[School] Netivot Weekly Newsletter-Parashat Toldot

Hadashot from Netivot-Parashat Toldot

Parent Teacher Conferences will be held on Monday, November 11.

To view the sign up, go to:


Recess outside has become so much more exciting this week, thanks to the Lutzky family! Pre-primary is very grateful for their donation of a wonderful climbing structure to our playground.

Inside our classroom, we have been busy pouring! In one of our pouring works, children use two hands to pour water from one small, metal pitcher to another, trying very hard not to spill a drop. This work takes a lot of focus and concentration, and it provides a pleasant sensory experience. Children enjoy watching the movement of the water as well as listening to the sound it makes. Friends choose this work over and over again and have become experts at pouring.

In our food preparation station, friends delight in our milk and cereal work. The student places a small container with cereal on a tray that already contains a bowl, a spoon, and an empty pitcher. After bringing the tray to the table, she brings the empty pitcher to a morah and asks for fresh milk which she brings to the table as well. Finally, she takes a seat, empties the cereal into the bowl and tops it with the cold milk. Now she can enjoy a delicious meal prepared entirely on her own. It is wonderful to see the children take these steps towards independence, building their confidence and self-esteem. You can re-create this work at home and encourage your child to make his/her own breakfast! 

At circle we talked about the foods that make Shabbat special in our homes. Friends love soup, chicken, and potatoes, among others. We have a special song we sing at circle about making soup for Shabbat. This song gives each child a chance to choose a food to go into our soup pot.  While singing the song we use our arms to make a big pot and one hand to add the ingredients and stir them in.  

Here are the lyrics (to London Bridge):

Put some (ingredient) in the pot,

Stir it up (stirring motion) ’til it’s nice and hot (wave hand to indicate temp)!

Get it ready for Shabbat (clap hands to the beat), for Shabbat!

We also read a book called Erev Shabbos with Goldie Gold,  in which we hear all about the wonderful things Goldie does to prepare for Shabbat.

Snack Families

Spiewak, Stokar, Franks, Gindi (Week 1), Schwartz

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


This week, the Primary students learned a lot about our Earth! We learned about the different regions of the globe: the North a
nd South Poles, the equator, the polar regions, the tropical zones and the temperate zones. The children were then able to match three-part cards with the different regions on them, and also create booklets with the different areas on the globe. 

We also identified land, air, and water on the globe and discussed different plants, animals, and objects we might find in all three. After this, the children were able to complete a new work on the shelf in which they sort small objects into these three categories.  

A new work on our Practical Life shelf this week is transferring water with a baster. The child doing this work needs to complete a multi-step process which includes putting on a smock, transferring the water from one bowl to another, making sure the tray is dry before putting it back on the shelf, removing the smock, drying it, and replacing it on the shelf.

In Parashat Toldot, we learned about how Rivkah found out that she was expecting twins! Esav grew up to be a man who liked to hunt and kill, while Yaakov grew up loving to learn Torah and do mitzvot. We also heard about Yaakov giving Esav lentil stew in exchange for the b’chorah (first born’s status) and about Yitzchak giving the brachah to Yaakov that he had intended for Esav.

The children enjoyed acting out part of the parasha with a new work using a blindfold and some pieces of fur. One child puts the fur on their arms while the other wears the blindfold and tries to feel if the other person feels like Esav or Yaakov.

On Thursday, we prepared our own nezid adashim (lentil stew) that we enjoyed eating at our Shabbat party on Friday. The children chopped carrots, celery and potatoes, and we made sure to pour in plenty of red lentils. It was delicious!

 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

This week, for Parashat Toldot, we talked a lot about words: the difference between bechor (first born)and bechorah (birthright), the words Esav used to describe the food that Yaakov was preparing and the words he used when he was tired and hungry. We also discussed the words that Yaakov chose to answer his father’s simple question: “Who are you?” We also spoke about Esav’s superlative practice of kibud av and how he dressed in special clothing before he went to see his father.

We learned a tune for the brachah that Yaakov received and, of course, we all got to prepare and enjoy nezid adashim (lentil soup) or – in Esav’s words – “adom adom.”

There was much enthusiasm surrounding the Hebrew fashion magazine work. Students designed clothing and made illustrations. Using their creativity, they included a caption that described the article of clothing, giving them the opportunity to compose sentences. They included the “m’hir” (price) on the bottom, writing out the number in Hebrew.

