[School] Netivot Weekly Newsletter-Parashat Vayigash


Hadashot from Netivot-Parashat Vayigash

Another wonderful Hanukkah party!

Many thanks to the PTA

and to our Middle School hosts.


In order for our children to get the most out of their day, they need to arrive on time!

Elementary: 8:05-8:15

Early Childhood: 8:45-8:55


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.


All the friends were overjoyed to be at school after the long break. We gave each other welcome back hugs and were all excited to hear how everyone ate latkes at home. Once we were settled back in it was time to choose work!

Friends have really been enjoying our wooden hanukkiah work. This work allows them to place a flame on each branch of the hnukkiah. It is interesting for them to snap the wooden flames into place as they count the eight nights of Hanukkah. They were also eager to discuss how they had been lighting the hanukkiah with real flames at home.

The children have also been enjoying the dreidel spinning work. This work features a tray of dreidels, and friends have been practicing their pincer grasp as they try to spin all the dreidels. This work is great practice for playing the dreidel game at home. Also in practical life, we have introduced the gloves and mittens work. This work helps to get everyone ready for the cold months ahead. The students are now experts with mittens, and they are working on mastering gloves.

Snack Families

Winlker, Winkler, Margolis(week1), Margolis, Dietz

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

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!)



It was lovely to see all of you at the Hanukkah party on Monday night! The children were so excited to finally perform their song, and they loved the applause they received. You could see by the smiles on their faces how proud they were. In school on Tuesday, we had a special activity to continue the Hanukkah festivities. Tova Halpern, a local performing arts instructor for Jewish youth, led a dance party for the Primary and Pre-Primary classes. The friends had a blast dancing and following directions for all the different steps. Throughout the week, children continued to enjoy using the Hanukkah works, including a popular version of Chutes and Ladders played with sevivonim. We also read an amazing book called Menorah Under the Sea,which is about a marine biologist who found a unique way to celebrate Hanukkah in Antarctica.

For Parashat Vayigash, the children were eager to hear the continuation of the story of Yosef and his brothers in Mitzrayim. After hearing the midrashic story about Serach bat Asher enlightening Yaakov about Yosef being alive and living in Mitzrayim, the children were able to reenact the story with a lap harp – now available on the shelf. Throughout the week, we heard the relaxing strums of the children’s songs as they composed their own tunes.

In practical life this week, we introduced water pouring. After donning a smock, the student carefully pours water from one pitcher into another and then back again. The child may put the work away after he has made sure that the tray is dry and ready for the next person. This work develops precision of movement, and the children are really excited to use it. A popular new work on the math shelf this week is a coin dispenser. The children have learned the names of the different coins, and they need to insert the coins into the appropriate slots.

We also learned about Dingoes and Jackrabbits, who live in the desert. Dingoes live in Australia, and they have a great sense of smell to find rats and rabbits. Jackrabbits have really strong hind legs and can jump very high. They dig in the sand to keep cool from the hot sun. We also tasted a fruit that we can find in the desert-the Sabra. Thank you to Ezra Bialik for providing the delicious fruit for many of the friends to taste for the first time!

We read the Hebrew book Maaseh B’hamisha Balonim.The story follows five balloons of different colors, and the children were thrilled to hear words that they recognize in the story!

Keep Shmuelly Warm!

Parents of  “lone soldiers” in Palhod, a company in the paratroopers battalion of the IDF, are raising money to provide their children’s comrades with cold weather gear. Among the Palhod soldiers is Shmuelly Mischel, the son of Netivot’s founder, ChanaSzenes. If you wish to read more or to contribute to this effort, click below.


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

We hope everyone had a great time celebrating the holidays with friends and family. It was wonderful to see everyone at the Hanukkah Celebration. The students all did a fantastic job and have a lot to be proud of.

We continued to discuss Hanukkah and many of its interesting halachot. For instance, the hanukkiah should be placed by the door opposite the mezuzah so that when you enter and leave the house, you are surrounded by mitzvot and that on shabbat we must light the Hanukkah candles before the shabbat candles. We surveyed artistic renditions of hanukkiot and identified what made them kosher or not kosher. We learned that a hanukkiah in the shape of a circle might look like a “medura” (bonfire) and is therefore not kosher.

We are very excited to announce that the second years had their first humash group!! They were delighted to read the first few psukim from the humash and felt very proud that they could translate so much by themselves by drawing on their accumulated vocabulary and knowledge of parts of speech.

