שבת פרשת ויגש  
Shabbat Parshat Vayigash
Candle Lighting: 4:13
Havdalah: 5:14

  ה׳ טבת תשע״ח

5 Tevet 5778
December 23, 2017
Issue 13


Dear Parents,


It was wonderful to come together with our 4th graders for the Navi play this week. Their passion for learning, their creativity, and their Ivrit fluency were all truly inspiring. May you continue to see them grow in Torah and we look forward to sharing many milestones together. Thank you to the 4th grade teachers for guiding their students to this day with warmth and grace. 


Our Adult Ed Arts Institute, developed by Sharon Marson and our music and art professionals, 


launches in January. We hope that this will be an opportunity for many of you to advance your own interests, while getting a taste for your children's experience at school. Click here to learn more and to register.


Wishing all of our students an enjoyable and rejuvenating vacation. Please remind them to daven and to set aside some time each day for Talmud Torah.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Binyamin Krauss




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

מזל טוב



Jack Blumenstein (Gr. 7)

Kayla Stadtmauer (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.


Bnot Sherut Chanukah Video!

Our three bnot sherut, Atara Troodler, Tania Bismuth, and Chen Katzover, created this amazing video of our students and faculty enjoying Chanukah. Thank you Atara, Tania, and Chen for putting together this fun video!


Edible Chanukiyot and More in 4 Year Nursery

On Tuesday, the 4N classes celebrated the seventh day of Chanukah with our families. The festivities started when the children of N6, N7 and N8 marched into the dark gym holding flashlights to bring in the Festival of Light! The children entertained our guests by singing Chanukah songs.

We then moved to the lunch room to share in fun activities with our families. Healthy chanukiyot and dreidels were constructed out of different types of vegetables and fruit. The children couldn't resist noshing while they worked! In addition, the children performed a science experiment by filling clear bottles with colored water and oil. They shook the bottles and then waited to see if oil and water would stay mixed. Finally, beautiful and colorful picture frames were created for our favorite Chanukah photo.



4th Grade Navi Play

Kitah Dalet performed a wonderful Navi play this week. Parents, grandparents, extended family, and teachers joined together in the gym to enjoy the original performance. Each class staged highlights from the Chumash from the time that Yaakov went down to Mitzrayim until Yehoshua was appointed leader of B'nei Yisrael. The students presented original skits and sang songs using popular tunes to tell the story of B'nei Yisrael's journey.

After their performance, the students' excitement to start learning Navi was palpable as they proudly accepted their Sefer Yehoshua/Shoftim from Rabbi Krauss and Morah Sarah Richter. We all wish them success in their journey through Nach.


Many thanks to the sponsors of this event: Michal and Moshe Abehsera; Edith & Steven Bayme; Jone & Allen Dalezman; Ellen & Michael Goldberg; Ellie & Elly Goldenberg; Lauren & Jeffrey Goldstein; Adina & Tod Haller; Ruth & Lawrence Kobrin; Leora Kulak; Roberta & Ron Loberfeld; Jessica & Stu Loeser; Lauren & David Lieberman; Lisi & Michael Mandel; Ilana & Ari Milstein; Judy & Albert Milstein; Rose & Bruce Newman; Adina & Ari Shrage; Shelley & Ira Scharaga; Rebecca & Yehuda Shmidman; Diana & Alexander Tsigutkin; Risa & Jeffrey Torkin; Ariel Groveman Weiner & Josh Weiner; Linda & Bernard Weiner; Lauren & Gavin Westerman; Hillary & Bob Zitter.

5th Grade Chanukah Color War

This week was jam-packed with great Chanukah activities in 5th grade. Students build a 12-foot tall chanukiyah out of legos, played Chanukah games with the 1st graders, rocked out to a concert as they glowed in the dark and, maybe most exciting of all, cheered and competed in a 5th grade tradition of Color War.


On Monday, red, blue, green, and yellow teams each took on a different Chanukah theme, and worked as a team to win challenges during Minute to Win It, answer hard trivia questions during Chanukah Chidon, and build a structure of the Beit Hamikdash in See-Run-Build. At the end of the day, all of the teams presented their themed banner, sang their Chanukah song and ELC song, and cheered each other along. Although the red team was the winning team, all of the students displayed hard work, collaboration, and team spirit. Kol Hakavod to our 5th graders!


"Read-A-Ton" in 4th Grade

Do you have any special New Year's traditions? In 4th grade, we culminated a reading-filled year with 2,017 seconds of quiet, calm, continuous reading! Cuddled up with blankets and pillows, stretched out on the floor, or lounging comfortably at desks, the entire 4th grade spent 33 and a half minutes reading together (and some of us didn't even want to put our books down after the timer went off!). What a special way to celebrate our development as readers!



Building Edible DNA in 3rd Grade

​​After learning about different kinds of cells in science and as an introduction to their genetics unit, our 3rd graders have been learning about DNA, the instructions that control the cells in our body. They built a model DNA molecule using Twizzler candy and marshmallows, making sure to properly match the base pairs and extracted DNA from strawberries, allowing them to see this mysterious molecule that is so important to life!

8th Grade Extended Family Day

This past Monday, 8th graders welcomed extended family members, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings in addition to parents, to our annual 8th Grade Extended Family Day. After a gourmet lunch, all students and their guests attended two engaging Chanukah-related lessons. One was a Judaic Studies discussion about the meaning of chesed as it pertains to Chanukah, and the other was a General Studies Science hands-on activity about oil and which solvents will best clean up oil spills. We davened mincha together as a group and then joined the rest of the school for festive Chanukah candle lighting and singing on the steps. The afternoon of celebration and learning concluded with a musical dessert reception. This annual intergenerational program was meaningful for all who participated.

