Kitah Vav (6th)

October 2018

In 6th grade the students continue to learn about Jewish history, starting with life in Eastern Europe and ending in modern times.  The major themes we cover are immigration and the changing Jewish world in Europe, the United States and Israel.  ~ Sharon Kaps

December 2018

December 5, 2018

Dear Parents,

During the past weeks in class, we talked about the Yishuv, the Jewish community in Palestine before Israel became a state. We discussed how life was hard for these early immigrants, the many reasons why they came and stayed, and how the seeds of the Arab-Israeli conflict began during this time (late nineteenth century and early twentieth). In addition, we touched upon life for Jews in Western Europe and how it differed greatly from life in Russia and why and how this impacted immigration to the United States and to the Yishuv.  We also discussed how WWI impacted the Jews of Europe and how the world was changed when it was over.

This upcoming week we will finish chapter 5, which discusses the Jewish community in the United States after WWI and how it changed from an immigrant-based society to one where American-born Jews became the majority after immigration was restricted.

Please have your student bring in a notebook to class as the students have many questions and comments. They can use their notebook to write down their thoughts, which we can later discuss.

I hope you all are having a wonderful Hanukkah!

Sincerely,

Sharon

January 2019

January 22, 2019

Dear Parents,

This past Sunday, we finished discussing the events that took place in Europe during the interwar period.  We discussed the rising anti-Semitism, including the Nuremberg Laws and how circumstances kept getting worse for the Jews of Germany, and how Jews responded.

This upcoming Sunday, we will start our study of the Holocaust.  We will read the chapter in the book that gives an overview of the Holocaust, including kristallnacht, the increased violence and boycotts against the Jews, and ending with the final solution.  During this unit, we will also watch the movie The Devil’s Arithmetic, information on which is below.  The field trip to the Holocaust Museum is currently scheduled for February 10th.  You are all welcome to join us. I will send out permission slips soon.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

More information about The Devil’s Arithmetic can be found at the following link:  http://janeyolen.com/works/the-devils-arithmetic/

Sincerely,

Sharon

January 25, 2019

Shalom horim,

Tomorrow is our Siyum!

Services start at 10:00am, and the Torah service starts around 10:50. If you arrive and there are people milling around, don’t fret – this is a customary break in our services, for people to hang out and catch-up during services. Also, plan to stay until the end of the service, since the children will be called up to lead Ashrei, Ein Keloheinu, Aleinu, and Adon Olam. Please let your child know that I am very confident in their work, and I am looking forward to being there with them at the bimah!

I know some of your children are not going to be there. Please know that this siyum is also their accomplishment, since they helped their classmates learn their parts, working in havrutah (study pairs).

Next week, we will start with the Torah trope!

Kitah Vav will be on the bimah. Some students like to be dressed festively for this occasion. I have long decided that festive dress is not a battle I fight in my home, so know you will not be getting any judgment from me if your child comes in a sports outfit. S/he will be in good company….

Shabbat shalom,

Rabbi Lia Bass

January 27, 2019

Thank you so much for a very meaningful Siyum this past Shabbat. I hope you are very proud of your children – I definitely am. All the students were amazing! I know that this would not be possible without your support, and I am very grateful for your support and participation.  This was the first step in their Bnai Mitzvah preparation, understanding the process and being part of the community.  As we say when we finish reading a book of the Torah, hazak, hazak, venithazek, which means, may we go from strength to strength!

Our next Siyum will be on Wednesday, May 22, at 6:00pm. On that day, our class will be reading from the Torah. We will read Parashat Nasso, in the third Triennial cycle.

B’virkat Shalom,

Rabbi Lia Bass

January 30, 2019

Dear Parents,

Last week in class, we started reading the chapter in the book about the Holocaust.  This upcoming Sunday is an all-school program on Shabbat so we will not be having regular class.  We will be going to the Holocaust Museum on February 10th; the permission slip is attached.  On the slip, please indicate if you will be coming as well (highly recommended) and if you can drive.  We will be starting with Daniel’s Story before visiting the main exhibits.  Cheryl Whitehead, copied, used to volunteer at the museum and lead tours.  She has agreed to give our class a tour and help us get the most out of our visit.  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Sharon

Holocaust Museum PERMISSION SLIP

Congregation Etz Hayim
2920 Arlington Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22204
(703) 979-4466 phone
(703) 979-4468 fax

Attention all Sixth Grade Parents! Please sign and return this permission slip.

