December 3rd, 2021 ~ 29 Kislev, 5782
A message from Rabbi Gewirtz
3rd-8th Grade Judaic Studies
Rabbi Gewirtz
A “No Brainer”?

For most Halacha observing parents, a Jewish Day School education for their children is a “no brainer”. But many others also regard a “full time” Judaic curriculum and culture indispensable for transmitting Jewish middot (character traits), ethics, and lifestyle.

A second important benefit of Jewish Day School is often under-appreciated. It is the critical thinking skills that are the backbone of Torah text study. A wonderfully eloquent and comprehensive, yet concise essay (736 words) about “The Talmudic Method” of text study was written by Harry Austryn Wolfson who was a Professor of Judaic Studies and Chairman of the Judaic Studies Center at Harvard University for much of the early and mid-twentieth century. I will summarize what Dr. Wolfson says but here is a link to the complete essay.

The content and phraseology of carefully and precisely written text may be understood not only for what it states but for what it implies. Although this is justified most strongly when studying a Biblical text accepted to be of Divine origin, all Rabbinic writings are studied in this fashion because of the precision of their composition. Students trained in this methodology apply this technique to the extent that they judge appropriate to any carefully written text. Silver Academy students begin using “The Talmudic Method” in Third Grade Chumash class!

Certain presumptions justify analyzing a text in a serious way. Meticulously written prophetic or rabbinic texts are assumed to be sensible but not obvious. A statement that is either unreasonable or obviously true must be reinterpreted. Texts written by a single author are presumed to be internally consistent. If they seem contradictory, at least one must be reinterpreted. The author’s choice of a particular word, expression or illustration rather than a similar one which seems just as appropriate is considered significant and may generate implications. General ideas and exceptions alike are examined to determine their intended boundaries.

An interpretation of a text must be tested.  First, basic questions are asked. Is the opinion internally consistent? Does it contradict other statements from the same author? Then the idea is tested “out in the real world” of Halacha (Torah/Rabbinic) law. How well does the interpretation and its implications predict the already known reality in Halacha?” If it fails to do so, the Talmud investigates whether the failure could be attributed to an extraneous factor that was not a “controlled” variable. Dr. Wolfson noted that the procedure is equivalent to the Scientific Method. He called the “Talmudic Method” “the Scientific Method applied to text”.

The centrality of Torah study in Jewish life has long been seen as not just the means to learn Judaism, and implement it in life, but as equally valuable for its unparalleled capacity for developing an intellectual proficiency that contributes to the entirety of life. Parents can be confident that the time and effort devoted to Judaic Studies at Silver Academy will enrich their children’s lives in many ways. Rather than being a “no brainer”, Jewish Day School education is a “GROW brainer”!
Better Together
4th-8th Grade Better Together
Jackie Rubin
Better Together is Back Together! The Silver Academy is very excited to be participating in its third year of the Better Together Program. The Better Together Program is a four-year program designed to encourage meaningful interaction between young and old and is supported by a prominent national foundation. Grades 4 thru 8, under the direction of Jackie Rubin and Tammy Reid, are participating in the program.

The Silver Academy is partnering again with the Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg to participate in the Better Together program. This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are having a hybrid program. During the warmer months, we are visiting The Jewish Home in-person (outdoors, masked and socially distanced). During the winter months or if needed based on COVID regulations, we are planning on meeting remotely on Zoom.

Our Better Together theme for the 2021-2022 school year is Exploring our Jewish Roots. We are exploring Judaism by looking at our past, present and future. This involves some hands-on projects as well as guest speakers. We are also looking at the diverse Jewish backgrounds among our students and seniors and are incorporating that into the programs.

The Better Together program is incorporated into the curriculum in a variety of ways. Students have classes both before and following each trip to the Jewish Home to help prepare them for it and process the experience afterwards. These classes are led by Morah Tamara. There is a journal component that surrounds the trips and a writing contest that each student will enter that will be a part of Mrs. Cortes' classroom assignments.

