For last Friday's design challenge, 1st through 8th graders created loose parts portraits of Spring Benefit honorees Scott Salk and Carla Goldberg. Who wouldn't want a fun portrait like these?
April 30, 2021
Volume 17, Issue 15
Candle Lighting: 7:28 p.m.
Parasha: Emor
Lag B'Omer Color War
by Miriam Kass, Principal

Lag B’Omer means Color War at Akiba-Schechter, and the pandemic did not get in the way. 1st-8th graders were divided into six teams, and they spent the day competing in good-natured, fun stations that included a "Name That Tune" music station, a "Sports in the Park" station, a "Drawing with Dara and Dorit" station, and a "Color War Challenge" station. In addition, the teams wrote and performed cheers and competed in some of the traditional relay races. And new this year, we were treated to a live concert on the playground by local cantors Rachel Rosenberg and David Berger. Special thanks to all the staff on Team Black for helping to make this day so terrific! And to our 8th grade team captains: you were terrific leaders today!

The bright sunshine and festivities helped lift our heavy hearts after waking up to the news of tragedy in Israel. Baruch Dayan HaEmet.
The early childhood classes also had a fun-filled day planned for Lag B’Omer with many activities happening on the playground for each class while wearing their class team t-shirts! 
Spring Benefit
The Spring Benefit has raised over $60,000 so far! Through the generosity of the Akiba community, we have met our initial goal to raise $50,000. Thank you!

It isn't too late to join us on Sunday or make your gift. Attending and supporting enables us to raise tuition just a small percentage and pay teachers‘ salaries. This year the $90 ticket price includes the whole family and a concert by Justin Roberts, which all ages will enjoy. 

Celebrate Carla and Scott with us and support our students!
Magic in the Classroom - Scott Salk Reflects on 15 Years of Teaching 1st/2nd Grade at Akiba
As we will be honoring recently retired 1st/2nd grade teacher Scott Salk for his lifelong dedication to education and his fifteen exemplary years of teaching at Akiba-Schechter at our Spring Benefit this Sunday, we asked him to reflect on his time at Akiba:

When did you begin teaching at Akiba? And what attracted you to the school?

I began in 2005. A dear friend, Miriam Kass, who is now principal, knew I had left public school teaching, frustrated because I couldn’t teach the way I liked. She suggested I speak with Akiba-Schechter's longtime principal Miriam Schiller about an opening in the 1st/2nd grade general studies classroom. It quickly became apparent that Mrs. Schiller and I were of like minds in how we looked at child development and teaching. I saw that I would not only be allowed but encouraged to be a creative, thoughtful teacher.

School under COVID-19 - For Your Reference
Dvar Torah
Handing Over Control

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

This week we read Parsha Emor. Among the many lessons contained in the Parsha is one about the Holy Days. The Holy Day that I wish to briefly discuss is Shabbat, the day of rest, which occurs every week. I once read a newspaper article that asked the following question: "What is the safest mode of vehicle transportation?" The respondents claimed a car is the safest mode of transportation because we have control over it. When asked, "What is the most dangerous mode of transportation?" The respondents stated that airplanes are the most dangerous because someone else is in control.

This article has been on my mind for a long time. It is true that when we have control over things, we often feel most safe. Yet in a number of situations, the opposite is true. Take Shabbat for example. From sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday, our control over life is handed over to G-d. It is precisely our handing over control that makes Shabbat a day of complete rest. It is a day during which we can focus on the important things in life: family, friends, and our relationship with G-d. This being said, giving over control is difficult, even for those who have been observing Shabbat for many years.

In 7th and 8th grade Rabbinics class, we have continued to study the different images of G-d in Jewish literature. One such image is G-d as HaRachamin, The Merciful One, which conjures up the image of a mother's womb as the Hebrew word Rachum indicates. Babies and children are most at peace, most at rest when they feel loved and cared for as if they are still in their mother's womb.

