[School] Netivot Weekly Newsletter-Parashat Vayechi


Hadashot from Netivot-Parashat Vayechi

Interested in receiving text messages for weather related announcements?

Email your cell phone number and service provider (eg. Verizon) to webmaster@mynetivot.com, and your information will be added  to your ActiveNetwork registration account. This system is not “live” yet, so continue to check our website for important announcements.

Parent Education Session: Lower Elementary Language Arts

Join us for a presentation on the Lower Elementary language arts curriculum, including impressionistic lessons on parts of speech, highlights of the English and Hebrew scope and sequence, and opportunities to interact with the materials. This session is ideal for parents new to LE, considering elementary, or just brushing up!

Monday, December 16 –  7:30pm.

Please RSVP to office@mynetivot.com by this Sunday evening.


NJ State law requires all students from 6-59 months to have seasonal flu vaccine between Sept.1 and Dec. 31 every year.

Any child who has not received the vaccine by Dec. 31st cannot attend school until March 31, or until they receive the vaccine.

Questions? Contact the Edison Health Dept. 732 248-7285.


Pre-Primary friends enjoy library time.


Snack Families

Sharoni, Lipstein, Lipstein (week2), Kligman, Ross

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

**Please note new allergy information for Upper Elementary: no nuts or seeds!**

Early Childhood Bring a Parent to Work Event

Our “Early Childhood Bring a Parent to Work” event is coming up in just a few weeks, Monday and Tuesday, December 30 and 31. These special days provide parents with the opportunity to experience their children’s work first hand. They differ from standard observations, as parents are encouraged to work alongside their children. It is a wonderful time to get the child’s eye view of the classroom and learn exactly how they use the engrossing materials available to them.

Each family may sign up for one time slot per child. Time slots run for 30 minutes each. Please note that Pre-Primary has morning time slots only. Similarly, first year Primary students who rest in the afternoon may be visited in the morning only.

Please take a moment to visit our Bring a Parent to Work Day sign-up and select the time(s) that will work best for you.Once again, keep in mind that we offer one time slot per family for each child. Both parents may attend together, or one parent may attend alone. If neither parent is able to attend, please feel free to send another special adult in your child’s life. (But remember that Grandparents Days are coming up in May!)


The children were very excited to tell us about all of the fun they had on their snow day. They built snowmen, made snow angels, and drank hot cocoa. We’ve been enjoying indoor recess on these very cold days. An old favorite game we’ve been playing is freeze dance. A new favorite song for this activity is ‘Mah Noalim,” a song about shoes!

To warm us up a little, we learned about two more desert animals. The fennec fox, a nocturnal animal, is the smallest species of fox and has very large ears, and the ostrich is the largest living species of bird and lays the largest eggs.

A new work on the art shelf this week has the children fascinated by their ability to create secondary colors by using red, blue and yellow colored pencils to create orange, green and purple on their papers.

In Parasha this week we talked about the blessings Yaakov gave to his grandchildren, Menashe and Ephraim, and how he crossed his hands so that the right hand would be on Ephraim, the younger one. We talked about the Friday night brachah that parents bestow on their children to be like Ephraim and Menashe–and for girls to be like Sarah, Rivkah, Rahel and Leah, and we sang “Hamal’ach Hagoel” together.

On Wednesday we welcomed a new friend to our classrrom, Leah Merel! All of the children introduced themselves at morning meeting, and they have been helping their new friend find her way around the classroom. Welcome to Leah and her parents, Shira and Ben!

Shimon Yeshaya helps our new friend, Leah.


Six Flags Read To Succeed Forms

Six Flags Read To Succeed Forms have been sent home with K-6 students. Log six hours of reading between now and February 14th and receive a free ticket to Six Flags. Don’t wait until the last minute!

Lower Elementary

For parashat Vayehi we learned that Yaakov asked Yosef to bury him in M’arat Hamachpela, where his parents were buried. Yaakov gave a bracha to Menashe and Efrayim, but Yaakov put his left hand on Menashe, the bechor, and his right hand on Efrayim, the younger son! We learned about the special qualities of Menashe in this episode, how he didn’t complain but accepted what Yaakov had decided. This brought to an end the series of disputes over the bechorah that we have seen throughout the parshiyot of Breishit. 

For humash, Lech Lecha students enjoyed learning how to interpret more than just p’shat (the simple meaning) from the words of the p’sukim. The midrash explains the text “ואת הנפש אשר עשו בחרן”–and the souls they made in Haran–to mean that Avram and Sarai taught people about Hashem, essentially bringing them into the “Jewish” fold. Using their understanding of the fundamental needs of humans from our cultural studies, the students also enjoy guessing what type of rechush (possessions) Avraham might have brought with him. 

In science, we began a more detailed study of the Timeline of Life by looking more closely at the first part of the Paleozoic Era, and we connected our zoology studies of the protists, porifera and mollusks to the timeline work. In their ongoing Asia research, students enjoyed learning new information as they prepared their note cards. Some students have even finished the minimum note card requirement and have asked to do extra cards. As the students work on their specific research, we continue to learn more about Asia as a class. This week we discussed economic geography and examined a map to see what natural resources are found on this large continent.

