3rd/4th grade drew self-portraits in Purim costumes.

Happy Purim!

This week was a joyful and spirited week as students and staff dressed up for the different spirit days. I even saw a parents join in the fun each morning when they dropped off their child. Most days at school are joyful, but it is always enhanced at this time of year leading up to the Jewish holiday of Purim , a holiday of joy. 

Next week we look forward to another wonderful Purim, with Rabbi Brackman reading the Megillah and a student-created carnival. This will be followed the next day with our annual Shushan Purim roller skating event. I want to wish all our students, parents and staff a Purim Sameach (Joyful Purim)! May the joy be felt on the holiday and extend for the days, weeks and months that follow.
Shabbat Shalom!
Dr. Eliezer Jones
Head of School  
From the Day School
Visitors Provide a Window into Our School
by Miriam Kass, Principal
Over the past month we have welcomed many visitors into our school. We have had potential teaching candidates here for interviews and model classes. (We look forward to sharing news about that as soon as possible). We have had prospective students spend a day or more shadowing in both lower and middle school classes. We have met with parents, both local and from farther away, interested in finding the right school for their children. We have hosted workshops and a showing of No Small Matter for professionals throughout the community. We facilitated a family play day for current and prospective families.

On every one of these visits, we have the opportunity to see our school through new eyes and ears. What we learn confirms that, in many ways, we are meeting our highest goals. Here's a sampling of what we heard from visitors:
  • "So many students and teachers introduced themselves to me and helped me feel at home."
  • "The students asked some really difficult questions about religious topics in such respectful and curious ways, and the teacher engaged the questions and the students with equal respect."
  • "My son was clearly nervous about his visit and overwhelmed by all the new faces. Two students told him they would be scared, too, and waited with him until he was ready to engage. And a teacher took time away from his class preparations to talk with us until we felt comfortable." 
  • "The students here look so engaged in their classes. They look so happy! How do you do that?"
  • "I noticed the older children caring for their younger buddies in such a lovely way."
  • "Thank you to Akiba-Schechter for being a leader in the conversation about early childhood education and the significant role it plays in our society today and in the future."
  • "Your students make so many connections between the text and the modern world. They seem to be supported in thinking what they're learning is important and relevant."  
Shabbat Shalom!
The Purple Room has been busy learning about fire trucks and worked really hard to build their own. Mission accomplished: They're ready to roll!
Kindergarteners Maria and Natalie read together with their 3rd grade buddy Shalom on Dr. Seuss Day/Rosh Chodesh Adar.
The Purim energy is electric in the Blue Room. The children are excited to tell and retell the story of Purim and have been making puppets: Mean Haman and Brave Esther, Silly Achashverosh and Sweet Uncle Mordechai. When all their puppets are complete, they will put them in a castle in Shushan.
Family Fun Day in the Preschool last Sunday
Day School      
3rd/4th graders worked on their Purim packet worksheets in Rabbi M's class (on Pajama day!).
During DEAR time (Drop Everything and Read) in Mr. Salk's class, Nataniella has found a comfortable place to enjoy reading her book.
Alexis's poster (left) was inspired by Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I a Woman Too" speech (1851). Ronit's poster (right) was based on the famous pamphlet David Walker's Appeal (1830).

Art as an Abolitionist Tool
In their study of abolition, the 7th/8th grade Humanities class examined the role of art as a tool of persuasion and social justice. After looking at abolitionist posters from the mid-1800s as well as contemporary posters with a social justice message, students identified key artistic elements artists used to craft their message including color, composition, imagery and symbolism, as well as language. Students then listened to re-enactments of five famous abolitionist speeches and created their own abolitionist poster inspired by one of the speeches. 
Congratulations to Jed Marcus on doing so well on his 3rd regional test of the Chidon HaTanach (National Bible Contest)! He has now qualified to represent Akiba at the national test in New York.
Basketball Season Wraps Up
Congratulations to Wolves players Ezra and Ronit, who were named to the All-Tournament Team at the Jewish Day School National Basketball Tournament on February 23!
Thank you to the PTO for organizing the Akiba Wolves Pizza Party & Movie this Thursday. It was a wonderful celebration and a great opportunity for the kids and families to thank our coaches.
Spotlight on...

A Favorite Recipe for Purim: Chocolate-Poppy Seed-Filled Hamantashen
by Annette Gendler, Communications Coordinator
I have Akiba-Schechter to thank for introducing me to giving Mishloach Manot for Purim, a custom that first struck me as rather odd. How I got into that is captured in my Kveller article Why Jews Need This Silly Purim Tradition.

Baking Hamantashen, however, was not something I had a hard time getting into, mainly because I love the traditional poppy seed filling.

Problem was, my kids weren't into anything poppy seed! But then I discovered Leah Koenig's brilliant chocolate-poppy seed filling, and suddenly the poppy seed filling became palatable to them.

The February 26 Rosh Chodesh Learning and Activities were generously sponsored by
the Lowenthal Family i n honor of the yahrtzeit of Bud Pickett,  father of Erin Lowenthal  and grandfather of Henry, Benny and Ari Lowenthal. 

The Friday, February 28, Day of Learning was generously sponsored by Jessi, Coral and Martin Allender  in memory of  their son and brother Max Isaac Allender, Itzchak B'n Yiska
on the occasion of his 6th Yartzeit.

Events small

Yasher Koach!
...to 6th grader Asher Radutny who did the Polar Plunge last Sunday and raised $563.75 for Special Olympics.

Mazal tov...
Bar Mitzvah
...to Judaics teacher Baila Brackman on the Bat Mitzvah of her daughter Zelda, who's also a Akiba-Schechter preschool alumna.

...to Tomer Goldberg (7th) and his family on his Bar Mitzvah this Shabbat.

Used Dress Shirts Needed!
The Art Room needs adult-sized button-down shirts to use for smocks. If you have any you can donate, please send them to school with your child. Thanks!

Save the Date:
Our school musical performances of 
Seussical the Musical are scheduled for:
Friday, March 27, 11:30 a.m.
Sunday, March 29, 4:00 p.m.

Preschool Summer Program Sign Up is Open!


Dates to Remember
Monday, March 9
Erev Purim
No Late Bus. No after school programs. No Kids Club. Late Pick Up for Preschool is in session. 
Tuesday, March 10
12:00 p.m. Dismissal for Grade School. No late bus. No after school programs. Preschool and Kindergarten have a regular day. 
Wednesday, March 11
Shushan Purim
Grade School rollerskating field trip. Regular day for Preschool and Kindergarten. 
Tuesday, March 17
Beyond the Birds and the Bees: Talking to your kids about puberty, dating and consent 
6:30 - 8:00 p.m. at Akiba
Friday, March 27
School Play: Seussical
10:15 a.m.

Sunday, March 29
School Musical: Seussical
4:00 p.m.

2020-21 School Calendar is Available!

Download here.

Purim Carnival

Sunday, March 8
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
JCC Hyde Park
March 6, 2020  
Volume 16, Issue 13
Candle Lighting: 5:28 p.m.
Parasha: Tetzaveh
Affiliated with the Associated Talmud Torahs and supported by the Kehillah Jewish Education Fund