The Kindergarteners have enjoyed learning how to play Hopscotch. This game has increased their motor skills but also patience and perseverance. With just the right rock, you can make it through an entire game and be crowned the prince and princess of Hopscotch. Sky Blue!

The Hebrew term for gratitude is "Hakarat HaTov," which means "acknowledgment of the good." This week we celebrated the 71st birthday of Israel and celebrated our staff during Staff Appreciation Week. I am incredibly grateful for all the hard work our staff put into the Yom HaAtzma'ut (Israeli Independence Day) programming and appreciative of the hard work our staff puts in daily to educate our students. 

Lots of different activities to celebrate Yom HaAtzma'ut yesterday!

However, "Hakarat Hatov" is more than words and holding positive feelings towards others. It is taking action to show that appreciation. This is where our parents shined this week!

Our parents did such a beautiful job expressing gratitude to our staff during Staff Appreciation Week. Each day there was something special. It began with custom hand-delivered Starbucks (thank you for my Venti Pikes Place with seven Splenda and 2% milk) for each staff member. There was a lovely breakfast another day, the most adorable hand-crafted Rolo filled pencils the next, gift cards on Thursday, and student delivered flowers today.

I want to thank the parent representatives Mara Marks, Tricia Berlin, Ilyssa Minkus and Amy Whitaker who headed up the staff appreciation week committee and indeed rolled up their sleeves to create such a wonderful week. I also want to thank all the volunteers who helped organize and set up each day, and I want to thank all those in the Akiba community who donated the food, gift cards, and flowers. Your actions speak volumes to how much our staff is appreciated, and we are grateful for your Hakarat Hatov!

Shabbat Shalom! 
Dr. Eliezer Jones
Head of School  
Words of Inspiration              
Words of Inspiration from Rabbi Cohen: Ziv Shilon's Indomitable Spirit
Words of Inspiration from Rabbi Cohen: Ziv Shilon's Indomitable Spirit
From the Preschool                
This Summer's Focus Will Be...
by Carla Goldberg, Preschool Director
It may not feel like it outside but we have four weeks left until Akiba's Summer Program begins! It's hard to believe that the end of the school year is coming so quickly. Soon we will be swapping our sweatshirts for t-shirts and sandals. We are busy planning for this summer and I want to give you a sneak peek into what we will be studying this summer: murals and Chicago street art! We are excited to exploring Hyde Park and discover the murals in our neighborhood and beyond. If you have a favorite mural in the city of Chicago, please let us know so we can check it out in person or by photographs. Of course we will create our own murals in the classrooms, on the playgrounds and work with visiting different artists.  

One way that Akiba's summer program differs from others is these long term studies that we do as a school community. Each classroom explores the topic in different ways, and we all learn from each other. It's wonderful to look at Hyde Park and beyond through the lens of these different studies. 

Children studying the Chicago skyline last summer.

Last year we explored building and construction, and the year before we studied sculptures. Parents have shared with me that the children have kept their interest in these long term studies well past the "dog days of summer" and have continued to investigate sculptures and building projects in meaningful ways. I really cherish that our summer program inspires children to pursue these interests that let them see their city and neighborhood in different ways.  

A few summers ago we wrapped up the summer program by hosting our first Art Gallery Opening featuring the children's work. Now it has become a much anticipated community event!  We look forward to another summer filled with exploration, wonder and good old fashioned fun! If you haven't registered for our summer program yet, we still have a few spots available!
Green Room  children created beautiful marbled paper for their Mother's Day cards.
In the Yellow Room, the children have been busy making pouches for the necklaces and pins they created for Mother's Day.

Lifelong teaching journey leads Indian preschool teacher to Pinsky Award
For all of you who know Arun (and all of you who don't!),  JUF News did a great job of capturing why Arun became the great teacher we know her to be in their article about her in the May issue:  Read article here.

Grades 1-8                  
"Who has mail?" - "What's in the box?" - "Check it out - it's a map!" Each child in Miss Friedman's 1st/2nd class selected a state to study, wrote to its Chamber of Commerce, and has been eagerly awaiting receiving a package. When a child receives a package, everyone celebrates, especially if a map is included.

In Science, 3rd/4th graders have been learning about space with Ms. Rodin. They built parachutes to slow down the descend of their payload. It was meant to simulate the work that went into the Apollo 11 splash down in the Pacific Ocean after its trip to the moon.

The 3rd/4th graders in Mrs. Leonard's class have been exploring with various building materials. This helps them understand the load-bearing building method, which was used before the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. After the fire, buildings needed to be fire proof and steel was invented along with the skeleton frame we use today. The children will continue to build with various materials and will culminate the unit by creating their own "skeleton frames" using marshmallows and toothpicks.

We have five winners of the ATT Asher Essay Art and Essay contest! These students submitted their work as part of a prayer project from Mrs. Brackman's Tefillah (prayer) class. Left to right: Adyra Jones, Verdit Szmulewitz, Nina Glick and Anna Copeland (not pictured: Serena Beck)  Kol HaKavod!

Our ten State History Fair competitors with teachers Ben Seigle and Alicia Chipman.

