December 15, 2016
Kislev 15, 5777
Good Things Happen Every Day 
at  The Silver Academy
Rachel Zilbering, Principal

This week, the classrooms of The Silver Academy were highly engaged with preparations for our annual Celebration of Light and Learning. Since Chanukah falls very late this year, and it is during our school vacation, it has been nice getting a jump start on the holiday.
One of the students' favorite Chanukah activities has been the Chanukah door decorating contest. Each grade uses simple materials and creativity to design a door covering that represents the meaning of the holiday. This year, our middle school students divided into groups that they chose, rather than division by grades. As I monitored their work, I noticed that they were involved in heavy discussions of Chanukah themes, historical details and, of course, artistic content. It was such a joy to see them engaging in cooperative, focused work. As always, I am proud of our students for going above and beyond. 

Please join us this evening at 6:45 pm, in the Mary Sachs Auditorium, for a celebration of all our Silver Academy students. Be sure to take a look at the creative "doors" that will be on display at the event.

Student Council News

During the week of December 5th through 8th, The Silver Academy Silver Council held a "hats, gloves, and scarves drive" for Jewish Family Services. The families and staff at The Silver Academy were so generous that we were able to raise over eighty items! 

Delivering Our Donated Winter Wear to Jewish Family Services

Inside the Classroom

Mrs. Susan Gaughan

Second grade has just begun learning about the water cycle. Our scientists are looking for signs of evaporation and condensation in each of their models. Ask a second grader which model contained water drops and WHY!

Our third grade scientists became full of electrons while studying static electricity! Those electrons created some new and wild hairdos! Ask a third grader what happened when they took their hand off of the generator! It may "shock" you!

Our fourth and fifth grade scientists wanted to know if simple machines really make work easier. Here they have created a model of an inclined plane and are measuring the amount of force required to lift their load. Please ask a fourth or fifth grader if using an inclined plane requires less work. Maybe it just feels easier!

Sixth and seventh graders modeled the rock cycle. Here they are "weathering" the existing rocks/crayons. The sediments are being deposited into piles. Ask a sixth or seventh grader what happens next in the rock cycle


4th & 5th Judaic Studies
Mr. Ellis Rosenberg

In the Shema that we recite every day, we learn that the Shema is to be said "when you lie down and when you get up". The fourth and fifth grade have been studying Mishnayot (the oral Torah) to see exactly what that time frame means. Some of the questions we have explored are...If you lie down in the afternoon, can you recite the "shema"? When is it light enough to recite the Shema? What does  Techelet (the blue dye that we are told to put on our fringed garments) have to do with the time to recite the shema?  
The fourth and fifth grades have continued to study the Parsha of the week as we follow the story of Jacob with his four wives and twelve sons, and how Jacob and his father-in-law eventually made peace. In our preparation for Chanukah, we have learned that much of the information we have about Chanukah is from the Book of Maccabees as well as from the Talmud.

The fourth grade has also been following the travels of Yoni in his "yoman" (diary) as he helps to reinforce our use of good Midot (characteristics). We have learned in the Book of Joshua that the Red Sea was not the only body of water that was split by Hashem for the Jews to cross.

Have a wonderful winter break!

D'var Torah 
by Samuel Shvartsman, 7th grade

People often like to make clear judgement. They like to know if an action is good or bad. In this week's parsha, VaYishlach, we discover that there should be a third category.

Shortly after Yaakov and his family came to Canaan, Dinah, Yaakov's only daughter, was kidnapped by Prince Shechem, son of Chamor, the local king. Shechem and his father asked Yaakov if Shechem could marry Dinah. Realizing that they had no power to refuse and demand Dinah's release, Yaakov's sons created a plan to free her.  They replied that if Shechem wanted to marry Dinah, all the city's male population would have to be circumcised. Shechem agreed, explained to his people the benefits of joining with the family of Yaakov, and they underwent circumcision. During the third day after the surgery, Shimon and Levi killed the entire adult population of the city and took Dinah back. The Torah reports that Yaakov strongly disagreed with what they did.

