Rabbi M and his lookalikes on "Dress Like a Teacher" Day this week.

Yesterday was a beautiful Purim celebration at school! The day began with a unique opportunity for many of our 7th and 8th graders to celebrate the Bar Mitzvah of Yonathan Ezra. Mazel Tov Yonathan and the entire Ezra family. You did such a beautiful job reading from the Torah, and your speech was engaging, funny and inspirational. At the same time, Purim festivities were well on their way for the entire school.

We had whole school davening (prayer), an enjoyable Megillah reading led by Rabbi Brackman (THANK YOU!) and one of the best Purim Carnivals at Akiba I have ever seen (ok, to be fair I only have one other as a reference). The smiles and laughs were glorious. The fun was palpable. The "washable" paint from the balloon pop booth was very blue. I could not think of a better way for our students to celebrate Purim than with their friends and within the immersive Purim carnival built by our students. Which leads me to some important questions I was asked yesterday.

I was asked by a few different people why do we have a half day of school on Purim? One asked why half and not a full day. One asked why not start in the afternoon? Another asked why have school at all like some other Jewish Day Schools who don't? All valid questions and I thought I would take a moment to answer.

First, Purim is a joyous holiday celebrating the salvation of the Jewish people from a plot of annihilation. Click here  to learn more. We have school so that our students can have a festive and wonderful Purim. There are plenty of Purim festivities around the city, but we believe there is something special about celebrating with your closest friends and teachers. The smiles I saw yesterday only reinforce that. In addition, for some of our families, the school Purim experience is the only Purim experienceSo why not the entire day? That is a good question. There are some logistical reasons related to staff and Megillah reading. However, the primary reason is that we want to provide a wonderful experience at school and give time for a wonderful family experience after school. Many of our families and staff participate in the custom of having a festive Purim meal in the afternoon. We want to make sure they can do that. Plus, many families drive around together after school delivering Mishloach Manot (purim gifts to friends). We are striving to give all our students the best of both worlds; a fun school Purim experience and time with family on Purim.

Thank you for those questions, and I look forward to discussing why we have off on all the days of Passover (yep, that is right around the corner!).

Shabbat Shalom! 
Dr. Eliezer Jones
Head of School  
From the Day School                
Middle schoolers share their history fair projects.
History Fair
by Miriam Kass, Principal
Congratulations to our students for completing a successful History Fair season!
We are so proud of the work the students did over the past seven weeks. We know that there were challenging times throughout, but the students really gave their all to produce their best quality work.  Click here for highlights, results and to view all the projects advancing Regional History Fair at the end of the month.
The Yellow Room kids in their Purim costumes!

The kids in the Blue Room have been making castles, focusing on shapes. Because once you understand shapes, you can draw anything!


Amazon-Inspired Purim Masks
As part of their ongoing exploration of and learning about the rain forest and the Amazon, the Kindergarteners created Purim masks inspired by the indigenous Amazon people and their customs. Read more on our blog...
The Purple Room children went for a walk around the block earlier this week. They loved checking how the construction site next door is coming along and searching for sticks and signs of spring.

Arun Srimani Wins the Sue Pinsky Award for Excellence in Jewish Education

From Anna Hartman, Director of Early Childhood Excellence, Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago:  

"I am delighted that JUF will give this year's Sue Pinsky Award for Excellence in Jewish Education to Arun Srimani. Honoring Arun, our committee feels, will bring honor to our entire field. Our committee was impressed by Arun's devotion to her students and the way she steadily improves herself as an educator with her signature passion and earnest curiosity. The Jewish learning that children and families are experiencing as a result of this professionalism and care are the stuff that make Jewish early childhood education great! We at JUF believe this award reflects the devotion and skill of the entire early childhood team at Akiba-Schechter. We are honored to partner with you all and look forward, G-d willing, to many more years of good work and partnership!"

Our Honoree Sharon was featured in the Hyde Park Herald this week! 

Grades 1-8                  
The Blue Room's big buddies, 1st/2nd graders from Mr. Salk's class visited them on Wednesday this week and and together they decorated masks.

Mrs. Schinasi's Kitah Bet was very busy learning all about the holiday of Purim and its customs. The students sang songs, rehearsed for their class play, and wrote their own Megillot. On Tuesday Kitah Bet and Kitah Alef had a Purim class celebration together. The students played games, sang Purim songs, read parts from the Megillah and ate the Hamentashen that they made in class a day before.

