The Kitah Alef/Bet girls in all their finery at their Siddur Presentation on Thursday. It was such a joyous celebration!
May 14, 2021
Volume 17, Issue 16
Candle Lighting: 7:43 p.m.
Parasha: Bamidbar
What It Was Like to Be Honored
by Carla Goldberg, Early Childhood Director

This week I was asked to reflect on what it was like to be honored at the Akiba Benefit last week. I will be honest: I don’t quite know where to begin. First of all, it was such an overwhelming outpouring of support and love for the thirty years that I have been at Akiba-Schechter. I was so touched to see who was there on the screen, who had written on the kudoboard, and who had made a donation to Akiba. I saw families from the present and past all participating in some way in this event. I felt like this was a true bringing together of the Akiba community.

I was also struck by how warm the event was. Somehow Akiba managed to plan an event that really felt like a celebration of who we are at Akiba. I felt so good about that, seeing everyone gathered and truly celebrating the essence of Akiba. I loved that Justin Roberts, with some Akiba teachers and alumni, wrote a song about Scott and me. Actually, I was a little star struck by this! And then, of course, that Justin Roberts performed at the event. This wasn’t just about the adults - the whole celebration was also about our children and celebrating childhood. It’s what we do best at Akiba, and it was really highlighted at our event.
All the In Between
A song written and performed by Justin Roberts for Carla and Scott at our Spring Benefit on May 2, 2021
This has been an unprecedented year for all of us at Akiba and in the world. We have all been pulled in so many different directions; we have so much at Akiba to be grateful for. We have been at school, all year and somehow we held a beautiful, thoughtful, and moving Benefit.

I want to thank everyone who was on the committee for all of the time they spent putting this together. I have no idea how you found the time to pull this off and yet you created a special day for us to celebrate together. A special thank you to Heather Waitzman, Jill Kohl, Elli Goodman and Ruth Czarnecki-Lichstein for planning the event, including several gifts to enjoy on the day of the celebration.

Thank you to the Akiba Board of Directors for a matching gift to help make our event raise even more funds. A huge thank you to Miriam Kass for everything you did to make this event a successful fundraiser and a beautiful time for us all to be together and celebrate Akiba.

Thank you to Scott Salk for sharing this special day with me! Thank you for letting us recognize your retirement and your years of incredible commitment to Akiba and our students.

Finally, I want to thank our emcees, Zev Goldberg and Tomer Keysar, for representing our Akiba alumni so beautifully and for showing everyone what an Akiba graduate looks like. I am sure that I am leaving out a lot of people, and so I just want to thank the Akiba community for allowing me to grow and thrive and have the privilege of working with your children at Akiba over the last thirty years.

I am tremendously grateful for these past thirty years and all you have given me, and I look forward to making many more memories together.
Mazel Tov Class of 2021!
Last Spring, knowing we would not be able to gather for our graduation ceremony and hear from each one of our graduates, we created a new tradition of spotlighting one graduate each day leading up to graduation. While much of what we've had to do because of Covid we look forward to shedding as soon as it's safe to do so, the Graduate Videos are in the "Covid Keepers" category. In your email today, you received the first Graduate Video of the class of 2021 spotlighting Yadin Isaacs with photos, a teacher introduction and graduate speech. Look for a new Graduate Video email each school day morning. They will be released in the reverse order of which the graduates arrived at Akiba. At the bottom of each email you can click to leave a note on the individual Kudoboards.

Graduation is scheduled for June 10. For safety reasons, we plan to hold it outside for staff and a limited number of graduate family members only. All others will be invited to join on Zoom.
Dvar Torah
Kitah Alef Siddur Presentation
The Children Are Our Strength
by Rabbi David Bauman, Head of Judaic Studies & Community Engagement

The Talmud, at the end of Tractate Berachot, concludes with an interesting play on words: "Do not read the Banich rather Boneich." (Do not read Your Children, rather Your Builders.)

Both words in Hebrew have the same root B-N-CH. Thursday morning the Akiba-Schechter family was treated to a beautiful Siddur ceremony led by the 1st and 2nd-grade class reminding us that our children are truly the builders of the Jewish future. Each student assisted in leading the tefillot, which was witnessed by older siblings, parents, grandparents, friends, and teachers.

One of the special moments happened during the morning blessings: Upon finishing the blessing thanking G-d for giving strength, the students shouted out, with a powerful fist in the air, the word Koach - meaning strength.

