Am Yisrael SJS Limmud/Education Update 4-4-19
כ״ח אדר ב   תשע"ט  
פרשת תזריע

In this week's issue:
  • SJS Photo Collage of the Week
  • Mazal Tov
  • Programming for this week: PJ Shabbat (Apr 5), CHUSY Regional Kinnus (Apr 5-7), Women's Network Shabbat (Apr 6), Dalet (4th) and Hei (5th) Family Ed Brunches with the Rabbi (Apr 7)
  • Programming for next week: Gan, Alef/Bet participate in Fri evening Service (Apr 12), Zayin Mitzvah Project Presentations (Apr 14), Maot Chitim Package Deliveries (Apr 14)
  • Intergenerational Torah Reading Opportunity is coming up Sat Apr 27
  • We still need a few more Madrichim Sign-Ups for Apr & May
  • Do you know of someone looking for a class for their newborn through 3.5 year old?
  • Thank you from The Ark for generous Purim donations
  • Signing up to lead Friday Evening Kiddush
  • RSVP's
  • Class Updates, Curriculum Outlines and Schedules
  • Torah Reading opportunities on Sat May 11 & Sun June 9
  • Tech Support as Am Yisrael Mitzvah Project: Tal Belkind (Apr 7, Apr 14, Apr 28)
  • Supporting Leket Israel: Kira Friedel's Mitzvah Project
  • SJS & Youth Groups Calendar: Last revised on 2-18-19
  • SJS Tzedakah Totals: Early Sep 2018 through Mar 17, 2019: $602.33
  • Inclusion Updates
  • Room Parent Update
  • #Partnership Am Yisrael and Ramah
  • Key Resources for Hebrew Practice, SJS Manual, Contact Info, Babysitting Initiative, Finding us on Social Media and more
When is SJS in session in the upcoming weeks?
Sun Apr 7; Wed Apr 10; Sun Apr 14; Wed Apr 17; Wed Apr 24 (Chol HaMoed Pesach); Sun Apr 28; Wed May 1; Sun May 5; Wed May 8; Sat May 11 (SFP); Sun May 12; Wed May 15; Sun May 19 

When is SJS not in session in the upcoming weeks?
SJS is NOT in session on the Sunday during first part of Pesach:
Sun Apr 21

All Am Yisrael SJS classes are resuming this Sun Apr 7. 

