The Bingo winners at Sunday's Chanukah Party! A big thanks to our PTO for 
putting on such a fun event!
Taking Action this Chanukah

Thank you to all our amazing students and dedicated staff who made the Chanukah Assembly so special yesterday. I hope those who attended enjoyed it as much as we did. 

Chanukah is about taking public and meaningful action. I shared a story in this week's Parsha newsletter that showcases how taking action, or not, can have life-or-death consequences.
We light the Menorah, ideally where others can see it, so that the miracle is publicized. It is an action of Jewish pride. It is an action that tells the world who you are, what you stand for and no matter how dark it may be outside, you are willing to shine your light. You are not just thinking about it, talking about it or, as the crossing guard in our story, waving an unlit lantern that has no meaning or purpose. You are lighting a Menorah for the whole world to see that you believe in G-d, are proud to be part of the Jewish people and are willing to put yourself out there to make a difference in the world even if it makes you feel vulnerable.

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Chanukah!
Dr. Eliezer Jones
Head of School  
From the Day School 
Kitah Gimmel and Dalet had fun performing their "Chana Zelda" skit at the Chanukah Assembly.
The Chanukah Assembly's Message
by Miriam Kass, Principal
It was wonderful to see so many of you at our Chanukah Assembly yesterday. During this time of much darkness, the voices and smiles of our students lit up the stage and warmed our hearts. Seeing the 1st and 8th graders sitting side by side on the edge of the stage highlighted the special Buddy program that we cherish. The Kitah Gimmel/Dalet rendition of the beloved Chana Zelda musical play shined a bright light on our reinvigorated Hebrew program. The special Chanukah D'Var Torah prepared by Baila Brackman and presented by her Jewish Thought students posed nine memorable ideas and challenging questions inspired by the story and miracle of Chanukah. The entire program centered on our students, including the brief introductions given by our poised 8th grade emcees. 

Thank you to those parents, grandparents and friends who came to the Assembly. And thank you to you all for your continued partnership. We have always deeply valued your partnership, and especially so during this time of transition. I write today on behalf of our entire staff. We thank you for your trust, your partnership, and your patience as we work to ensure a better today and a better tomorrow for Akiba-Schechter, for our students, and for our entire community.

We encourage all Akiba-Schechter families and staff to join us on our first Martin Luther King Community Service Day to help the light of Chanukah spread into the community. Have a wonderful holiday and winter break.

Shabbat Shalom!  Happy Chanukah!
Have you spotted the Kindergarten's stunning 3D self portraits? They are on view all around the preschool building!
As part of studying light, the Blue Room has been creating shadow stories. While looking at a snowy scene of Chicago, the children brought over manipulatives, animals and other classroom toys to make shadows that helped with the telling of their stories.
Happy Chanukah from the Purple Room!
It was fun singing songs together at the Chanukah Assembly Thursday morning!
Day School      
Kitah Bet has been busy learning about the victorious Maccabim and the miracles that happened to the Jewish people in the land of Israel. The students loved preparing and rehearsing for their Chanukah class play, which Kitah Alef and Kitah Gimel were invited to watch on Thursday. After the performance, everyone had some delicious latkes and played the dreidel game. Mrs. Schinasi wishes everyone Happy Chanukah and a wonderful winter vacation!
On Tuesday, December 10, we remembered our dear Millie Miller at the second annual Millie Miller Day of Learning. Children heard from Millie's daughter-in-law Ruth that feeling welcomed and loved was a theme in Millie's life. We honored the day by learning about Chanukah and making Chanukah gift bags, something that Millie treasured dearly. As her family said, "Millie was truly a light in the world." Millie's Yahrzeit is the 6th day of Chanukah, which this year falls on December 28.
The Middle Schoolers Sing Shalom Aleinu at the Chanukah Assembly
The Middle Schoolers Sing Shalom Aleinu at the Chanukah Assembly
Mr. Esse's 5th/6th grade history class has been learning about the geography of Mesopotamia and the constant conflict between city states. To better understand these elements of Mesopotamian life, the students played a board game called City-State Madness. Loosely based on the games of Risk and Settlers of Cataan, it incorporates geography and resources to simulate the motivations behind much of the ancient conflicts. The students played this game for a week, with the winner being the person who controlled the biggest empire.
Rabbi M's 5th/6th grade Chumash class has been hard at work making various objects from the Mishkan (Tabernacle). These include the Menorah, the Mizbei'ach (Altar), the Kiyor (washing vessel) and the Shulchan (table).
Mr. Marcus's Mishna classes have moved from studying intentional tort cases, where someone consciously intends to harm another, to negligence situations, where someone accidentally hurts another. This week the students translated a number of cases involving people falling into holes in the ground. They also discussed a case from the American court system, namely a lawsuit against CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. Cooper hired an interior designer to help him remodel an old firehouse he was turning into a mansion. The designer fell through an unprotected hole in the floor, where the fire pole used to be. Does Cooper owe the designer damages or should the designer have known better, given that he was working in an old firehouse?
Class Spotlight
Our Jewish Thought Class Shines a Light with Nine Thoughts on ChanukahJT
by Baila Brackman, Judaics Teacher
Throughout the year, as holidays come up, our Jewish Thought class learns about the special Mitzvot (commandments) and customs associated with the holiday and the reasons behind them. This week, at the school's Chanukah Assembly, the students shared lessons on the Chanukah lights, one candle at a time. With each lesson, they asked a question, hopefully to inspire the audience to think about how the Chanukah lights can make us stronger.
"If the Candles Could Speak - Lessons from the Menorah Lights."

