שבת פרשת וישב  
Shabbat Parshat Vayeshev
Candle Lighting: 4:09
Havdalah: 5:10

  כ״א כסלו תשע״ח

21 Kislev 5778
December 9, 2017
Issue 11


Dear Parents,


During the past several weeks, it was wonderful to meet with some of you for our 2016-17 parent survey reviews. Thank you to Jonathan and Yael Martin, Mitch and Atara Twersky, and Marc and Dana Jason for hosting the various sessions.


The Lower School conducted a Singapore Math workshop for all parents in Grades 1-5 this past week. Thank you to Lisi Mandel, Hillary Edelson, Melissa Rothwax, and Gail Krasner for running these workshops.


I hope that you can join members of our faculty for engaging discussions in different neighborhoods this Monday evening at 8 PM. Click here for more information and to RSVP.


I look forward to celebrating Chanukah with your children at school next week with candle lighting on the steps, a special concert, and grade-wide activities. The week promises to be educational and exciting for our students.


Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Binyamin Krauss




Click here for the English version of Daf Yomi: Parshat Vayeshev
Click here for the Hebrew version of Daf Yomi: Parshat Vayeshev

מזל טוב



Judah Hain (Gr. 7)

Izzy Ingber (Gr. 7)

Hannah Jetter (Gr. 6)


If you would like a "Mazal tov" listed in the Chadashot for a new baby that is born in your family, please click here.


SAR Dinner

Celebrate SAR's 49th Anniversary Dinner! Join us Motzaei Shabbat, January 13, at SAR High School for what is always a wonderful and fun-filled evening.

For ads and reservations, please click here. The ad deadline is Friday, December 29.


Hazon Seal of Sustainability

We are excited to announce that SAR Academy​ ​is​ ​participating​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Hazon​ ​Seal​ ​of​ ​Sustainability Program in partnership with GrowTorah, with Yosef Gillers leading this initiative! The Hazon Seal of Sustainability certifies that a Jewish organization is a good​ ​world​ ​citizen regarding its food and environmental practices and impact on climate change, and we hope to achieve this goal and receive the seal at the end of the school year. Our


participation in this initiative signifies that, along with fifty other Jewish organizations, we are emerging as​ ​a​ ​national​ ​leader​ ​in​ ​the​ ​realm​ ​of​ ​Jewish​ ​sustainability​. We are taking substantial steps toward sustainability by organizing a Green Team to promote sustainability efforts and launching three exciting projects. Stay tuned for more information about these projects. 

We are looking for committed parent volunteers to work with us on our sustainability projects. If you are interested in joining our Green Team, please click here.


Syrian Cooking with New SAR Families

More than 30 parents, new to SAR this year, attended an authentic Syrian cooking program taught by internet sensation Aliza Salem last week. Many thanks to hosts Beth & Kuty Shalev, and chairs Tal Bouskila, Becca Schmidman, and Michelle Marom.

The class was highlighted with a visit from Rabbi "Chef" Harcsztark, who helped make kenafe, a rich, creamy Syrian dessert!



N2 Explores Chanukah

This week N2 has been very busy getting ready to celebrate Chanukah. We have been practicing and having fun spinning dreidels and observing how they spin so super-fast until they fall. We all hope the dreidel lands on gimel!


N2 has also been focused on the chanukiyah. There are so many kinds of chanukiyot! Our class observed and learned that some chanukiyot use oil and wicks, while others use wax candles. We watched with amazement in ma'agal how a lit wax candle on the chanukiyah dripped slowly as the fire melted it. In the art center, the children were surprised to see that oil could be used not just for a chanukiyah but to paint and draw with, too. The children watched with excitement as the oil spread so quickly across the paper!  


Our class also learned about the role of the shamash on the chanukiyah, the "helper candle" that helps light all the other candles. We all learned a very important lesson together that just like the shamash helps all the candles on the chanukiyah get lit on Chanukah, we should also help out our families and morot when we can.


A Thank You to Our 3N Students

Beit Issie Shapiro, Israel's leading developer and provider of innovative therapies and state-of-the-art services for children and adults across the entire range of disabilities, was so happy to receive the personalized towels that our 3 year nursery students lovingly decorated recently during Chesed Week.



First Grade Classroom Community Study

Since the beginning of the year, our 1st graders have been helping to build strong classroom communities. We have read books, had thoughtful conversations, and created pictures, posters and videos surrounding our study. We began by defining "community," and discovered through partner-talks, Venn diagrams and meeting discussions, that we are each individuals with similarities and differences within a larger group. Over the last few weeks, we shifted our focus toward enhancing our classroom community. Below are a few of the highlights, including important take-aways. We have also included language that we use in school that can also be used at home in order to partner with us in nurturing your child's social and emotional development.


