Hamakor- the Source Friday, December 20, 2019/22 Kislev 5780

quiet on set: students record stories for podcast

In the last several weeks, fourth graders have enjoyed a first experience with podcasting, and they have learned a lot! With Marnie Diem, our Coordinator of Technological Adventures, as their guide, students learned the importance of reading fluently, and with expression, when reading aloud for an audience, and also some technical aspects of recording, such as choosing a quiet space, and using sound effects to enhance the listener experience.

Most importantly, they gained confidence in their writing. “They produced high-quality realistic fiction, and by sharing it with the outside world, they realized their voice matters outside of the classroom,” teacher Kim Stern said. “They’re excited to have others listen to their stories.”

Listen to the podcasts on the Apple Podcasts app.

students make connections between siddurim & science

"How can plants help us appreciate God in our everyday life?” is a driving question in our 5-6 tefillah rotation, Growing in Tefillah. The science learning focuses on connecting what grows in our school greenhouse to Judaism; what plants need as resources; and the role of plants within the larger ecosystem, teacher Amy Martin-Piesz explained.

The tefillah learning targets are to deepen students' connection to God and nature; to explain and evaluate three prayers that connect to light and growing (Yotzer Or, Or Chadash, and Mevarech Hashanim); and to explain the literal and symbolic importance of planting and spiritual growth. Students spend time planting seeds, transplanting seedlings, making worm tea for fertilizer, and watering plants. Students have also planted lettuce, spinach, basil, and lemon balm.

"For students to see the intersection between the siddur and photosynthesis, and bring that learning with them into the Beit Knesset, is everything we aim to achieve as Jewish educators: The beauty of our Jewish tradition and the power of the natural sciences in God’s world," said amira soleimani, director of judaic studies curriculum and instruction.

shinshinim and students set out for snowy israel

Each week, our Shinshinim Yuval and Noa tour our Kindergarten students around Israel, introducing them to kibbutzim, moshavim, and cities. This week, they chose Mount Hermon, the only location in Israel “where it snows!” Yuval exclaimed.

After getting out their handmade passports and looking at a map of Israel, students collaborated to build the highest mountain possible out of popsicle sticks. Then Yuval topped each mountain with a marshmallow, and handed one out to each child as a treat.

“These weekly activities are a very cute way of increasing students’ knowledge,” Morah Adina Levin said. “And the marshmallow, of course, sweetens the lesson!”

Seventh graders are building their Hebrew vocabulary in the MakerSpace! They’ve completed a reading comprehension unit on fashion, and have crafted their own designs. Next step: describing their clothing in Hebrew using the new words they’ve learned.

families rejoice in the light at annual ECC chanukah party

The gymnasium overflowed this week at our ECC Chanukah Night Party! Families enjoyed dinner, followed by activity stations where they could dig for dreidels, have their faces painted by our eighth grade volunteers, and take holiday photos using a green screen. Then everyone gathered in the mercaz for a sing-a-long, where they did the Menorah Horah!

advancement news

your annual fund gift helps all our students soar

To date, we have raised $217,640. Whether your contribution is $5 or $5,000, please know that gifts of all sizes do make a difference, and will help us reach our goal of $700,000. Give to the Annual Fund because you believe in our school mission, the dedication of our teachers, and the impact a Hillel education will have on your child’s future.

Thank you to all those who have recently donated to the Annual Fund:

ecc courtyard bricks

Are you looking for a gift for your parents or your children? Consider purchasing a brick for our ECC courtyard, and leave a lasting legacy at Hillel Day School. These personalized bricks make a wonderful Chanukah gift. Bricks come in several sizes. All purchases and/or donations are tax deductible. Purchase a brick and/or learn more here.

support hillel with amazonsmile

Did you know your purchases can make a difference? Don’t forget to use AmazonSmile for your Chanukah shopping. AmazonSmile donates to Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit when you do your shopping here.

more news to know

alumni in the news!

Check out the great things our alumni achieve after graduation! This week, catch up with Ben Taylor-Abt (class of 2019), a freshman soccer player at Frankel Jewish Academy.

registration open for after-school classes

After-school activities begin the week of January 13, including new classes in cartooning, and arts & crafts in the MakerSpace, and returning favorites such as Math Pentathlon, Rhythm Drumming, Dance, Drama, Chess, and more. Register for Winter Session I activities here. Winter Session II registrations will be forthcoming before Mid-Winter Break.

january lunch menu

Check out the month's menu here.


Hebrew Language Day, celebrated every year on the 21st of Tevet, is the birthday of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the driving force behind the revival of Hebrew in the modern era. It is a day designated by the State of Israel to promote the status of the Hebrew language in Israel and worldwide, and is marked by activities and events throughout the country.

This year, 21 Tevet falls on Shabbat, so the celebratory day will be 19 Tevet, which corresponds to Thursday, January 16, 2020. At Hillel, we’re joining the celebration! More details are forthcoming, but to get started, please fill out this T-shirt form!


Hillel Day School is hiring! Take a look at career opportunities for teachers here.

mazal tov!

Ruby Cascade was called to the Torah on the occasion of her Bat Mitzvah.

got ya caught ya being a mensch!

Aryana Colton, Asher Davidson, Talia Hortick, Aiden Hunegs, Naomi Moy, Brody Maddin, Leah Reinstein, Molly Rohtbart, Benji Schostak

DVAR TORAH: chanukah

Enjoy this week's Dvar Torah, and while you're watching the video on YouTube, take a moment to subscribe to our channel!

upcoming events at school & around town

Before you go, check out pictures from our week!

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