The first candle shines confidently, knowing that even in the darkest room, one small light can illuminate the darkness. We learn that even in the darkest of circumstances, a drop of positivity and light can make all the difference.
Art with Dara
Adyra and Anna paint on the wet suit Chana is wearing.

What to Do with all that Used Scuba Gear?
When 7th and 8th graders arrived in Art class last week, they were greeted by piles of fins, snorkels, goggles, and wet suits. The class then discussed what they could do with all this used scuba gear. In the beginning, students were perplexed as to why this was art and had few ideas, but as they split into groups and talked more, they thought of more project ideas and started having a lot of fun, particularly once they discovered they could destroy the material in the process. Ideas ranged from having students wear all of the gear while other students drew them, arranging a still life composition on a table, or cutting apart the neoprene suits and rearranging them to create an unusual costume. With scissors, paint, tape, and rope their imaginations went into high gear. All of the used scuba gear was donated by the organization Dive Heart. Akiba parents Elli and Dan Goodman are active volunteers with this amazing not-for-profit that takes disabled divers on scuba trips.
8 Questions for an 8th Grader
We continue our series of featuring one of our 8th graders in each issue of the Kibitzer. This time, it is 
Ezra Frankel :
  1. Since when have you been at Akiba? Since 3rd grade.
  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? Get ready for high school. More work.
  4. What is your favorite subject at Akiba and why? Science because I enjoy it and Ms. Rotfeld is a good teacher.
  5. What do you think is special about Akiba? What do you particularly like and why? 
    Individual attention. Fencing because I enjoy it and most schools don't have it.  
  6. If you have had your bat mitzvah or are preparing for it, what did you learn from it? Know when to listen to authority and when not to.
  7. When you're not at school or doing homework, what do you like to do? I play piano, fence, and play soccer.
  8. What do you want to be when you grow up? An engineer.
Mazal tov former Judaics teacher Alise Gold and her family on the birth of a baby girl this past weekend.

Picture Retake Orders
Picture Day
...were sent home with students this week. Ask your student for the order form if you haven't received it yet.

jBaby Pajama Havdalah Play Date
by JUF Young Families
January 18, 2020
4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
Hyde Park

Dates to Remember
Monday, December 23 - Friday, January 3
Winter Break
No School

Monday, January 6
First Day of School after Winter Break

Thursday, January 9
Prospective Parent Evening in Skokie
7:30 - 9:00 p.m.

Thursday, January 16
Prospective Parent Evening in Lake View
7:30 - 9:00 p.m.

Monday, January 20
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
No School

December 20, 2019  
Volume 16, Issue 9
Candle Lighting: 4:02 p.m.
Parasha: Vayeishev
Affiliated with the Associated Talmud Torahs and supported by the Kehillah Jewish Education Fund