hillel ushers in the light for chanukkah
Chanukkah was the name of the game this week! Festive music greeted our families each morning at drop-off, and students lit and said blessings using the oversized chanukkiyah in front of the building. The chanukkiyah was constructed by our seventh grade STEAM students in a woodworking rotation, and is the centerpiece of this weekend’s Chanukkah Light Parades in Farmington Hills on Saturday evening, and Huntington Woods on Sunday evening. Check out the story behind the making of the chanukkiyah, and read on to learn more about the innovative and time-honored ways that make Chanukkah unique at Hillel!
Throughout the week, students celebrated with songs, stories, and activities that brought older and younger students together -- our seventh graders performed a play for the kindergarten and played dreidel games with their young friends; our eighth and first graders had a latke party.
Food, of course, was involved, too, with delicious sufganiyot provided by the PTO to the whole school; 600 donut holes provided by Temple Israel; more sufganiyot decorated by fifth graders; and sugar cookie kits given to our second graders who had fun baking!
As Judaic studies teacher Allison Gutman put it, with a smile, "we are managing sugfaniyot madness."
Students experienced Chanukkah in the larger Jewish community, as well, with our first through third grades visiting Chanukkah Wonderland; and our fourth graders, who entertained residents at Fleischman with songs, and who visited the Shul and Adat Shalom Synagogue as part of their learning the differences between the Beit Hamikdash and present-day ritual life centered around our synagogues.
ECC brightens chanukkah for JFS
For five years, our ECC has helped families in need to celebrate Chanukkah by adopting a family through Jewish Family Services. They have anonymously donated winter clothing essentials, diapers and wipes, meaningful toys, as well as numerous gift cards. This year, JFS reported that many of the families in need had numerous children under the age of 6, making it even more meaningful for our families with young children, said teacher Jackie Eaton.
“No one should have to worry about whether or not they have diapers or mittens,” Miss Jackie said. Through this effort, “our families are instilling in their children the value of giving and the importance of thinking of others,” she said. “The generosity of our families is extraordinary.”
Fourth grader Ammi Rotberg has won second place in the elementary school division of an international Hebrew writing contest sponsored by the Mofet Institute. The theme was "choosing light," in honor of Chanukkah, and Ammi's beautiful short story about school children depicts the triumph of acts of kindness and being a mensch.
“I am very proud of and happy for Ammi,” Morah Niva Amiel-Wilner, his Judaic Studies teacher, said.
So are we!
Basketball Season Opens with players new to the game
By Leah Cohen and Ariella Spodek, fifth grader reporters in training
Our winter basketball season has begun! The first game of the season is January 9, and our boys’ and girls’ teams are getting ready. In addition to dribbling, good sportsmanship is a priority. There are many first time players from the fifth grade on the girls’ basketball team, so Nicole Miller, our Athletic Director, is excited for them to “improve as players and try their best.”
Two of those fifth graders, Hannah Fridman and Sydney Michaelson, already feel “we are getting better at the game!”
pete the cat is going fast - last book fair day is today!
By Liat Lerner and Talia Spielmann, fifth grader reporters in training
This year’s book fair is filled with fun and interesting books, and also posters, games, and accessories. The book fair has been open all week, and runs today until dismissal. In kids’ opinions, the best part of the book fair are wish lists. A wish list is when kids look around the fair, and pick books they wish their parents to buy!
Shauna Schwartz, a PTO volunteer and parent who runs the book fair each year, says she loves the Elephant and Piggie books for kids, and that her own favorite author is Jennifer Weiner. She says it takes hours to set up the fair, and requires many parents to help. There are also bins with books the ECC teachers recommend for their classrooms that parents can buy. All told, there are 1,000 books in Conference Room A/B! Come check it out!
Mazal tov to parents Erica and Michael Cahn, winners of this week's raffle, which is open to families who have given to the Annual Fund. Enjoy your parking spot for the month of May.
Congratulations to our Kindergarten families who remain in the lead with 69.2% parent participation. But remember, while the 60-Day Parent Challenge may be over, the Annual Fund continues on! Donations are welcome any time; every dollar supports our tuition assistance program benefitting more than half of our students. Donate now, and ensure that all Jewish children who wish to attend our school can receive a Hillel education.
Thank you to all those who have donated to the Annual Fund this week:
Neighborhood Schmooze: Please invite your friends and neighbors to an informal evening on December 11 (in West Bloomfield) with current Hillel parents, alumni, and leadership. Guests will learn how Hillel’s modern learning philosophy, innovative environment, small class sizes, and Jewish values prepare students for high school and beyond. Guests will hear about affordability and why children and families love the school so much. Contact email@example.com to learn more.
Did you know your purchases can make a difference? AmazonSmile donates to Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit when you do your shopping here.
Next Wednesday’s meeting features Dr. Jennifer Friedman, and our school social workers Harrison Leibow and Kim Love, speaking on social-emotional health. Please join us in Conference Room A/B at 8:15 a.m. ECC parents may drop off their children in advance of the meeting.
Retail company Boon Supply and Hillel are teaming up to support our school. 50% of all purchases go back to Hillel. There are lots of great Chanukkah gifts including kitchen tools, organizational supplies, and totes. Parents can order online, and all items will ship directly to them. (FYI: Food items are not kosher.)
Order your Spirit Wear! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.