[School] Netivot Weekly Newsletter-Parashat Vayishlah


Hadashot from Netivot-Parashat Vayishlah

The annual Netivot Hanukkah party will be Monday, December 2. Don’t miss the early bird registration for tickets to this fabulous event!


Parent Education Session Monday Evening

Checkerboards, Bead Frames and Test Tubes – Math at the Upper El Level

Presenter: Mr. Gregg Todd
Monday, November 18, 7:30 p.m.

This session will show a range of Montessori math materials representing the scope and sequence used in Upper Elementary. It will demonstrate how the same materials can be used in multiple presentations and situations and how all of the UE math works have their roots in materials used as early as Primary. Parents will have the opportunity for hands-on encounters with the materials, so please be prepared to roll up your sleeves and participate.

This session will be enlightening to all, but it is a must for new Upper Elementary parents and parents anticipating Upper Elementary for their children.

Please RSVP by Sunday night to office@mynetivot.com.

Help Netivot Qualify for Federation Funds

In order to qualify for Federation grants, Netivot parents MUST participate in the Super Sunday Phone-a-thon taking place next Sunday, November 24 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. If you can volunteer during these hours, PLEASE register by visiting the Federation website at jewishmiddlesex.org and clicking on the Super Sunday tab (or call 732-432-0292). Please also send an email to board@mynetivot.com, so the school knows you’ll be there.


Natan practices his fine motor skills


If you want to know which holiday is approaching, just look at the Pre-Primary classroom! In the math area, friends are using the Hanukkah number stair made from s’vivonim. The students count numbers one through five by matching foam dreidels to the ones on the number stair. This work allows children to see the number grow larger and begin to conceptualize just how much bigger five is than one. 

On the sensorial shelf, friends discovered a new dreidel sorting work. This work has three different colored tubes which are tall, skinny, and clear. Along with the tubes is a bowl full of dreidels. The friends sort the colored dreidels into the corresponding tubes. When they are finished sorting, they love to pour the dreidels from the tubes carefully back into the bowl to prepare the work for the next person.

On to the language area and the Hanukkah picture-to-picture matching work! In this work, after unrolling a rug to create a work surface, the student randomly disperses the pictures around the rug. Then, along with a morah, s/he finds matches and arranges them in rows. While doing this, we love to chat about the pictures of hanukkiot, sufganiyot, latkes, and s’vivionim. The sufganiyot and latkes remind us of the miracle of the oil that lasted for eight days, and we are all really looking forward to eating these delicious treats!

In circle we have been reading a fun rhyming story where we all join in to count the nights of Hanukkah in Hebrew, English, and Yiddish. We have also been singing many Hanukkah songs. One of our favorites is “One little, two little, three little candles” (to the tune of “Ten Little Indians”):

One little, two little, three little candles;

Four little five little, six little candles;

Then we have the seventh and eighth candle;

Shining bright each Hanukkah night.


Snack Families

Cohen, Friedman, Friedman (week 3), Pettter-Lipstein, Bar

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


In Primary, we focused on the desert biome and the different animals that live there. Emus live in the deserts of Australia, and they are featured in a matching work on our shelf as well as in the book Edward the Emu, which we enjoyed together.

Our first food prep work of the year is now available to the class. Children choose a (washed) cucumber from a bowl,  cut off the ends,  slice,  say a bracha and enjoy!

In Parashat Vayishlah, we talked about the three ways Yaakov prepared to meet Esav and his 400 men. We also heard the story in which Yaakov fights with an angel all night, is wounded in the thigh, and is finally blessed and told his name will be changed to Yisrael.  Friends were very interested to discover the connection to “Eretz Yisrael” and “B’nai Yisrael.” Matana (gift) is the new word in the parasha box.

A discussion of Hanukkah elicited questions about the word Macabi, so we had a discussion of its origin and meaning.  We’ve also been practicing the song we will be performing at the Hanukkah party, and the children are very excited about sharing it with you!

Joshy gives a lesson to a younger friend.

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!