Upon reflection, it is our students here at Akiba-Schechter who, every day, provide the teachers and staff with the strength and inspiration to continue to be passionate about education throughout this challenging year. To this point, on behalf of all the faculty and staff, I want to thank our students for teaching us what it means to have the strength to push through difficult times. Kol HaKavod!

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Matan Torah Sameach!
In Teva the children created birds out of clay. They also found natural materials in the park to add their clay sculptures, and one child found a huge tree branch for all the birds to sit on!
In the Upstairs Preschool, Martin and Rosemary are creating ripped paper art for a caterpillar habitat.
For Yom Yerushalayim, the ZoomRoom learned about each of the eight gates of the Old City of Jerusalem. Then the children created their own gate and gave it a name.
The Sharon Room and Memorial Bench
We're happy to report back on our December memorial event for longtime preschool teacher Sharon Vadeboncoeur which raised $15,680. With this, we were able to install a memorial bench for Sharon in our courtyard as well as dedicate the Sharon Room (see below). Formerly the Green Room, it currently serves as a multi purpose room for staff, and Carla's office, as we had to rearrange our space due to Covid regulations.
Grades 1 - 8
1st/2nd grade students assisted Morah Dorit in creating a replica of the Western Wall in advance of Jerusalem Day
Ari and Avi led Hallel in honor of Rosh Chodesh Sivan on Wednesday, May 12 in Mrs. Brackman's Tefillah (prayer) class.
In Art, 3rd/4th graders have been making geometric pattern collages.
Rabbi M’s Mishna class dissects a Mishna into what they know and what they do not know. All they were given was the Mishna and the vocabulary.
In honor of Jerusalem Day this past Monday, 5th/6th graders in Moreh Maor's class expanded their knowledge of the city of Jerusalem: Who is the mayor? Where is the Armenian Quarter? Who is Moshe Montefiore? There were a total of 40 questions. Aside from learning about the city, its history, and key sites, they also practiced skills like searching for information on the internet, asking a broad question and then narrowing it down, or searching within a particular site to find an answer.
5th/6th graders focused on their reading during book club.
This week the 8th graders practiced setting up their tents in preparation for their class trip to Bullfrog Lake next week.
8 Questions for an 8th Grader
In each issue of the Kibitzer, we feature one of our 8th graders. In this edition, it is Leah Rosenbaum:

  1. For how long have you been at Akiba? I have been at Akiba since pre-K.
  2. What neighborhood do you live in? I live in Hyde Park.
  3. What do you hope to accomplish in 8th grade? How is being an 8th grader different from your previous grades at Akiba? When I was in 1st grade, I had a dream to be the coolest 8th grader..., look at me now! I'm as cool as they come. Eighth grade is different from all the others because of Covid.
  4. What is your favorite subject at Akiba? My favorite subject is Science because I'm a human, and learning how I and many others work is fascinating.
  5. What do you think is special about Akiba? What do you particularly like and why? I love the Akiba community and how the teachers and other staff members care about the students. They are so supportive. Akiba is like a second family, and I’m going to miss the school a lot after being here for 10 years!
  6. What did you learn from your Bar Mitzvah? From my Bat Mitzvah, I learned I look snazzy in high heels.
  7. When you’re not at school or doing homework, what do you like to do (hobbies, special interests)? I like studying languages, speedskating, playing sims 4 and most importantly, I love to follow my favorite actresses online, particularly Natasha Lyonne.
  8. What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be a marketing executive or an occupational therapist.
Our Wednesday, May 5 Day of Learning was dedicated in honor of all the wonderful teachers at ASJDS. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! Thank you for all you do! - Law Offices of Helen Bloch, P.C.

Our Tuesday, May 11 Day of Learning was dedicated in loving memory of Jerome M. Grunes M.D. z"l.
Challah Orders!

Bring home the sumptuous flavor of a handmade challah for Shabbos and help our 8th graders raise money for a class gift.

Upcoming challah baking day will be May 27, and possibly a bonus day in June, so plan ahead!
Order here by 6 p.m. on Wednesday to ensure Thursday delivery.

For those ready to plan for next school year, here's an overview of the 2021-2022 Akiba Calendar.
Dates to Remember
Monday & Tuesday, May 17 & 18
No School

Monday, May 31
Memorial Day
No School

Thursday, June 3
How Accessible is Safe Water in Chicago?
Panel discussion of experts moderated by 7th/8th graders (Zoom)
5:00 p.m.

Friday, June 4
Last Day of Preschool

Thursday, June 10
Last Day of School for K-8
8th Grade Graduation
Affiliated with the Associated Talmud Torahs and supported by the Kehillah Jewish Education Fund