I give my child permission to travel with Congregation Etz Hayim to the United States Memorial Holocaust Museum on Sunday, February 10, 2019. This visit will involve my child traveling with a parent or other member of our community by car, visiting the entire museum, and returning.

_____ I would like to visit the museum with my child.
_____ I volunteer to drive and can take _________ people.

Child’s Name ________________________________
Parent’s Signature ____________________________
Parent’s Emergency Contact Information: ____________________________
____________________________

February 10, 2019

Shalom Horim,

We are now learning how to read Torah!

We started in a very similar fashion to the reading of the Haftarah. We learned the Etnachtah phrases last week, and the sof Passuk this past week. We also worked on the Hatzi Kaddish, and we are starting the Kaddish Shalem.

Let me repeat the instructions on how to use the trope trainer program.

Here is a quick tutorial on how to work the program: after you bring up the program, go to the tab close to the left top corner marked “tutor”. Mark Torah, then mark etnachtah phrases, and then have your child work on those exercises.

The goal is to work on the whole of the homework ten minutes a day (not on Shabbat). I rather they study 5 minutes a day instead of trying to do everything once for ½ hour before they come to school.

The routine is: repeat 3 times each word, then sing the group with the program three times, and then sing once alone.

One more thing about the program: on the tool bar, you have a tab named “what you hear”. You can change many things. In class, we are using the US Sephardi in “accent”, for voice I use “baritone” (but you can change to whatever feels comfortable to you and your child), and the melody is “Ashkenazic Avery/Binder”. Because of how the program works, one can only change the settings when one is in either the tutorial or the Torah reading itself.

For the reading they will do, the settings need to be adjusted in the “reading” tab for the year 5779, Diaspora, Triennial Torah cycle 3.  Click on the reading for Nasso, then press Triennial year 3 on the maftir options on the bottom of the screen, click open Torah reading. Easier, however, is to go to calendar, find June 15, 2019, and open the reading that way. We are working on Aliot 3-5. 

If you are not clear on how the settings work, please call me and I will walk you through it.

Please remember that the Siyum will be on on May 22, at 6:00pm. Please mark your calendars!

HOMEWORK

  1. Review the phrases in the tutorial.
  2. For Aliyot 3-5, review the Etnachtah, Sof Passuk, and Sof Aliyah phrases for all the aliyot (by the way, it is the same phrases, 8 times….).  The routine for Torah reading is: repeat each word 3 times in every trope group, then sing with the program that Trope group.
  3. Review the Hatzi Kaddish. If possible, review the reading of the Kaddish Shalem. The text is found on page 146/181 of the siddur.

B’virkat Shalom,

Rabbi Lia Bass

February 28, 2019

Shalom Horim,

We are progressing nicely, learning the Tropes. This week, we learned the tevir and revi’ah phrases. We also worked on the Kaddish Shalem.

In the coming weeks, we will finish the Tropes, get ready for Purim, learn about the Tallit and the Teffilin, make a whimple (the Torah binding cloth) for the class to use during their Bnai Mitzvah, and get ready for our siyum. We have a lot to do in the coming weeks!

Please know that on March 20, we will have our celebration of Purim. If your children are able, please have them come in costume. It is always fun to dress up for Purim. And eat Hammentaschen. And chocolate. It is always fun to eat chocolate.

Please remember that the Siyum will be on on May 22, at 6:00pm. Mark your calendars!

HOMEWORK

I told your children they needed to know well the parts they already learned in the Torah portion. I trust they can do it. While they did a good job with the kaddish shalem, some students need a little polishing of the words.

