November 10, 2016
Cheshvan 9, 5777
Good Things Happen Every Day 
at  The Silver Academy
Rachel Zilbering, Principal

On Monday, November 7th, The Silver Academy held our first session of "The Parent Cafe".  About 30 parents and friends gathered to hear an engaging lecture on ethics and values and the "Mensch Periodic Table". For a little over an hour, we got a taste of what the students learn every day.  We learned about Courage, Understanding, Zest & Zeal, and Reverence  & Awe.  We also learned practical ways to help our students appreciate these traits in a meaningful way. 

I want to thank Board Member and parent, Mandy Cheskis, for the organization of the event and, of course, Rabbi Gewirtz for his inspirational  teaching.  Please mark your calendar for our next session, February 27th, on  the subject of Writing Workshop. I hope to see you there.

Inside the Classroom

Kindergarten General Studies
Mrs. Kate Carpenter

The big news in Kindergarten is that students have already met 24 sight words. We call these words Everywhere Words, and we really do see them everywhere - in the lunchroom, the halls, and in our Weekly Readers, poems, and books.

Speaking of books, we are having fun independently reading Beginning Reading books. Several times a week, students have a chance to browse through our Rainbow Reading library. Their job is to find books that are JUST RIGHT for them - not too easy and not too hard.  These books then go home to be read to a parent. This is a big accomplishment, and students are very proud that they can read on their own!

Middle School Judaics
Rabbi Yosef Gewirtz

The Jewish Literacy Program for Middle School was conceived three years ago as an opportunity to include instruction of topics for which there was not adequate time during the school day.  By utilizing what has become known as "flipped education", using homework as instructional time and reinforcing the learning in school, the Judaic Middle School curriculum has been significantly enriched.

For some topics, Rabbi Gewirtz presents all the instructional material through the ProPofs Quiz Maker web site. For others, an exciting new site, Torah Live, is utilized. Torah Live's mission is (the following quote is from its website) " to create cutting-edge multimedia presentations that communicate Jewish values in a non-preachy, well organized, and energetic manner" .   Links to the short Torah Live videos are found at Rabbi Gewirtz's wiki page right next to the link for the ProProfs questions.  The short nightly lesson is a homework assignment. The next day in school, all that is required is a 3 minute review of the home lesson.  The Tishre holidays were the first subjects this year.  Presently, the Torah Live unit on "Blessings" is being studied which will merge with the "Gratitude" theme of the Thanksgiving holiday.  

D'var Torah for  parshat Lech Lecha
by Anthoni Berg, 8th grade

Sarah had not had a child with Avraham during their many years of marriage.  So she asked Avraham to marry Hagar, her servant, and he agreed. Sarah felt that she would raise Hagar's child with her ideals.  Perhaps  G-d would see her determination to have a child and  allow her to have her own child.
Hagar soon became pregnant.  And the Torah says,
" She saw that she was pregnant, and her mistress became unimportant in her eyes".  וַתֵּרֶא כִּי הָרָתָה וַתֵּקַל גְּבִרְתָּהּ בְּעֵינֶיהָ
Hagar began to disrespect Sarah, thinking that her having a baby with Avraham proved that G-d considered her to be more righteous than Sarah.
Hagar's background makes this hard to understand. The Talmud reports that Hagar was the daughter of the Egyptian Pharaoh. Pharaoh had seen the miracles that G-d performed for Sarah's benefit in Egypt when Pharaoh took Sarah to be his queen, not knowing that she was married to Avraham.  Everyone in his palace became sick and were healed only when Sarah was released.  Pharaoh told his daughter that it would be better for her to be a maid in Sarah's house that a princess in Egypt.  Hagar must have started her service of Sarah with much respect for her.   How could she lose respect for Sarah so quickly through her "I was given a baby and you weren't" theory"?
This shows how swiftly people's emotions can change. People can be so humble one moment and haughty the next, and lose respect for people.  We always like to think good of ourselves, so it is very easy to convince ourselves of a reason that we are better than someone else and lose respect for that person.  We can learn from this how important it is to examine our "midot" (personality traits) often.  We can't be sure that we are respectful or kind people just because we were that way before.  We can change for many reasons, and we need to make sure that our change is in the right direction.        

