September 29, 2016
Elul 26, 5776
Good Things Happen Every Day 
at  The Silver Academy
Rachel Zilbering, Principal

Some weeks are so full of activities, I don't even know where to begin.   On Tuesday, we took advantage of a spectacular day to walk to Italian Lake for our model Tashlich ceremony. Wednesday was a fun day for the entire school, as we were fortunate to host the Shofar Factory. Selected grades were also able to make their own shofars with help from the adults.  We thank The Hodara Family, Reuben Rosenberg, and The Silver Academy PTO for their generous support of this event. Be sure to take a look at the pictures from these events at the end of the Silver Summary and on our Facebook page. 

From everyone at The Silver Academy, we wish you a Shana Tova U'metuka, a sweet new year and look forward to seeing you at in 5777. 
Student D'var Torah
Devar Torah for Nitzavim- by Brian Dym, 7th Grade
What's so Easy About That?

Imagine you are in the desert, about to enter Israel and Moshe is speaking right before he dies. What is Moshe going to say to help you be confident about keeping the Torah despite the challenges of everyday life in Israel? These are Moshe's words:

יא כִּי הַמִּצְוָה הַזֹּאת אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם לֹא נִפְלֵאת הִוא מִמְּךָ וְלֹא רְחֹקָה הִוא:
יב לֹא בַשָּׁמַיִם הִוא לֵאמֹר מִי יַעֲלֶה לָּנוּ הַשָּׁמַיְמָה וְיִקָּחֶהָ לָּנוּ וְיַשְׁמִעֵנוּ אֹתָהּ וְנַעֲשֶׂנָּה:
יג וְלֹא מֵעֵבֶר לַיָּם הִוא לֵאמֹר מִי יַעֲבָר לָנוּ אֶל עֵבֶר הַיָּם וְיִקָּחֶהָ לָּנוּ וְיַשְׁמִעֵנוּ אֹתָהּ וְנַעֲשֶׂנָּה:
יד כִּי קָרוֹב אֵלֶיךָ הַדָּבָר מְאֹד בְּפִיךָ וּבִלְבָבְךָ לַעֲשׂתוֹ:
11. For this commandment which I command you this day, is not concealed from you, nor is it far away.
12. It is not in heaven, that you should say, "Who will go up to heaven for us and fetch it for us, to tell [it] to us, so that we can fulfill it?"
13. Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, "Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us and fetch it for us, to tell [it] to us, so that we can fulfill it?"
14. Rather,[this] thing is very close to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can fulfill it.

Moshe is saying that the Torah is not too hard. It is not in heaven nor beyond the sea. So far I understand. These are good metaphors for saying that the Mitzvot are not beyond my ability.  But what does Moshe mean when he says that it is in my mouth and my heart?  I think I just lost him.  

Yonatan ben Uzieal, a translator of the Torah who lived in the times of the Mishnah, explains it in the following way.

"For the word is close to you, in your houses of study.  Discuss it, so you may think about it. It will then purify your hearts. Then you can perform it."

Yonatan ben Uzieal means that studying the Torah, especially with others in a house of study, can change one's attitude or perspective about ideas in the Torah. They might become more understandable. The next step is that one may find them not so hard to do, and actually begin put the ideas into practice. What Moshe means is that studying Torah begins its own process, and this process is not too difficult.

The Beit HaLevi, Rabbi Yosef dov Soloveitchik, has a different approach.  He applies a talmudic idea to our verse. The Talmud in Niddah says, that while a baby develops within the womb, an angel teaches him the entire Torah. Just before birth, the angel touches the child on his mouth causing him to forget all that he has learned (Talmud - Niddah 30b).

The Talmud means that our soul already learned the Torah, but was made to forgot it. The mitzvah of learning Torah in our lifetime is therefore in order to re learn it. So the Beit HaLevi explains that this is what Moshe means. The Torah is close to us in our mouth and in our hearts because we were born with it.