Class rules: After reading No Rules for Michael by Sylvia A. Rouss, a book about a classroom with no rules, and discussing why we need rules, students generated guidelines that are important for our community. We narrowed it down to three main ideas: being safe with our bodies, taking care of our classroom, and treating each other nicely. Students then made posters for each of the rules, drawing pictures of specific ways to implement them (for example, putting coats neatly in our cubby). We then made a class video about our rules, to which we will frequently refer throughout the year.


Filling Each Other's Bucket: "Someone filled my bucket!" is a phrase we often hear in our classroom these days. We learned that everyone in the world carries around an "invisible" bucket. Every time we treat others nicely, whether by sending them a smile, saying something kind, saying "please" or "thank you" or including them in a game, we fill that person's bucket, thereby also filling our own bucket. When students feel that a classmate has "filled" their bucket by treating them nicely, they add an eraser to our classroom bucket! At home, when you witness your child treating others nicely or helping out, you can use the language of "I just saw you filled a bucket!" to help provide positive reinforcement. Please feel free 

to check out the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud for more inspiration on this topic.

Problem-Solving: Students generated common problems that arise in our classroom community, such as wanting the same spot in line, wanting to play two different games at recess, or wanting to use the same marker from their tables' caddies. Students  generated different ways to solve these problems, and took turns acting out different solutions. We then learned a problem solving procedure that we use in 1st grade, called our "Work it out Words." When students need help solving a conflict with a peer, they use these words to help them solve the problem:

"I felt __________"

"When you _________"

"Will you please ________"

"And I will ___________"


It has been incredible watching the children becoming active members of our classroom community, utilizing the rules, procedures and shared language that we have developed together. 


Miracles, Minhagim, and Mitzvot in Kitah Bet

In Kitah Bet, we are excitedly preparing for Chanukah! We started by learning the story of Chanukah, focusing on the two miracles of the war and the oil. Through songs, an animated version of the story on iTaL AM and interactive reading groups, students have learned new Hebrew vocabulary to discuss key events in the story. As we continue to learn more about the mitzvot and minhagim of the holiday, every student will have the opportunity to create and decorate a personalized Chanukah birkon with the brachot we say on lighting the candles. To make the Chanukah experience complete, students are preparing a Chanukah play based on the story that we learned. In small groups, we have been practicing our parts, designing our own scenery and dressing up in costume to act out the story we have learned. The culmination of all of our activity will be a Puppet Pals video starring our very own 2nd grade students, filmed on iPads, which we will be sending home for families to enjoy.



Literature and Research in 3rd Grade Library

During library, 3rd graders have the opportunity to build their library skills and share in learning through exposure to  quality literature. Recently, while reading the book Ron's Big Mission by Rose Blue, the students learned about the young life of African-American astronaut Ron McNair.

The non-fiction book Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing by April Jones Prince was the springboard for our study of and research about bridges around the world. This book tells the story of how P.T. Barnum escorted elephants across the newly-built Brooklyn Bridge to prove its stability. Through research on the Encyclopedia Britannica app, students learned about all kinds of bridge structures, their geographical locations, and interesting facts about the bridge they studied.

Students have learned  to search our online library system called OPALS to access books in our collection. This program can be accessed through the library Haiku site as well.


Ancient Mesopotamia Goes High Tech!

by Emma Eis, 6X

On Wednesday, 6X had an awesome opportunity to work on an assignment with a class on the opposite side of the country! The lesson, also known as a Digital Breakout, was like a scavenger hunt to find out information about Ancient Mesopotamia. We had to find clues, embedded within a Google Site, to "unlock" various codes, all the while learning important research skills.  The really cool part was collaborating with a social studies class from Brywood Elementary in Irvine, California. We worked together, using a Google doc to communicate and share ideas, ultimately finding the codes to "escape the room!" At the end, we were able to virtually meet the students from our groups via Google Hangouts and congratulate each other!  The winning team, consisting of Abie Perelis, myself, and four students from the west coast, were excited when we unlocked the final clue! We can't wait to do another fun activity like this again!


Debate Team Takes On Foreign Outsourcing


On Thursday, SAR traveled to Yeshivat Noam to compete against Westchester Day School, Yavneh, and Noam, in our first debate meet of the year. The resolution debated was, "The United States should penalize companies that outsource a large percentage of their work to foreign countries." As always, 

we travelled with four teams, with two taking the pro position (Aviel Rosen with Reyna Perelis and Maayan Sarna with Josh Brody) and two taking the con position (Noam Siegel with Samuel Liberman and Davidi Henoch with Jack Fox). Eitan Feinberg and Daniel Steingarten travelled as debate observers. The whole team worked diligently in preparation for this debate, and their hard work was rewarded when Samuel Liberman won best speaker overall, and Maayan Sarna won third place speaker and third place team with Josh Brody. Our next debate is on January 31 at SAR. The resolution for that debate is, "The United States should switch to the year-round school model", and our teams are Tamar Katz with Ilan Eisenberger and Judah Lopatin with Elan Lurie as the pro teams, and Aaron Back with Shai Goldberg-Kellman and Jack Blumenstein with Charlie Reich as the con teams.


