April 25, 2012
3 Iyar 5772
|Our Am Yisrael librarian Mr. Nugent read a story to the Gan and Aleph Classes about how to treat our neighbors. Mr. Nugent reads to these students once a month. 4-22-12|
Are classes in session at Am Yisrael on Sunday, May 6th? There will be no SJS classes meeting at Am Yisrael on May 6th. Instead we encourage everyone to join the JUF's Israfest iDays programming.
Here are the Israfest details for the Gan, Aleph, Bet, Gimel, Dalet, Heh, Vav and Zayin Classes for May 6th: Bernard Weinger JCC (300 Revere Drive, Northbrook) Featuring: Sports & Israeli Athletic Training; Arts & crafts projects, cookie decorating, inflatables, interactive trivia game for kids 7+, screenings of Shalom Sesame and Rechov Sumsum, a chance to meet the characters and more! Basketball clinic with Israeli star, Tamir Goodman. Open family swim (an adult must accompany any children 10 or under in the pool, swim diaper and/or rubber pants required for any child not potty trained).
Here is the Israfest information for Prozdor, Pardes and Confirmation Classes for May 6th: For the first time, teens from all over Chicagoland celebrate Israel's independence with a journey through Jewish history. The day begins at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center in Skokie with a heartfelt program with Holocaust survivors, followed by a Walk with Israel from the museum to the Mayer Kaplan JCC. The day continues with advocacy programming, hands-on service projects, sports and more! This program is offered to teens in grades 8-12 only. SPACE IS LIMITED, so register today!
How can we help our community celebrate Israel's 64th Birthday? This Sunday, April 29th we ask everyone in our community to wear blue and white, in honor of Israel's soldiers and Israel's 64th year of Independence. We encourage those who have not brought in items for our "Israel Museum" to bring them in. You are required to label the item(s) with your name and bring them in a bag. Please write a little note card describing the item(s). The item(s) will ALL be picked up after School of Jewish Studies classes on Sunday, April 29th. Please make sure that if you want the bag(s) back in addition to the item(s) from Israel, that your name/your child's name is included on the bag(s) as well. Please do not send expensive or breakable items. Some examples of items you could bring in are: a kiddush cup, washing of the hands cup, pictures or posters, a chamsa, a blessing for the home, t-shirts written in Hebrew, hats with Hebrew signs, a shofar, etc. If you are able to volunteer to help us set up the Museum on Sunday morning between 9:15 a.m. and 10:50 a.m., please click here to send me an email. It would be MUCH appreciated. We will have a couple of teachers handing out student's items on this Sunday after class. Otherwise, students will be given their items back the next time they come to SJS.
Have you ordered your tickets for the Cantor's Concert taking place Sun., April 29th?
The concert promises to be awesome and will be featuring Cantor Stuart Simon and the Beth Shalom B'nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation Choir. Silent Auction Reception is at 2:00 p.m. The Concert is at 3:00 p.m. at our synagogue building. There are still some tickets remaining, so if you are interested in attending, please order tickets by calling the office at 847-446-7215 or on this link. Babysitting is available at the synagogue during the concert.
Do you have a student in our Vav (6th Grade) or Zayin (7th Grade) Classes?
On Wednesday, May 30th, you are invited to join us for a Mitzvah Project Presentation. We will spend the next month exploring Mitzvah opportunities within our Am Yisrael community, in the Chicago area, in Israel and ones that the students find on the JUF or JChoice websites. Students are encouraged to present organizations that are not on either of these websites as well. Please confirm your attendance for this first time program at Am Yisrael by clicking here.
Do you have a student in our Zayin (7th Grade), Confirmation (10th Grade) Class, or on the AMUSY Board?
Our Commencement, Confirmation and AMUSY Board Install/Extall program is Sunday, May 27th, from 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. as a part of our Shavuot services. Please confirm your attendance at for this very important program here.
Will we be having our Annual AMUSY Car Wash this year? Yes, please bring your car ready for a nice wash to support Tikkun Olam on Sunday morning, May 20th.
Will there be an end of the year assembly?
Yes, please come to the Sanctuary at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 3rd to see an end of the year montage, highlighting our our year at the School of Jewish Studies. In addition, Rabbi Newman Kamin and I will share some reflections, our Youth Band and Kochavim Chadashim Choir will perform, we will hand out our SJS News For Kids newspaper, have an art and picture gallery from our Art and Jewish Lens Chugim and share the final Israeli Culture Chug project with everyone. We will conclude with a barbecue, ending at 12:15 p.m.
