading the book Matan shared with us about “Baking a Passover cake for mom’s birthday”. We thought the yeladium would love to make it during the break. All you need is Matzah, spread with a cream cheese and jam mix, and then another piece of Matzah. Layer as high as you like and ENJOY!

Friday was a 'different' and bittersweet. We did not make challah or decorate our bags due to  Erev Pesach. We also said goodbye to our chaver Matan who we will miss very much. We wish him well. 


Miri and Jennaba

Monday, March 26, 2018

HaShavuah - Nevonim

Shalom Nevonim Families,
As Pesach approaches:
  • We told the story of Moses and his adventures. We started when he was a baby, telling a little bit more every day, and got all the way to the other side of the Red Sea.
  • We brought out babies and baskets, Afikoman covers, cleaning supplies and a Sedder plate.
  • We made cardboard Afikoman and the children took turns hiding them in the classroom. 
  • We talked about the making of bread, and showed the children how to separate the wheat kernels from the surrounding shell, then used pestle and mortar to ground up the wheat. The kids enjoyed trying it out and ended up grounding many other things.
  •  We talked about the rising of the dough and how the people of Israel didn't have time to wait and that's why to this day we eat Mazzot on Pesach. We observed the process by following the rise of our Challah dough. 
  • We also sang  "Ma Nishtana" and "Dumam Shata" ("Silently sailing", a song about Moses in the basket), and Melita sang many other holiday songs with us.
This week we gave our share in the collective effort to help the refugees. The children took all the coins in our Tzdakah boxes, sorted and counted them. At circle time, Lauren took the money we counted and the children went with her in groups to the store to buy self care items like shampoo, tooth brushes, deodorant and more. On their way, the children shared with members of the community and the clerks at the store what they were buying and why.
We had a very exciting visit from Rabbi Stu Kelman and Peter Wharahftig, who came with their musical instruments: Clarinet, bass clarinet, tuba, flute, and their ancestors- the Shofar and a conch shell. We learned about high and low sounds and attempted to blow air in the certain way that's needed to play the Shofar and the Tuba.
Marcie, Angelina's roommate, bought a box full of strawberries for us, and we gobbled them up. This inspired us to read  "The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear".
We wrote thank you notes for Peter, Stu and Marcie, for sharing their abundance with us.
We had another exciting visit from three 8th graders from Tehyia day school, Adam, Jack (our Sarah's big brothers) and Lilly. They came to read stories for us on Friday. They stayed for a whole hour and we were very VERY excited with their presence.
Angelina found a dead crab on the beach and we examined it carefully ... outside, of course!
We did mesh art with nets and tempera paint.
Have a beautiful weekend!
Anna, Angelina and Colin