Third Grade Coding Culminates


This week marked the end of 3rd grade's coding/robotics unit with Morah Rivka Heisler. Students learned about algorithms, sequences, and repeat loops through interactive activities on the iPad as well as "unplugged activities" using pencil and paper. Through coding, we are hoping to encourage creativity, problem solving, collaboration, and persistence, all of which are skills that will help children grow as both students and individuals.


Using the curriculum as well as Wonder Dash Robots, the students had the opportunity to write programs and be each other's robots, solve various coding puzzles, dance, and program robot victory dances. Emphasis was placed on creating effective partner collaboration and teaching students how to supportively assist friends to solve challenging puzzles without giving them the solutions.


We hope that our 3rd grade students will continue to code at home and participate in the new Hour of Code activities that are being offered by in honor of Hour of Code Week. Please check out their website here. Activities from previous years can already be found on their site.


Parshat Vayeshev
By David Fischel, 1Y

In פרשת וישב, Yosef meets the שר המשקים and שר האופים in jail. They tell their dreams to יוסף, and יוסף explains the dreams to them. יוסף had a special talent for understanding dreams, but he didn't brag about it. He used this talent to help other people. We learn from יוסף that we should use our talents and strengths to help other people.



Congratulations to the 7th grade boys basketball team on their victory against Yavneh Academy,






Riverdale Hatzalah expresses its boundless gratitude to its representatives who spoke so eloquently at  this past week's Shabbat Hatzalah appeals, to the donors who have already given so generously, and of course to all of the volunteer EMTs and paramedics who perform life-saving miracles every day. The Riverdale Hatzalah appeal continues and we look forward to the support of every member of our community. Riverdale Hatzalah stands up for us all in our time of need and we must all stand up for Hatzalah to ensure that these vital services continue. Quality emergency medical care is costly until you need it; then it becomes priceless. Please give generously. Contributions can be made by clicking here. Checks should be made payable to: Riverdale Hatzalah at P.O. Box 181, Riverdale Station, Riverdale, NY 10471.

Chanukah Bake Sale

On Monday, December 11 from 3-8 PM, support the Dr. Robin Goldman Memorial Lectureship Fund and raise money to help sponsor an annual Pediatric Grand Rounds lecture at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore. Click here for more information.


Happening at the Riverdale Y

The Drowsy Chaperone

The Riverdale Rising Stars performs this "show within a show" on Saturday, December 9 at 8:00 PM, Sunday, December 10 at 3:00 PM, Saturday, December 16 at 8:00 PM, and Sunday, December 17 at 3:00 PM. Several SAR middle school students are part of the cast. For tickets, click here.  


Stanley Lane Co-Ed Basketball League

This league for for 1st - 9th grades is open for registration. Includes Sunday practices and games as well as weekday clinics. Coached by Y professional staff. All skill levels welcome. Assessments continue this Sunday, December 10. For more information, schedules, and to register, click here.


Sarah Lily Adoption Fund
The Sarah Lily Fund provides two $5,000 grants annually to help Jewish families in Metropolitan New York being formed by adoption. Applications are considered in May and November. Click here for more information.

A Sense of Riverdale: Shabbat Dinner & Learning
Join the entire Riverdale Jewish community for A Sense of Riverdale Shabbat Dinner and Learning, Friday, January 12. Sponsored by the Riverdale Jewish Community Partnership. More information to follow.


RJC Chanukah Boutique

The annual Touch of Class Chanukah Boutique will take place on Saturday night, December 9 at Riverdale Jewish Center.


Buy Israel Bonds for Chanukah

For one night of Chanukah, celebrate Israel and buy an Israel bond. With bonds starting at $36, and easily purchased online, this is a perfect gift for the holidays. For more information, contact Cynthia Blustein, Development Corporation for Israel, at (914) 713-9003 or make a purchase and review rates and prospectuses here.


14th Annual Charles Sidlow Memorial Lecture Series at Fleetwood Synagogue

On Motzaei Shabbat, January 6, 2018 at 7:30 PM, Rabbi Jeremy Wieder and Ms. Shuli Taubes will speak on issues in contemporary society through a Jewish lens. A dairy dinner will be served. Click here for more information.




Riverdale Skywriters Project

Make cards for patients at the MJHS/Zicklin Hospice Residence in Riverdale. Bring or mail cards to The Zicklin Hospice Residence (Atria Building), 3718 Henry Hudson Parkway, 12th floor. Questions: or 


UJA-Federation Gift of Chanukah Visit to Seniors

Visit seniors at Kittay House in the Bronx on Sunday, December 10, 2-3:30 PM. Share Chanukah joy with residents with bingo, crafts and sufganyiot. Kittay House is an independent assisted living facility run by Jewish Home Lifecare, a UJA-Federation partner agency. $36 per family. Click here to register.

!שבת שלום


SAR Academy

Riverdale, NY 10471
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