Director Judy’s Ma Nishma Blog

Ma Nishma? It’s Hebrew for What’s new? What’s going on? What’s happening?

You’ll find all the latest Temple Sinai goings-on right here.

-Morah Judy

Read the full blog (with archives) at Blogspot

School News

Shalom Horim/Dear Parents:


With the holidays now behind us (not counting Halloween*), we can get into a somewhat normal routine without major distractions.

In case you haven't already received it at the beginning of the school year, check out Temple's website under "Learning" for the school calendar. Please note when your child's class service is (class services begin in January and are usually the first Friday night of the month to coincide with Folk Services).  They begin with a Pot Luck dinner at 5:30 sponsored by the host class.

In addition to the class services, there are two Whole School Shabbats: the first on Nov. 9 and the next one of Feb. 15. This is a great way for your family to experience a Saturday morning service at Temple and for our students to practice the prayers they are learning.

This past week our Letter of the Week was Lamed, as in Lulav, which we shook on Sukkot. 
ל as in:
Lulav, Night (Lailah), Lemon (Limon), Bread (Lechem)


Starting tomorrow, our Letter of the Week is Aleph.


Lastly, with all the events we've had at Temple involving food, A LOT of plates, containers, bags, baking pans, etc. have gotten left behind in the kitchen. Next time you're here, please check to see if maybe some are yours. Additionally, we've got quite a collection of water bottles piling up. Maybe one of those is yours too?




Best wishes for a sweet and Happy New Year,

Morah Judy



PS - if you know folks with young children, or you yourself have a child too young for school, please know that we have a monthly Tot Shabbat on the third Friday of the month and Story Hour on the first Sunday of the month. Next Story Hour is Nov. 3 at 10 am and Tot Shabbat is Nov. 15 at 5:30 pm.

*we do NOT have school Oct. 31 

This week is brought to you by the letter Dalet






 Dvash - Honey דְבַֹש            









Delet - Door    דֶלֶת


Degel - Flag דֶגֶל








                              Dahg - Fish דָג










Busy, busy October

Shalom Mishpachot/Dear Families:


I hope you had a wonderful Rosh Hashanah. It was great seeing so many of the school children here, singing and blowing shofar, or attending services and/or child care.

The new month of October brings with it our new Value of the Month: Welcoming the Stranger (Hachnasat Orchim) הַכְנָסַת אוֹרְחִים



I know you're already a pretty hospitable bunch, so think of even more ways you can incorporate this Mitzvah into your family practices. Ask your children for ideas. Maybe invite a new family over for the meal before Yom Kippur on the 8th or to break fast after services on the 9th. Have a few families over for an early Shabbat dinner and then come to services together (this Friday night is a Folk Service and the 25th is a Rock Shabbat). Or maybe make a play-date with your child and another student from their Religious School class.

Last week's Letter of the Week was Tav, as in Torah, Tmunah (Picture), Todah ( Thank you ), and Tapuach (Apple). Did your family come up with any new Tav words?

This week's Letter of the Week is Mem - מ
The Mem words posted on our bulletin board include: Moreh/Morah (Teacher), Mezzuzah, Machberet (Notebook), and Menorah (Lamp, more often associated with the lamp from The Temple or with Chanukah).

This Sunday is our first Story Hour of the Month, at 10:00. All children and families are welcome. Saragail is leading it and I believe she'll be exploring the story of Jonah and the Whale, which is read on Yom Kippur. Also for the younger set is a Tot Shabbat service on the 18th at 5:30 (regular service follows at 6:30).


On the 10th Eliza Weissberger is coming to work with the children on decorating the sukkah! And speaking of sukkah, on Oct. 13th our 7-8 Grade program is taking a field trip to the Living Tree Alliance Farm to help build sukkahs and learn what makes a sukkah Kosher. The following weekend, LTA (19 & 20) is having multiple Sukkot activities for the entire family: https://livingtreealliance.com/sukkot-on-the-farm

On Sunday, Oct. 20th Temple is holding Simchat Torah services, joined by Ruach HaMaqom, at 5:30. We also use this opportunity to Consecrate our newest members of Religious School. The youngest members receive a mini-Torah and our older students (grade 4+) receive their siddurim/prayer books.

On Oct. 17 Torah Chanting class begins for our 6th graders. This brief, 20 minute class is from 6:15-6:35 immediately after class on Thursdays. Adults are welcome to join too.

Also on the 17th, from 7:00-8:30 is a beginning Hebrew reading class. So if you've never had Hebrew before, or it's been so long you can't tell an Aleph from a Bet, this class is for you. Let me know if you'd like to register.

On the 19th we are thrilled to have the Bat Mitzvah of Ariel Toohey, which will take place during Shabbat/Sukkot services that morning at 10:00 a.m.

Finally, on the 25th we will have a special Rock Shabbat service in honor of the 90th birthday of our beloved member, Beverley Bettmann, with a special oneg following services.

Whew! I'm getting tired just reading all the things going on, not to mention the Rabbi's Adult Bnai Mitzvah class and Intro to Judaism.


Morah Judy

You asked for it, we're answering - important information about the opening day of school

Shalom Horim/Dear Parents: (Long, so please read when you're not in a hurry [HAHAHA!]


