Lots of fun was had at this year's Color War on Tuesday!

What We Care About
"There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about."
                      Margaret J. Wheatley, writer and organizational behavior expert
This year at Akiba-Schechter we focused on building our community. We introduced Shabbat Onegs across our neighborhoods, hosted Sunday and after-school gatherings, and offered events like the "Won't you be my neighbor" evening co-sponsored with Anshe Emet and JCFS. As the year went on, what we care about rose to the surface: We care about each other. As a community preschool made of up of families of different faiths that respects all of humanity, and as a Jewish Day school that cares about and accepts all Jews, we are indeed a unique community.
Our focus on community reinforced who we are and the work we must continue to do to ensure all families have a place in our preschool, and all Jews have a home in our day school. Judaism is not an all-or-nothing religion, nor is it a one-size-fits-all. It is a beautiful mosaic made of different sizes, colors, and shapes of tiles. This is our community, and this is what we care about.
We believe that our love of all humanity and focus on Jewish unity prepares our students to become active and engaged adults. Individual attention and our belief that our students are capable of great things build their confidence. They grow stronger in their personal and family beliefs as we support and care for the whole child. They are comfortable with those who are not like them thanks to the respect provided to all our students and their families.
We also know that we are not done, not even close. We look forward to strengthening our community even more and ensuring that we graduate young men and women who are uniquely equipped to make a significant difference in the world and their local communities. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks once said, "Tomorrow's world is born in what we teach our children today." As I reflect on how our school and our families teach our children today, I am confident in a bright tomorrow.
Shabbat Shalom, and have a great summer!
Dr. Eliezer Jones
Head of School  
Mazal Tov to our Graduates! Good Luck in High School!   

13 Years of Akiba in a Week
Graduation speech by Jonah Deegan
They say that 8th grade flies by.

Now, I'm not sure who "THEY" are, but they are absolutely correct.

The 8th grade felt like the blink of an eye, a single breath, a mere moment. I remember it beginning like it was yesterday. In fact, I feel as though my entire time at Akiba - 13 years worth of memories - went by in a week.

It's Monday. Monday is the most confusing day. It's my first day of school ever. I'm minding my own business, when my mother just grabs me, puts me in the car, drives me to some random building. She's crying, I'm crying, everyone's crying. Now she's gone while I'm stuck here with a bunch of kids my age, and some woman is trying to get me to sing songs. After some time, things start to clear up. I make friends, some who have left, and some who are on the stage with me today.

Suddenly, it's Tuesday morning, I'm already in Mr. Salk's class, writing my first journal entry. A moment later, it's noon: I'm seeing my buddy for the last time before he goes to Israel, then I'm in the second grade and I feel like I'm already playing Rat-a-tat cat for the last time with Mr. Salk.

Now it's Wednesday, and 3rd and 4th grade have come and gone: I met my new teacher, and began gathering Esse bucks for the end of the year. After lunch, I'm saying goodbye to Mrs. Esse at her retirement party. Over the summer, I had to face the prospect of middle school. Middle School was scary. It felt like high school was just around the corner.    

5th grade came on a Thursday, more than half-way through the week. Though it was frightening at the beginning, I got used to it. I stopped being confused about having Hebrew in the morning, taking more than three classes, and lunch and recess being at different times of the day. I remember my friends and me entering the wrong building for Chumash, so we stayed in the Rodfei Library chewing gum and listening to music.

6th grade came and went, mostly the same. I got third place in history fair. I remember running home so I could attempt to solve one of Mr. Marcus's math puzzles, or Skyping Mr. Amiel to help me with solving those puzzles. I felt comfortable, at home. However, my routine would not stay.

Friday began rough. 7th grade.  All new teachers, new classes, everything felt new. Not a good, fun new, but a worrying, scary new. Things counted now. I couldn't lay back anymore. But, over all of these, was Humanities. I had to write a whole paragraph on my first day. It was tough. But, as always, I got through it. After I got used to 7th grade, I had a great time, watching Avi and Gabe McGiver having markers thrown at them by Morah Dorit, and creating the infamous "Papa Jonah's" pizza parlor.   

