by Carla Goldberg, Early Childhood Director

I hope that everyone had a nice Thanksgiving with their family. We are grateful to our whole Akiba community who kept each other safe by taking our social covenant so seriously. We were glad to be back in school this week and learning together.  

Another holiday is coming in a few days that will also look different. Chanukah begins next Thursday, December 10. We recognize that we will not be able to gather in person to celebrate in our traditional ways, so we have created opportunities to be together virtually: 

  • Thursday night at 6:00 p.m. in Miriam Kass's Zoom room, we will have a First Night of Chanukah Celebration to light the candles together, say the blessings and sing a few songs. 
  • Preschool and Kindergarten families: Your children are creating unique Chanukiyot (menorahs), and you will have them to light at home on Thursday evening. We want to make sure to spread the light into each of our homes and out into the world! 
  • The PTO will also be hosting a Chanukah Family Bingo on Sunday, December 13 at 2:00 p.m. 

We hope that you will join us for these community events to celebrate the Festival of Lights.  

Next week we are starting session two of our Teva Means Nature program. This is a family program for 0-6 year olds that will be a hybrid this session. We will have one day exploring at the park across the street from Akiba, and one day meeting virtually when we will read books, sing songs and create art together. We had such a wonderful first session (read about it here), and I want to invite you and your friends to join us for this new six-week session. Registration is going on right now; please share this information with your neighbors, colleagues and friends.  

I am also thinking about how you can help us share the light of Akiba with prospective families. I have been hosting Virtual Information Sessions twice a month for families who want to learn about the magic that happens in our classrooms every day. I am also hosting monthly Family Zoom Shabbats on Friday at 3:00 p.m. for our current families and prospective families to gather and have that Shabbat feeling (see upcoming dates below). All of these events have been well attended. There is a lot of interest in attending Akiba next school year. You, our current parents, are the best Akiba Ambassadors, so please help us spread the word. One easy way is to like us and comment on Facebook, share our posts in your Facebook feeds and groups. If you have any ideas you would like to share, or people you would like me to contact, please email me. I am so proud of the work we do at Akiba, and I love talking to anyone about what makes Akiba unique, and why an Akiba education is the best gift that you can give your child.  

Finally, I hope that you will be able to join our Akiba community this coming Tuesday, December 8 at 7:00 p.m. to celebrate and honor the life of Sharon Vadeboncoeur, beloved Akiba preschool teacher for over 20 years (RSVP here). Sharon certainly spread a lot of light into the world with the hundreds of children she taught at Akiba, and she is missed every day.  

I hope to see you soon at one of these events! Chanukah Sameach and Shabbat Shalom!