[School] Netivot Weekly Newsletter-Parashat Hayei Sarah

Hadashot from Netivot-Parashat Hayei Sarah

Parent Teacher Conferences will be held on Monday, November 11. Look for sign-up details next week.



This week in Pre-Primary, we continued our autumn theme. There was a new acorn work on the practical life shelf. This work is an egg plate with 12 acorns in the center. Friends squeeze training chopsticks to lift one acorn at a time and transfer it to its individual spot. This work helps friends to master the pincer grasp and imbed it in their muscle memory.

In the art area, friends are delighted to choose a foam leaf in either red, yellow, or orange. After deciding which leaf to decorate they fill a small bowl with mini leaf stickers. Then they carefully bring their full tray to the table. Once seated, they concentrate on peeling off the stickers, and freely decorating their leaf. When they are finished, they return the tray to the shelf, ready for the next artist.

In circle we talked about how much we love going to shul with our family. We read a book called In The Synagogue, which beautifully describes many different mitzvot we can do while we are there. Some of our class’s favorite things are listening to the hazzan and hearing the Torah reading.

Snack Families

Winkler, Winkler, Blatt (week 4), Blatt, Schick

For information on quantities, allergies, etc. see the Parents section of the website.


This week, the children enjoyed a new work on the shelf to help review last week’s Parashat Hashavua.  They were able to reenact the story of Avraham and the three malachim using mini wooden models of Avraham’s tent, a fence, some cows, three men, Avraham and Sarah. In Parashat Hayei Sarah, we first talked about the death of Sarah when she was 127 years old. Avraham wanted to bury Sarah’s body in Me’arat Hamachpelah, a cave which was in a field that belonged to a man called Efron. Avraham bought the cave from Efron for a lot of money, even though he originally offered it to him for free. Avraham wanted to make sure no one could ever deny that it belonged to him. After taking care of burying Sarah, Avraham sent his servant, Eliezer, to find a wife for Yitzchak. He made him promise not to take a girl from Canaan. Instead the servant traveled to Aram, the home of Avraham’s family. When he saw Rivkah at the well, and she offered to give him and all his camels to drink, he knew that this was the girl for Yitzchak.

In a work that illustrates just how amazing it was that Rivkah fetched enough water for all of the camels, we lined up pictures of 10 camels and then assigned 10 jugs to each camel. We counted from 1 to 10 in English, Hebrew, Spanish, Arabic, and Russian. Then we skip counted by 10’s to arrive at 100 – that’s a lot of jugs!  We also put a gallon jug of water on our shelf for the children to experience carrying  the heavy load. The friends also loved a work in which they matched various pieces of jewelry to their corresponding picture card to represent the gifts that the servant gave to Rivkah.

We’ve been discussing the meaning of different words in the Shema (and the corresponding motions that we make during our tefillah in class), and arrived at a discussion of tefillin. In order to experience tefillin close up, the Primary friends enthusiastically welcomed Yakov Winkler (Morah Adeena’s husband and Shimon Yeshaya’s father) who brought in his tefillin to demonstrate how he puts them on, takes them off, and wraps them to put them away.  Each friend got a chance to feel the leather retzuot (straps) and batim (boxes).  

The students are very excited to have a new responsibility in caring for our classroom environment. There are now signs by each of our classroom plants that say “Water Me” on one side and “Don’t Water Me” on the other. During work time, if a child sees a plant that needs watering, s/he may take the watering can, fill it to the line, and carefully water the plant. 

In connection with our ongoing discussion of biomes, we talked about how we get energy from the sun. We set up a rug in the middle of our floor, and set a lamp – our “sun” – on it, with our globe next to it. The children heard how the earth is just the right distance from the sun – a sphere of burning gas, a ball of fire – so that we get warmth, but we do not get burned. We talked about how the earth goes around the sun during the course of a whole year, resulting in seasons. We saw that the earth is tilted and turning on its own axis, and when it is turned away from the sun every night, it gets dark.

 Chai Lifeline Hanukkah Toy Drive

There will be a bin in each building!

Netivot is proud to participate in the Chai Lifeline Honey Engel Toy Drive which collects new, unwrapped toys for children who are suffering with illness and hospitalization. This year, toys will be collected from October 23 through November 20, 2013. There will be a bin in each building for toy collection.

Don’t forget to click on our Amazon icon before you shop for all of your Hanukkah needs!

Lower Elementary

First year students enjoyed the opportunity to trace their bodies on large paper and label them using the Hebrew words for body parts. Other students were introduced to the “kelev” rule: if you have as a prefix “caf,” “lamed,” or “bet”, followed by the definite article, “ha,” the “heh” goes into hiding, leaving behind its nekudah (vowel).

We discussed the specific language used in the parasha to tell us Sarah’s age when she died and how that language conveys her special qualities. We also learned the midrash that there were three constant nissim (miracles) bestowed upon Sarah that ceased when she died and resumed when Rivkah joined the family. We also spoke about Rivkah’s special trait of hesed. 

This week started off with an introduction to the plant kingdom, and we talked about the characteristics used to classify plants. Much of our biology studies this year will be related to classification (King Phillip Comes Only For Good Spaghetti). 