Have you placed SMFP on your calendar for Saturday, May 19th? May 19th will be the final Shabbat Morning Family Programming for this school year. It is an expectation for all students in the Gan, Aleph, Bet, Gimel, Dalet, Heh and Vav (Kindergarten through 6th Grade) classes to join these wonderful monthly gatherings. If you have a child in these grades who wants to chant from the Torah scroll, please send me an email and I will send you an mp3 for your child(ren) to practice and be ready for May 19th.
Do you have a student in the Zayin (7th Grade) class?
If so, please be sure that Wednesday, May 16th is marked on your calendars as picture day. Boys need to be dressed in a shirt, tie and sports jacket (or suit) and the girls need to be dressed in a blouse and skirt or a dress (at least down to their knees) or slacks. Both boys and girls need to wear dress shoes. This Commencement picture will be kept as part of our synagogue archives. Each member of this class in attendance on that day will receive a copy of the class picture. We had 100% attendance for the Confirmation (10th Grade) Class picture and hope to have 100% attendance for this picture as well. If you have not already let me know that your Zayin (7th Grade) student will be in attendance on May 16th, please confirm here.
Are you ready to help two upcoming B'nai Mitzvah students with their mitzvah projects?
So far we have helped Zack Piell bring over 260 pairs of shoes. You can continue bringing in shoes until his Bar Mitzvah which will be taking place the end of May. Now is our chance to help his classmate Nathan Friedman. Here is how Nathan needs your assistance in his words: "For my mitzvah project, I am making welcome bags for the children who are clients of Family Promise. The children and their families stay at local synagogues and churches for several months while they are working to get their lives back on track. I am collecting new and/or gently used board games, puzzles, activity/coloring books and small toys. Family Promise is a great program because it helps transitional families and their children." Items may be left in the box marked for Family Promise in our school lobby."
Are your children interested in going on some great field trips with their Am Yisrael friends next school year?
We will be having two conversations with our students before the end of the school year. The one for the rising 6th graders through 12th graders will be taking place this Sunday, April 29th from 9:50 a.m.-10:25 a.m. in the Resource Room. The one for the Kindergarten through rising 5th graders will be taking place from 11:00 a.m.-11:25 a.m. on Sunday, May 20th in the Resource Room. We look forward to two very productive meetings as we continue to strive to reach our goal of creating positive Jewish memories and build the friendships within our Am Yisrael youth community along the way.
All Class Home Pages are up to date:
Simply go to our Am Yisrael home page, amyisrael.org, click on Education and scroll down two spots to "Class Home Pages." Alternatively, scroll further down this email to click on your child(ren)'s class home page. This is a "golden opportunity" to engage in conversation about what is going on in their class(es), know what homework expectations are, find "parent prompt" questions in the style of "Ask your child..."
Do you want to see how much fun Purim was for our entire Am Yisrael Community this year? With special thanks to Rob and Lois Neustadt, we have a brand new YouTube video. It covers the Purim Carnival, Dalet Class Play, Pizza Dinner and Megillah Reading. Enjoy it by clicking on this link.
|In preparation for Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israel's 64th year of Independence), the Gan and Aleph classes put together a large puzzle of Israel. 4-22-12|
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Torah Reading Opportunities
Inter-Generational Torah Readings
Do you want to take part in our next Inter-generational Torah Reading? One of the true highlights of the year has been seeing families join on the bimah to chant from the Torah. We have had grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, children and grandchildren participate in this relatively new program and we would love to have you sign up. The next Inter-generational Torah reading will take place at the Summer Shabbaton at Rabbi Neman Kamin and Dan's home on Saturday, July 28th. The service will begin at 9:30 a.m. Please click here if you are interested in receiving an mp3 with your assigned Torah verses. I can prepare CD's for those who would prefer.
SMFP Torah Readings
There are still Torah readings available at the following upcoming Shabbat Morning Family Programming (SMFP) service: May 19. Spots are filling up quickly. If you would like to sign your child up to read from the Torah scroll for one of our SMFP reading dates, please send me an email as well: email@example.com. The readings are short for beginners (one verse) as having a feeling of success and accomplishment is the top goal. Thus far we have had 24 chanters, ages 4-11. Back to Top
In Our Community
|Mazal Tov to our AMUSY chapter for the following awards won at the recent local Kinnus: Social Action/Tikkun Olam Megillah Reading Fundraiser, Sukkah Lunch, and an Increase in USY membership. |
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|Class Home Pages|
Click on blue links below for....
