Volume 2018-2019, Issue 5
Welcome to 2019!
What's Been Happening in
January & February
2019 is off and running at a fast pace! The Religious School has been busy at work with the 5th-6th Grade Milestone, Torah Explorers Family Program for Grades K-2, and Hug-a-Tree Sharing Shabbat all in January! This month, our 7th Graders visited the Hebrew Union College Soup Kitchen and all students have enjoyed some time off during Presidents' Week.

Sinai Circle met up at Row 45 in Albertson for a fun workout with Temple Sinai's own Kelly Grunther.
5th-6th Grade Milestone Shabbat
Friday, January 11th
Torah Explorers - Torah Experience
Monday, January 14th-Wednesday January 16th

During the week of January 14th, the K-2 students learned a lot about the Torah. They learned how a Torah scroll is made, gained valuable lessons about the Mitzvot the Torah teaches us, and participated in movement-based learning while practicing mindfulness and "Torah Yoga".
Hineni - Anne Frank Discussion
Tuesday, January 15th
Hineni met on Tuesday, January 15th and invited a guest speaker from the Anne Frank Center.
The guest had an in depth discussion with the children on the effects of stereotyping and bullying. The children had a chance to discuss and play out different roles and scenarios and how to address and handle them, should the need ever occur.
Hug a Tree - Sharing Shabbat
Friday, January 25th
On Friday, January 25th, Temple Sinai Nursery School and Religious School families celebrated a very special Sharing Shabbat. Honoring Tu B'Shvat (the birthday of the trees), our youngest students worked on craft projects and welcomed Shabbat with songs and dance led by Cantors Elena and Sergei Schwartz.
Hineni - JNF Presents
Wednesday, February 6th
Hineni met on Wednesday, February 6th and invited educators from The Jewish National Fund, JNF.

Today JNF is one of the most active organizations when it comes to helping and investing in the long term, both literally and metaphorically, endurance of Israel. From agricultural research farms in the Galilee to housing projects for young families in the Negev.

JNF's work falls into several strategic areas that directly strengthen the future of Israel and The Jewish people:

Heritage Site Preservation: JNF ensures that heritage sites exist to create a powerful connection to Israel's past and touchstone to our collective future. Working in partnerships across the world, hundreds of sites across Israel have been renovated and preserved.

Disabilities and special needs: JNF believes passionately that the inclusion of people with disabilities and special needs should be woven into every day life and all the more so in Israel.

Community Building: JNF sees an opportunity to develop the full potential of agriculture, tourism and technology. Population growth and regional economic development form the backbone of these strategies.

Water Solutions: JNF's work with water has increased Israel's water economy by more than 12 percent through treatment, recycling and collection of both water and runoff, responsible drilling and river rehabilitation.

Forestry and Green Innovation: JNF's planting of trees and development of green spaces has made Israel an environmental powerhouse. As innovators and pioneers in ecology JNF is committed to the land.

In the Torah, we are commanded to perform righteous acts. We are told it is not something one does out of the goodness of one's heart, but rather one's sense of responsibility toward both God and one's fellow human beings. It is our religious duty. JNF has fulfilled this commandment to its fullest. It has touched every possible aspect of life to make it better for all.
7th Grade Mitzvah Makers
For over 20 years, the HUC-JIR Soup Kitchen at the New York campus has guaranteed a weekly meal for our homeless and hungry neighbors in the Washington Square area. The student-run Soup Kitchen personifies the central role that social justice plays in the life of the College-Institute. It is a tangible way that we fulfill Isaiah's prophetic call to share our bread with the hungry and bring the homeless into our house. The Soup Kitchen provides a nutritious meal to approximately 100 guests every week. The Soup Kitchen creates an intimate and comforting atmosphere by serving our guests at their tables and engaging them in conversation. The HUC-JIR Clothing Closet distributes free seasonal second-hand clothing, shoes, and portable hygiene supplies. 
Our 7th Grade Mitzvah Makers have two opportunities this year to visit HUC-JIR Soup Kitchen:

Monday, February 11, 2019 - 3:30pm (see pictures below)
Monday, March 25, 2019 - 3:30pm (coming up!)
In Other News ...
Just before Thanksgiving, Miles and Mason Adelman were out grocery shopping with their mom Meredith when they found a wallet left behind at the checkout. They waited for an hour to see if anyone would come back to claim it, but when no one did, they decided to do their own research to find the owner, Laurel Nachman. Thanks to the power of the internet and a list of phone numbers found, the Adelman’s were able to connect the wallet to husband David, who let them know that Laurel was actually looking for her wallet in the parking lot of the shopping center, where she thought it was lost.

The Nachman’s were very grateful the wallet was found and they wanted to reward Miles and Mason for their act of honesty. The boys did not want to accept anything, but David asked when their Bar Mitzvah was and if they belonged to a temple. It was discovered that both families are members here at Temple Sinai and the Nachman’s made a donation to the Simcha Fund in honor of Miles and Mason.
Maxwell Katcher is a 7 th grade Mitzvah Maker who decided to work with Urban Pathways for his mitzvah project. Urban Pathways is a non-profit organization that helps the homeless of New York City. Maxwell was inspired by the work his father, Daniel Katcher does for the organization.

Hevra and Hineni students met on Sunday December 9th for Chanukah Happenings to decorate reusable canvas bags and stuff them full of collected cold weather accessories, such as hats, scarves, gloves, and warm socks. Maxwell worked with Audra Groveman, Mitzvah Makers Coordinator as well as Hineni Coordinator, to come up with a plan to distribute the cold weather accessories to Urban Pathways as a part of his Mitzvah Makers project. Together with the Urban Pathways outreach team, Maxwell and Daniel will go to hand out these items to the homeless of New York City. 
Sinai Circle Goes Rowing with Row 45
Sinai Circle met on February 5th at Row 45 in Albertson for a fun and invigorating workout. Thank yous to Temple Sinai's own Kelly Grunther, Meredith Adelman, Tracy Zimmerman and Liz Neale.
Mark Your Calendars!
Miss Chocolate Fundraising is the featured fundraiser for Passover candies. All students were sent home with a brochure featuring Barton's candies and other items that are Kosher for Passover. Students will receive prizes for all sales, so make sure that all orders are submitted. The deadline to submit orders is March 4th.
As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Religious School Office.
We are always happy to help our families!
Cantor-Educator Elena Schwartz
or 516.621.8016
Cantor-Educator Elena Schwartz