Many thanks to all who sponsored this event:

Jone & Allen Dalezman, Michelle Jasper-Brody, Shimona & Ari Katz, Ruth & Lawrence Kobrin, Pat & Neil Koslowe, Esther & Rabbi Simcha Krauss, Leanne & Allan Levin, Michelle & David Levine, Ruth Levine, Lauren & David Lieberman, Polina & Michael Liberman, Ruth Licht, Judy & Albert Milstein, Elana & Shami Minkove, Niti & Joshua Minkove, Shirley Nochomovitz, Barbara Osband, Adeena & David Rosen, Michele & Joseph Shams, Shoshana & Vladimir Shendelman, Susan & Arthur Sonnenblick, Sarah & Arnold Waldman, and Carol & Robert Wurzburger.


6th Grade Learns About House of Hope


This week in community meeting, the sixth graders had the privilege of hearing Rabbi Brian Thau speak about the organization Bayit V'tikvah (House of Hope). House of Hope was founded in 1961 by 

Yekutiel Yehuda Halberstam who lost his wife and eleven children in the Holocaust. This organization was created to help girls who can no longer live in their homes for various reasons. Rabbi Thau spoke about raising money for the organization through bar and bat mitzvah chesed projects and running clothing drives. He specifically described a new initiative in Bayit V'tikvah, "Operation Magic Closet," in which girls can donate their bat mitzvah dresses to the girls in House of Hope, for they cannot afford or access these types of fancy dresses. For more information about House of Hope, click here or please contact Rabbi Brian Thau at


STEM Activity at 8th Grade Extended Family Day

In honor of Chanukah, the 8th graders celebrated Extended Family Day this past Monday. The students and their relatives enjoyed a hands-on STEM activity in which they modeled three different oil spill clean-up methods, trying to determine which is most effective through quantitative analysis. Students and their family members used basic laboratory equipment and simple household materials to carry out this investigation. The activity was followed by a discussion about what different factors engineers must consider when choosing which method would work best. Extended family members had a chance to experience the 8th grade engineering curriculum while engaging in quality time with their 8th graders. 


Kindergarteners Explore How Candles Burn

As the kindergarten students prepared to celebrate Chanukah, not only did they make their own chanukiyot, but they also engaged in a STEM lesson that helped them better understand what allowed their candles to burn during the eight nights of the holiday. They were first introduced to the three different states of matter--solid, liquids, and gases--and they learned how to differentiate between different forms of matter based on their shape. They learned through investigation that solids have a definite shape, liquids take the shapes of their containers and gases lack shape and exist everywhere. They were then able to watch a candle burning, appreciating all three states of matter at the same time, viewing the solid candle, the molten wax and the gaseous smoke.


When asked to predict what would happen if the candle was covered with a jar, various answers were offered by our kindergarten students. They soon learned that a candle covered with a jar would quickly extinguish, but now they had to figure out why. After suggesting that a candle must need air to burn, they were introduced to the importance of oxygen in the air around us. However, the fun and excitement did not stop there! The students were then asked to predict which candle would burn the longest: one in a small jar, one in a medium sized jar or the one in the largest jar? They had a fabulous time predicting, observing, recording, testing, and comparing!

5th Grade 3D Design Fidget Spinner Project

Fifth grade participants in the 3D Design Voice and Choice made their own fidget spinners!



Parshat Vayigash
By Donny Rosenrauch, 3Y


In this week's parsha, Parshat Vayigash, Yosef tells his brothers that he is actually Yosef, their brother,  and not an Egyptian. When Yosef told his brothers who he was, they were unable to answer him because they were afraid and embarrassed. Yosef reassured them and told them not to be sad or upset about what they did because Hashem sent him to Mitzrayim so that he could help provide food for his family and help them do well. Yosef did not act meanly to his brothers and did not take revenge. We learn two very important lessons from this story: 1. We should be kind to people even when we 

are upset with them or when they have done something wrong. 2. There is always a reason that things happen. Even if we are not sure what the reason is, Hashem is always by your side.


Congratulations to the 7th grade boys basketball team on their victory against Yeshivat Noam, 47-42.





Happening at the Riverdale Y

A Sense of Riverdale: Shabbat Dinner & Learning

Gather with the entire Riverdale Jewish community on Friday night, January 12 at CSAIR. Shabbat dinner and learning with Yehuda Kurtzer, Laura Shaw Frank, Ethan Tucker, and Irit Offer Stark (in Hebrew). Sponsored by the Riverdale Jewish Community Partnership. Pre-registration required. To register, click here.


Family Fun Day

On Monday, December 25, come watch Moana, Lego Batman, and The Princess Bride in our theater, jump in our bounce-house, work out in the gym, or go for a swim (don't forget your swim cap). The Y will be open from 8:00 AM-4:00 PM, with activities from 10:00 AM-3:00 PM. A suggested donation of $20 per family helps provide scholarships to families in need.


Register for JBL (Jewish Basketball League)

It's not too late to register for the 2017-18 season of JBL. For Kindergarten through 4th grade. All sessions are held on Sundays. For more information and to register, click 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 

!שבת שלום


SAR Academy

Riverdale, NY 10471
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