Interestingly, this idea of relearning the Torah is similar to Plato's idea of recollection. Plato says that all learning is relearning what the soul already knows. The gemara says this only  about Torah learning only, perhaps because of its Divine content.

That positive change is not so hard is especially important during the High Holiday season.  Each of us can gain confidence from Moshe's message as we think about our Rosh HaShana resolutions.

Catching up with Classmates

Do you love hearing what's going on with friends and classmates from your past years here at The Silver Academy? We want to help you connect with former students through our new feature article, Catching up with Classmates.
We would love to hear from you so that we can post your story and share your life events such as recent
engagements, weddings, babies, graduations, new jobs, etc
. Sharing nachas is always wonderful! If you are interested in sharing your story, please send a note to Shari Dym at

Rabbi David Wolpe, Our First Featured Classmate

Rabbi David Wolpe  lived in Harrisburg and attended our school until 5th grade when his family moved to Philadelphia. You may remember his parents, Rabbi Gerald and Elaine Wolpe z"l from the days when Rabbi Gerald Wolpe was the Rabbi at Beth El.

A Message from Rabbi David Wolpe
I treasure my years at Silver and learned a great deal there. I am delighted to offer a thought on this upcoming season, whose roots are in the school we share.  Shana Tovah!
Rosh HaShanah is the only holiday without a limit. It literally celebrates everything. Other holidays celebrate events in history, or the relationship between God and Israel. But Rosh HaShanah celebrates the creation of the world; in other words, it is a song of gratitude for all that exists. We blow the shofar on Rosh HaShanah because if we sleepwalk through life we are violating the essence of the holiday - to see and feel joy in the created world and the God who made it. Indifference is the enemy, ennui the sin, embrace the answer.

The holiday that follows, Yom Kippur, is a symbolic enactment of death. We do not eat or bathe, and we dress in shrouds. Those who have not been grateful on Rosh HaShanah are asked to imagine what it would be like to be without the world. What if there were no love, no words or music or mountains or sky? Perhaps only after Yom Kippur can we fully appreciate the message of Rosh HaShanah. One day all this will be gone for you. Rejoice now; celebrate now; hold the world and those you love close.

Shana Tovah Umetukah - a happy and sweet New Year

An Article About Rabbi David Wolpe
This article was posted on the website of Sinai Temple in California, where he lives and serves as the Max Webb Senior Rabbi.
"Named the most influential Rabbi in America by Newsweek Magazine and one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world by the Jerusalem Post, David Wolpe is the Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, California. He previously taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York, the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, Hunter College, and UCLA. Rabbi Wolpe, a weekly columnist for, has been published and profiled in the New York Times, the LA Times, the Washington Post's On Faith website, The Huffington Post, and the New York Jewish Week. He has been on television numerous times, including the Today Show, Face the Nation, ABC this Morning, and CBS This Morning. In addition Rabbi Wolpe has been featured in series on PBS, A&E, the History channel, and the Discovery channel. Rabbi Wolpe is the author of eight books, including the national bestseller Making Loss Matter: Creating Meaning in Difficult Times. Rabbi Wolpe's new book is titled, David, the Divided Heart. It was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Awards, and has been optioned for a movie by Warner Bros."
For more information on Rabbi David Wolpe please click on the links below:

Inside the Classroom
Kindergarten Judaic Studies
Morah Sarah (Mrs. Sally Jo Bronner)
The excitement is growing in the Kindergarten classroom as the time to celebrate Rosh Hashanah comes closer. Students have been actively learning about the holiday and all of its symbols. Here is a sampling of how Kindergarten is learning about Rosh Hshanah: They have touched and listened to shofars. Students learned about doing good deeds, especially Tzedakah.   They took two Tashlich was in our classroom where students tossed bad behaviors into a paper river that they created. The other was a walk to Italian Lake with the entire school. Here they threw bread into the real water, which we are sure was enjoyed by the fish and swans. Lastly, on Friday we will be tasting a variety of types of apples with honey. Students are quite excited about this activity, as it is Grandparent's and Special Person's Day, so we will have some very special guests!