This is how the torah describes the attack:

וַיְהִי בַיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי בִּהְיוֹתָם כֹּאֲבִים וַיִּקְחוּ שְׁנֵי בְנֵי יַעֲקֹב שִׁמְעוֹן וְלֵוִי אֲחֵי דִינָה אִישׁ חַרְבּוֹ וַיָּבֹאוּ עַל הָעִיר בֶּטַח וַיַּהַרְגוּ כָּל זָכָר:
וְאֶת חֲמוֹר וְאֶת שְׁכֶם בְּנוֹ הָרְגוּ לְפִי חָרֶב וַיִּקְחוּ אֶת דִּינָה מִבֵּית שְׁכֶם וַיֵּצֵאוּ:

Now it came to pass on the third day, when they were in pain, that Jacob's two sons, Shimon and Levi, Dinah's brothers, each took his sword, and they came upon the city with confidence, and they slew every male.
And Hamor and his son Shechem they slew with the edge of the sword, and they took Dinah out of Shechem's house and left.

Rashi wonders why the Torah tells us such a lengthy description of Shimon and levi.   We already know that Shimon and Levi are yaakov's sons and Dina's brothers from previous chapters.

Rashi answers that it repeats that Shimon and Levi were Dinah's brothers to praise them for risking their lives to save Dina because of their love for her. They were really good brothers.  The Torah further emphasizes that Shimon and Levi were Yaakov's sons. They had the greatest rabbi of their time right in their own family, and they didn't even ask him whether it was was right to kill all the men in the city.

So, does the Torah mean to compli ment them or criticize them? The Torah does both. The action was neither just good nor just bad.  It was a mixture of both.  The Torah is teaching us to appreciate the complexity of human behavior. We should give credit and criticize.  When you are in the company of your best friend and a regular friend, you may choose to give your cookie to the regular friend in order to show that you value his friendship. This is praiseworthy!  But if you don't at the same time acknowledge your best friend and explain to him why he didn't get the cookie, he will feel bad, and your decision would not be entirely praiseworthy.

The Torah is telling us that self improvement requires us to appreciate the complexity of our actions. Then we can continue the positive while improving the negative.

Catching up with Classmates
Jonathan Abel Millaman

I currently live in Tempe, AZ.  I moved to Arizona four years ago with my wife, who is completing her PHD in Family and Human Development.  After studying Naval Architecture in college, I was skeptical to find a water related job in Arizona, but was lucky enough to find PREVCO.  

PREVCO designs and builds sub-sea enclosures for the navy, oil industry, and oceanographers.  I was hired as a marine engineer and mostly did design and procurement.  In the last two years, I was promoted to general manager, where I am involved with marketing, sales, and oversee engineering.  

Living in Arizona, I spend a great deal of my time in the outdoors, camping, biking, sailing and especially hiking with my dog, Moose.  In November I completed the Ironman here in Arizona.  I trained for roughly a year for this event and was extremely pleased with my performance. 

Memories from my days at The Silver Academy...

Danielle Shefet was one of my best friends from Yeshiva.  After the bus would drop me off at the end of the school day, I would bike over to her house...I remember the years we spent at the school on Progress Avenue while the JCC was being renovated.  There was one time I got extremely muddy at recess and my parents had to bring me a change of clothes... Also, the trips to Lake Tobias were awesome!...I remember the big trees at the far end of the lot ( before the JCC Remodel and before the JFS building was built).  Maybe they weren't that big, and I was just small.  But I remember running around them during recess playing tag or some other game.  

I certainly see the difference between my Jewish education and that of some of my peers who did not attend a Jewish day school. My education at The Silver Academy, aka The Yeshiva, has helped me to reach my goals, and I have lots of fond memories.


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

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

Dec 23, 11:40
Early Dismissal

Dec 26-Jan 2  No School
Winter Break

Jan 3
School Resumes

Jan 6, 1:30 pm
Kabbalat Shabbat

Jan 16, 8:45-12:30
Mitzvah Day/Bring a Friend to School Day

Jan 18, 6:45 pm
Science Fair
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!