For Parashat Vayigash, we learned how Yehuda offered himself as a slave in Binyamin’s place. We discussed that Yosef gave his brothers a hard time because he wanted to see if they had done teshuva for how they treated him. After witnessing his brothers’ loyalty to one another he revealed his identity to them and comforted them by saying, “hakol letova” – everything is from Hashem and happened for the good. Yosef saw that he was able to save his family from raav (famine) because of everything that had happened to him. We also learned the midrash that Serach bat Asher was the one to tell Yaakov the news that Yoseph was alive by doing it gently, using her musical talent.

We talked a lot about the different emotions that everyone in the parasha must have been feeling – ashamed, scared, happy, relieved, overjoyed – and we learned a song about feelings (Ani Nish’ar Ani). We also learned a song that summarizes the parashiot of Humash Bereshit and a song to memorize the shvatim. Please encourage your child to sing to these to you!

In our cultural studies, we introduced mollusks and talked about how they differ from the previous phylums, protists and sponges. Students continue to work on the biomes of Asia, and we have introduced the format for our first formal research project.

Research project schedule:

(A separate e-mail will be sent out with more details for each of the steps in the process.)

Tuesday, December 3rd – Outlines are introduced, and students create their outlines in class with the assistance of the teachers. 

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

Snack for the week of December 9th: Week 2 – 2 large bags of petite carrots, 4 large bags of mini peppers or 8 large bell peppers, 4 large bags of tortilla chips 4 jars of mild salsa, 6 large boxes of chex cereal.

If your child has not brought in a non-disposable water bottle for daily water needs, please make sure s/he does so.

Upper Elementary


We began the week with a wonderful Hanukkah party performance in which the students applied principles that we covered in our Types of Light lesson. They utilized the power of phosphors to store energy and power themselves to the point of glowing while under invisible light (i.e. ultraviolet light). Back in the classroom, we enjoyed a screening of “Lights”, an animated film about the precious culture that was rescued by the Maccabees. We also fried some delicious banana fritters.

Then we moved on to our studies. We read Hebrew stories with Hanukkah themes, discussed the rare combination of shmoneh esrey insertions that this year’s calendar presented us with (al hanissim, yaaleh v’yavoh and v’ten brachah) and finished the various Hanukkah works that we started last week.  At the same time, we moved ahead in our curricular programs. Our Masechet Brachot students finished the first perek, the fifth graders are awaiting the ten plagues, and our advanced Hebrew students were introduced, and in some cases, reintroduced to Binyan Nifal.

In addition, we continued our study of the Earth with a lesson on plate tectonics, in which we identified the different boundaries between plates, discussed continental drift, and the engine of our world that powers the whole process. We also had a lesson on gears where we talked about what kind of machine gears are and introduced the concept of ratio as it pertains to gears and the possible work that can be done. Finally, we learned about the color wheel and the mixing of colors in preparation for our study of water colors.

On Wednesday, we had our next lesson in our research project: the rough draft lesson. Students who have finished their note cards can now begin to work on writing their rough draft. This process begins by organizing their note cards to align with their outline. As the outline is a “working” outline, the students may need to make changes based on whether they used all of their questions or if a specific point or portion fits better in another place. Once the note cards are sorted and the outline is checked, the students can begin to write. As each note card should be a single fact, they may use one or more note cards for each sentence. If the information is not in their note cards it should not be in their paper. Once again, please remember that this is a learning process. Mistakes can be positive tools if they are used as the foundation for learning and improving.

Step Due

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 Yair Bar

This week the Middle school students left behind their usual academic pursuits to enjoy a field trip immersion week. On Monday, we worked with the PTA running the Hanukkah party as part of our school community service. We arrived early to set up, ran the admissions and the raffle tables, MC’ed the event, and cleaned up at the end. Tuesday we took a class trip to New York City’s Jewish Museum, and saw an amazing collection of hanukkiot, as well as fascinating artifacts from the Talmudic period. Wednesday we went to Northlandz where we saw the largest model train exhibit in the world. The exhibit ties into our physics studies of motion and forces. When we returned to the classroom we built model bridges. All in all, it was an exciting week, and we are ready to continue our academic studies on Monday.



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 – Monday – Parent Education Session – Language in the LE Classroom – 7:30pm

December 30-31 – Mon and Tues – Bring a Parent to Work Day – Early Childhood (one date per 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