This past June we gathered together a group of parents and members for a visioning session for our school*. One of the topics to come out of the meeting was that parents wanted greater home educational opportunities with their children. This fits in very nicely with our new values-based curriculum this year. Let me point out to you some of the new things we're doing, what to look for, and what you can do.

1. As you know, we've made our start time earlier: 3:45. During this time the students will gather in the Social Hall, have physical activities, snack, go to Sanctuary for T'filah/prayer, and go over the letter of the week and the Value of the Month.

2. Letter of the Week: Each week we will highlight a different letter of the Alef-Bet. This letter, and several words starting with that letter, will be displayed on our bulletin board  and in each classroom, and I will send an update with the letter. (see enclosed picture). It would be really great if you could reinforce this at home, such as asking if they can think of English words starting with that sound, then asking if they (or you) know any Hebrew words starting with that sound.

3. Value of the Month: Every month we are highlighting a Jewish value, posting a poster on our bulletin board, reinforcing it in the classroom. Again, reinforcing it at home would help.


4. Snack: will be done collectively in the Social Hall


Our first Jewish Value is Hiddur Mitzvah - Beautifying or Enhancing the Mitzvah/Commandment. You can read more about it here: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/holiday-art/

What we need from you:

1. Our first day of school, please send in with your child a Judaic object from your home (such as a Kiddush cup, Candlesticks, Menorah, Seder Plate, challah cover). bring a card with it with your family name, and if it has a history, what that history is. We will then display it in our school that day, where we will have a VIRTUAL Museum and a real museum (with your objects)

2. We will send projects for you to do, at home, with your child, such as decorating a Kiddush Cup, making a Challah Cover; decorating Candlesticks or a Havdallah Spice Box (these are grade determined). You will have 3 weeks to make them, returning them here on October 3rd, to be displayed at Temple. Again, please have a small index card or Post-it with your child's name to go with the object. 

3. Parent Greeters:
Isn't it nice to come into a space and have people greet you? I try to do it at school but often things need my attention so I cannot always be at the door.  Please let me know if you would like to greet the children when they come in, and direct them into the Social Hall

4. Snack:
The past few years we've had parents bring snack to their child's class, resulting in having to bring in snack 4-5 times/year. This year we're doing a collective snack which means you'll need to bring in snack only twice a year. We have 30ish students in the school, (and 7 teachers) so if two parents each week bring snack each really only needs to provide snack for 20 people. If it is your snack week, we ask that you stay to set it up (in the Social Hall), and clean up afterwards (which means, keep it simple!). 

5. Class parents:
I have 3 committed parents so far for grades 6, 3, and 4-5. I'm looking for a class parent for Grades 1 and 2. What does a class parent do? Coordinates the class dinners, finds families from without the class to help with setting up and cleaning up after the dinners; helps with any other things the class wants such as purchasing a gift for the teacher, getting together outside Temple [if you want to do that as a class]; other ideas are up to you.

Other things we'd love to see:

*host the families in your child's class for a pot-luck havurah (1-2 hour shabbat or havdallah meal / candle lighting / social gathering)
*greet people and let them in during Hebrew school
*drive students in my child's class on a local field trip 
*substitute teach
*tutor students one-on-one in Hebrew once a month for 30 minutes
*make latkes (at the synagogue) for Hannukah
*bake treats for Purim
*lead a workshop or activity 

If you are interested in doing any of these, let me know.  

I guess that's it! I hope to see many of you tomorrow evening for our Welcome Back to School BBQ (Thank you, Brotherhood for your grilling skills), and if you're coming, please bring a side, salad, or dessert, if you're able.

Shabbat Shalom,
Morah Judy

*If you're interested in attending future visioning sessions - our hope is to create a Mission Statement and come up with a new name for our school - please let me know.


School's in another month. Here's some important info.

Shalom Chaveirim/Dear Friends:


I hope you're all enjoying your summer and that our children are thriving in the fresh air and sunshine, getting lots of outdoor time.

I'd like to give you a little information about some Religious School dates and such.

First Day of School:  Thursday, Sept. 12 - Registration now open, see weekly email. Please note, due to some curricular changes, we are moving up the start time of school to 3:45. More information later.

Open House: Saturday, Sept. 7 at 6:00pm - a BBQ with Havdallah and 'getting to know you' time. We'll supply the fixings for 'Smores.


This Saturday: August 17 at 9:30 Shabbat service with short Torah reading and baby naming (actually, two children will be named).

Class parents: I'm looking for one (or two) parents to help with this. The role of the class parent is helping to coordinate the dinner for class services; if you would like to do something for the teacher, planning that; helping when you can.

The way things are shaping up, looks like we have a 1-2 grade; 3 grade; 4-5 grade; 6 grade. If we get a few more students, we will have a Kindergarten. Talk to your friends with 5 year-olds. Tell them to join!

We are planning a once-a-month Story Hour on Sundays and Tot Shabbat on Fridays for our littlest ones. Spread the word.

Several years ago, Temple Sinai voted to do away with Religious School tuition*, [other than the book/material fee] feeling it was incumbent upon the congregation to contribute to the education of all our members.  The hope was that we would make up the loss in tuition through donations and fundraising. This has not happened. If you are able to, please contribute a little extra when you register your child(ren). 

Thank you so much and please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

B'Shalom,

Morah Judy


*At that time, tuition was about $550/per child. We are not asking you to give that amount per child, just whatever you can that will help with the lost revenue from this stream.