As part of our Yom HaAtzmaut programming, middle schoolers spent an hour with Guy Sharett of Streetwise Hebrew learning about graffiti in Israel. Then students created their own for our hallways. Jonathan (5th) shows off his art here.
April 16, 2021
Volume 17, Issue 14
Candle Lighting: 7:13 p.m.
Parasha: Tazria-Metzora
Carla teaching Kindergarten in the early '90s
I Have Truly Loved Coming to Akiba Every Single Day for 30 Years
Who is fortunate enough to be able to say that about their place of work? 
As we will be honoring Early Childhood Director Carla Goldberg for her 30 years of service (and still going strong!) at our upcoming Spring Benefit, we asked her to reflect on her steadfast career at Akiba-Schechter:

What were your career plans growing up?  
I have always known that I wanted to be a teacher. In Kindergarten I started playing “school” and I was the teacher. My passion for teaching just grew from there. I was a camp counselor, taught Bat Mitzvah lessons, served as a sleepaway counselor and then earned a BA in Early Childhood Education from the University of Massachusetts. Then I moved to Chicago and got my first teaching job - at Akiba-Schechter!

Spring Benefit
School under COVID-19 - For Your Reference
Dvar Torah
The Three High Holy Days of Israel

by Rabbi David Bauman, Head of Judaic Studies and Community Engagement

When we think of the High Holy Days, our minds go directly to the fall season and the month of Tishrei, which contains Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. Yet for many, particularly for Israelis, there is another season when the Israeli High Holy Days are observed. After Pesach (Passover) Israel observes Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day for those Israelis who fell in service or by acts of terror), and Yom HaAtzmaut (Israel’s Independence Day).

This year at Akiba-Schechter we uniquely observed each day. Yom HaShoah was observed by 3rd through 8th grades with an outdoor memorial service. Students participated in lighting candles to remember the 6 million Jews who perished during the Holocaust. They read poems and short explanations of the events during the war years and listened to the Memorial Prayer, Kel Maleh Rachmim.
Yom HaShoah outdoor memorial service
On Yom HaZikaron, students learned about how Israelis honor the soldiers who fell during wars in the establishment and defense of the Jewish home. This was done by a slide show, created by Maor Yehoshua, one of our outstanding Hebrew teachers. In addition, videos provided the students with a more personal connection to soldiers and their families as well as watching a live memorial service in Israel.
In learning about Yom HaZikaron, 3rd/4th graders watched videos explaining the loss of a loved one and wrote letters to the mother of a fallen soldier.
For Yom HaAtzmaut, students participated in a full morning of activities. This included Tefillah with Hallel, the Akiba-Schechter First Annual Chidon HaTanakh Kahoot. Middle School students were visited by Guy Sharett via Zoom from Streetwise Hebrew and learned about Hebrew through a Graffiti tour of Israel. Afterward, the students created their own graffiti art tags using the skills and knowledge they learned from Guy (see our title image). The Israeli Consulate General for the Midwest Aviv Ezra sent a video message to our students. Other celebratory videos were played to enhance the festive atmosphere of the day. The morning concluded with an Israeli falafel lunch for all students and staff.

These three observances are central to our relationship with the State of Israel, her land, and her people. G-d willing we will all be able to visit and experience the wonders of Israel in person over the coming year!

Shabbat Shalom!
All week, preschoolers and Kindergarteners toured Israel. Here Avital is visiting a Kibbutz (in the Upstairs Preschool) and milking a cow.
Welcome to Eilat!
Kindergarteners (as well as all other preschoolers) traveled around Israel all week. Among many other fun activities, they built a Kotel out of blocks and wrote notes to put in it; they did Israeli dancing in Tel Aviv; squeezed oranges to make juice on a kibbutz; and saw lots of beautifully colored fish in the Red Sea through a glass-bottom boat on their visit to Eilat.
Teva students continued their exploration of spring budding in the park. They found a tall plant growing in the middle of the grass and determined that it smelled something like food, chili and salami.
This week Zoom preschooler August had a play date with his teacher Rebecca. It was the first time they have been together all year. Learning on Zoom has had its challenges; nevertheless, a community has been formed. Rebecca is glad that she has now had an in-person play date with each "Zoomer."
Grades 1 - 8
1st/2nd graders celebrate Yom HaAtzmaut on Thursday.
For Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day when Israel remembers its fallen soldiers and terror victims) on Wednesday, April 14, 5th - 8th graders in Moreh Maor and Morah Dorit's Hebrew classes learned about the Six Day War through an interactive presentation that looked into the causes, course and results of the war. They also watched cartoons made to commemorate Israel's fallen soldiers.
Congratulations to 8th graders Aviya and Ronit, whose drawings were chosen as top designs in the Weinberg Newton Gallery’s Button Design Challenge!