Several of our SJS students read inspirational words in commemoration of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day). 4-22-12
-Weekly Updated Messages from our teachers
|Each week our students answer the question of the week connected to a universal topic that is time sensitive. Above is an example of a question and answer from this week. For a full listing, check out this weblink: http://amyisrael.org/content/student-wisdom 4-22-12|
We are so fortunate to be able to learn about the Holocaust from our Education Consultant, Dr. Elliot Lefkovitz. 4-22-12
Fri., April 27: Friday Night Live Services: 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Very Family Friendly services using the tunes of Craig Taubman, featuring Cantor Simon and The Shabbatones Band! Mr. Marc and the Am Yisrael Youth Band will also be performing. A separate letter will be coming out to our school band.
Sat., April 28: Jacob Bleiweis' Bar Mitzvah
Sun., April 29: Yom HaZikaron Commemoration followed by Yom Ha'atzmaut Celebration: Details coming soon.
Sun., April 29: The Cantor's Concert: Featuring Cantor Stuart Simon and the Beth Shalom B'nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation Choir. Silent Auction Reception is at 2:00 p.m. Concert is at 3:00 p.m. at our synagogue building. Order tickets on our website or on this link. Sat., May 5: Amanda Shane's Bat Mitzvah
Sun., May 6: JUF Sponsored: "IsraFest." Family fun featuring screenings of Shalom Sesame, PJ Library Storytelling, Sports, Arts and Crafts, Cookie Decorating and more (for the 12 yr. old and under crown and their families). 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Click here to go directly to the website with ALL the details, including a free app.
Sun., May 6: JUF Sponsored: Look Back, Walk Forward: Teen Walk with Israel. The day begins at the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie with heartfelt program with Holocaust survivors, followed by a Walk with Israel from the museum to the Mayer Kaplan JCC. This program is for teens in 8th through 12th grades. 9:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Click here to go directly to the Teen program webpage.
Sat., May 12: Nathan Friedman's Bar Mitzvah
Sun., May 13: Honest Reporting Program: Prozdor, Pardes and Confirmation Classes: Details coming soon.
Sun., May 13: Vav (6th Grade) and Zayin (7th Grade) prepare lunches for A Just Harvest shelter. Stay tuned for food assignments. Volunteer driver needed.
Sat., May 19: SMFP: 9:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m. (lunch to follow)
Sun., May 20: Dalet (4th Grade) Leads Morning Services, followed by Heroes Fair: Details coming soon.
Sat., May 26: Zack Piell's Bar Mitzvah
Sat., May 26: AMUSY Lock-In. Details coming soon.
Sun., May 27: Shavuot: No School
Sun., May 27: Zayin (7th Grade) Class Commencement, 10th Grade Confirmation and AMUSY Installation of new board and celebration of achievements of current board, as part of Shavuot service: Begins at 9:30 a.m. in Sanctuary. More details coming soon.
Wed., May 30: Vav (6th Grade) and Zayin (7th Grade) Mitzvah Projects Presentation: 5:30 p.m.-6:15 p.m. in the Resource Room. Parents are encouraged to attend.
Fri., June 1: Heh (5th Grade) Class Leads Friday Night Services followed by Sikkum Historia Yehudit (Summary of Jewish History) Presentation: Begins at 6:30 p.m. in Sanctuary. Details coming soon.
Sat., June 2: Brian Baruck's Bar Mitzvah
Sun., June 3: Last Day of SJS for this school year (includes a barbecue): Parents are encouraged to join us in the Sanctuary at 11:00 a.m. to see an end of the year montage, highlighting our year. In addition, the Rabbi and I will share some reflections, our Youth Band and Kochavim Chadashim Choir will perform, we will hand out our SJS News For Kids paper, have an art and picture gallery and share the final Israeli Culture Chug with everyone. We will conclude with a barbecue, ending at 12:15 p.m.
|Cantor Simon sang some reflective songs and prayers at our Yom HaShoah Commemoration. 4-22-12|
amyisrael.org & more
|Our SJS students were one of only four schools in the Chicagoland area who prepared writings/art work in commemoration of the annual Yom HaZikaron community program held last night. Special thanks to Mrs. Tikva Moustakis for all her efforts to put the art projects together for this display. 4-24-12|
Click on these links for excellent resource information about our school and suggested websites for further Jewish learning:
|Mr. Nugent has taught our students so many valuable lessons this year. This week's story told by our librarian focused on treating people with honor and respect. 4-22-12|
The Membership Committee of the Synagogue Board is working to compile a list of prospective members for Am Yisrael. Think of all of the groups of people that you come in contact with - who do you know who might be interested in us? Please note, synagogue recruitment etiquette says that we do not actively solicit members of another congregation to join our congregation. However, if someone tells us without prompting that they are looking for a new congregation, they are considered "fair game". Think especially about reaching out to those who are still unaffiliated -- new families in your neighborhood or school, people whose kids are very young. People in your pre school if it's applicable. New co workers, or new people you happen to meet, of any age. Are there others in the congregation who could help with this effort?