And finally, Sunday. The 8th grade. My last year at Akiba. From an array of Shabbatons, to watching videos in my three-person math class, to Israel itself, this year has been the craziest and most fun day.
And so, here we are, at 11:59 PM Sunday, waiting for midnight. The week will end. However, after Sunday, there isn't just nothing. It's Monday again. Monday will be high school.

Finally, there's one other thing "THEY" say. Time moves by quickly when you're having fun. If 13 years went by in a week, then I think you can get how much fun I had at Akiba.

Pre-Shavuot Message: The Gift of Sight        
  by Rabbi Yaakov Cohen, Director of Judaic Studies
Pre-Shavuot Message from Rabbi Cohen: The Gift of Sight
Pre-Shavuot Message from Rabbi Cohen: The Gift of Sight

Day School      
Miss Friedman's 1st/2nd graders were visited by the Kindergarteners this week and enjoyed introducing them to the classroom.
The 1st/2nd graders went on a field trip to the Nature Museum on Thursday.
Kitah Alef celebrated with a Siyyum (Graduation) last week at which all first graders received their own Siddur (prayer book).
Kitah Alef celebrated with a Siyyum (graduation) last week at which all first graders received their own Siddur (prayer book).

Mrs. Schinasi's Kitah Bet students celebrated their learning and achievements throughout the year by having a classroom graduation party and wishing each other a wonderful summer vacation. They also had a Kitah Bet Davening Siyyum with their parents and Mrs. Crook on Wednesday.

Mrs. Leonard's 3rd/4th graders wrapped up their Chicago architecture unit with a field trip to their buildings and sites (above), and...

...an architecture fair. Here Matthew Friedman presents his model of the Field Museum.
Dr. French's 5th grade Language Arts students got to write outside last week.

Color War prep...

Rube Goldberg Success! 5th/6th graders designed a Rube Goldberg machine, the point of which is to designed to perform a simple task in an indirect and over-complicated way. .
Rube Goldberg Success! In Science class, 5th/6th graders designed a Rube Goldberg machine, which is meant to perform a simple task in an indirect and over-complicated way. It can be a frustrating process but they made it in the end!

Mrs. Brackman and Gold's Jewish Thought classes went on a Chesed_kindness trip to help Jewish social service organizations by filling pantries, stocking shelves and learning about being there for others.

8 Questions for an 8th Grader: Rafi Nagorsky                  
Rafi Nagorsky
We wrap up our series of featuring an 8th grader in each Kibitzer with Rafi 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 East Lake View.
  3. How was being an 8th grader different from your previous grades at Akiba? Eight grade was different as you really are a leader not just told you are one.
  4. What is your favorite subject at Akiba and why? My favorite subject at Akiba was when we did electricity and magnetism in Science because we got to build a lot, which I enjoy a lot. I've also enjoyed Math class as I've had such great teachers in the subject my whole time at Akiba.
  5. What do you think is special about Akiba? What do you particularly like and why? I think Akiba is special because it's a small school, so you mostly know everyone in the school. 
  6. What did you learn on your recent 8th grade trip to Israel? On our recent trip to Israel I learned about Israel's history and especially about its military history. I also learned that when you go into a desert, it's really hot!
  7. When you're not at school or doing homework, what do you like to do? I like to build anything and everything as well as watching baseball.
  8. Do you have any idea yet of what you want to be when you grow up? I want be an engineer or work for the FAA or the NTSB in aircraft crash investigation.
Library Update                  
by Thea Crook, Librarian

We have been reading about Jane Addams and her commitment to improving the lives of poor people in Chicago. The students were thrilled to learn how she bought Hull House and created a settlement house on Halsted Street, where people in need could get much needed community services in a dignified manner.  If you're able to take your children to the Jane Addams-Hull House Museum during the summer, you will find it fascinating.   
Thank you for the privilege of reading with your children. Enjoy the summer!
Art with Debbie                  

Beautiful paper art Lag B'Omer bonfires created by 3rd graders

Thank You, Parent Representatives!                  
A big THANK YOU to the Parent Representative Team for all the work they did this year working with the Akiba community, administration and staff. They will be busy over the summer gearing up for the 2019-2020 school year.