  1. Review the phrases in the tutorial.
  2. For Aliyot 3-5, review the Etnachtah, Sof Passuk, basic Zakef Katon, Tevir, Revi’I and Sof Aliyah phrases for all the aliyot (by the way, it is the same phrases, 8 times….). The routine for Torah reading is: repeat each word 3 times in every trope group, then sing with the program that Trope group.
  3. Review the Kaddish Shalem. The text is found on page 181 of the siddur.

Let me repeat the instructions on how to use the trope trainer program.

Here is a quick tutorial on how to work the program: after you bring up the program, go to the tab close to the left top corner marked “tutor”. Mark Torah, then mark etnachtah phrases, and then have your child work on those exercises.

The goal is to work on the whole of the homework ten minutes a day (not on Shabbat). I rather they study 5 minutes a day instead of trying to do everything once for ½ hour before they come to school.

The routine is: repeat 3 times each word, then sing the group with the program three times, and then sing once alone.

One more thing about the program: on the tool bar, you have a tab named “what you hear”. You can change many things. In class, we are using the US Sephardi in “accent”, for voice I use “baritone” (but you can change to whatever feels comfortable to you and your child), and the melody is “Ashkenazic Avery/Binder”. Because of how the program works, one can only change the settings when one is in either the tutorial or the Torah reading itself.

For the reading they will do, the settings need to be adjusted in the “reading” tab for the year 5779, Diaspora, Triennial Torah cycle 3.  Click on the reading for Nasso, then press Triennial year 3 on the maftir options on the bottom of the screen, click open Torah reading. Easier, however, is to go to calendar, find June 15, 2019, and open the reading that way. We are working on Aliot 3-6.

B’virkat Shalom,

Rabbi Lia Bass

February 15, 2019

Shalom Horim,

This past week we worked on the basic zakef katon  phrases,  and the Kaddish Shalem.

Let me repeat the instructions on how to use the trope trainer program.

Here is a quick tutorial on how to work the program: after you bring up the program, go to the tab close to the left top corner marked “tutor”. Mark Torah, then mark etnachtah phrases, and then have your child work on those exercises.

The goal is to work on the whole of the homework ten minutes a day (not on Shabbat). I rather they study 5 minutes a day instead of trying to do everything once for ½ hour before they come to school.

The routine is: repeat 3 times each word, then sing the group with the program three times, and then sing once alone.

One more thing about the program: on the tool bar, you have a tab named “what you hear”. You can change many things. In class, we are using the US Sephardi in “accent”, for voice I use “baritone” (but you can change to whatever feels comfortable to you and your child), and the melody is “Ashkenazic Avery/Binder”. Because of how the program works, one can only change the settings when one is in either the tutorial or the Torah reading itself.

For the reading they will do, the settings need to be adjusted in the “reading” tab for the year 5779, Diaspora, Triennial Torah cycle 3.  Click on the reading for Nasso, then press Triennial year 3 on the maftir options on the bottom of the screen, click open Torah reading. Easier, however, is to go to calendar, find June 15, 2019, and open the reading that way. We are working on Aliot 3-6. 

If you are not clear on how the settings work, please call me and I will walk you through it.

Please remember that the Siyum will be on on May 22, at 6:00pm. Mark your calendars!

HOMEWORK

  1. Review the phrases in the tutorial.
  2. For Aliyot 3-5, review the Etnachtah, Sof Passuk, basic Zakef Katon, and Sof Aliyah phrases for all the aliyot (by the way, it is the same phrases, 8 times….).  The routine for Torah reading is: repeat each word 3 times in every trope group, then sing with the program that Trope group.
  3. Review the Kaddish Shalem. The text is found on page 181 of the siddur.

B’virkat Shalom,

Rabbi Lia Bass

March 7, 2019

Shalom Horim,

We are done with all the tropes!

We learned the tevir and segol phrases. We started learning how to memorize the trope and use the unvocalized, unpunctuated words of the text to be able to read it from the scroll.

Please remember that the Siyum will be on on May 22, at 6:00pm. Mark your calendars!

HOMEWORK

  1. Review the phrases in the tutorial.
  2. For Aliyot 3-5, review the whole Torah reading.
  3. We are going to create a whimple next week. The whimple is the Torah binding cloth. Every class makes one and uses at all the Bnai Mitzvah. I asked the students to spend some time thinking about what they want to paint in their squares next week. If your child want to put his/her name on the square, please make sure they know their name for next week.