Josh performs a magic trick for his classmates in Mr. Esse's 3rd/4th grade class. Each Friday they have a town hall meeting that is run by the students. A meeting leader presides and has others entertain, share book reviews, present on current events, and debate an issue that is applicable to their lives. This past Friday, Josh was entertainer and showed off his magic skills. It was highly entertaining for everyone involved!
Among the Imposters (Movie trailer about a favorite book by a group of Mrs. Leonard's 3rd/4th graders as part of their author study)
Among the Imposters (Movie trailer about a favorite book by a group of Mrs. Leonard's 3rd/4th graders as part of their author study)

Creative Book Projects
Mrs. Leonard's 3rd/4th graders finished their 6-paragraph author study essays. The kids worked really hard and now they are celebrating by doing a fun, creative project about one of their favorite books by their author. Choices were to create a: 
  • shoe box diorama of their favorite scene in their book, 
  • 4-D triorama (with four favorite scenes of their book),  
  • movie poster (if their book was being made into a movie) 
  • movie trailer if their book was being made into a movie.  
Avi breaks a board during the Adar Talent Show.

Adar Talent Show
On Monday this week, the 7th and 8th graders participated in a special Adar Talent Show. Students submitted ideas and practiced ahead of time for this special show. We thank all of the participants, including: Mayrav Bader - introduction to Pointe, Jonah Deegan - Piano, Naomi Silverman, Izzy Blair and Merav Price - Slam poetry interpretative dance, Avi McGiver, Avi Wilens, Ezra Erlebacher and Yonathan Ezra - dunk contest, Avi Goldberg - Tae Kwon Do, Anna Copeland and the late bus Karaoke and a surprise song by Mr. Marcus!
In Science the middle schoolers have been learning about the areas of the brain. Here the 5th/6th graders show off their brain caps.

Buddies enjoyed reading together on Dr. Seuss Day!

8 Questions for an 8th Grader: Menachem Reed        
Menachem Reed
We continue our series of featuring an 8th grader in each Kibitzer; today it's Menachem Reed:  
  1. Since when have you been at Akiba? 
    I have been at Akiba since Kindergarten.  
  2. What neighborhood are you from? I live in West Rodgers Park.
  3. Is being an 8th grader different from your previous grades at Akiba? There is more emphasis on responsibility in 8th grade, more than the previous years. You're in a transitional period thinking about high school and beyond. I think about the friendships I developed over the years and how that will be changing very soon.
  4. What is your favorite subject at Akiba and why? 
    I enjoy Math it's fun learning with Mr.  Marcus's style of teaching.
  5. What do you think is special about Akiba? 
    Teachers make Akiba special because the teachers are devoted to their students. They go above and beyond to help students learn in their unique way and help them reach their potential.
  6. What can you tell us about your experience taking a lead role in this year's musical? Who are you playing? Why did you want to be part of the musical?
    I am playing a lead role as Charlie Buckett. It's important to practice your lines to achieve success. I have always liked the Movie "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." It's one of my favorite movies. I thought it would be exciting, interesting, and fun to be in a live production like the movie.
  7. When you're not at school or doing homework, what do you like to do? 
    Think about socks and bowties, and make other people laugh. 
  8. Do you have any idea yet of what you want to be when you grow up? 
    Russia's next dictator. 
Art with Dara                  

The 7th/8th graders have been exploring ceramics at the Hyde Park Art Center.

Monday, March 11
was generously donated  by the Allender Family
in memory of Max Isaac Allender z"l 
on the occasion of his 5th Yahrzeit, 3rd of Adar II (Sunday, March 10) 

Upcoming #akibacommUNITY Events neighbor

Registration has closed but you can still sponsor.
See you at the brunch!
Register for our Summer Program!

Mazal tov

...to Yonathan Ezra (7th) and his family on his Bar Mitzvah on Purim!

Annual All-School Musical
Friday, April 5, 10:00 a.m.
Sunday, April 7, 4:00 p.m.
@ Kenwood Academy
Tickets on sale soon!

Shabbat Flower Sales

8th graders are selling flowers to earn money for their Israel Trip. There are two different sizes of flowers: 
- small bouquets: $6
- larger bouquets: $10
If you are interested in buying flowers, you can pre-order them and send your child with a check (made out to Akiba-Schechter) or cash, or you can buy them in the atrium after school on Fridays. If you wish to pay with a credit card, you may do so only if you spend at least $20.

Dates to Remember
Sunday, March 31
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Congregation Rodfei Zedek
5200 S. Hyde Park Blvd.
Friday, April 5
All-School Musical: 
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
10:00 AM @ Kenwood Academy

Sunday, April 7
All School Musical: 
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
4:00 PM @ Kenwood Academy

Wednesday, April 10
Family Game Night for K-2 Families
More info soon 

Wednesday, April 17 - Sunday, April 28
Passover Break
No School

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.
March 22, 2019  
Volume 15, Issue 13
Candle Lighting: 6:45 PM
Parasha: Tzav

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