Please forward suggestions to Marcia Adelman, firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-441-6641.
Thanks so much for helping the Am Yisrael family to grow.
Engagement Sub-committee of Membership
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|More Mitzvah Opportunities|
Our community has come together to bring in a lot of shoes for a very worthwhile Bar Mitzvah project. Let's continue supporting our B'nai Mitzvah students with their Mitzvah projects. Our students and their families thank you.
Spring Mitzvah Mania-
Join the JUF's TOV Network for some amazing Mitzvah opportunities all taking place from March 18-May 16, 2012. Please click here to see what great
Mitzvah opportunities we have to participate in our local community.
Please check out a this organization's website which will hopefully inspire you and your children to find a cause that you want to support and go out and make a difference: http://www.jchoice.org/Causes.aspx. JChoice.org was considered by the General Assembly of North American Federations to be one of the six most innovative Jewish educational organizations in North America this year.
Tikkun Olam Fair-October 28, 2012
Do you want to help chair the Tikkun Olam Fair? We have already found one new chair for the Tikkun Olam Fair and are searching at least one additional parent from our school community to help orchestrate this program focused on helping people in need. Our next Tikkun Olam Fair will be taking place in the fall. Please let me know here if you are interested in learning more.
Helping our Ark Client- We have a client who lives in Rogers Park through The Ark who needs one delivery of food per month. Please contact Nan Naranjo in our office if you and your family would like to be part of our rotation (once a year). She can be reached in the office at 847-446-7215 or via email by clicking here.
Thank you to the many people who continue to help fill the bins with food items for the Ark Pantries! You perform a huge mitzvah with each can of food or box of cereal you contribute! We accept food donations for our Ark clients all year round and ask that the items have a hechsher (kosher symbol). The bins for food drop off are located in the synagogue and school lobbies.
Supporting Zack Piell's Bar Mitzvah Project-
As a mitzvah project one of our students, Zack Piell,is collecting new and lightly worn shoes to give to the Share Your Soles Foundation so they can deliver them to people in need in third world countries. If you have any shoes that you and your family no longer need or use, please bring them to Am Yisrael any time before May 1 and deposit them in the Share Your Soles Box in the school lobby.
See how Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World) is done at Am Yisrael- Special thanks to congregants/parents Rob and Lois Neustadt for preparing this amazing video: Tikkun Olam Video
Giving Tzedakah- We teach our students to understand that there are many people in the world who need our help. We encourage our students to give to those people who are less fortunate than they are. In addition to preparing meals for A Just Harvest shelter on a regular basis, bringing in other items for local pantries, when every student brings in a minimum of one penny per class for tzedakah, it adds up, as you will see below! The classes will work together, under the advisement of Rabbi Newman Kamin, Mr. Sherman and their teachers, to choose organizations to give to at the end of the year. Last year, tzedakah was given to the following organizations which are hyperlinked so that you can learn more about them (In alphabetical order):
American Jewish World Service, Am Yisrael Congregation, Jewish National Fund (JNF), Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago (JUF), Northfield Food Pantry, Shorashim and The ARK. This year we have partnered with JChoice.org, which is an excellent organization with 161 recommended causes for Tzedakah giving, which includes some Chicago-based organizations.
Here are the tzedakah totals from each of our eleven classes and from our USY Group thus far in the 2011-2012 school year:
Gan (12 students): $103.11
Aleph (7 students): $158.64
Bet (15 students): $350.01
Gimel (8 students): $126.44
Dalet (10 students): $156.08
Heh (13 students): $128.39
Vav (10 students): $86.48
Zayin (7 students): $19.82
Prozdor (14 students): $71.22
Pardes (16 students): $290.81 ($220 was for groceries for our ARK client)
Confirmation (5 students): $22.14
AMUSY Executive Board (6 participants): $352.00 (Raised at Purim Megillah Reading)
The students and Youth Group have brought in a total of $1,865.14 in tzedakah as of 4/22/12. Awesome job Am Yisrael School of Jewish Studies and USY Executive Board!!!
|One of my favorite pictures from my entire career in Jewish Education was taken at this year's Model Pesach Seder. 4-4-12|
Charlie Sherman, M.A. Ed.
Am Yisrael Conservative Congregation
Phone: 847-446-7215 ext. 12
Cell Phone: 847-708-1805