Opening Minds, Bridging Differences, Living Jewish Values.

Lower School Updates

We hope you will take a moment to look at the large bulletin boards across from the sixth and seventh floor elevators. Each board is entitled GOT SIMILES? The bulletin boards represent the beginning of poetry month and ask the children to find similes for various feelings, states of being, colors, or seasons. These can be in English or Hebrew.

Even if you cannot be at school, we hope you will take some time during your Shabbat dinner to discuss and play games involving similes with your children. Some examples drawn from the displays are:

Loneliness sounds like....

Winter smells like....

As surprising as....

As clever as....

As Poetry Month unfolds poems will appear on the walls around school for children to enjoy and children will, as they were in the past, be involved in "Random Acts of Poetry". What is particularly lovely to see is that poetry is becoming infused in the very air at Heschel. We look forward to an exciting month! Stay tuned for Poem In Your Pocket Day, coming on April 6th.

Here is an excerpt from an e.e.cummings poem that our fourth and fifth graders incorporated into their tefillah b'yachad this morning:

i thank You God for most this amazing

day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees

and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything

which is natural which is infinite which is yes...

Shabbat Shalom,

Dina and Rivka

This week the Lower School celebrated Purim in a wonderful variety of ways.

Monday was Lottery Day; when the children arrived they drew a lot to determine their fortune, just as it was in Shushan.

Tuesday was Pajama Day. As this was designated a day day when everything is reversed, the children (and many teachers) came to school in night clothes. The dining hall staff served breakfast for lunch and early and on time arrivals were treated to a circus performance in the gym.

Thursday was designated as Hesed Day and the students were involved in a school-wide drive related to hunger. This was linked to Esther's fast. Many classes baked hamantaschen (they were delicious!)

On Friday children came to school in costume and heard a reading from the Megillah (the Book of Esther). First and second graders gathered in the multi purpose room for an abbreviated version and third, fourth and fifth graders came together in the RS theater for a more expanded version.

The entire Lower School then enjoyed a wonderful Purim assembly and the children saw the story of Purim complete with puppets and a memorable video. Everybody danced (teachers and students), and it was altogether a joyous day in the Lower School.

The video from the assembly can be found at the link below:

On Monday the fifth grade visited the United Nations to see an exhibition by the Israeli artist, Orna Ben-Ami entitled, "Entire Life in a Package". Orna is a welder and metalworker who incorporates photographs of refugees with items that were significant to them which she creates in metal. The items are connected to the refugees past, their frustrations and their hopes for the future. The children thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition and, if you and they would like to see more of Ora's work, it will be on view at the Waterfall Mansion Gallery, at 170 East 80th Street. Ora will be there on March 30th and 31st between 11:00am and 4:00pm and can speak with you and your children as she did at the UN.

Shabbat Shalom,

Dina and Rivka

The Fifth Grade students have been exploring ways of making prayer meaningful throughout the year. They recently delved into Hallelujah, and discovered how music can impact how we pray.