March 27th, 2020 ~ 2 Nisan 5780
A Message from the Head of School
I have never been more proud of a school's community as I have been of the Silver Academy the past few weeks. With fairly short notice, our teachers switched from teaching their students in person on Friday to teaching them virtually on Monday! Each day we now have a live-stream morning meeting, age appropriate davening, and a combination of live-stream classes and other classwork that students access at their own pace. Everyone in our school community - teachers, students, parents, administrators - have been flexible and understanding as we learn together how to make this switch.  

We are off on an incredible journey. Our students are fortunate to have such dedicated teachers who are serving as role models in whole new ways. We work hard to teach our students the skills to be able to adapt based on what they have learned; they often do not get to see the adults in their lives doing this, but now they are as they see how their teachers are learning how to teach in this new model. Many of our parents are in the same room with their children when they are learning and are able to learn new things alongside their children. We had an informal parent meeting on Thursday evening and one parent shared how much he is enjoying re-learning Hebrew and the traditions of Pesach alongside his daughter. Thanks to our need to learn virtually, we are fulfilling our mission in new and exciting ways.

Of course, the pandemic concerns us deeply and we work hard to translate our concern into action. We pray for the health of our community and the healing of those who are ill. We learn how to write letters and make fun cards that are sent to the residents at The Jewish Home or others in our lives who we think might be lonely.  We continue to learn why it is so important to maintain social distancing, and look for new ways to be in contact with one another.

In the articles below, some of our teachers explain how they've adapted their lessons to the Virtual Silver Academy. These articles are followed by things we wanted to share with you before we had to switch to our virtual school. I hope you enjoy the images of our children learning, both virtually and in person.

Shabbat Shalom,

Samara Sofian
Head of School
A Peek Inside Our Virtual Classes
English Language Arts
Mrs. Wenzelburger
The foundation to any successful English Language Arts program is reading. Our school climate has always been geared toward making sure that our students are readers starting in Ganeinu, all the way through the eighth grade. With all of this in mind, I was able to adapt my third through eighth grade classrooms to remote learning classrooms by having our students read.
In the third grade, our reading logs moved from paper and pencil to Google Sheets where I can check in on student progress. Students are able to read “just right” books that they choose at home including fiction and non-fiction genres. Each day, in their own Google Document, they also answer strategically chosen comprehension questions that can correspond to any book.
In the 4th and 5th grade we began reading Holes by Louis Sachar. Although we may be missing out on group reading, students are still able to maintain the same amount of classroom rigor at home by utilizing their comprehension skills and writing skills. Their work is also being completed in Google Docs instead of by pencil and paper. In 4th and 5th grade social studies students are still learning about the American Revolution through projects, videos and readings, which can now all be done at home, and in the Google Platform.
In middle school we had recently finished a difficult Holocaust unit with the memoir Night by Eli Wiesel driving the curriculum. We have since moved forward to a much lighter topic: fairy tales. The students have all chosen books that they are currently reading independently and journaling on at the middle school level. At the end of their reading, we will analyze their books for fairy tale elements or perhaps even a lack thereof. They will then use all this information to write their own original fairy tale.
The remote learning in my classrooms has been made possible through the Google Platform. The Google Apps allow me to check in on student work at anytime, leave comments and give support to help them complete assignments. Our new school webpage also allows us to connect with students by sharing instructional videos and so much more.

Most importantly the students and their families continuous dedication to learning are what have helped to make this a success. With their partnership in education, the students are still continuously learning without skipping a beat.
3rd-8th Judaic Studies
Rabbi Gewirtz
I am teaching 3rd though 8th grades with live, on-line instruction using the Zoom Platform. All those grades participate together in a group "Shacharit" (morning prayer), Middle School has two periods of Judaic Studies and 3rd through 5th have a single period of Judaic Studies with me every day. The Zoom Platform allows the students and teachers to see and hear each other as well as to see instructional material, texts and PowerPoint slides on their computer screens. Even videos can be presented, seen and heard clearly!

Worksheets are attached to Google Classroom from where they can be printed and completed during class. Homework assignments have always been done and returned online. 

The students are given social time before class starts and are practicing the on-line classroom "derech eretz" (etiquette) that enables a good educational experience!
D'var Torah
Moshe Schertz' 6th Grade D'var Torah for Parshat Vayikra