 Special thanks to Jan Loew for the phenomenal pictures

Shalom Everyone,     

Mazal Tov:
  • Mazal tov to Tal Belkind as he was recently called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah in Israel.  Mazal tov to Tal's parents, Elizabeth and Ronnen Belkind, Tal's sisters Sivan and Dafna and the entire family.
Programming for this Week:
  • PJ Shabbat: Fri Apr 5: 5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. in the library in the lower level of the school building. for 3rd Grade and younger with accompanying adult(s).  Pizza, Prayers, Pajamas.  Kids and accompanying adults are encouraged to wear pajamas.  $5.00 per family.  Thank you to the 42 people who have signed up!  We can't wait to bring in Shabbat with you and yours!
  • CHUSY Regional Kinnus Convention: Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm, our Youth Advisor, will be helping to chaperone our seven Am Yisrael teens this weekend from Fri Apr 5-Sun Apr 7.  We hope AMUSY has a fantastic time along with the other Jewish teens from throughout Chicagoland!  CHUSY region is directed by one of our long-time teachers, Mr. Marc Sender.
  • Women's Network Shabbat: Sat Apr 6: 9:30 a.m. followed by Kiddush Lunch.
  • Dalet (4th Grade) Brunch and Family Education with Rabbi Newman Kamin: Sun Apr 7: 9:50 a.m.-11:00 a.m. in Room 6.
  • Hei (5th Grade) Brunch and Family Education with Rabbi Newman Kamin: Sun Apr 7: 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in Room 6.
  • Adult Education resumes with Mr. David Lerner: Sun Apr 7 from 10:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in the Conference Room 
Programming for next week:
  • Gan (3.5-6 yr), Alef/Bet (1st/2nd Grades) participate in Friday Evening Service: Fri Apr 12: 6:00 p.m.-6:45 p.m. in the Sanctuary.  We expect all members of these classes to attend as this is a major part of our family/community SJS experience.  Please sign up here:
  • Mitzvah Projects Presentation: Sun Apr 14: 9:50 a.m.-10:30 a.m. in the Sanctuary.  We invite all parents of Hei (5th Grade), Vav (6th Grade) and Zayin (7th Grade) to see 12 of our Zayin students present their mitzvah projects.  During this presentation a total of 36 mitzvah projects will be presented!  Over the years these presentations have inspired many new and creative mitzvah projects.  We will have all kids from Kitah Alef (1st Grade) through Kitah Vav (6th Grade) in attendance to get ideas for future mitzvah projects.  
  • Maot Chitim Passover Package Deliveries: Sun Apr 14: 9:45 a.m.-11:15 a.m.  Kevin Ball and Sarah Rothschild will oversee our participation in this outstanding mitzvah project.  Students and Madrichim will get an excused absence if they attend.  Please sign up here and note that our Am Yisrael contingency will be meeting at the building listed in the evite as opposed to at our synagogue building:
Intergenerational Torah Reading Opportunity:
  • On Sat Apr 27 we will be having our annual Intergenerational Torah reading in which families can sign up to read/chant one verse of Torah each.  Seeing a child, parent, aunt, uncle, grandparent, etc. share an aliyah of Torah is quite special.  Please send me an email if you are interested in participating and I will send you the verses for your family right away.  
We still need a few more Madrichim to sign up for April and May Dates they can work:
  • Thank you to the Madrichim who have signed up for April and May dates they can work.  For those who signed up to work this Sun Apr 7, you will have your regular assignments.  I decided to hold off on publishing the full Madrichim schedule to Limmud/Education Update since some Madrichim who were on Spring Break didn't sign up as of yet.  Here is the link to sign up: 
Do you know of someone looking for a class for their newborn through 3.5 year old?:
  • Over the past several years we have had various iterations of a class for newborns through 3.5 year olds.  In many ways we have fine-tuned this class so that it is the best it has ever been.  We have a teacher and dedicated madrichim (teenage assistants) who are great with little kids and the class is getting very positive reviews.  We would love for you to check out Torah Tots with a Twist (formerly Camp Am Yisrael) in Room 2 from 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. on all dates that Am Yisrael SJS is in session.  Torah Tots with a Twist is made possible by a generous grant from JBaby Chicago.  Here is a link to sign up: 
Thank you from The Ark for generous Purim Donations:
  • Marc Swatez, the Executive Director of The Ark, sent us a thank you letter.  The highlights are: "Thank you so much for your generous gift of food and other items for The Ark's Rhea Segal Emergency Food Pantry.  We were able to fill two large grocery carts with the donations provided by Am Yisrael.  The Ark and the thousands of people who depend of us for support are blessed by your kindness.  With your help, The Ark will continue to ensure that all those who are hungry will be fed.  A gift of food is a gift of life!  The job is great and the numbers of hungry and helpless individuals who come through our doors is steadily increasing.  However, we are blessed with wonderful volunteers and many concerned and committed members of the community, such as your community, without whom we could not continue to keep our doors open and our pantry shelves stocked.  You may never see the faces of those people whom you have helped by this donation.  Please allow me, on their behalf, to express their gratitude."
  Signing up to lead Friday Evening Kiddush:
  • Our B'nai Mitzvah students lead Friday Evening Kiddush the Friday prior to being called to the Torah as a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. In preparation, please sign up for a date that your Bar/Bat Mitzvah student will chant Kiddush at Am Yisrael an additional date leading up to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah as part of our regular 6:00 p.m.-6:40 p.m. services. Please be sure to scroll from left to right within the Doodle sign up to make sure that you see the many choices of dates ranging from Oct 12, 2019 through May 15, 2020.
    Shortly after you sign up, we will confirm the date that you have chosen and email you the appropriate Friday Evening Kiddish files (the Hebrew text and an audio recording) for your student to practice.  

