Kindergarten Rabbis’ Commentary on Creation

We are learning about the creation story in the Torah. During our conversations, we discovered that HaShem (God) created our world so that it could take care of itself. In turn, we as human beings are also responsible for making sure that we treat HaShem’s creations with respect and kindness.

We took this opportunity to interpret this story through art and to enrich our Hebrew vocabulary.

After we learned that there was nothing in the world before creation, I asked my rabbis:

What do you think was the first thing that Hashem created ?

Jake: Hashem needed light to see what can be done.

So from nothing HaShem created or (light) and choshech (darkness) in the first day.


Then what ?

Sasha: God thought about spreading the light again in the sky so God could see all the work God needed to do.


Asher: Hashem separated the mayim (water) from the adamah (earth)and shamayim (sky).


What do you think Hashem created in the third day ?

Joseph: I think animals and people.

Maya: Maybe worms.

Sidney: No. If you put people and animals before trees they would die. They need trees for oxygen.

So Hashem created everything that grows on the earth like: etzim (trees), prachim (flowers), and deshe (grass).


Maya: Hashem gave the trees roots to take care of themselves.


What Do you think next?

Sophie: Animals and fish.

Ruben: People.

Eli: No. The fish will die out because if there is no gravity they will fly and die out.

Sidney: They will go to space.

Eli: They can’t go to space because of the atmosphere, they can’t break the atmosphere.

Sidney: Woodpeckers can break trees so they can break the atmosphere.

Jake: No, they can’t the atmosphere is harder.

Asher: They will die before they get to the atmosphere because when you go up the air it is thin and you can’t breathe. 

Then HaShem created the lights in the sky: shemesh (sun), yare’ach (moon), and kochavim (stars).


What happened in the fifth day?

Sasha: I think animals now.

Joseph: And people and school.

Jake: Animals before people because if God created people before animals they will cut down trees and plants and they will not leave room for animals. And if Hashem will create animals before people the animals will just make habitat to live.

Eli: If it is animals, it needs to be only plant-eaters. If you put people before animals they can die out because people didn’t know about predators.

The next was all the life in the water and in the air: dagim (fish), parparim (butterflies), and tziporim (birds).


Finally, the world was ready for human beings and animals: yeled (boy), yalda (girl), and chayot (animals).


And on the last day, HaShem rested and it was Shabbat.


As we prepared our Bereshit book, we noticed how, in each page, the world becomes more complete and more beautiful. We learned to appreciate the wonders and miracles of our creation and our world through this story in the Torah.

Resh and Gimmel

The main goal of our Hebrew classes for the last two weeks was to introduce the letters resh and gimmel: how they look and sound.

Students are able to recognize the letter resh in the words Rakevet (train), Rosh (head), Rimon (pomegranate), Ru-ah (wind) and Regel-Raglayim (foot-feet), and the letter gimel in the words Gamal (camel), Gadol (big), Gezer (carrot), and G’vina  (cheese).

For our listening activity for the letter resh we read the story The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss in Hebrew (translated by Datya Dor). Students had a great time making the letter resh with their own raglayim (feet), as you can see.

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For the letter gimmel we heard the story Eliezer Vehagezer  (Eliezer and the Carrot). After we listened to the story, we spread g’vina (cheese) on Graham crackers and then we wrote the letter gimmel with gezer (a carrot). It was then fun to eat the letter gimmel.

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For the letter resh the students created a Rakevet (train) in the shape of resh and filled it only with words that start with the letter resh.


When we discussed the shape of the letter gimmel, students discovered that when they put two gimmels together, they can make a Gamal (a camel).


And with our wonderful imaginations we  figure out how to  make Giraffa (a giraffe) out of the letter gimmel. The children drew the most amazing animals!

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How wonderful it is to hear the children using the verb rotse/rotsa (want) in their sentences (such as ani rotse mayim I want water, ani rotse challah I want challah).

We conclude our study about resh with the rakevet song.

We are always so impressed by our student’s concentration, artistry and passion for learning!

What Can I Do Better Next Year

After  learning about the story of Jonah and the big fish, we had a discussion about Jonah’s experience and the importance of trying to do the right thing and the beauty of forgiveness when we make mistakes.

How do you show chesed (kindness) to your friends/family?

Asher: I’ll try new things. I’ll help my mom wash the dishes.

Eli: On Shabbat my mom always tries to make everything neat. Sometimes guests come. This shabbat I will help her clean up the mess.

Joseph: I’ll help my mom clean the table after supper.

