Monday, September 19, 2016

New School Year 2016-2017/5777

Shalom Chaveirim/Dear Friends:

Religious School was off to a great start this past Thursday. It was wonderful to see all the excited families in our building. 

After a fun exercise with our new teacher/educator, Saragail Benjamin, who by the way, is our K, Music & SuperSunday [more on that later] teacher, the students went off with their teachers and the parents and I did a fun ice-breaker activity and went over all the important info for the year. In case you missed it, here are the highlights:

Creating a community:  In all our lives, we inhabit different communities; our families; our children’s friends parents; schools, organizations, workplaces. Temple is one more community. And to feel like you’re part of a community, you need to more than just have a membership, you need to show up and become a part of it, much as you’re doing now.  Get involved; come to services and other Temple activities; women, join Sisterhood, men, join Brotherhood; everyone, serve on a committee, take a class, make phone calls to other class parents, invite another family over for Shabbat dinner or a holiday, even someone you barely know.

We are continuing the tradition we started lass year with class services on Folk Service Friday nights, with each class providing a congregational dinner, along with two committees to help. Get to know your committee members and see if their committee and you are a good fit for partnership. Speaking of Services: In the handbook I sent out it states the requirement for the number of services your child is required to attend per year. This requirement gets back to the concept of building community. It also familiarizes you and your family with the service. There is a black loose-leaf notebook in the lobby which you should use to sign in your child for Shabbat services


Getting your child here. On time. By 4:00.  3:55 if possible. I know it isn’t always possible to be here on time but it really is disruptive to the reacher and the rest of the class to have students straggling in at 4:05, 4:10, 4:15.  We’re going to be serving snack first thing this year from 4-4:10 so if your child comes in after that, there will be no snack so feed them before they get here.  And speaking of snack, there is a sign-up sheet on your child’s classroom door, and please keep it simple. If you’re sending a fruit, such as grapes, please wash them and cut them into smaller clusters.  You don’t need to send fruit AND cheese AND crackers AND chips. Keep it to one, simple thing.

Dismissal: We ask that you come into the building and sign out your child on the sheet on the classroom door.  Children are not permitted to wait outside the building or go into the parking lot unaccompanied. This is a safety precaution.

For grades 2-7, dismissal is at 6:15, except when we have parties, such as Chanukah and the last day of school, when it’s at 6:00.  Chilcren in preK & K are dismissed at 5 or 5:15 if it’s a Music day.  And starting October 20, students taking Torah Chanting go an extra 20 minutes, until 6:35.


Every month, starting with the Simchat Torah/Consecration Service on October 23 at 5:00 [along with a Pot Luck], Saragail Benjamin will be using all her talents as a drummer, singer, educator, movement teacher, and motivational speaker to engage anyone who comes in joyful, community-building activities. Check out her website:

If you need a calendar, let me know.

So good to have your children back again. If you're able to, feel free to hang out, have a cup of coffee or tea [Keurig in the meditation chapel off the lobby], schmooze with other parents, volunteer in the classroom or library, and make this place your home away from home.