The Parent/Tot class explored the shape of Shofars last week. See one of their beautiful resulting pictures below!

A Holiday of Unity
Sukkot is my favorite Chag ( holiday ). After an intense period of time focused on personal reflection, Teshuva ( repentance ) and Tefilah ( praye r), we get to spend time outside, have festive meals, and come together with family and friends. Sukkot also has a lot of inspiring meaning and symbolism. One of the central themes of Sukkot is unity, beautifully represented by the Lulav and Etrog used throughout Sukkot.

The Lulav and Etrog are called the arba minim, which is Hebrew for "four species." The four species specifically are a palm branch ( lulav ), three or more myrtles ( hadassim ), two willows ( aravot ) and one citron ( etrog ). There are different ideas behind each one of these species, but the central theme is that they are four different species brought together as one. They represent differences among people coming together for this special holiday. 

Growing up, my Sukkah (the temporary hut built for this holiday) had all types of people gathering in it to eat, sing and enjoy each other. It brought to life this theme of unity. As the Akiba children and I were putting the school's Sukkah together, my thoughts went to the memories of my childhood Sukkah. Our Akiba Sukkah is a symbol for our school, where a beautifully diverse group children, staff and families gather daily.  We are the living embodiment of Sukkot each and every day. 

I wish all of you a happy and meaningful Sukkot! May the holiday's theme of unity permeate your own Sukkah, home, community and our world!
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach!
Dr. Eliezer Jones
Head of School  
From the Preschool      
When Grandparents Come to Class
by Carla Goldberg, Early Childhood Director

Clementine works on making a sukkah with her grandfather in Parent/Tot.
We are anticipating a beautiful day on Friday, October 18 for Grandparents & Special Friends Day at Akiba. No matter what the weather is in Chicago that day, it will be shining in our classrooms! 

In the Parent/Tot class, we are very lucky to have many grandparents who either attend our class regularly or join us when they are visiting Chicago. It is such a joy to see the grandparents interacting with their grandchild during an art activity, reading stories, building with blocks or making challah and singing Shabbat songs on Fridays. Everyone always leaves with a smile on their faces.

We hope that either a grandparent or a special friend will be able to join us in school next Friday to celebrate Sukkot and Shabbat. While we know that these Fall holidays can be challenging for our families, with days off and lots of preparation, it is also such a unique time when our community comes together in different ways. Grandparents & Special Friends Day lets guests experience our classrooms and see the magic that happens at Akiba-Schechter every day, and this year specifically during Sukkot and on Shabbat.  

Thank you for inviting all of your guests to join us for this special day! We know how much each child and teacher will enjoy sharing Akiba-Schechter. We look forward to celebrating together!
The Kindergarteners did Tashlich at the lake last Thursday.
The Yellow Room has been busy with all things apple.
The Parent/Tot class explored the shape and sound of Shofars. They painted around them, on them, glued them and even tried to play them, too. Here's is Ruben's picture.shofar
Day School      
Mr. Amiel's Math class had a lot of fun learning about different codes like Caesar cyphers and pigpen cyphers and then used them codes to make Rosh Hashana cards. Some students even used these cyphers on Hebrew to create bilingual codes.
On Monday, middle schoolers walked over to Lake Michigan to do Tashlich (the ceremony of resetting for the New Year).
Classroom Spotlight 
A Peek into Mr. Salk's 1st/2nd Grade Classroom
A Peek into Mr. Salk's 1st/2nd Grade Classroom

Why I Teach the Way I Do 
by 1st/2nd Grade Teacher Scott Salk

I grew up in suburbia and went to highly regarded public schools. Like many others, I remember being bored in school, coping with classrooms where opportunities to move around, talk, be curious - or anything that kids naturally want and need to do - were rare. Usually there were uninspired and uninspiring lessons, endless worksheets and textbooks with questions at the end of the chapter. The general sentiment among kids was, "It's school! What do you expect?" Most learned to "play the game:" give the teachers what they want, make them 'think' you're doing what they want, learn to do the minimum necessary to achieve one's desired goal. 

I did not think there was another way for school to be. 

Then I happened upon The Family School, a small "free" school in California. 

8 Questions for an 8th Grader
We continue our series of featuring one of our 8th graders in each issue of the Kibitzer. This time, it is 
Chana Cantz :
  1. Since when have you been at Akiba? Since 4th grade.
  2. What neighborhood do you live in? I live in Skokie.
  3. What do you hope to accomplish in 8th grade? How is being an 8th grader different from your previous grades at Akiba? 8th grade is different! It's much more fun and everyone in our grade is closer.
  4. What is your favorite subject at Akiba and why? My favorite subject is Science because it's fun, and I learn the most in that class. 
  5. What do you think is special about Akiba? What do you particularly like and why? I like Akiba because there are all different types of people.
  6. If you have had your bar mitzvah or are preparing for it, what did you learn from it? Whatever you do, you have to love so it's meaningful. 
  7. When you're not at school or doing homework, what do you like to do? I like to do gymnastics and hang out with my friends.
  8. Do you have any idea yet of what you want to be when you grow up? I would like to be a fashion designer or a photographer.
The October 8th Day of Learning w as sponsored by Sharon Glick
in honor of Nina Glick on the occasion of her birthday.

The October 4th Day of Learning was sponsored by Dr. Eliezer Jones
in memory of Naftali Taubenfeld Z'l father of his mentor Jane Taubenfeld-Cohen.

Raffle wraps up on October 29. Drawing takes place October 30!
Seeking Shoe Donations!
The Chesed Club, under the guidance of Mrs. Crook, is thrilled to launch their 5780 Shoe Drive. Once again they are asking you to drop off shoes you are no longer using. They will be donated to the Chicago Center for Torah and Chesed, which welcomes all kinds of shoes in any size. A big thank  you to Art teacher Dara Henning, who decorated our  shoe collection bin, which you can find in the atrium. We hope to use it for many years!

Dates to Remember
Monday & Tuesday, October 14 & 15
No School

Wednesday - Friday, October 16 - 18
Chol HaMoed Sukkot
School in Session
No late bus, no after-school programs except for Kids' Club, Extended Kids' Club and late pick-up.  

Friday, October 18
8:15 - 11:00 a.m.
Register here.

Monday & Tuesday, October 21 & 22
Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah
No School

Wednesday, October 30
Picture Retake Day

Sunday, November 3
3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, November 14
Parent/Teacher Conferences
No School for Grades 1-8 
Preschool and Kindergarten in session until 12:00 p.m.

Friday, November 15
Professional Development Day
No School

October 11, 2019  
Volume 16, Issue 4
Candle Lighting: 5:56 p.m.
Parasha: Ha'azinu
Affiliated with the Associated Talmud Torahs and supported by the Kehillah Jewish Education Fund