December 1, 2016
Kislev 1, 5777
Good Things Happen Every Day 
at  The Silver Academy
Rachel Zilbering, Principal

For the second year in a row, The Silver Academy is hosting a Rosh Chodesh project.  Rosh Chodesh is the first day of the Hebrew month.  We are using this monthly time to have the entire school gather together to work on a series of projects.  This year, we are working on the completion of a Passover Kit.  So even though today is Rosh Chodesh Kislev, and we should be making a menorah or a dreidel, we are fast forwarding to Passover!

Working together in pairs, the students created an Elijah's cup using decorative yarn and sequins.  We learned that the cup for Elijah should look different than the regular cups and that goal was definitely achieved! It was a pleasure watching the children collaborate in deep concentration to create a cup that looked just right!

Thank you to all of the parents and teachers who assisted with the project.  Also, thank you to the Harrisburg Haverim Society for generously funding this program. 

Shabbat shalom. 

Inside the Classroom

1st Grade General Studies
Mrs. Brandy Hurley

Math in First Grade is fun! Students are learning various strategies to help them become faster at adding. Their favorite strategy is doubles! These young mathematicians created cute characters, which we call "double dudes and dudettes" to reinforce the facts.Then they learned a lively song to help them remember the double facts. Students loved singing the song so much, that they asked to perform it at the Celebration of Light and Learning! Plan to come to our Celebration to see First Grade in action...You will surely have a "doubly" good time!


Middle School Hebrew Class
Mrs. Alla Fligelman (Mora Alla)

Our middle school students are preparing for a trip to Israel in the spring. During Hebrew class, students are practicing conversations that they truly may encounter on the trip.  Our future travelers are learning  how to interact with security guards in the airport, what to expect during the flight and how to talk with flight attendants. Students are having fun using their acting skills, as well as conversation skills, while modeling various situations at the airport and during the flight.

Students Help Others

Silver Academy Food Drive

For the second year in a row, The Silver Academy hosted a Thanksgiving Food Drive for Jewish Family Services of Greater Harrisburg.  Students and teachers brought in over 200 items that will be distributed in Thanksgiving care packages.

Student Council Advisor and teacher, Jessica Wenzelburger, helped facilitate the food drive.  "The students were very enthusiastic and brought in as many goods as they could for our Thanksgiving food drive.  They were also thrilled to find out that we had collected over 200 items!"

Barry Stein, Executive Director of JFSGH, says "We are so appreciative of the generosity of The Silver Academy.  Our Thanksgiving food deliveries will be enhanced because of all the delicious fixings you donated."

D'var Torah for Toldot
by Alana Reid, 8th grade

At the beginning of Parshat Toldot, the Torah describes Rivka, the woman that Yitzchak married.

" וַיְהִי יִצְחָק בֶּן אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה בְּקַחְתּוֹ אֶת רִבְקָה בַּת בְּתוּאֵל הָאֲרַמִּי מִפַּדַּן אֲרָם אֲחוֹת לָבָן הָאֲרַמִּי לוֹ לְאִשָּׁה:"
"And Yitzchak was forty years old when he took Rivkah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Padan Aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to himself for a wife."

Wait a minute! Didn't the Torah already tell us who she was related to? The entire previous parsha, "Chaye Sarai", introduced us in a very detailed way to Rivka's family! Why does the Torah repeat it here?  Rashi answers, that by telling us again, the Torah is praising Rivka by emphasizing that despite growing up around idol worshipers, she was still righteous enough to be a matriarch.

Somewhat later, the Torah states that Eisav's wives caused his parents distress.

" וַיְהִי עֵשָׂו בֶּן אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה וַיִּקַּח אִשָּׁה אֶת יְהוּדִית בַּת בְּאֵרִי הַחִתִּי וְאֶת בָּשְׂמַת בַּת אֵילֹן הַחִתִּי:
וַתִּהְיֶיןָ מֹרַת רוּחַ לְיִצְחָק וּלְרִבְקָה:"
" And Eisav was forty years old, and he married Judith, the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath, the daughter of Elon the Hittite.
And they were an embitterment of the spirit to Yitzchak and to Rivkah."