Research Schedule:

Friday, December 6th – The process of writing note cards was introduced. 

Friday, December 20th – Note cards are due and rough drafts are introduced. 

Friday, January 3rd – Rough draft is due and final draft lesson will be given.

Friday, January 10th – Final draft and visual aids will be due.

Tuesday and Wednesday, January 14th – 15th – Students will be presenting their research to the class. Parents are welcome to come and watch their student’s presentation.

Monday, December 16, 7:30 p.m. – The Lower Elementary teachers will be leading a parent education session on Language.  Come and learn how we approach reading, writing and grammar using Montessori methods and materials in both English and Hebrew. Please RSVP.


Snack for the week of December 16th: 30 count bananas, 2 large bags of grapes, 4 cantaloupe, 4 large tubs of pretzel sticks, 6 large bags of pop chips, pack of 200 small paper plates for each homeroom, fresh bouquet of flowers is optional but greatly appreciated. 

Weather reminder: If the temperature or the wind chill is below freezing we will stay inside for recess. However, if the temperature and wind chill are above freezing we will go outside so please send appropriate attire: hat, gloves, coat, scarf, etc.

Upper Elementary

Our Sefer Shmot students started their study of the ten plagues this week. Each student is concentrating on one plague and researching the initiation and target of each plague as well as the nature of Paroh’s involvement in that plague. The students are also designing visual aides for the plagues they are working on. Our Sefer Vayikra students finished Parashat Vayikra and are quickly approaching the conclusion of their unit on korbanot. This week they utilized the varying lengths of our tables to model the ramp that was used to offer sacrifices on the mizbeiah. The class was very excited to learn Parasha this week from one of their classmates whose bar mitzva will take place B’ezrat Hashem on a future Parashat Vayehi. Nesanel Dietz impressed all of us with his mastery of the week’s parasha.

In General Studies, students delved into a deeper understanding of gears. We have also taken a look at the life of Charles the Hammer and his role in the development of the feudal system and the arrest of the Muslim conquest of Europe. In addition, we continued our study of Earth with a lesson on earthquakes. We learned what types of waves are produced in an earthquake, identified the types of faults there are, and looked at some of the effects of earthquakes.

In their research projects, students are continuing to work on their rough drafts and finalizing the structure of their outlines. Most of the work finalizing the outline is in organizing the note cards. After that, the student simply writes a final copy of the outline and begins the writing process.


Topics and Sources 11/13/13

Outline (Questions) 11/20/13

Note Cards 12/4/13

Final Outline 12/11/13

Rough Draft 12/18/13

Editing 1/2/14

Final Draft 1/8/14

Presentation Note Cards/Visual Aids 1/14/14

Presentations 1/14-16/14

Middle School

by Atira Ross

This week Netivot middle school finished the book Life of Pi, by Yann Martel. Toward the end of the book Pi finds himself on an island full of carnivorous plants, so for a combined literature and science project we each researched a carnivorous plant. Some examples are the Venus Flytrap, the Mousetrap, the Butterwort, and the Tropical Pitcher Plant.

In Judaic Studies this week we finished our unit on korbanot, sacrifices. The final korban we learned about was the trumat hadeshen, the cleaning of the ash off of the mizbeach. We reenacted trumat hadeshen by building our own representation of the mizbeach. As a conclusion to this unit, we spoke about the connection of tefilah to the korbanot.


The following people appreciate your tefilot on their behalf:

Avigayil bat Behiya

Yoel ben Chana Henya

Yosef Manus ben Shayna Pesa

Henia bas Esther

Upcoming Dates

December 16 – Mon – Parent Education Session: LE Language Arts  7:30 p.m. Please RSVP!

December 30-31 – Mon-Tues – Bring a Parent to Work Day – Early Childhood (one date/family)

January 1 – Wed – No School

January 17 – Friday – Staff In-Service Day – No School

January 20-24 – Mon-Friday – Mid-Winter Break – No School

See our online calendar.

Parent Observations

Observations can be scheduled Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 10am.

Email earlychildhood@mynetivot.com for a Pre-Primary or Primary observation and office@mynetivot.com for an Elementary/Middle School observation.

 Community Announcements

CNJKIDS Accepts Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds The transfer of appreciated assets allows donors to support CNJKIDS while reducing exposure to capital gains taxes. Donors are also able to claim immediate income tax deductions for these gifts. For more information on giving gifts of stocks, bonds and mutual funds to CNJKIDS, please contact CNJKIDS’ Treasurer Jon Caplan at (732) 249-8600. Thanks for your consideration. www.cnjkids.org 


Areyvut’s mission is to infuse the lives of Jewish youth and teens with the core Jewish values of kindness, charity, and social action. The New Year’s Day Carnival Extravaganza is at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset, NJ. There will be more than 15 mechanical and inflatable rides, carnival booths and games, kosher food, and live entertainment featuring a BMX stunt show, the Gizmo Guys comedy jugglers, and The Chicago Boyz straight from America’s Got Talent. Click here for flyer.