All 10 Akiba Students Receive Awards at State History Fair
Our ten competitors traveled to Springfield, IL, last week to compete in the State History Fair. We're proud to report that all ten of them received either a superior or excellence award. Kol HaKavod! They were also able to participate in the Annual Statewide Yom HaShoah service at the Old State Capitol. 
Congratulations to Yaakov David, Avi Zeller and Toibeh Sarah Gersten for representing Akiba-Schechter at the National Bible Competition, Chidon LaTanach, in New York last week. All three of them worked diligently with their teacher Matty Schinasi to learn the materials covered in the competition. Their labor paid off, and we just earned that Yaakov placed tenth in the country! Kol HaKavod!

Mrs. Brackman and Gold's Jewish Thought classes are working on a unit about the Holocaust. Some of the questions that the students will be wrestling with are: What was the Holocaust? Why is it important to confront the brutality of this history? The unit will culminate with a trip to the Illinois Holocaust Museum.

Yom HaAtzma'ut Celebrations  yom    
Israeli Dancing
Israeli Dancing "Eifo Hippo" Yom HaAtzmaut May 2019
The Grade school had celebrated Yom HaAtzma'ut (Israel Independence Day) on Thursday with fun activities that included games with Ms. Price, Israeli dancing with Ms. Rodin, cooking and tasting Israeli food with Ms. Kass, and making cards for Lone Soldiers with Morah Dorit and Morah Chen.

Akiba alumna Leah Basa, who's currently serving in the IDF, was in town and spoke to middle schoolers about what it means to be a lone soldier, while the students created
cards to mail to lone soldiers.

Israeli food cooking and tasting with Ms. Kass
8 Questions for an 8th Grader: Yaakov David        
Yaakov David at the Chidon HaTanach (National Bible Contest) in New York last week

We continue our series of featuring an 8th grader in each Kibitzer; today it's Yaakov David:  
  1. Since when have you been at Akiba? 
    I have been at Akiba since 4th grade.  
  2. What neighborhood are you from? I live in West Rogers Park.
  3. Is being an 8th grader different from your previous grades at Akiba? I am trying to make sure to do well in Hebrew, and it is different because most things are toned down a bit. 
  4. What is your favorite subject at Akiba and why? 
    My favorite subject is Math, because I like Math and Mr. Amiel always keeps it interesting.
  5. What do you think is special about Akiba? One thing I think is special about Akiba is that it is a small school and everybody knows each other, that is also why I like it. 
  6. Why did you want to be part of the musical?  My experience taking a lead role in the musical was fun, and I did it because it was my last year and I like Willy Wonka.  
  7. When you're not at school or doing homework, what do you like to do? I like to play catch with my dad and play video games. 
  8. Do you have any idea yet of what you want to be when you grow up? 
    I want to be a robotics engineer.
Art with Debbie                  

1st and 2nd grade artists studied a table-top display of geometric solids, lit from one direction by a high-intensity lamp. They sketched the objects first for placement and proportion, making sure their compositions worked to their liking. Then they rendered the shadows in charcoal and the highlights in white chalk.

Thank You for Staff Appreciation Week      staff
Shammai (8th) took care of picking up the flowers for the "Thanks a bunch" vases teachers received today. Thanks to all who donated!
A Big Thank You to All Who Made Staff Appreciation Week Possible: We Definitely Felt the Love of the Akiba Community!
Michael Aranoff
Jordann  Zachary
Stina Fish
Jennifer Uson
Na'ama Rolnik
Alana Beadell
Ruslana Friedman
Magda Lasota
Sarah Gersten

Special Thanks to the Parent Representative Committee who put Staff Appreciation Week together:
Tricia Berlin
Ilyssa Minkus
Amy Whittaker
Mara Mark

Monday, April 29
was generously wa s generously sponsored  by  Jonathan Stern
In memory of Marshall Stern

Friday, May 3
was generously sponsored by   "Oma"  Jean Singer
In honor of the Preschool, Kindergarten and 2nd Grade Teachers

Upcoming #akibacommUNITY Events

Mazal tov

Bar Mitzvah Izzy Blair (8th) and her family on her Bat Mitzvah over Passover break.

baby pacifier Yasha in the Green Room on the birth of his baby brother Ilya.

Lunch & Learn

Thursday, May 16
12:00-1:00 PM at MetroKlub
Topic: Jewish Leadership: What is it and What Characterizes a Leader?
RSVP to Rabbi Cohen by May 15, please!

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, to view brochure and apply online.

Dates to Remember
Thursday, May 23
Lag B'Omer
Grade School Color War

Monday, May 27
Memorial Day
No School

Wednesday, May 29
Kitah Alef Siddur Presentation
2:00 PM

Thursday, May 30
Kitah Bet Tefillah Siyum
8:30 - 9:20 AM

Wednesday, June 5
Last Day of Preschool/Kindergarten
12:00 PM Dismissal for Preschool/KDG

Thursday, June 6
4:00 PM
Congregation Rodfei Zedek

Friday, June 7
Last Day of Grade School
12:00 PM Dismissal

Sunday, Monday, June 9 & 10
No School

Tuesday, June 11
Preschool Summer Program Begins

May 10, 2019  
Volume 15, Issue 15
Candle Lighting: 7:39 PM
Parasha: Kedoshim

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