This week we looked at the most primitive phylum in the animal kingdom, the protozoa. Students watched a short video clip of an amoeba and a paramecium, seeing how they move and how they eat.  It was amazing to think about how tiny these single-celled organisms are. 

Housekeeping: If there will be any changes in your child’s schedule or driver, or if you need to communicate with us about anything at all, please send an email to lowerel@mynetivot.com. Please keep in mind that arrival and dismissal are not good times to convey information, as we are focusing on greeting the students and facilitating their transition.

Snack for the week of November 4th (Week 1): 6 bags of apples (approximately 8/bag), 4 bags oranges, 6 boxes Triscuits, 6 bags pretzels, 4 tubs of hummus, pack of 200 small paper plates.

Students observe a praying mantis that was found outside.

Upper Elementary

In our morning tefillot this week, a number of students launched a Cooperative Tefillah Training program. The students sit in a circle and alternate pronouncing the words of a specific portion of the siddur into a recording device. The recorded tefillah then gets placed on our homework website, from which the entire class can practice each week. This program should improve students’ pronunciation of the tefillah and also give them a sense of how they can use their success with tefillah to benefit their friends.

As many of our fifth year students have already memorized all or some of the first mishna of Masechet Brachot, we began to unpack the meaning of sof z’man Kriat Shma, or the latest time to say Kriat Shma each day. We discussed the idea of shaot zmaniot (halakhic hours), and each student had to figure out what would be the latest time to say Shma in Edison, according to all three opinions in the first mishna.

We learned Parashat Toldot in beit midrash, during which we considered several sources relating to kibbud av va’aim (honoring parents). The final source had a surprising twist. Please ask your children about it and remember to ask them to share their weekly parasha sheets with you for an interesting family discussion.

Banana Fridays! Over the course of several weeks, we froze an enormous amount of bananas which had overripened. In an effort to put them to good use while building community, we have instituted Banana Fridays. Students have been submitting recipes, and every week we will select one. The person who submitted the recipe and four randomly selected friends will cooperate to create a treat for the community. (Recipes must be kosher, nut-and-seed free, able to be practically executed in our facility, and delicious. We particularly favor submissions with an international or savory aspect.) This Friday, we enjoyed Ezra Gindi’s banana streussel muffins. 

Middle School

The Middle School students went on their internships this week instead of coming to school. The purpose of the internships is to give students an opportunity to pursue a personal interest and to experience making a positive contribution to a business. Our internships included working on a horse farm, in a dentist’s office, for a general contractor, for a restaurant, for a dog groomer, for a daycare center, for a film producer, and on building a web site. From t
heir daily reflections the students appear to have learned a lot and enjoyed themselves. Here are some excerpts from their journals:

“When the yearlings finally let me finish grooming them and I came out of the stall, I saw that Leanne and Alexis had come. Of course, this meant more chores. I soaked some hay, picked some stalls, moved more horses, and made dinner for them. By this time, lessons had started happening, and all of the instructors were quickly busy, so I let the barn be, and watched some of the lessons, doing some things as I saw they were needed. Again, I left at 5:00pm.”

“Next we went to people’s apartments to fix small things. Then we went to an apartment in Elizabeth where we did our yearly test on the boilers to see if everything was ok and matching up with last year’s reports. Finally we went to drive back to Irvington to try to find out what the problem was with the burner in the huge boiler we had there. Overall really long but awesome day; we did a lot.”


The following people appreciate your tefilot on their behalf:

Elisheva Bracha Chaya bat Meira Miriam

Avigayil bat Behiya

Yoel ben Chana Henya

Upcoming Dates


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

Monday, November 11 – Parent Teacher conferences. Sign up in the parent section of the website.

Monday, November 18 – Upper Elementary Parent Education Session

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

Thurs-Fri, November 28-29 – Thanksgiving/Hanukkah Vacation – No School

December 2 – Hanukkah Party! (please note change from summer calendar)

See our online calendar.

Parent Observations

As you may have noticed on the calendar, parent observations of classrooms have now begun. We expect parents to observe in their child’s classroom two times per year (in addition to Bring a Parent to Work Day or other parent events.) These twenty-minute, quiet observations are scheduled during the morning work cycle and are intended to give you insight into the classroom environment as well as your child’s interactions within it.

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 A


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