 Chai Lifeline Hanukkah Toy Drive Ends This Wednesday

There is 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 is 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

In preparation for Hanukkah, we began to hear the story in Hebrew, and we also learned the brachot for the candles. We learned that the word shamash is related to lehishtamesh – to use. We can use the shamash to light other candles or for reading light, but we cannot use the other candles at all. Students experimented with many different objects such as wood, coins, and food coloring to discover what floats, sinks, or blends in water. Then they all observed how shemen (oil) floats on the water even if you try to shake it. This was true of the Maccabim as well: they refused to assimilate with the Yevanim and forsake Hashem.

Sea sponges were our topic this week – Phylum Porifera – and students examined pictures of different classes of sea sponges. It is fascinating to learn that these are actually animals and to learn what makes these animals different from others.

Most students have begun literature groups. Some students will bring home their books each day to read at their leisure, and others will read together as a group.  Each group meets weekly with an adult to discuss the week’s reading assignment. There are some written assignments given as well, such as: list the main characters, make a prediction for what will happen next, describe the setting, etc.

Housekeeping: Each student must bring in a non-disposable water bottle each day.  We have done away with disposable bottles and cups in the classrooms in order to limit waste and water fountain trips.  The bottles will return home each afternoon to be washed. 

Please be aware that the advanced Hebrew reading assignment (Tehillim 20) may contain Hashem’s name and it should be disposed of appropriately.

Snack for the week of November 18th –  Week 3 – 20 count bananas, 2 large bags of grapes, 2 cantaloupe, 1 watermelon, 4 large tubs of pretzel sticks, 4 large bags of pop chips, pack of 200 small paper plates for each homeroom. (As always we would love to have a bouquet of fresh flowers to use for flower arranging and to make our classrooms even more beautiful.)

Upper Elementary

This week we had the opportunity to study an ancient Jewish value and apply it in practice.  We studied Ramban’s opinion in this week’s parasha that Hashem comforted Yaakov over his mother’s death. We then had the opportunity to emulate Hashem as we expressed our condolences (via a live video hookup to the west coast) to Shmuel Kligman and his family, who are mourning the loss of Mr. Kligman’s mother. We were inspired by the description of Shmuel’s grandmother, from her talents in knitting and music to her lifetime of dedication to elementary school students. We concluded the video chat by reciting the prayer said at houses of mourning, and we look forward to welcoming Shmuel back to our classroom next week.

Our Sefer Shmot students finished the first parasha this week and are preparing a short skit to be performed for the rest of the class portraying compelling episodes from the parasha. 

In cultural studies, we learned about the life of Muhammad, founder of the Muslim religion, and the impact of the Caliphates on the region around the Mediterranean and the world. We also began to examine the machine that is the interior of the Earth by examining the principles of convection, mass, and density.

After choosing topics and selecting sources for their animal research projects, students had a lesson on constructing an outline.  The lesson focused on brainstorming questions about their animals before organizing them into a question-based outline which will guide their research. If your student seems to be struggling with this process please refer them back to Mr. Gregg for assistance as his goal is to fully support them in achieving success. (Lessons will be given on each step of the research process, so if your student seems unsure of the complete picture, please remind them that there are more lessons coming.)

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                                                     1/14-1/16


Middle School


by Zach Setton


This week we started learning about modern issues in halacha, and our topic was the celebration of Halloween and Thanksgiving. The students researched the origins of the days and wrote papers about what we found. In class, we were divided into three groups and each group was assigned an opinion of a famous rabbi. The groups had to review the material and choose someone from the group to be their debater and present their opinion. To view the rabbinic opinions, click here.

In Gemara, we are learning about Pidyon HaBen, or redeeming of the first-born. We learned about whether it is more important for a father or son to be redeemed. The students also got a chance to role play a Pidyon Haben ceremony using Rav Shlomo’s son, Moshia, for the baby.



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 18 – Upper Elementary Parent Education Session – please RSVP

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

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

December 2 – Hanukkah Party 5:30 p.m. (please note date 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.