A big thank you to Rabbi Brackman who visited on Monday and brought the "Shofar Factory" to the 7th and 8th grade. Everyone learned about the importance of the Shofar and created their own.

Alumni: A big family  
This past Sunday we had our annual picnic. It was wonderful to see so many families come out even though it was raining. There were games, moonbounces, yummy food and something special that highlights one of the many things that makes our school wonderful; so many alumni. 

In attendance were alumni who graduated this past June, recent graduates from the past few years and even (see article below) alumni from the class of 1979. It illustrated that when you leave Akiba, you don't leave the family. All our graduates are part of the Akiba family and after seventy years, that is a big family. 

I want to wish all our current families and our big extended family a wonderful Shabbat! Thank you for coming together this past Sunday and thank you to all our alumni that represent all that is wonderful about Akiba out in the world.
Shabbat Shalom!
Dr. Eliezer Jones
Head of School  
The third issue of our Parsha Newsletter, featuring students' work, came out yesterday!
From the Preschool      
Beginning the School Year
by Carla Goldberg, Early Childhood Director

Welcoming a new friend in the Blue Room
We have had a great start to the year. The tears from our newest students are turning into smiles as we get to know each other and form friendships. We know that it can be so hard to leave your child in a classroom, and we appreciate the trust you place in us as we care for your child. 

It was wonderful seeing so many new and returning families at Back-to-School Night. We are very proud of what happens at Akiba every day and enjoy sharing this learning with you. We encourage you to get involved, get to know the families at Akiba and be an active participant in your child's education! This is a magical time in your child's life and we look forward to sharing these experiences with you.   
Our theme of the year got off to a great start in Art class.
All-School (Indoor) Picnic      
The damp weather didn't keep us from having fun at the All-School Picnic last Sunday.
Most of the fun was moved indoors.
How awesome! Akiba grads and former Bat Sherut Aviya hanging out during Picnic.

At last Sunday's All-School Picnic, from left to right: Dr. Eliezer Jones with his son, alumnae Miriam Raider-Roth, Shelly (Weinbaum) Ashkenazi, Susan Evans, Principal Miriam Kass, and alumnus Elliot Frohlichstein-Appel

40 Years Later, Alumni Find a School's Spirit Still Palpable
by Alumna Susan Evans
For most of us alumni, it had been 40 years since we walked through the halls of Akiba-Schechter. While many things are different now (such as multi-age classrooms, a maker-space and modern playground equipment), the ruach (spirit) of the school and the bond we had formed with each other because of school, felt more than familiar. Since 1979, when we graduated, that ruach has been part of who we are, both individually and as a group.

Introducting the Akiba Audio Library     

Mrs. Cook & Mrs. Schinasi Record Readings of Favorite Books
by Alicia Chipman & Thea Crook

This year, in addition to our intentional focus on gratitude, we are also celebrating a true love of the Akiba community: books.

We will be sharing our collective love of reading in several different ways, and we are happy to introduce the first one: Reading with Mrs. Crook and Mrs. Schinasi. Both of these wonderful teachers have been recording audio-only readings of beloved picture books: English-language with Mrs. Crook and Hebrew-language with Mrs. Schinasi. A big thank you to Shimmy Castle for his work on the recordings!

These days, children spend so much time using electronic devices, that it is becoming more challenging for them to really listen. However, the ability to listen is a crucial skill for learning. Listening to an engaging story is an attractive way to help develop that skill, and so we are happy to offer this additional resource to our community.

The plan is to present books that are not necessarily about the Jewish holidays or values, but connect to them in some way. Mrs. Crook begins with reading Kitten's First Full Moon. This fits as we head towards Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Sukkot, because the Jewish months are based on the lunar calendar. We have a new moon on Rosh Hashana, and full moon at the beginning of Sukkot. Mrs. Schinasi reads Slicha Sharona, a book about saying sorry, a major theme for the High Holidays.

These recordings are available for an easy listen on our website. On your next car ride or while waiting at the doctor's office, simply pull up a story (or two!) and share a book with your child, read by a beloved Akiba teacher.

Look out for announcements of new recordings in the Kibitzer and on our Facebook page!
Day School      
Here, so me of Mr. Salk's 1st/2nd grade students hold their Zome creations. The Zome building pieces will make a reappearance at the end of the school year, but then there will also be a vat of bubble solution in which the creations can be dipped to reveal all the surfaces.

Researching animals in Mrs. Leonard_s 3rd_4th grade class

Animal Diaries
The 3rd/4th graders in Mrs. Leonard's class eagerly began their animal research this week. They are excited for their Animal Diaries unit. Each child chose an animal to research. Using books from the library, they are taking notes about their animal's habitat, prey, animals that eat them, habits, special body features and cool facts. The children will then write their Animal Diaries from the perspective of the animal, using humor and teaching their classmates about the animal, all at the same time!
Romy and Meira presented a story followed by a discussion in Mrs. Brackman's Jewish Thought class. Every student will have a chance to teach and inspire through their own thought-provoking questions, stories and video clips of Jewish ideas.