The Better Together Program has been especially impactful to both the students and seniors this year. In a time when face-to-face interaction is limited, the Better Together monthly meetings have brought joy to all its participants!
Scholarship Support - EITC
Turn your Pennsylvania tax dollars into scholarship support!

EITC participation is open for The Silver Academy and The Brenner Family ELC.

Please contact Kimberlea Konowitch at or
Kim Hutnik at to discuss how you can help support Jewish education by redirecting your Pennsylvania tax dollars to support scholarships for students.

More information can be found here.

Fall Fundraising Campaign

Please consider including The Silver Academy in your charitable giving this year.

By now you have probably heard from many organizations requesting your year end support.

A gift of a Jewish day school education is one of the greatest gifts that we can bestow on this generation of Jewish children.

We ask that The Silver Academy be included in your charitable giving this year.

Thank you for helping to give the gift of education to each Silver Academy student.

You may donate by clicking here.

Mazel Tov
  • Mazel Tov to Chana and David Borowsky on the birth of their son.

Todah Rabah
  • Thank you to Emily Doctrow, Ortal Klein, Tori Levine, Liroz Ninmi, Ravit Peiffer, Orit Schul, and Aaron Weinberg for driving and chaperoning the Kindergarten through 3rd grader last month at their field trip to Paulus Farm Market.
  • Thank you to Jackie Rubin for brining in coffee and treats for the teacher's lunchroom.

  • Thank you to the mystery donor who brought in Chanukah cookies for the teacher's lunchroom.

  • Thank you to Rabbi Pewzner for inviting The Silver Academy students to perform at the Chanukah Celebration at the state Capitol on Tuesday evening.
  • Thank you to our lunch volunteers: Kate Carpenter, Jack Feig, Marcy Flicker, Ricki Gold, Cynthia Graeff, Debbie Hervitz, Myrna Rubin, Reva Schertz, Eva Siegel, Nili Schul and Orit Schul. It is wonderful to have volunteers back in the school!
Lunch Volunteers Needed
We are looking for a few volunteers to help with lunch duty. Click here or email Myrna Rubin at to sign up.
Tribute Cards
Myrna Rubin has tribute cards available. If you would like to purchase some contact her at
Easy ways to support The Silver Academy everyday
Giant Scrip
Susan Leviton has Giant gift cards. If anyone would like to purchase any she will sanitize them, put them in an envelope and do a transfer at her curb. No need to come to her door. Susan can be contacted at 717-608-0190.

Giant gift cards are also available in The Silver Academy Office. Contact the school at 717-238-8775 to arrange for pick up. - The Silver Academy.  Code: 5417A14L62452 

  • Raise money for our school by using gift cards where you are already shopping! Buy e-gift cards, physical gift cards and reloadable gift cards at face value and use for your everyday shopping. Easily pay online and earn a rebate between 2%-16% that goes right to our school.
Contributions to The Silver Academy are always appreciated and every dollar makes a difference for our students!

Looking for a way to celebrate a birthday or special occasion? Do you have someone you would like to honor? Do you want to make a donation in memory of a loved one? Consider making a donation to The Silver Academy. We will send them a lovely card to share with them that a gift has been made in their honor.
You may contact the school's office to make a contribution or do so online here.

Silver Snapshots
Mrs. Cherepinsky's Music Lessons
Order your Challah
Challah With a Twist

Offers Weekly Challah Order and Delivery To Students and Teachers.

  • Order your challah by 8:30 pm Thursday evening at The fresh baked challah will be given to your child to take home on Friday.

  • To pay, please send an envelope with your name on it to the school office, including cash, or a check payable to Challah with a Twist, or use Paypal or Venmo.

Challah With a Twist, (a.k.a. Varda Challah), has been providing home baked challah to the Harrisburg community for over 24 years.
For any questions, please call or text Varda Gewirtz at 717-919-1358 .
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