Green Room:  Laura Gossin
Purple Room: Laureen Reeves, Lauren Martin, Jordan Nunn
Yellow Room: Mara Marks, Karin Luu
Blue Room: Ilyssa Minkus
Kindergarten: Stina Fish
1st/2nd: Tricia Berlin, Eli Goodman, Ruth Czarnecki-Lichstein
3rd/4th: Mia Rubenstein, Ruth Czarnecki-Lichstein
5th: Jennifer Uson
6th: Amy Whitaker
7th & 8th: Vanessa Cantz
Around Chicago: Program Options Before Camp Begins
JCC Hyde Park School's Out Programming, June 11-14:
More info here.

Summer Drama Camps, June 10-15 & 17-21: 
Dream Big Performing Arts Workshop  is offering an exclusive discount to families at Akiba-Schechter  for summer drama camps in June!  Go to  dreambigcamps.org  and enter the code  SCHOOLSOUT19 
at checkout for $15 OFF our June 10-15 and June 17-21 weekly camps.

June 11 - 14: Circ Esteem,  4730 N. Sheridan Rd. Chicago, IL 60640, will again conduct a camp for CJDS and any other schools that are off that week. For kids ages 4-14 the full 4 days would cost $260 or people can choose a day-to-day option for $70/day (if you want to sign your kid up for Monday too (Shavuot), it would be at the $70 and the whole week would cost $330). Camp goes from 9:00 - 3:00 PM with option for early care at 8:00 AM ($10) and after care that goes until 5:00 PM at a cost of $10 per hour. We need 8 kids per day to make this run. Please let Jennifer Loeb know if you are interested, and when they have the minimum, she will send the registration link.
June 17 - 21:  Windy City Ninjas,  2500 W Bradley Pl Unit H, Chicago, IL 60618, is offering  kids 5 and up from CJDS and any other schools off that week a 25% discount for a total of $375 for full day for 5 days. They also have a half-day option ($50) or full day ($90). Half day runs from 9:00 AM - 12:00 or 12:30 - 3:30 PM; Full day camp runs from 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM. There is no early care option. After care is offered from 3:30 - 5:30 PM and costs $15. We need 4 kids per day to make this run. Please let Jennifer Loeb know if you are interested, and when they have the minimum, she will send the registration link.

Have a Great Summer!

ATT Summer Program
Registration is open for the Nathan & Shirley Rothner ATT Summer Program. Have your child experience an awesome summer. Make new friends, learn new skills with sewing, sports, art, science, rocketry, dance, cooking, magic, robotics, self-defense, daily trips and more. First session 7/1-7/19; second session 7/22-8/9. For more information call Susan Feuer/Shelley Stopek at 773-973-2828,  www.att.org to view brochure and apply online.

Dates to Remember
Sunday, Monday, June 9 & 10
No School

Tuesday, June 11
Preschool Summer Program Begins

Friday, August 2
Preschool Summer Program Ends

Monday, August 26
First Day of School for Grades 1-8

Monday, September 2
Labor Day
No School

Tuesday, September 3
First Day of Kindergarten, Preschool Visitation Day

Wednesday, September 4
First Day of Preschool

June 7, 2019  
Volume 15, Issue 18
Candle Lighting: 8:03 PM
Parasha: Bamidbar

Affiliated with the Associated Talmud Torahs and supported by the Kehillah Jewish Education Fund