Creating their Own Prayer Notebook
Mrs. Brackman's Tefillah (prayer) group is excited to be doing something new this year. They spend half of the week learning the meaning of a prayer, and the other half journaling and keeping an ongoing notebook of their reflections, translations and understand of the prayers. The hope is that at the end of the year, they will each have a complete prayer book.

In P.E. this year, students will get a taste of many different sports. Their first sports unit this year is soccer. Students have mastering their techniques in dribbling, passing, and shooting. Along with practicing the fundamentals, they also play a game that is a variation of the sport to practice these skills. By the end of each unit, they will play as much of an actual game as possible. In this picture, students are warming up with a dribbling exercise to get ready for our game of the day.

8 Questions for an 8th Grader

We continue our series, begun last year, of featuring one of our 8th graders in each issue of the Kibitzer. Netanel Barsky is the first this year:
  1. Since when have you been at Akiba? I have been at Akiba since first grade.
  2. What neighborhood do you live in? I live in East Lakeview.
  3. What do you hope to accomplish in 8th grade? How is being an 8th grader different from your previous grades at Akiba? In 8th grade, I hope to raise more money for the Israel trip than other students have in previous years. This year, I am one of the leaders in the school.
  4. What is your favorite subject at Akiba and why? My favorite subject at Akiba this year is Humanities because of the class discussions.
  5. What do you think is special about Akiba? What do you particularly like and why? I think Akiba is special because the teachers and staff have personal relationships with the students. I particularly like having small classes because I feel like I learn more than I would in a bigger class.
  6. If you have had your bar mitzvah or are preparing for it, what did you learn from it? I had my Bar Mitzvah in Israel this summer where I realized the importance of spending positive experiences with family and friends.
  7. When you're not at school or doing homework, what do you like to do? On my own time, I enjoy playing sports, watching movies, listening to music, and reading.
  8. Do you have any idea yet of what you want to be when you grow up? Since I was little, I have always felt that I wanted to be a businessman.

The Yellow Room kids have loved being out on the playground.

The Green Room celebrates Shabbat.

Welcome to Our Preschool Teachers  

We're happy to welcome back Rebecca Singer, who taught in our preschool from 1991 to 1999. Back then, it was only her second job after getting her degree in Jewish Education. In the interim, she raised three children and taught preschool at Hillel Torah, and now she has joined Arun in the Blue Room.

Amanda Hinkle has joined Iris Putterman teaching in the Kindergarten. She found Akiba through her friend Zoe, who taught with Arun in the Blue Room last year. With a degree from Columbia College, she has previously taught preschool at City Children's Academy in River West. Initially pursuing a career in jewelry design, she discovered her love for working with children while volunteering at the Rehab Institute of Chicago.

Molly Constatnine already joined the preschool team over the summer but we are happy to welcome her to the Purple Room team for this school year.
PTO Corner    
Thank you to all Parent Volunteers who helped in making the Akiba Picnic a success! 

We still need a couple volunteers for the Hyde Park Children's Book Fair. Please email PTO if you can help this Sunday, September 15. Shifts are:
- 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. 
- 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Attention Akiba Moms - Please join us next week, Thursday, September 19 @ 6:30 p.m. for Mom's Night Out! More info and RSVP here.
Shabbat Flowers

...are once again on sale on Fridays. Pre-order here. Children can pick up pre-ordered flowers before getting on the bus on Friday. 

Marla's Lunch
Don't forget to order lunch for your children! Lunch orders are due on Mondays at noon for the following week of lunches.  


Dates to Remember
Thursday, September 12
First Day of Parent-Tot
9:00 - 10:30 a.m. 

Tuesday, September 17
JUF Luncheon
7th & 8th graders with teachers & staff; 
Please note:  Dress code is business casual. Please be sure your children are dressed appropriate

Wednesday, September 18
Jewish Holidays 101
8:45 - 10:00 a.m.
Downstairs Blue Room
RSVP to Carla.

Thursday, September 19
Mom's Night Out
6:30 p.m.
More info & RSVP here.

Monday, September 29 & Tuesday, October 1
Rosh Hashana
No school

Wednesday, October 2
Preschool & Kindergarten Picture Day

Thursday, October 3
Grades 1-8 & Siblings Picture Day

Tuesday, October 8
Erev Yom Kippur
12:00 p.m. Grades 1-8 Dismissal
3:30 p.m. Preschool Dismissal

Wednesday, October 9
Yom Kippur
No School

September 13, 2019  
Volume 16, Issue 2
Candle Lighting: 6:44 p.m.
Parasha: Ki Tavo
Affiliated with the Associated Talmud Torahs and supported by the Kehillah Jewish Education Fund