Purim

Please know that on March 20, we will have our celebration of Purim. If your children are able, please have them come in costume. It is always fun to dress up for Purim. And eat Hammentaschen. And chocolate. It is always fun to eat chocolate. Next week, we will rehearse the song that Kitah vav will sing at the Purim celebration. The lyrics (which were written by Mike Stein) are found below, to the tune of the opening song for the musical “Hamilton”, if your child wants to start practicing for next week.

Opening

How does a captive, poor man, son of Yair, a Judean,

dropped in the middle of a strange foreign spot

in the far middle east by circumstance

impoverished, in squalor, rise up to be a hero and a scholar?

The soft-spoken late forefather and foster father

got a lot farther by seeing a lot farther

by being smarter by risking being martyred.

A young man, he said he’d take charge of his uncle’s daughter

And every day while Jews all lived in exile, all carted away to Persian views,

he struggled and kept his faith full. Inside, he was hoping for a way to keep his race whole.

The brother was ready to work, fight, ready to face all.

Then an evil man came, and our extinction loomed. Our man saw our future needed saving from this doom. Put on sackcloth and some ashes and he wore them out on the streets.

To his cousin wrote some sheets, intervention he entreats

[Haman] ‘Cause the word came to me, they said, “This guy is a Jew, man!”

Came on disrespectin’, no, he won’t give me my due, man!

Gallows I’m erectin’, and he’s gonna die in shame, and the world will not know his name. (What’s his name, man?)

[Mordechai] Mordechai Hayehudi. My name is Mordechai Hayehudi.

And you might think that things are looking glum.

But just you wait. Just you wait.

[Esther] When I was ten my parents died, and I cried, grief-sticken.

Eight years later, see Esther, in the palace I’m kickin’, well-dressed,

Sittin’ on the queen’s throne, a swank home

[All] Yes, Esther’s done better, but Vashti’s done gone.

[Achashverosh] She lived with her cousin, the cousin always was her guide.

Warned her: say nothin’, her race to hide. He got word inside,

A note sayin’ “Esther, you gotta fight for your race”.

She started drastic long fasting, her master she must face.

[Haman] There would have been nothing he could do if he were less astute.

He woulda been dead, the Jews I’d loot without a thought of retribution.

He was feted, slated for the king’s lavish reward,

‘Cause he caught a plot to kill the king and saw that he got word.

Late one night, read the book tellin’ of his good deed,

Fate was on his side, for see the king said I would lead

Him through the city streets, ridin’ on the king’s steed

In Shushan he would be a big man!

[All] In Shushan you can be a big man! In Shushan you can be a big man!

In Shushan you can be a big man!

Mordechai Hayehudi, Mordechai Hayehudi, we are waiting for our fate from you –

Waiting for our fate from you.

You could never bow down,

You never could abide a crime, oh!

Mordechai Hayehudi, Mordechai Hayehudi, when all Yisrael sings for you

They will know what you overcame, they will know that you won the game.

The Jews will never be the same, oh!

[Haman] I’m standing by my gallows now, really thought I’d got him.

Thanks to this immigrant I’ve gone from top to bottom.

And now just like all Amalek my name will be forgotten.

[Two chorus members] We taught with him.

[Bigtan and Teresh] Us? We died from him.

[Achashverosh] Me? I trusted him.

[Esther] Me? I loved him.

[Haman] And me? I’m the damn fool that fought him.

[All] There’s a million things he could have done. But just you wait….

[Haman] What’s your name, man?

[All] Mordechai Hayehudi!

Just in case you need it: instructions on how to use the trope trainer program.

Here is a quick tutorial on how to work the program: after you bring up the program, go to the tab close to the left top corner marked “tutor”. Mark Torah, then mark etnachtah phrases, and then have your child work on those exercises.

The goal is to work on the whole of the homework ten minutes a day (not on Shabbat). I rather they study 5 minutes a day instead of trying to do everything once for ½ hour before they come to school.

