שבת פרשת ויגש

Shabbat Parshat Vayigash
Candle Lighting: 4:10
Havdalah: 5:11

ז׳ טבת תשע״ט
 7 Tevet 5779
December 15, 2018
Issue 13



Dear Friends,


It was wonderful to have close to 200 8th grade grandparents and family members for the 8th Grade Extended Family Day on the last day of Chanukah. Thank you for making the time to learn with your grandchildren, and to get a sense of their experience at SAR.


If you have not yet done so, please make your reservations for the SAR Dinner, to take place on January 12. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, pay tribute to our founders, faculty, and community, and think about the future, we would love to have full participation from all, and have made efforts to allow everyone to attend. We really hope to see you there.


Thank you to our STEM coordinator, Dr. Chaya Fine, for planning our third STEM Family Day this Sunday, and to all of the teachers who have volunteered to lead sessions. 



Shabbat Shalom, 



!מזל טוב

MAZAL TOV to the following students on the occasion of their bar/bat mitzvah:


Gal Butler (Gr. 7)

Lev Butler (Gr. 7)

Zeva Gorodischer (Gr. 6)

Ruben Mahgerefteh (Gr. 7)


MAZAL TOV to the following faculty and staff members:


Miriam Shira (AC Faculty) and Shimshi Fohn on the birth of a baby boy. Mazal tov to grandparents Sarah (AC Administration) and Rabbi Shalom Richter and aunt Simi Richter (Gr. 8).




Lamelle and Rob Ryman on the birth of a baby girl, Kol Aviv. Mazal Tov to big sisters Neshama (Gr. 8) and Aliya (Gr. 4), and big brother Shalev (K).


Melanie and Noam Ohana on the birth of a baby boy. Mazal Tov to big sisters Elinor (Gr. 4), Avigail (Gr. 2), and Michal.


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


Click here to sponsor a Day of Learning at SAR to commemorate a yahrzeit; learn in the merit of a loved one's refuah shlemah; honor a parent, teacher, leader, or friend; or celebrate a simcha. It is a wonderful way to model by example the value we place in learning and give meaning to our acts of tzedakah. If you have any questions, please contact Sara Hasson at  or at x1300.  






הֹדוּ לַה' כִּי-טוֹב


Join us for SAR's 50th Anniversary Dinner

A Celebration of
Our Spectacular Journey
Our Devoted Community
and All Things SAR


Special Founders' Tribute

Blu & Rabbi Yitz Greenberg 
Erica & Ludwig Jesselson z"l 
Lucy & Edmond z"l Lang



Click here to RSVP





Join us in reminiscing through the latest edition of our 50 Spectacular Stories newsletter. Anecdotes, reflections and incredible photos shared by students, parents, and faculty, both past and present, will not only take you back in time but also help us all celebrate what's in store ahead. Click here to read!



Our #Flashback@50 project involves spending a few minutes each week with our students sharing an artifact, an interview, or some historical background about SAR, giving them a sense of the things that shaped this institution and the philosophy behind some of the things that we do. This week the topic was Sweet Beginnings, by SAR alumna and current parent Stephanie Minkove (AC '91). Click here to read about it. Thank you to Sharon Marson and to the committee of teachers (many of them alumni!) who are working on this meaningful project.




On Thursday and Friday of this week, we welcomed girls' high school basketball teams from all around the country to SAR Academy and High School to compete in the 9th David Cooper Memorial Basketball Tournament. Teams from Denver, Baltimore, and Philadelphia came to play against the SAR High School Girls' Varsity Basketball Team. Not only did our Lower School students learn a little bit about the home cities of the visiting teams, but they went to some of the games to cheer for our guests!

Our Sting girls played with lots of energy and incredible skill, but more importantly, they played with tremendous sportsmanship and they were wonderful hosts. The excitement continues into Shabbat with a Shabbaton in North Riverdale. More friendly competition in the tournament will resume on Motzaei Shabbat at SAR High School -- join us for games at 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM and for the awards ceremony at 10:00 PM.

The Cooper family established the David Cooper (z"l) Memorial Tournament to remember David's love of sports and what it means to be a true team player on and off the court.




After discovering and learning about the beautiful art of Jackson Pollack, Piet Mondrian, and Yaakov Agam, the budding artists in Gan Devorim have entered the illuminating world of art through glass. We began by learning about Marc Chagall, his life as a boy in Russia, his years of creating "dream-like" paintings, and his experience in the world of stained glass. After learning how glass is made, we experimented and discovered the concepts of translucency and opaqueness. First Morah Irit drew, cut, and constructed a stained glass chamsa, and then we followed most of the same steps as we created our very own stained "glass" windows. The children began by sketching a design on paper, and then they traced it onto their "glass" to create colorful works of art.