While we continue focusing on the Jewish new year, Kindergarten is learning about Yom Kippur and forgiveness. One of the students' favorite holiday stories is "Jonah and the Big Fish". Here are are some pictures of us playing "Pin the Jonah on the Big Fish"!

Middle School Language Arts
Mrs. Sandy Nussbaum

Our reading of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "The Adventure of the Speckled Band" introduced our students to the famous Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick, Dr. Watson. We explored the mystery story genre, with an emphasis on plot and conflict. We delved deeply into the characters, their motives, and Sherlock's approach to solving mysteries.  We wondered about the significance of the various clues and how a less astute detective might have overlooked them.  We also learned that the author of these fictional "Sherlock Holmes" stories was not overly concerned with the accuracy of the specific details in his writings.  Consult with any of our Middle Schoolers who will explain to you the relevance of the facts that snakes can't hear and don't drink milk, baboons and cheetahs don't live in India, no snake called a Swamp Adder exists in that country either, and finally that it is highly unlikely that anyone could die of a snake bite as quickly as Dr. Roylott did at the end of our story! The students also enjoyed seeing a pair of authentic Turkish slippers of the type described by the author in this story.

We are now looking forward to our next literary adventure, Mark Twain's  The Adventures of Tom Sawyer!

School Notes and Reminders

Grandparents and Special Person Day!
RSVP Now!!!!!

If you want to attend this wonderful event TOMORROW, please RSVP immediately!
  • Friday, September 30th from 1:45 to 3:30 pm
  • All guests must RSVP prior to the event
  • RSVP to Jackie Rubin by Friday, September 23rd,via e-mail at or 717-238-8775



Register your Giant card! Our school earns $$ everytime you shopt at Giant...It's sooo easy to help!

ICE CREAM ON FRIDAYS...Remember your $1

The Silver Academy will be selling ice cream every Friday for $1. Bring in your dollar each Friday or bring in $5 or $10 to be added to your account. Proceeds support the 7th-8th grade Israel trip.

Challah With a Twist 
Offers Weekly Order and Delivery To Students and Teachers
  • Order your challah at this website:
  • Place your order by Thursday.
  • Challah will be delivered to our school on Fridays for students to bring home.
  • Send check to school, payable to Challah with a Twist
  • Questions? Please call Varda Gewirtz at 717-919-1358.
"Challah With a Twist", (a.k.a. Varda Challah), has been providing home baked challah for the Harrisburg community for over 20 years.

 Silver Snapshots

What a beautiful day for our Tachlich ceremony! Our entire school 
walked to Italian Lake, where we said prayers and  tossed bread into  the lake to symbolically rid ourselves of sins. 

Students enjoyed an apple snack after the ceremony.

Older students partnered with younger 
students for the walk to and from the lake.

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Sept 30, 1:30
Grandparents/Special Persons Day

Sept 30, 2:30
Kabbalat Shabbat

Oct 3-4 - No School
Rosh Hashanah

Oct 10 - No School
Columbus Day

Oct 11, 11:40 
Early Dismissal

Oct 12 - No School
Yom Kippur

Oct 17 - 18
No School

Oct 20, 5:00 pm
Pizza in the Hut

Oct 24-25 - No School
Shemini Atzeret - Simchat Torah

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Clip  BoxTops 4 Education symbols on General Mills, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, Nestle Juicy Juice, Progresso soups and others. Each is worth 10¢ and can be redeemed by The Silver Academy for cash! Please visit the  Box Tops 4 Education  website for more details.

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Purchase these dollar for dollar in the school's office, and then spend them the same as cash. The Silver Academy earns 5% - that's $50 earned for every $1,000 sold!  You may also purchase by calling Susan at 717-608-0190.

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