Elkie Koplovitz Reading Club
Mrs. Hurley
Although we are learning from home, I am continuing our lunch book club. This week I began reading The BFG by Roald Dahl. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday I will post a few chapters to the Staff Read Aloud page on our website. This page will have many videos. I am excited to start our new reading adventure!
A Peek Inside Our Classes
(Before we had to unexpectedly go virtual)
Mrs. Gaughan
This school year we decided to prepare ourselves for next year’s science fair project by completing a project in class. We wanted to know which process, traditional soil method or hydroponics method, of growing lettuce seeds would yield healthier and bigger leaves. First we researched our problem. We were then able to create our hypothesis. We hypothesized that hydroponically grown lettuce plants will yield larger and richer leaves. To test our hypothesis we began with sprouting our lettuce seeds in rock wool. When the seedlings were big enough, we transferred half to the hydroponics system and half to pots with soil. Every two weeks we counted the number of leaves per plant as well as the length of its two longest leaves. It has been almost two months of growth and we can easily see that the soil plants are growing slowly while the hydroponically grown plants are growing rapidly. Our next step is to analyze our data and form a conclusion, as well as EAT the fruits (vegetables) of our labor!!!
Entrepreneur Club
Mr. Fortini
The Silver Academy's Entrepreneur Club has been hard at work building their very own start up, "Lemons to Life." On the back end they have been designing their marketing plan, advertisements, sourcing packaging, and calculating their price per unit. Stay on the lookout for some very exciting news about their very own lemon-aid company!
Club has started!
Read Across America Week
The first week of March was National Read Across America Week which coincided with Dr. Seuss's birthday! Along with many special reading activities throughout the week the students celebrated with Dr. Seuss inspired dress up days. On Monday, they wore crazy socks and/or leggings for Fox In Socks Day, Tuesday they wore shirts that could be read, on Wednesday everyone was wacky and mismatched, random acts of kindness were preformed on Thursday and the week was concluded wearing pajamas and bringing in stuffed animals for If I Ran The Zoo Day.
The students had a great time celebrating Purim at The Silver Academy! They had a fun afternoon participating in carnival games, putting on plays, baking hamantaschen and packing mishloach manot.
If you missed your chance for EITC participation in the fall, the spring opportunity is currently available. Please contact Kimberlea Konowitch for The Silver Academy at 717-238-8775 x209 or Amanda Kohn for The Brenner Family Early Learning Center at 717-236-9555 x3299.
Passover Packages for Jewish Service Members
Imagine trying to celebrate Passover in a foreign land far from family and friends, at a base where you are the only Jew or where the closest kosher foods are a 4 hour drive away? That is the reality for many Jewish service members. This year, you can support our brothers and sisters in the military by sponsoring the 13 th  Soldiers Passover Package Project.    

The Jewish Soldiers Project, which started with 10 small Passover packages back in 2008, has grown to serve thousands of Jewish service members  across the globe year-round. Through our efforts, we have given support and a sense of community to many Jews who would not otherwise be able to celebrate their faith. 

In 2019, the JSP sent over 90 Passover care packages to service members serving in 20 nations including: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, Qatar, Korea, Japan, Germany, Italy, England, Poland, Niger and Djibouti (East Africa).  For those Jewish soldiers serving on the home front, we sponsored Seders at 2 dozen bases across the US and ships at sea.

For 2020, we anticipate sending over 100 Passover packages serving the needs of many Jews in the military.  The packages include: matzos, grape juice, gefilte fish, horseradish, charoset and other items requested.    
Todah Rabah - Thank you!
  • Thank you to our 4th-8th grades for planning and holding such an amazing Purim carnival for all of our students. Great job!

  • Thank you to our Purim Carnival volunteers Marcy Flicker, Emily Halper, Ortal Klein, Tori Levine and Jackie Rubin.

  • Thank you to Niema Schertz for making such a wonderful Purim Seudah and for all of our community members who attended and supported our Purim Seudah BBQ. 

  • Thank you to Irit Goldman for helping with the cooking for the Purim Seudah. 

  • Thank you to all of the parents who helped serve food and clean up at the Purim Seudah. And most importantly, a BIG thank you to Cheryl Gras and Reva Schertz for doing all of the dishes.

  • Thank you to Kimberlea Konowitch and her sous chef Nadav Sofian, for cooking and preparing the meal for An Evening of Mathtivities.

  • Thank you to all of the teachers and parents for making all of the virtual learning possible.

  • Thank you to Nick Fortini for setting up our remote learning website and helping everyone learn all of the new technology.

  • A big thank you to Samara Sofian for leading us through these uncharted waters!
Ways to Support The Silver Academy  - The Silver Academy. 

  • The Silver Academy will get .5 percent of each eligible purchase.    Code: 5417A14L62452 

  • Raise money for our school by using gift cards where you are already shopping! Buy egift 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.
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  .
Support The Silver Academy!
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 .

Community News
Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg

Join the Jewish Federation each day for  JCCatHome , a Virtual Programming initiative for all ages. You can also access a   resource page  with ideas, workouts, and activities to do while at home.

For more information, visit  Jewish Federation's  website.

JCC Summer Camp Registration Now Open!
 For information and to register  Click Here
Our community is Powered by You! Support Jewish life in Harrisburg through the Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg's Annual campaign.

Please answer the call this coming Sunday, March 29th, as Federation staff, board, and volunteers reach out to the community to ask for support during the Annual Super Sunday.

Visit  to support our community.
Silver Snapshots