Hamakor- the Source Friday, November 30, 2018/22 Kislev 5779

when to get into the market

This week, eighth grade algebra students saw the impact of early investing as they learned how to calculate compound simple interest. Using an imaginary $5,000 b’nai mitzvah gift, they calculated what they would earn over 50 years with an average rate of return of 12 percent.

“That’s $1, 455, 010.95!” they shouted.

“Pretty good,” teacher David Venning said. “Now imagine you only invested it for 20 years.”

“Oy, that’s not as good,” student Shir Berger said after calculating the sum of $48,231.04.

The lesson engendered a lively conversation on investing, diversification, and how putting money in early pays off in the long run even with market fluctuations.

“Use any number as principal and it’s pretty eye opening how big the return can be,” Mr. Venning said. “These types of discussions bring mathematics to life, prepare students for the future, and they can relate the material to their own lives."

peer-to-peer mentoring

Jonah Miller is the go-to guy in seventh grade when his peers have questions about computers. He’s also pretty handy in the MakerSpace, as he showed during his recent STEAM rotation in woodworking, where he crafted his own mezuzah case. “I’d been inspired by last year’s 60th anniversary mezuzah campaign, where everyone in the school made mezuzot, so I made one for my room at home. I’m always amazed when things turn out better than I think they will initially!”

His classmate Elliot Salama noticed the finished mezuzah and asked Jonah to teach him how to make one. So the sports-loving friends gave up their recess to spend time in the MakerSpace, where Jonah taught Elliot to use sharp implements such as a chisel to make a mezuzah of his own. “He’s a good teacher,” Elliot said of Jonah. “He’s modest and he’s patient. And that chisel is sharp!”

Sixth grader Noam Goel


Dreidel mania is taking over Hillel! Students in several grades are participating in a Dreidel Design Challenge whose themes grow out of each grade’s curriculum, from kedushah in eighth grade, and hidden versus revealed miracles in sixth grade Rabbinics. Students will be judged on design-thinking, their written artist statements, representation of the class theme, and, of course, whether it spins! Here's sixth grader Sam Gold:

“It’s been fascinating to see how each individual is interpreting the challenge,” Saul A. Rube, Dean of Judaic Studies, said.


This week, an exhilarating stomp launch shot rockets high - and far! - into space as our second graders demonstrated what they've learned recently in science. Students stomped on 2-liter bottles that catapulted rockets made in the MakerSpace using pool noodles, paper towels and other materials. “They tested their prototypes, used critical thinking to make improvements, and used their final products in the launch -- and everyone had success,” said teacher Aaron Newman.

The unit also involved a creative writing piece describing the destination of their rockets, as well as Hebrew and Torah units of measurements, in an organic and authentic integration of subjects.

"It was good to see it go the distance," said student spiro farber.

second grade torah party: "The torah is Love."

Kol hakavod to our second graders who celebrated their Torah learning Wednesday evening with heartfelt words about what the Torah means to them, and spirited dancing and song! Each student stood onstage to deliver their words, and as a grade they recited the first three verses of Beresheet (Book of Genesis), including singing the third verse using Torah tropes.

"it was powerful to see them take such pride in their Judaism," said moreh aron Kaufman.

in their own words

By Fifth grade "Reporter in Training" Ariella Spodek

On Sunday, my 3-year old brother Noah got his first haircut. When a Jewish boy turns 3, it is a tradition to get a first haircut called an upsherin, symbolizing the growth from a baby to a child. He used to have long golden hair but now it is light dirty blonde. He went to a salon called Cookie Cutters that’s tailor-made for kids with seats made out of airplanes and trains and televisions. I think he was a bit petrified at first but then he started watching Cars 3 and he was just sucked into the tv. Afterwards he looked in the mirror and started laughing! When asked, he said, “I like my hair because I just like it!”

organic, grass-fed beef now served at hillel

Due in part to a generous grant from Hazon, Hillel will now be using grass-fed, organic ground beef for the rest of the school year. The meat is glatt kosher, certified by the Star-K, and delicious! The sliders served this week were a big hit, according to students and staff who ate them as part of our Flik in-house dining program this week.

"We thank Hazon for their generosity," said Scott Reed, Hillel's COO.

Advancement News

Mazal tov to parents Elana and Bret Hopman, 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 April. Give now for YOUR chance to win the parking spot for a month.

Our Kindergarten is in the lead with 64.1% parent participation. Give now to help your child's grade take the lead and win the popsicle party.

We are looking forward to Movies and Munchies sponsored by Stingray Systems and Star Trax. Fantastic Beasts 2 is full, and we have a limited number of seats available for Wreck-It Ralph 2, so make your gift today, and RSVP for Wreck-It Ralph 2. Registration will close as soon as we reach capacity or at 3:00 p.m. today.

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 aschlussel@hillelday.org to learn more.

AmazonSmile has donated over $100 million to charities thanks to customers shopping at smile.amazon.com. Remember Hillel when you shop!

Our online book fair is live. Pre-ordered books will be delivered to school. Our Scholastic Book Fair runs December 3 - 7. We are looking for book fair volunteers. Parents can sign up here, or email pto@hillelday.org.

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 Chanukah 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 here!

Dvar torah: parashat vayeshev

At this time of year, it may be hard to identify the bundled up students coming out of the building at the end of the day, but there are elements of our children’s outfits that stick out, so we recognize them -- a pattern on a jacket, a unique hat, and, of course, that kid who insists on wearing shorts with snow boots. Our clothing has elements of our identity – something that makes a statement about who we are and, if left behind, where we have been.

In Parashat Vayeshev, clothing becomes a very important identifying element throughout three different key scenes. Joseph’s coat of many colors is the early representation of his character. When the brothers need to tell their father that Joseph has been “killed” they state: “We found this (referring to his torn and blood stained coat). Please examine it; is it your son’s tunic or not?”

Then in the story of Judah and Tamar, when Tamar wants Judah to acknowledge his actions and previous visit to her town, she uses his signet ring and robe, which he had left behind, as a form of collateral for the fee he owed her.

Finally, when Joseph was in Potifar’s home, Potifar’s wife accuses Joseph of attacking her. What does she use as proof of him there? A piece of clothing he left behind.

In each of these cases people are identified by the clothing they left behind. So the question that stands in front of us is: what signs do we leave behind that testify to our presence?

As we prepare for Chanukkah, a holiday about spreading light in a dark world, we might find ourselves asking what light can I leave behind to show that I was here, and that I did something to make this place better? The reality is that we leave digital imprints wherever we go, but what other signs can we leave as we work to spread the light of Chanukah and Torah along our journeys?

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Chanukkah!

Rabbi Shalom Kantor, Congregation B’nai Moshe

mazal tovs

Meredith Shapiro (7th Grade) was called to the Torah at Hillel on the occasion of her bat mitzvah.

Got Ya Caught Ya Being A Mensch!

Eliana Drew, Zachary Elbinger, Joely Gottlieb, Zach Keller, Emily Panza, Carly Schwartz, Liora Valk, Zachary Weisel

music is in the air

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