Please RSVP for the following upcoming programs if you haven't already.  

Dalet (4th Grade) Family Ed and Brunch with 
Rabbi Newman Kamin in Room 6
Sun Apr 7: @ 9:50 a.m.-11:00 a.m.

Hei (5th Grade) Family Ed and Brunch with 
Rabbi Newman Kamin in Room 6
Sun Apr 7: @ 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Gan, Alef/Bet (3.5 yrs-2nd Grade) Help Lead Services
Fri Apr 12: 6:00 p.m.-6:45 p.m.

Participation in Maot Chitim Passover Package Delivery
Sun Apr 14: 9:45 a.m.-11:15 a.m.
Meeting at our assigned building in the city

Gimel (3rd Grade) Siddur Ceremony
Please note: This Google form includes space for dedications
Fri May 3: 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

Please see Am Yisrael Events email from our 
Executive Director Nancy Holab Nevins for 
Am Yisrael Programming beyond those listed above

Class Updates, Schedules and Curriculum:
We will add new updates next week, as we just resumed classes yesterday after having been on Spring Break since 6:15 p.m. on Wed Mar 20.  This link gives you access to the most recent class updates, including a link (at the bottom of each class page) where you can review all updates for the year:
Class-by-class curriculum outlines for Am Yisrael SJS, can be accessed here:

Torah Chanting Opportunitiues on Sat May 11 and Shavuot Sun June 9:
While there are many opportunities for our students and madrichim to chant from the Torah scroll, the dates that I am currently taking requests via email or text message 847-708-1805 are: 
  • Intergenerational Torah Reading on Shabbat morning Apr 27 for those interested in participating. 
  • Shabbat Family Programming (SFP) taking place on Shabbat mornings: Mar 16 and May 11. 
  • Our final opportunity for this academic year will be for Shavuot on Sun Jun 9.  On that morning we will be making some special presentations.

Tech Support as an Am Yisrael Mitzvah Project:
Offered by Tal Belkind

Sundays Apr 7, 14 & 28 from 12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m.
If you are interested in getting tech support from Tal, please send me an email

Supporting Leket Israel:
Written by Kira Friedel

For my Israel/Passion Mitzvah Project I am selling bracelets that will help raise money for Leket Israel! The bracelets say Healthy Food For All. Healthy Food For All means that everyone should be able to access healthy food not just junk food like chips, soda and candy. All proceeds go to Leket Israel. Bracelets cost $3.00 for one bracelet and $5.00 for two bracelets. I will be selling them during SJS.

Facts About Leket Israel
In 2004, 1.426 million people in Israel were hungry; that is 22.4% of the population of Israel. Leket Israel is one of the largest organization in Israel that feed/help the hungry. You can make sandwiches, pick fruits and vegetables and you can come to the warehouse and help move or package things up. They make over 8,000 sandwiches in a day.  HEALTHY FOOD FOR ALL!!!!

SJS Calendar Revised 2-18-19:
Please note that events that have been modified since the original calendar was published in June 2018 are in teal  and bold font on the calendar on the website along with the printable PDF.

At any point if you would like access to a Google Calendar for SJS/Youth Group Programming please send me an email  and I will send you a link to sync it with your electronic calendar(s).

Tzedakah Collection 5779 (through Mar 17, 2019):
Thus far this academic year our classes have donated a total of 
Each SJS class is collecting Tzedakah throughout the year to support organizations that each class chooses with their teachers.  The class totals and organizations chosen are listed in the chart directly below.   Allocation Percentages, can be modified by students speaking with their teachers and the class as a whole coming to new consensuses.  

