[School] Netivot Weekly Newsletter-Parashat Lech L’cha


Hadashot from Netivot-Parashat Lech L’cha


Zev begins to hone his gross motor skills on the climbing structure. Onward and upward!



While the rest of the world moved on to Parashat Lech Lecha, our class began their week still fascinated by Noah. Apropos of that, we welcomed some aquatic friends to our classroom: new fish in our fish tank! Friends had been waiting and watching the empty tank, asking daily when the fish would come. To prepare the tank, we filled it with water and watched how the filter cleaned the tank and made the water look extra clear. Then, we put a bag of fish in the tank. They stayed in the bag getting used to their new tank for almost a day. Once they were acclimated, the fish swam out of the bag and made themselves at home. The friends spent the rest of the day making sure their new fish friends were alive and well.  We were so inspired by last week’s parasha that we decided to name our fish Naama and Noah!    

During circle, we read a book called Noah’s Ark, and we talked about how the animals went two by two onto Noah’s giant boat. Friends wondered about how anyone could stay in one place for so many days and nights. After we heard the story we were able to use a magnetic board with magnets of many different types of animals with pairs, Noah and Naama, and a dove with an olive branch.  Friends love to have the dove fly in and tell everyone that they can finally leave the teivah!    

At the end of the week, we talked about how Avram and Sarai went on a journey to a new place– just like how in the beginning of the year we came to a new place, Netivot.  Today, all of the friends are so happy to be at school, and we learn so much and experience many new things. This reminds us of how Avram inherited Eretz Yisrael. He set out on a journey to a place that was new and different. But now it is our homeland, and we are very proud of it!

Parent Education Series: 

Write Before you Read! – Primary Language Arts

Monday, October 21, 2013 at 7:30

Join us for an interactive program highlighting key elements of our Language Arts curriculum. We will illustrate how students use a variety of materials in both English and Hebrew to develop strong reading and writing skills. Following the Montessori method, children actually learn to write before they read, using hands-on materials like the sandpaper sounds and moveable alphabet. They first learn how to put words together, the better to understand how to eventually take them apart. We will also discuss the new spoken Hebrew element of our Primary program. We hope to see many parents there!

Please RSVP by Thursday, October 17, to earlychildhood@mynetivot.com

This and other events can be found on our school calendar page.

Snack Families

Isler, Shimoni, Schreiber (week 2), Dietz, Ross

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

Tova Mark carefully folds clothing as part of our Lech Lecha packing work.

 Yoav and Binyamin work on knobless cylinders, which  help children to differentiate between the gradations of the cylinders (fat to thin, tall to short, etc.). 


This week we started learning about biomes. As an introduction, we ventured out to our playground and sat quietly, observing our environment. After returning inside, each friend shared what s/he sensed in our surroundings, which included birds, wind in the trees, wood chips and flowers. We then discussed the different parts of a biome: energy, water, air, soil, flora and fauna. A corresponding work is picture-to-picture matching cards with the parts of a biome and labels. We also have a “Parts of a Biome” booklet available on the shelf, in which the student colors in one part of the biome on each page and then labels the shaded part.

In Parashat Lech Lecha, we talked about the midrashim in which Avram discovered Hashem at the age of three and in which he broke all of the idols in his father’s shop in an effort to convince him that he should serve Hashem instead. When Avram was older, Hashem told him to leave the place where he grew up and go to….wherever He would show him! (Hashem didn’t specify at first.) Avram took his wife, Sarai, and his nephew, Lot, and all the people they had taught about Hashem with him. Once in Eretz Canaan (which would later become Eretz Yisrael), Hashem promised Avram that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars and that Eretz Yisrael would forever belong to them. At the end of the parasha, Hashem told Avram to give himself a brit milah, even though he was 99 years old! After that, Hashem changed Avram’s name to Avraham and Sarai’s name to Sarah.

The children enjoyed listening to the book A Little Boy Named Avram, by Dina Rosenfeld. We also had a lot of fun with a suitcase packing work. The friends take a basket of items that one might take on a trip and pack each object in a real suitcase, taking care to fold it and place it in gently. We also added a kochav (star) to our parasha box.

Please join us for “Write Before you Read,” our parent education session, on Monday, October 21, at 7:30 p.m. It will cover Language Arts in the Primary classroom, and we will be discussing the scope and sequence for both Hebrew and English language.

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Chloe Reinman enjoying indoor play.

 Hakarat Hatov

Thank you to C.H.E.A.P. Professional Tree Service and A&C Landscaping for donating all of the new wood chips for the Early Childhood play area.

