September 14, 2017
23 Elul 5777


Shabbat Candle Lighting 7:15 p.m.

Editor's Note: Each week, this column will feature insights from a different Akiba educator and/or leader.    

Rosh Hashanah
Tammie Rapps, Head of School
Next week on Rosh Hashanah, we will listen attentively to the blasts of the shofar that encourage us to awaken from a spiritual slumber and recognize that we stand before the Ruler of the universe. A brief prayer immediately follows the sounding of the shofar that helps put the audio experience into context for us. We sing, "Hayom Harat Olam," usually translated as "Today the world was born." Rabbi Adin Steinzaltz points out that this translation inadequately encapsulates the meaning of the prayer. The word "harat" does not mean born, he explains; instead, it means gestate or conceive or be pregnant. With that more accurate translation in mind, the prayer reads, "Today is the gestation of the world," which is an odd phrasing for an extraordinary image. As we sit on Rosh Hashanah, the world and year are pregnant with possibility. The sounds of the shofar are simultaneously jarring and triumphant, mournful and jubilant. Just as a family readies to bring a new life into the world with a mixture of joy and trepidation, we approach the new year with the same emotions. Will this be a year of bounty and blessing? Or a year of trial and tribulation? As we hear the sound of the shofar, we do not yet know what the year has in store; what we do know, however, is that the year stands before us--as we stand before Hashem--ripe with possibility. Rosh Hashanah offers us the tremendous opportunity for renewal, to start fresh and work actively to perform mitzvot that bring us closer to God and to our fellow human beings. 

The start of the school year coincides with Rosh Hashanah. Not only is our spiritual year pregnant with possibility, so is our academic year. We are confident that with the caring community, engaging and rich academic program, the dedication of our teachers, and the partnership with parents, our Akiba students face a year of possibility and promise, growth and new beginnings.

Shabbat Shalom!  Early wishes for a Shanah Tovah.

This week, Early Childhood students  learned:
  1. The multiple steps for painting, including creating, collaborating and how to put their work away when they finish
  2. How to measure their apples
  3. How to listen closely and follow directions so they could safely exit for a fire drill


Akiba students, parents, grandparents and staff recently made hundreds of challah for  Jewish Family Service . Every year, JFS spearheads a special Rosh Hashanah meal delivery for community members in need. View more photos in our Facebook album (no account needed). 


Kindergarten has been so productive this week! They learned letters in new literacy centers and engaged in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) lesson about the sun and how to construct a shelter to shield it. 




Our b'not sherut, Emuna and Noa, make Hebrew and learning about Israel engaging and enriching.


5th graders track the latest hurricanes and learn physics at the same time. 



The new Innovations Studio in the Lower School was created based on 21st century learning and research by psychologist Jean Piaget and educator Seymour Papert who felt that learners create their own knowledge, built on prior knowledge, by creating and interacting with physical objects. The Maker Movement allows students to be creative, innovative, independent, and technologically literate. The Innovations Studio is a place for students to take the lessons they are learning in their classrooms or in STEM lessons and take the learning even further with a hands-on opportunity to create and build.
This week, Akiba was honored to have two Parnas HaYom, Days of Learning. 

Sept. 12 was dedicated to the memory of Irene Kogutt z"l, a grandmother and great-grandmother of several Akiba and Yavneh Academy of Dallas students. 

On Sept. 14, the Tannenbaum family honored the memory of  Ruth Zemsky z"l. 


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