On Tuesday, we had a terrific field trip to Giamarese Farm. We learned how long it takes an apple seed to become a fruit-producing tree and how the farmers harvest apples from the tops of the trees. We took a long ride through the farm to see peach trees, corn, tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, cantaloupe, asparagus, eggplant and strawberry fields, as well as pigs, turkeys, chickens (which we all got to pet) and horses!  We learned that Giaramese Farm started in the late 1800’s, and that the current owners bought it in the 1940’s. We all had a great time. A special thank you to the parent chaperones who helped make this trip possible. 

Our studies came full circle when we ended the week by doing some harvest cooking. We made zucchini bread, spiced apples, and roasted corn.  We discussed the classification of the plants we used, recalling from our lesson earlier this week that each of these are in the phylum: vascular, sub-phylum: seed producing, and class: flowering plants.

Students are working on their mini-research projects for Asia, and this week we connected our biome studies with our Asia studies to identify the specific biomes that exist across that continent.

Thank you to the Zucker-Levine family, who donated some fun playground equipment for recess!

Snack for the week of October 28th – Week 4 – 2 large containers of cherry or grape tomatoes, 10 large cucumbers, 2 gallon jugs of whole dill pickles (or the equivalent), 4 boxes of saltines, 6 large bags of veggie chips

Upper Elementary

Anna does long division with racks and tubes.

In Mishna, our students finished up on introductory works and dove into their respective Masechtot. Brachot students began memorizing the first mishna in tribute to the nature of Torah Sheb’al Peh, which was originally memorized and transmitted orally. They have enjoyed using rhebuses as a helpful and fun aid in this process. Our Nezikin students began studying the third perek of Bava Kama by identifying cartoon slides that match the case descriptions in the Mishna. In Ivrit, advanced students tried to make their way through a maze by building a grammatically correct sentence in Hebrew. Dead ends mean that you are on the wrong track.

In honor of Par
ashat Hayei Sarah, we watched a video about the history of Hevron from the time of its purchase by Avraham until today. We took a video tour of today’s Hevron, highlighting the Avraham Avinu shul and Beit Hadassah. We also discussed how grateful we should be to have access to Hevron and Me’arat Hamachpelah.

We began “Five-Minutes of Non-Stop Writing,” which is an opportunity for the students to brainstorm their writing ideas. In addition, we started our study of the Six Traits of writing, focusing on the first trait, Ideas and Content. We are also starting Literature Groups. Students will be selecting a book to read and holding weekly group discussions. They will read their books over a period of three weeks. In PE, the students established personal goals for miles to run this year in our Presidential Fitness program. We will construct a collective class goal for the year as well.

In our cultural studies, we took a look at examples of Gupta art from the golden age of India during the Gupta Empire. We also introduced Kingdom Animalia where the students will begin a detailed look at animal classification.

We are beginning to work on our first PNO (Parents Night Out) for the year. PNO is our class’s fundraiser with profits offsetting the costs of our spring trip. Students shop for ingredients, prepare a delicious multi-course dinner, decorate, serve, clean up, and provide child care for guests. We expect the first PNO to be in December. The students have formed a committee to begin working on the details and look forward to sharing their upcoming plans with you.

Please note that Study Hall has begun. It is from 4:00-5:00 pm on Thursdays. This is a time for the students get caught up if they are a little behind for the week or for them to get a little one-on-one support if they need it. 


Middle School

by Eli Setton

This past week, the Middle School class researched Roman Emperors and made campaign posters highlighting their policies and character traits. On Tuesday, we had a closed ballot election to choose which candidate would be best suited for the job of Emperor. The Roman Emperor Caligula won the election.

In Gemara, we learned about brit milah and pidyon haben (redeeming the first born male). We learned the gemara in depth by tracing the references the Gemara made to Pesukim in the Torah. By doing this, we made sure that we understood the source for the gemara and we also became more familiar with the gemara’s system of reference. Through reading pesukim in the Torah, we learned that brit milah is a covenant between B’nei Yisrael and Hashem. Also, on Wednesday, some students were challenged to learn gemara on their own, without a preview from Rav Shlomo. It felt good to find that we have the skills to learn gemara on our own. 

Atira prepares to make egg salad.


The following people appreciate your tefilot on their behalf:

Elisheva Bracha Chaya bat Meira Miriam

Upcoming Dates


Monday, November 4 – Rosh Hodesh Tevet. Pizza for lunch. Uniforms not required.

Monday, November 11 – Parent Teacher conferences. Look out for sign-up information.

Monday, November 18 – Upper Elementary Parent Education Session

Wednesday, November 27 – Staff In-Service Day – No School

Thurs-Fri, November 28-29 – Thanksgiving

December 4 – Hanukkah Party!

See our online calendar.

Community Announcements


HP/Edison Welcoming Committee Melave Malka For Women- Thanks to our overwhelmingly successful pre-Sukkos women’s get-together we are following it up with a (women only please) Melave Malka on Motzai Shabbos, November 9th at 7:30 pm at the home of Zev and Rachelle Stern, 474 Lincoln Ave, HP. If you are new to town or have been here for a while but want to play a part in helping the welcoming committee embrace newcomers to our town and come up with and implement ways to make their transition easier, then please RSVP by calling Rikki Samel at (732) 249-5116 or emailing Rachelle_Stern@Yahoo.com. Potluck dessert /salad buffet planned but please don’t feel obligated to contribute. We look forward to seeing you there!



Cast your vote for Jewish K-8 Day School Education by eating out at a kosher restaurant in Highland Park that will donate a percentage of profits made between 5:00 p.m. and closing time on Election Day, Tuesday, November 5th, to CNJKIDS