Opening Minds, Bridging Differences, Living Jewish Values.

Middle School Moments

Grade 6 Tanakh students made bricks out chocolate. They are learning about the beginning of slavery in Egypt in the book of Shemot "Avodat Parech". This activity helped the students remember the Hebrew words in this story and they were able to use all of their senses to make it a more meaningful learning experience.


This week the seventh grade students continued their study of states of matter (solid, liquid, gas) by interpreting different models that show the diffusion of odor through the air. Eighth grade students also explored states of matter, though at a slightly more sophisticated level, by measuring and analyzing changes of mass in objects and chemicals undergoing phase changes. Sixth grade students explored ancient number systems that were not based on powers of ten, and how vestiges of these alternate systems can still be seen in various modern systems of measurement.

This week the entire Middle School participated in workshops from FCD (Freedom from Chemical Dependency); parallel presentations were offered to both the faculty and parents. The FCD representative spoke about the power of addictive substances (alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine) and how students often over-estimate substance use among their peer groups.

Another highlight of the week were Student Council elections. Our hallways were filled with campaign posters as enthusiastic candidates presented their "platforms." It is thrilling to see the number of students who are eager to assume leadership positions. I am looking forward to working with our elected representatives during the remainder of the school year!

This week we also celebrated the in-school Bnot Mtizvah of Gabriela Kaplan and Tessa Butler, and the Bar Mitzvah of Ber Bennett. Mazel tov to Gabriela, Tessa, Ber, and their families!

Please note the following calendar items:

Monday, October 22 - Auditions for the Middle School musical, 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Music Room

Tuesday, October 23 - Auditions for the Middle School musical, 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Music Room; After school cross-country and soccer practice; Volleyball home game vs. Cathedral at 4:45

Wednesday, October 24 - Auditions for the Middle School musical, 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Music Room

Thursday, October 25 - Cross-country meet in Van Cortlandt Park, 4:00 p.m.; Away volleyball game vs. Avenues at 4:30; Soccer game vs. SILS at Thomas Jefferson field at 4:30

Friday, October 26 -Peer Buddies meet at dismissal

Shabbat Shalom!

Lori Skopp

Middle School Head

Grade 8 students conducted a lab to observe the difference between physical and chemical reactions. The class investigated the change of mass in 6 different systems, recording the mass of each system before and after they manipulated the substance. The students will present their findings in a subsequent class.

Dear Parents,

I am thrilled to be writing you at the end of a *full* week of school! It is truly wonderful to immerse ourselves in five days of classes and community, and to re-enter a full-fledged school routine.

This week eighth graders defined their "rights" as students at Heschel, as an entry point into their study of the Constitution and the historic Federalist/anti-Federalist debates. Seventh graders began to explore how Rosh Hodesh (the beginning of the Jewish month) is identified (via the lunar cycle) and declared. Sixth grade students began to think about the elements required to establish a society, and how civilization supports human survival.

This week we also celebrated the Bnai Mitzvah of Ben Barth and Jude Finkelstein. Mazel tov to Ben, Jude and their families!

Shabbat Shalom!

Lori Skopp
Middle School Head

Grade 7 spent their Staycation visiting sites around New York followed by an evening at school filled with dinner, stories, games, and a movie. Sites included Governors Island, Industry City in Sunset Park where they saw an interactive exhibit of M. C. Escher's art, and more.