Catching up with Classmates

Adam Grobman
Hello from The Silver Academy Interim Director of Recruitment

As a child growing up in Uptown Harrisburg, The Silver Academy (and the Jewish Community Center building) was a place that I could easily arrange to meet and participate in activities with my friends from several different facets of my life. Whether it was playing basketball after school in the JCC gym, participating in Rashi Club with Rabbi Gewirtz, or taking part in any of the numerous programs the building and school had to offer, I was always sure to find something to do right in my backyard. 
During the next several months, I will be the Director of Recruitment for The Silver Academy and am proud to be able to help give kids the opportunity to find that same connection with their community. As a former student of The Silver Academy, I established a lifelong connection to mine.
I graduated from Penn State in 2014  with a degree in Telecommunications and a minor in Psychology. Throughout my college career, I interned at various radio stations, worked as a producer for a morning radio show and played arena music at Penn State Hockey's Pegula Ice Arena. I also emceed the halftime shows for Penn State Hockey. You can still catch me emceeing and playing music for private events on the weekends with a local entertainment company, Klock Entertainment. 
Now that I am back in Harrisburg, I am excited to be exposed to another generation of the Jewish Community professionally. I recently began participating in the Jewish Federation's Leadership Development Cohort, a two-year program that brings younger community members together to pinpoint ideas and issues that are of interest. I am looking forward to getting to know some of my fellow community members through this group, as well. 
Please feel free to say hello if you see me at The Silver Academy. I welcome any feedback or suggestions on how we can work together to continue to provide an excellent education for our community's youth and sustain Jewish pride in the region. 
I can be contacted at or by phone at 717-238-8775. 
Adam and his Third Grade Class
Row 1: Adam Grobman, Drew Romano, Jordann Silverstine, Seth Schulder; Row 2: Amy Rubin, Kasey Krevsky, Lee Henig, Yossi Muroff, Maxine Fox, Cynthia Blank; Row 3: Rabbi Gewirtz, Adam Chernicoff, Alex Hess, Aaron Maisel, Zachary Cohen, Mrs. Manganiello
Do you love hearing what's going on with friends and classmates from your past years here at The Silver Academy?
If you are interested in sharing "your story", recent engagement, wedding, baby, graduation, new jobs, or other news, please email Shari Dym at

School Notes and Reminders


The Silver Academy invites you for a one-day sneak preview 
of our school!
November 28, 2016
9:00 am - 12:00

Now accepting payment via VENMO!

Challah With a Twist 
Offers Weekly Order and Delivery To Students and Teachers
  • Order your challah by Thursday at this website: It will be delivered to school on Friday.
  • Send check to school, payable to Challah with a Twist , or use  .
"Challah With a Twist", (a.k.a. Varda Challah), has been providing home baked challah for the Harrisburg community for over 20 years.
Varda Gewirtz, 717-919-1358

Community Events

for info about tickets, voting and participants.

Silver Academy students will be performing in this musical event.

 Silver Snapshots

Student Council Elections

Candidate Speeches


Helping Younger Students

Student Spirit!

Election Day Bake Sale at The Jewish Home - 
Hosted by 7th & 8th grade students as a 
fundraiser for their trip to Israel
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Nov 15, 6:30-8:30
Parent-Teacher Conferences

Nov 16, 11:40
Early Dismissal
Parent-Teacher Conferences (1:00-4:00)

Nov 17, 3:30-7:00
Souper Campaign Kick Off

Nov 23, 11:40
Early Dismissal

Nov 24-25
No School

Nov 28
Sneak Preview for prospective students

Dec 4, 9 am-7 pm
Annual Phone-a-Thon
At Shari and Aaron Dym's home

Life and Legacy


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EASY, Ongoing Fundraising Opportunities!

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.

Giant Gift Cards
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.

This is how it works...Download the free Shoparoo App on your phone and use the code VuG13074. You will then complete a profile and pick The Rabbi David L. Silver Yeshiva Academy. Then after you complete a shopping trip, take a picture of the receipt using the camera on your phone with the app open. It is that easy! Once a year, Shoparoo sends the school a check from the percentages!