Jake: I’ll feed the cats, even though it’s a little bit hard. I have to put the cat’s food in the basement.


What do we want to do better next year?

Maya: I will not pinch my daddy when I think he is not looking at me. I’ll use my words.

Sidney: I’m not going to be mean to my sister.

Sasha: Sometimes I don’t let Yasha play with my toys. I’ll fix my mistake and I’ll tell him that he can play with my toys.

Ruben: I’m not going to bang things hard like I broke the cash register in our classroom.

Sophie: Sometimes I’m not listening to Jonah. I’ll try to listen to him more.

Jake: I will not overflow the bathtub.

Joseph: Sometimes when my mom tells me to take a shower I do not listen. I’ll listen more to my mom.

Eli: When I’m in the bath, I keep forgetting not to splash the water on my brother. I know he hates it. I am not going to do that anymore. I’ll remember to stop. I will also not run in the hallway or slam the door when I go to the bathroom during the night.

Asher: I will not trick Ronan with the magic cards.

New Year’s Food Customs Around the World

Food is a universal language. Communities around the world of all traditions and religions eat special symbolic foods at their New Year’s celebrations.

Do you need ideas for Rosh Hashanah? Here are few to share with your family:

We in Kindergarten had a very special Rosh Hashanah Seder.

We blew the shofar to remind us that the New Year is coming.



The Japanese eat buckwheat noodles that symbolize long life. We tried to swallow at least one noodle whole for good luck.




For a lucky, fruitful year, Latin Americans eat twelve grapes at midnight on New Year’s Eve.  We counted and ate them this morning.


The Chinese enjoy oranges that symbolize sweetness and good fortune. Yes, we ate oranges too.


Green is the color of money, so we ate green beans for prosperity.


Here’s where Jews from all over the world meet. We all dip apples in honey for a sweet year.


Pomegranate is one of the seven species of Israel. It symbolizes beauty and fertility in the Bible, literature and art. It’s delicious too!


We all celebrate the New Year in different ways and at different times, but we all wish each other “A Happy New Year.”


Who Is in My Heart?

When we learned the letters kaf and lamed, we were busy with Purim, but it was a great opportunity to connect it with this special holiday.

First we learned the three ways that we can use the letter kaf and its placement in words. The children are able to recognize the words ken (yes),  keter (crown), kol hakavod, kesef (silver/money), katom (the color orange), kachol (blue), and kis (pocket) for the letter kaf. For projects, we filled  khaf with  masechot (masks) and filled khaf sofit with a drawing of a melech (king). We couldn’t finish learning about Purim without filling in our kaf with glitter in the color of kesef (silver) or katom (the color orange), and we made a keter (crown) for Achashverosh. Lastly, we discovered that the word kis means pocket in Hebrew. After the kis (pocket) project, the children got a chocolate kiss from my kis (pocket).

We had so mIMG_1896uch fun learning the letter lamed. First we got our faces painted as leitzanim (clowns) and we learned the song “leitzan katan sheli” (my little clown).

Then we had a beautiful discussion about what’s in our  lev (heart). We not only had fun making a project about it, but also sharing our thoughts with our friends.

Once we finished learning the letter lamed, we realized we could string letters together and read many words from our excellent vocabulary.

We are so excited!

We learned new Hebrew letters!

The main goal of our Hebrew classes for the last two weeks was to introduce the letters zayin and tet.

When we introduced the letter tet, we noticed that the sound of the letter tet is the same sound as the letter tav.  We agreed that it’s a little bit confusing but as the children said, “even in English we have the letter ‘c’ that sometimes sounds like the letter ‘k’.”

Students are able to recognize the letter zayin in the words Zebra and Zachal (caterpillar), and the letter tet in the words Talit, Tavas (peacock), Telephone and Tractor.

We had a wonderful time learning about these two letters. For the letter zayin we read the story  “HaZachal Haraev”  (The Hungry Caterpillar). We were so excited to read this familiar story in Hebrew because we recognized so many words!

We then introduced the words  Zeh (“this is,” masculine) and  Zot (“this is,” feminine), and for the letter tet we learned the words Tov  (“good,” masculine) and Tova (“good,” feminine”). This is a very complicated and sophisticated concept, and we will continue practicing these words. We also learned the verb Zocher (remember) and practiced making sentences!

For the letter zayin we had a great time turning the letter into the head of a Zebra and the letter tet into a Talit and Tavas (peacock). These projects will  be part of our special book that will be coming home at the end of the year.

Finally we practiced writing these new letters with sand and chalk!