Inclusion Update
A year and a half ago we were chosen to be a part of USCJ's Ruderman 4th Cohort.  Out of this experience a group of dedicated congregants, SJS parents and friends of Am Yisrael have gathered to discuss goals for how to help each and every SJS student and madrich/a find his/her voice at SJS.  The topics we have discussed have had a positive impact on our students and madrichim.  We plan to keep meeting and further refining our goals and action steps.  

Room Parents:
Throughout this SJS year, a dedicated group of room parents have organized gatherings for the classes to help strengthen the connections within our class communities.  Michelle Maer has done an outstanding job of leading and inspiring this initiative.   If you are interested in getting involved please contact Michelle via email  or phone (773) 909-6416.  

#Partnership: Am Yisrael and Ramah:
Am Yisrael has been chosen for a grant called #Partnership that will enable more of our Am Yisrael students get to my "camp alma-mater," Camp Ramah in Wisconsin.   As part of our partnership this year, we are offering a guaranteed scholarship of $1,500 to first time 4-week campers at Am Yisrael; and we have additional scholarship funds available for younger students attending the overnight or Ramah Day Camp on an as-needed basis. 

Am Yisrael Communication on the whole:
Am Yisrael Events emails from our Executive Director Nancy Holab Nevins  or 847-446-7215

Access all SJS pages on our website:

SJS Manual 5779:
There are two ways to read the SJS Manual: (a) Links for each topic, beginning with fourth bullet point on:  and (b) is in PDF form:

Practicing Tefillah (Sun and Wed students):

Soundtrack for Newborns through Kitah Alef/Bet:

Talking with Our Children Following Pittsburgh Tragedy. 
We are in this together and we are stronger together:

Am Yisrael SJS Faculty:
-Mr. Allan Arnet:  Hei (5th), Zayin (7th) and Pardes (9th/10th)
-Mr. Dennis Gelbart  Dalet (4th), Vav (6th) and Kahoot Chug 
- Morah Annie Glasser:  Hei (5th) and Zayin (7th) JLab (Enrichment) and Youth Groups Activities
- Morah Sandra Mieli Kamm:  
 Zayin (7th) and Youth Groups Advisor
- Ms. Debbie Kroopkin:  Torah Tots with a Twist (formerly Camp Am Yisrael) (Newborn through 3.5 years, accompanied by adult)
- Mrs. Tikva Moustakis:  Dalet (4th)
- Mr. E. Marc Nevins:  Band Chug, Tefillah and SFP
- Ms. Sara Preis:  Omanut (Art) Classes and Chug 
- Ms. Diane Rosenfeld:  
 Alef/Bet(1st/2nd) and Wednesday Hebrew Tutoring
- Mr. Marc Sender:  Hei (5th)
- Mrs. Shira Sender:  Gimel (3rd) and Yad Squad Chug
- Ms. Sheila Serota:  Omanut (Art) Classes and Chug
- Hazzan Lawrence Szenes-Strauss (Mr. S.):  Dalet (4th), Hei (5th), Vav (6th) and Musical Drama Chug
- Morah Aviva Tilles:  Prozdor (8th), Pardes & Tichon (9th-12th) & Madrichim Professional Development
- Morah Lynn Washer:  Gan (3.5-6 years)
- Morah Myra Weisberg:  Alef (1st) lead Hebrew Teacher and Wednesday Hebrew Tutor

Inclusion at Am Yisrael SJS:

Regional CHUSY
CHUSY/CRUSY Regional Teen Engagement Director: Marc Sender:  and CHUSY Assistant Regional Teen Engagement Director: Daniel Warshawsky:

Am Yisrael Teen Babysitting Initiative
Contact Am Yisrael congregant and SJS parent Carrie Feig:  or 312-636-4241



Charlie Sherman, MAEd, CJE
Head of School
Am Yisrael Conservative Congregation
4 Happ Road
Northfield, IL 60093
Cell phone: 847/708.1805
Fax:  847/446.7202