Lower Elementary

Students in kitah aleph were busy taking a Hebrew inventory of the classroom and labeling anything from a clock to a rug with all the classroom nouns they learned. The second and third years took this activity a step further in Siha when they played “I Spy” with classroom nouns using specific colors. They had to spy and guess, all while conversing in Hebrew. We learned a little rhyming mnemonic to remember the difference between a zachar and n’keva word that goes like this: “et it ah is nikeva.” So, now our students can look at any ending to a word and tell you if it is masculine or feminine. In Parasha, we introduced for the first time the keter midrash – the midrash crown – which alerts us to an imminent midrash (as opposed to a story from the text of Humash), and then went on to learn the midrash of Avram breaking the idols in his father’s shop. 

In cultural studies, we began our study of Asia.  As an introduction, we discussed the general culture, dress, food, architecture and traditions found on the continent. Over the next few months, we will be looking at individual countries.  All of our music, art and cooking and even some of our Montessori PE activities, will be focused on countries in Asia.  Students will be doing mini-research projects as well as one major research project.

Important update:  Date change for field trip. Our first field trip will be on Tuesday, October 22nd (not Monday, October 21st).  We will leave for Giamerese Farm at 11:15 and be back at school for our regular dismissal. We need one more chaperone, so please respond if you would like to join us.  

Snack for the week of October 14th – Week 2 – 4 large bags of petite carrots, 6 large bags of mini peppers or 12 large bell peppers, 4 large bags of tortilla chips, 2 large containers of mild salsa, 6 large boxes of Chex cereal, 200 small snack plates for each homeroom.

Ms. Sarah and Morah Leora model traditional kimonos while kicking off Zmora’s Asia studies.

Mishnopoly, a game developed at Netivot to reinforce students’ knowledge of the history of halacha

Upper Elementary

At the beginning of the week, we spoke about the passing of Rav Ovadia Yosef ZaTza”L. We spoke about the impact of losing a tremendous Talmid Hacham, that while we still have the benefits of the Torah he taught during his life, we will not receive any new Torah from him. We watched the live stream of the largest funeral in Israeli history as well as some biographical videos, and we shared stories some of us knew about his life.

Our introduction to Mishna this week included a review of the history of the Tannaim. To mark the transmission of our precious inheritance (Torah sheb’al peh) from one sage to the next and then into its written form, we introduced Mishnopoly to the repertoire of works. This is a board game modeled after Monopoly that traces the chain of halacha from Moshe through the aharonim, with each rabbinic personality assigned a different “property value.”

Our Shoftim students were introduced to the repeated theme of this sefer through the Maagal Hacheit work. This work includes an actual wheel that illustrates how, over and over, bnei Yisrael sin, suffer, require a shofeit to help them in their teshuvah process and eventually fight back against the conquering enemy.  When the shofeit dies, Bnei Yisrael, lacking in leadership, soon return to their sinful ways. 

In General Studies, we have really begun to dive into the curriculum for the year.  We had our first timeline lesson and have begun the mini-research process.  Through this process, the students will research periods in history by working in small groups to cover all of the different parts of the world. For example, one group will focus on Africa while another will focus on Asia, another on Europe, etc. This global view of the timeline is a hallmark of the Montessori education system and is important in developing an appreciation for the contributions of all societies to the progress of humanity.

In science, we opened up our Physics curriculum with a lesson on pulleys, which will be followed by self-designed experiments conducted with partners.  We also began our botany studies with a look at Kingdom Plantae and continued our Earth Studies with a look at the Oxygen/CO2 Cycle.  

After returning from the hagim and taking some time to get settled, we focused a great deal this week on planning and follow-up work. Returning students are getting back into the groove of planning and managing their weekly goals, and new students are getting feedback and support in planning and subsequent time management.  As part of this process, we have been offering the students as many lessons as possible to help maintain an appropriate workload and give them plenty of experience with time management.

Middle School

by Sam Schick

Last Shabbat, the Middle School students went on a camping Shabbaton on Morah Malka’s property, which is in a very, beautiful wooded area. First, we built our own eruv (see photo here of Joey building a lehi–post). We also set up our own tents, made our own dinner, and did many fun activities, including a lesson on ancient Rome. Everyone had a fun time, and we hope for many more Shabbatons.

This week was our first week providing Friday school lunches. We hope all of the recipients enjoyed them!

Also this week, we started a program called “reading buddies” in which each of us has been assigned a student in Lower Elementary to read with once or twice a week. We look forward to helping them work on their reading skills.


Upcoming Dates

Friday, October 18     – Short Friday dismissal begins: Early Childhood 1:15, Elementary/MS 1:30

Monday, October 21  – Parent Education Session: Primary Language Arts, 7:30 p.m. (1566 Rte. 27)

See our online calendar.

Community News

Meet The Candidates

Young Israel of East Brunswick will be holding a “Meet the Candidates” event on Tuesday night, October 15th, at 7:30 PM (doors open at 7:00 pm). This program will host the two candidates (Assemblyman Peter Barnes & Mayor David Stahl) running to represent district 18 in the NJ State Senate. The program is being sponsored by The Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County, Orthodox Union Advocacy Center, and Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Middlesex County.