In Art class, students drew pictures and came up with slogans to help spread the word about the importance of climate and environmental justice to young people.

As winners, these two each received a gift card and 12 buttons with their designs. They will be featured on the gallery’s website. All the other 7th and 8th graders that completed designs received a button with their own drawing from the gallery.
The Annual Reading Contest Ends April 26

It is a chance for students in K-8 to celebrate books and the joys of reading!
Students who choose to participate and document reading 250, 500, 1000, 1500, and/or 2000+ pages are eligible for the following prizes: a bookmark, a pizza & popsicle lunch, a $10 gift card, a book donation in their name, or an evening on Zoom with a published author.

8 Questions for an 8th Grader
In each issue of the Kibitzer, we feature one of our 8th graders. In this edition, it is Sam Nagorsky:

  1. Since when have you been at Akiba? I have been at Akiba since Kindergarten.
  2. What neighborhood do you live in? I live in Lakeview.
  3. What do you hope to accomplish in 8th grade? How is being an 8th grader different from your previous grades at Akiba? In 8th grade I would like to pass the Algebra exit exam. 
  4. What is your favorite subject at Akiba? My favorite subject in school is Humanities.
  5. What do you think is special about Akiba? What do you particularly like and why? Akiba is special because every student feels like they belong and are able to connect to the teachers and other students.
  6. What did you learn from your Bar Mitzvah? I learned from my Bar Mitzvah about the different views of different Jews.
  7. When you’re not at school or doing homework, what do you like to do (hobbies, special interests)? My hobbies include D&D, MTG and other activities that connect me to my friends.
  8. What do you want to be when you grow up? When I grow up I would like to be an engineer or a dog trainer for the military.
PTO Parent Night Event
Parenting & Technology - A Discussion
Wednesday, April 21
7:00 p.m.

Join the Akiba-Schechter community to discuss the role technology plays in our families' lives. Our discussion will be facilitated by Samantha Spolter, who is the Safer Communities Coordinator for JCFS Chicago. She is a social worker specializing in preventing child abuse in the Jewish community.

Kids and their screens have been a worry for parents for the past 15 years. We sometimes saw them as the enemy, or a threat to our kids’ wellbeing. COVID has forced us to use screens for so many things that our relationship with them has changed. What is our role as a parent vis-à-vis screens during the pandemic and beyond? Let’s look at the gifts, challenges, and opportunities of technology for us as parents and for our kids.
Our Wednesday, March 24 Day of Learning was sponsored by Jonathan Stern and dedicated in memory of Marshall Stern z"l, devoted volunteer, to commemorate his upcoming yahrtzeit.

Our Thursday, April 8 Day of Learning was dedicated in honor of the Bar Mitzvah of Toby and Ari Frankel by Joshua and Elisheva Shanes.

Our Friday, April 9 Day of Learning was dedicated to Dr. Dave J. Rubenstein in honor of his 90th birthday by Mia, Gary and Golda Rubenstein.

Our Monday, April 12 Day of Learning was dedicated in loving memory of Miriam Bentolila, A"H, z"l. For the last 30 years, together with her husband, Rav Shlomo Bentolila and based in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Miriam (born Haddad from Milan, Italy), was the bedrock of over 30 Chabad houses all over Central Africa including in Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Ghana, Angola, Senegal, Namibia, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Uganda, and Ethiopia. Miriam left her four children, her husband, her mother, her seven siblings, her grandchildren, and all of us way too soon. Beyond her many incredibly meaningful achievements, her most poignant legacy is her powerful decision to accept, with unshakable faith, that even the worst tragedies and suffering happen for a reason. May her memory be for a blessing.

Our Tuesday, April 13 Day of Learning was dedicated in honor of Ilya and Yasha Hirschfeld's spring birthdays and sponsored by David & Andrea Hirschfeld.
Akiba Spirit Store Closes April 21
Support 8th grader fundraising and show your Akiba Wolves pride by ordering your gear here.

Dates to Remember
Wednesday, April 21
7:00 p.m.
Online Parent Night Discussion on Parenting and Technology

Sunday, May 2
Spring Benefit - Celebrating Carla Goldberg & Scott Salk
4:00 p.m.
Includes a live Zoom concert by four-time Grammy nominated Justin Roberts!

Monday & Tuesday, May 17 & 18
No School
Affiliated with the Associated Talmud Torahs and supported by the Kehillah Jewish Education Fund