We have also had fun getting ready to celebrate Purim! We’ve heard and told the story, and talked about the four mitzvot of Purim. We will also be making hamantaschen to celebrate the holiday. We’ve been sure to practice being silly for Adar by wearing fun hats and hairstyles.


As always, it is such a pleasure to learn with and from your children.



Chet is for Chatul

We had such a wonderful time creating the letter  CHet with blocks!

Students are able to recognize this letter in the words CHallah, CHalon (window), CHumus, CHanukiyah (menorah for Chanukah),  CHatul (cat). Ask your kids to tell you more words they know that begin with the letter Chet!

After learning many new words, we then realized we could draw a CHatul (cat). With this new word we decided to introduce two verbs so that we could make actual sentences. The verbs we learned were CHoshev (to think) and CHolem ( to dream). For our final projects, we created pictures of the most beautiful cats inspired by different artists.

Finally we celebrated Shabbat with CHallah, CHumus and CHamutzim!





Spring Has Sprung

We’ve had a fun and busy several weeks in kindergarten!

We have  been learning a great deal about Israel and dreaming of its beautiful beaches. We “traveled” to Yam Hamelach (The Dead Sea), and learned through experiment why we float.


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After working so hard preparing for Zimriyah and Special Visitors Day, we needed a short vacation. Since we can’t travel all the way to Israel, we traveled to Conimicut Beach in Warwick.



               At the beach we found buried treasure, observed different animals who call the beach home, and played in the sand.




We had the chance to play on a different playground after a picnic lunch outdoors.



   And even have rest time.

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Israel- Our Beautiful Land

Dear Families,

Throughout the year we have learned quite a lot about the language, culture, and geography of Israel in kindergarten! In honor of Yom Ha’atzmaut we have started to create detailed maps of Israel that show how much we’ve learned. Our maps will be very helpful as we travel around Israel on our week long class trip! Today we created our passports, received our boarding passes, said our farewells and boarded the plane that would “take us” to Israel. Even Mr. Tilove came along for the ride! On our flight we talked about what season and what time it would be when we “landed”, enjoyed a light snack, and watched an in-flight slideshow that showed us just some of the special things we could do or see in Israel.






This afternoon we also broadcast what we’ve learned about Israel’s geography over the intercom to teach the whole school about Israel. Please ask your child what fact or facts he or she shared with the school!
The weather is getting warmer and sunnier here in Rhode Island, and in Israel too! To celebrate spring we created beautiful watercolor paintings of springtime in Israel. They are displayed outside the classroom and are truly remarkable. Please feel free to come and look at our work.
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I am always so impressed by your children’s concentration, artistry and passion for learning!

Can Saying “I’m sorry” Fix Everything?

Dear Kindergarten families,

Parasha studies:

When we studied the story of Yoseph and his brothers we learned about the power of being a positive influence. When some of Yoseph’s brothers were mean to Yosef, all of the brothers followed his example and were also mean to Yoseph. We explored this in our classroom by pretending to be Yoseph’s brothers. When someone was mean, it was easy to follow their mean example. We also realized that when someone was kind and showed kavod, it was easy to follow their example too. We learned that it can be hard to be the first to stand up and do the right thing, but when we do, others will follow our lead.

After Yosef’s hard journey he became one of Pharaoh’s respected advisers. Even when he was in a position of power, he still showed forgiveness and chesed to his brothers when they met again years later. We asked the students how the brothers could fix the mistakes they made in the past.

Moshe: They can tell him that they didn’t show kavod, but now they learned their lesson.

Noam: They need to say “I’m sorry”, and maybe Yoseph will forgive them.

Naftali: No, he’s probably very mad.

Hadas: They need to say that they’re very, very sorry.

Simon: Even if they say sorry, they can’t change the past.

This brought us to a bigger question about why we apologize. We know that saying “I’m sorry” can’t change what happened before, but we think apologizing can make the other person feel better.

Hebrew studies:

When we learned the letter  kaf, we were busy with the Purim, but it was great opportunity to connect it with these event. We made a keter  (a crown). We also made beautiful  masechot (masks) and learned the different between kaf and khaf.  Lastly, we discovered that the word kis means pocket in Hebrew. After the kis (pocket) project, the children got a chocolate kiss from my kis (pocket).

We are eagerly preparing for Pesach and are excited to celebrate together. Please remember that our classroom Seder will take place on Tuesday March 31st from 8:30 to 10:00 am. Family, friends, and special visitors are welcome and encouraged to join us!

Ilana, Jessica and Emily