Rashi's problem is that the Torah says that Eisav's wives caused bitterness ' to Yitzchak and to Rivkah'. Why couldn't it just say to Yitzchak and Rivkah? The Torah seems to be saying that Yitzchak and Rivka were not embittered equally. They each had a different negative reaction, and since Yitzchak is listed first, he had the stronger negative reaction.  What were Eisav's wives doing that would cause Yitzchak more pain than Rivka.

Rashi answers that Eisav's wives' transgression must have been idol worship.  Rivka had grown up in a family and community of idol worshippers, so she was somewhat used to it.  But Yitzchak had been raised in the family of Avraham and Sarah and was not used to idol worship. So it hurt him more when he saw his daughters-in-law worshiping idols.

But, hold on!   Rivkah spent her life resisting idol worship! Why should she mind it  less?

Apparently Rashi is telling us that even though Rivka had the great strength to oppose the idolatry, since she grew up around it, it is inevitable that there be a damper on her amount of "spirit embitterment".

This happens in our time also. Scientists have done tests, and it turns out, people who watch lots of violence tend to become more violent people and care less about hurting people. A lesson we learn from this is to be careful of the environment in which we place ourselves.  What we see and hear has a great influence on us.  We don't want to corrupt our ethical sensitivities.

Catching up with Classmates

Masha Korsunsky Fisch
The Silver Academy, or Yeshiva Academy, as it was known when I attended, provided an incredible educational, cultural, and religious foundation for the rest of my life.  My family immigrated to Harrisburg in 1979 from Odessa, Ukraine.  Coming to this country with no income, the Silver Academy, provided me with a scholarship as I entered Kindergarten. I remained at the Silver Academy through fifth grade.  Some of my favorite teachers included Rabbi Gewirtz for 3rd grade and Mrs. Aronson for 4th grade.  I still remain friends with some of my classmates including Dina (Weisleder) Downs and Jessica (Feinerman) Fuentes.   The combination of a jewish and english educational experience provided me with a solid love of both learning and my Jewish heritage. 
After The Silver Academy, I attended Linglestown Junior High and Central Dauphin High School where I stayed connected with my Jewish peers through BBYO.  Following graduation from high school, I went on the Masada summer Israel trip where I met my husband - although we reconnected 15 years later through work and then started dating.  I attended Penn State University, graduating with a degree in Finance and then worked at PriceWaterhouse in Philadelphia and Washington, DC.  After PwC, I worked at a startup called LifeMinders before going to California to get my MBA at Stanford.  I continued to work in a variety of entrepreneurial roles at early stage companies before ending up at Google in New York City and then in Mountain View. 
I now live in Palo Alto, CA, with my husband, David, and 3 children - Maia (5), Rafi (4), and Jacob (1).  I have wonderful memories from my time at Silver Academy and feel it was an amazing start to my new life in America.

Do you see any familiar faces?
5th Grade Class - 1985
Front: Julie Krug, Beth Slavin, Lee Rubenstein, Daniel Newman, Jennifer Yeamans, Joshua Bartash; Standing: Emily Rabin, Devorah Nussbaum, David Baselon, Tony Moore, Masha Korsunsky, Rabbi Joseph Gewirtz, Brandon Dameshek, Daniel Sentell 

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

Middle School Israel Trip Fundraiser

A catalog of gifts and t-shirts that
promote environmental awareness!
  • Ask a Middle School student to see a Nature's Vision catalog
  • Orders and payments will be due on December 8
  • Purchases will arrive before Channukah
Help Suport Our Middle School Students!


Dear Silver Academy Parents and Staff,

The Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg has commissioned a short but thoughtful survey of the Harrisburg Jewish Community.  It only takes a few minutes for your voice to be heard.  Please fill out the Harrisburg Jewish community survey using the following link and forward to others. 


Rachel Zilbering

P.S. The results of this survey will be used to guide the upcoming Community Conversation amongst representatives of all the Jewish organizations in our area.   


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

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Pajama Day

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Dec 2, 1:30
Kabbalat Shabbat

Dec 8, 9:30-11:30 am
Winter Open House

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

Dec 13
Picture Retakes

Dec 15, 6:45 pm
Mary Sachs Auditorium
Celebration of Light & Learning

Dec 12, 11:40
Early Dismissal

Dec 26-30,  No School
Winter Break

Jan 2
School Resumes
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!