This Shabbat, may we all strive to experience the complete rest of the day as we feel the love and care of our community. Shabbat Shalom!
The Downstairs Blue Room made a stop motion movie. The children learned the basics of stop motion animation and got to work making their own movie. They provided the soundtrack, painted the scenery and worked the camera. A project like this is a great example of our belief in children's capabilities and competence. Well done, Downstairs Blue Room!
This week the Teva Means Nature class had two days of WEATHER, one day was sunny and warm, the other was rainy and cold. Both days were full of exploration, laughter and mud. The children collected and examined dirt. Then they added water to make mud. Of course they used the mud to make some beautiful paintings. They added some watercolors, too!
The Purple Room enjoyed the warm weather on Tuesday and stopped to smell the flowers on their buggy ride.
Kindergarteners made clocks to help them learn how to tell time.
Grades 1 - 8
Lag B'Omer bonfires created by the 1st and 2nd graders.
Mr. Esse's 3rd/4th grade classes are embarking on their final social studies unit of the year. Each child is selecting a topic of their choice and researching it. The students started by brainstorming a variety of topics that interested them. They then chose a topic and came up with some questions had about that topic. Currently they are reading websites, watching videos, taking notes and recording what sources they are using to learn. In a couple weeks, they will start making a presentation that they will present to each other, and then to a wider audience via Zoom. Look for more information about the Zoom presentation!
In Moreh Maor's class, 7th/8th graders learned to analyze a selected Middle Eastern country, examining the six characteristics of the Middle East. Students used technological tools and a shared work environment to create their studies.
How Accessible Is Safe Water in Chicago?
The 7th and 8th graders are three weeks into their new IDL, an investigation into the question: How accessible is safe water in Chicago? Students are exploring the complex scientific, political, economic, social, legal, and statistical issues that come along with turning on a tap. In the above pictures, students are testing water samples that were donated by families for a variety of chemicals, both harmful and helpful. Students first researched the different chemicals that they were testing for, including safe levels and potential impact. They then tested samples from seven different locations and compiled their findings into water reports that will be shared with the families.
Reading Contest Winners

  1. Elisabeth Benson
  2. Nataniella Benson
  3. Vered Bader
  4. Gabe Barsky
  5. Talia Schinasi
  6. Yosef Kilstein
  7. RonLev Hamieri
  8. Zeke Singer
  9. Zosia Czarnecki-Lichstien
  10. Tie: Miera Goodman, Stuart Goodman

The grand total of all pages read by all students in the contest was: 61,145!
Also, this year is the first time Kindergarten participated in the contest.
Kol HaKavod, readers!
8 Questions for an 8th Grader
In each issue of the Kibitzer, we feature one of our 8th graders. In this edition, it is Jacob Rapoport:

  1. For how long have you been at Akiba? I have been at Akiba for four years.
  2. What neighborhood do you live in? I live in Skokie.
  3. What do you hope to accomplish in 8th grade? How is being an 8th grader different from your previous grades at Akiba? Make my family proud by doing well in school. It doesn't really feel that different.
  4. What is your favorite subject at Akiba? At the moment it's math, it feels simpler than my other classes.
  5. What do you think is special about Akiba? What do you particularly like and why? (Hmm... that's a hard one.)
  6. What did you learn from your Bar Mitzvah? I didn't learn much because I didn't do things like give a speech or recite my Parsha.
  7. When you’re not at school or doing homework, what do you like to do (hobbies, special interests)? Play video games and cook, not at the same time though.
  8. What do you want to be when you grow up? I have no idea.
Our Monday, April 19 Day of Learning was dedicated in honor of Siena Piper Kohl on the occasion of her 13th birthday and upcoming Bat Mitzvah. Mazal Tov! Love, Mom, Dad, Jeremy & Coco

Our Friday, April 23 Day of Learning was dedicated in honor of Siena Kohl. Mazal Tov on your Bat Mitzvah, Siena! Love, Barbara and Dara - sponsored by Barbara Simon and Dara Henning
Bar Mitzvah
Mazal tov Jill Kohl, Director of Operations, and her family on her daughter Siena's Bat Mitzvah last Shabbat.
Challah Returns!

Bring home the sumptuous flavor of a handmade challah for Shabbos and help our 8th graders raise money for a class trip and/or class gift.
Upcoming challah baking days will be May 13, May 27, and possibly a bonus day in June, so plan ahead!
Order here by 6 p.m. on Wednesday to ensure Thursday delivery.
Dates to Remember
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!

Thursday, May 13
Kitah Alef Sidur Presentation
8:45 a.m.
Parents will be joining on Zoom

Monday & Tuesday, May 17 & 18
No School

Monday, May 31
Memorial Day
No School

Friday, June 4
Last Day of Preschool

Thursday, June 10
Last Day of School for K-8
8th Grade Graduation
Affiliated with the Associated Talmud Torahs and supported by the Kehillah Jewish Education Fund