Sign In Forgot Password

School Scoop (January 2019)

01/01/2019 09:30:31 PM


Rokki Parrinello & Mandy Thalhammer

“Being human means being conscious and being responsible. By becoming responsible agents for social change we actualize not only our humanity but also our mission as Jews.”

– Viktor Frankl

A hero is officially defined as a “person admired for achievements and noble qualities,” who "shows great courage” or is an “illustrious warrior.” However, the truth is that anyone can be a hero. After all, we all make choices every day, some of which take us on a heroic path, others which don’t. Today, people look to heroes for examples of social responsibility, compassion, and humility; qualities that may be less glamorous, less visible. Achrayut, the Jewish value of Social Responsibility, creates kind, caring and giving individuals who are ready to help others! The word for responsibility in Hebrew, achrayut, comes from the root acher (other.) Each Jewish person strives to develop the awareness and skill to care for others. This is the true definition of daily heroic acts.

As a Jewish learning community we work to nurture this social responsibility skill in our youngest of students and assist them in demonstrating love, kindness, and compassion as they grow, develop, and change into community leaders.
In early December, our sixth grade Yahadut (Judaics class) taught by Dr. Cynthia Singer, learned about Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972). In addition to being a rabbi, he was a social justice activist. According to, “Because he felt so strongly about injustice, and spoke up and acted against injustice, some have called him a modern-day prophet.” He marched from Selma to Montgomery with Martin Luther King Jr., and said, “I felt my legs were praying.” He was born in Germany and emigrated to the U.S. right before the onset of World War II, and he was strongly opposed to the Vietnam War. In class the students discussed how they can be aware of injustice in the world. They talked about “inattentional blindness” and paying attention to important issues. Finally, this quote from Heschel was studied: “People of our time are losing the power of celebration. Instead of celebrating, we seek to be amused or entertained. Celebration is an active state, an act of expressing reverence or appreciation.” Students generated a list of ways that they can appreciate everyday life. Those ideas will be explored more in our upcoming unit on Gratitude!

In our 6th Grade Hebrew & Harmony class, taught by Stacey and Yuri Lysoivanov, the students focused on being appreciative and understanding. They took time as a class to be appreciative of where food, clothing, and other possessions come from. Being aware and thankful with what we have allows us to keep from being greedy and be generous to those that have less. The students in class participated in great conversations about how it is our responsibility as Jews to support and take care of others.

Important Religious School Dates for January:
Jan 1 Tue No School - Winter Break
Jan 4 Fri Family Shabbat Service
Jan 6 Sun Religious School Resumes / Ruach Day
Jan 12 Sat 6th and 7th Grade - Practice B’nai Mitzvah Service
Jan 13 Sun Kibbitz and Bites Grades PreK-5
Jan 20 Sun Tu BiSh’vat

Thu, August 13 2020 23 Av 5780