The routine is: repeat 3 times each word, then sing the group with the program three times, and then sing once alone.

One more thing about the program: on the tool bar, you have a tab named “what you hear”. You can change many things. In class, we are using the US Sephardi in “accent”, for voice I use “baritone” (but you can change to whatever feels comfortable to you and your child), and the melody is “Ashkenazic Avery/Binder”. Because of how the program works, one can only change the settings when one is in either the tutorial or the Torah reading itself.

For the reading they will do, the settings need to be adjusted in the “reading” tab for the year 5779, Diaspora, Triennial Torah cycle 3.  Click on the reading for Nasso, then press Triennial year 3 on the maftir options on the bottom of the screen, click open Torah reading. Easier, however, is to go to calendar, find June 15, 2019, and open the reading that way. We are working on Aliot 3-6.

B’virkat Shalom,

Rabbi Lia Bass

March 28, 2019

Dear Parents,

I will be out of class starting this Sunday.  It has been a great year so far, and I will miss finishing it with the students, but I know they will be in great hands with Shaina, who is copied.  During the last couple classes, we discussed Israel’s War of Independence and why a Jewish State was so essential in the aftermath of the Holocaust when many survivors were living in the displaced person camps.  We also started to discuss the changing Jewish community in the U.S. and how the Holocaust shaped their involvement in the Civil Rights Movement.

I also wanted to thank you for all of the amazing books that you gave me.  I cannot wait until I get to share them with my little guy, and I know he will appreciate them all as well.

Sincerely,

Sharon

April 12, 2019

Shalom Horim,

On Wednesday, our students practiced how to take an Aliyah LaTorah, and practiced reading their parts for the Siyum.

Please remember that the Siyum will be on on May 22, at 6:00pm. Please join us!

HOMEWORK

Enjoy your Pessah break, and by the time we come back, I expect the students to know their parts really well. We will be reading from the Torah scroll when we come back.

Here are the settings for the Siyum:

Adjust the settings in the “reading” tab for the year 5779, Diaspora, Triennial Torah cycle 3.  Click on the reading for Nasso, then press Triennial year 3, click open on the right hand bottom of the screen. Easier, however, is to go to calendar, find June 15, 2019, and open the reading that way. And from the first time you open, please go to the tab “recent”, on the left top corner of the screen, and open the reading from there.

B’virkat Shalom,

Rabbi Lia Bass

May 10, 2019

Shalom Horim,

On Wednesday, our students practiced how to take an Aliyah LaTorah, and practiced reading their parts for the Siyum.

Please remember that the Siyum will be on on May 22, at 6:00pm.  Join us!

We attempted to learn the Torah service for the Sidur dedication ceremony on June 9, at10:00am, but I couldn’t find the page. At the end of the class I found it, and we will practice next week. Our class will do the Torah service for Shavuot and the dedication of the Sidur. Since Shavuot is on a Sunday, the Torah service is a little different.  I hope that you can make it to this exciting moment in our congregation!

Here are the settings for the Siyum:

Adjust the settings in the “reading” tab for the year 5779, Diaspora, Triennial Torah cycle 3.  Click on the reading for Nasso, then press Triennial year 3, click open on the right hand bottom of the screen.Easier, however, is to go to calendar, find June 15, 2019, and open the reading that way. And after the first time you open the reading, please go to the tab “recent”, on the left top corner of the screen, and open the reading from there.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Lia Bass

May 17, 2019

Shalom Horim,

On Wednesday, our students practiced how to take an Aliyah LaTorah, and practiced reading their parts for the Siyum.

Please remember that the Siyum will be on on May 22, at 6:00pm. Please join us!

We worked on the Torah service for the Siddur dedication ceremony on June 9, at10:00am. Our class will do the Torah service for Shavuot and the dedication of the Siddur. Since Shavuot is on a Sunday, the Torah service is a little different.  In the Siddur Sim Shalom, they are found on page 140 and 154. I hope that you can make it to this exciting moment in our congregation! Please confirm that your child will be at the Siddur dedication.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbia Lia Bass