In some of the 5th grade Ivrit classes, after we finished our Chanukah unit, we completed an interesting lesson on SAR@50! We had studied the message of "בימים ההם בזמן הזה" ("in those days, and at this time) while learning the miracles of the Chanukah story. Then, we developed the ideas of speaking about the past and the present. We used these concepts to review how SAR has changed from "those days" to "this time." The students wrote articles that included sentences such as: בנימין קראוס תלמיד בכתה ח (Rabbi Krauss is a student in 8th grade),


בנימן קראס מלמד גמרא לכתה ח (Rabbi Krauss teaches Gemara to 8th grade), יש שתי כיתות בכתה ה (There are two classes in 5th grade), and יש ארבע כתות בכיתה ה (There are four classes in 5th grade). This was a wonderful way for us to practice sentence writing in Hebrew about a topic that we love: SAR!!!


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 discovered 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. We culminated our study this week by introducing our class job chart. Each student has a new job every week to help our community thrive!



In Chumash in Kitah Bet, we have been continuing our exciting study of Adam and Isha in Gan Eden. As we learned the words and actions of the Nachash, Isha, and Adam surrounding the Etz HaDa'at, and their subsequent punishments from Hashem, our studies sparked fascinating conversations about taking responsibility for our actions. Students had the opportunity to parse out which aspects of the story are written explicitly in the psukim, and which are inferred from the text. Next week, we will complete Perek Gimel of Sefer Bereishit, which culminates with Adam and Chava's ultimate exile from Gan Eden.



Appropriately, before we leave our study of Gan Eden and the six days of creation, students have just completed their Bri'at HaOlam projects. Each student chose a day of creation to depict through a poster, diorama, slideshow, or mobile, and the results are a testament to their creativity and individuality in representing their learning! Projects will be on display at our Mesibat Chumash--we are excited to share them!




Math artists in Morah Renata Cohen and Morah Joy Langer's classes have been inspired by the master artworks of Wassily Kandinsky and Robert Delauney. To begin, the students explored the circle and its properties, and learned how to use a compass to draw various types of circles and arcs. After that, playing with color, and exploring colored pencils as their medium, they created wonderful images that show their mastery over the compass and their ability to use it effectively in their art making.




On Monday afternoon, 8th grade students welcomed their grandparents, aunts, uncles, or parents to our annual 8th Grade Extended Family Day. The students and their guests enjoyed a delicious lunch together before breaking off into "classes." Together, the students and their family members participated in an English lesson as well as in a Judaic Studies lesson, where thought-provoking discussions took place between the generations. The 8th graders learned, as always, from their elders, while the the reverse took place in a beautiful way as well. One grandmother remarked, "I loved learning together with my grandson today. The way he explained the pasuk to me was absolutely incredible. I definitely learned lots of new ideas from him!" What an amazing way to celebrate the eighth day of Chanukah!


Todah Rabbah to the sponsors of this event:


Annette & Stephen Back; Norma & Victor Bellino; Josefa & Ari Bunim; Linda & Mark Bunim; Claire & Joseph Cohen; Adina & Marc Dolfman; Tamar & Abe Eisenstat; Judy & Stuart Fenster; Esther Sperber & Bruce Goldberger; Erica & Kenneth Grau; Jan & Andy Groveman; Rebekah & Adam Ingber; Wendy & Sidney Ingber; Amy Michelman & Eliran Isaacson; Aura & Daniel Lurie; Sarah Zitter Milstein & Stuart Milstein; Jessica & Jason Muss; Valerie Altmann & Daniel Perla; Joy Perla; Enid & Elias Purow; Barbara & Gene Richter; Carrie & Kevin Rose; Shelley & Ira Scharaga; Tina Schnall; Rebecca & Yehuda Shmidman; Ina & David Tropper; Linda & Bernie Weiner; Ariel & Joshua Weiner; Alice Wildes; Hillary & Bob Zitter.


Last week, the 8th grade participated in a special Chanukah chesed program with the Riverdale Skywriters Project. The students first listened to a presentation about the experience of patients who are in the hospital or in hospice, and then crafted beautiful handmade cards which were delivered to the patients at the the MJHS Zicklin Hospice of Riverdale on Chanukah. Thank you to SAR parent Lauren Lieberman for coordinating this meaningful project.

Below is a thank you letter from the director of the hospice expressing the heartfelt gratitude of the patients for the beautiful cards they received. 

Dear SAR 8th graders,

We, the staff, families and residents at the MJHS/Zicklin Hospice Residence in Riverdale, thank all of you for creating such beautiful Hanukah/Holidays cards for our residents. Several of your artworks are posted at the entrance to our facility, right across the elevator doors. Others are hanging in individual rooms or are propped up on window sills, spreading joy and assuring folks that they are thought of with affection and compassion.You all did a fantastic job decorating the cards in creative and unusual ways. But even more noteworthy and inspiring were your written messages. It's never easy to convey hope and kindness to strangers, and especially so to very ill ones. But in each card you expressed a very balanced and warm mixture of compassion and encouragement which was touching and meaningful. Several of my colleagues and I read every single card, and we were moved by your succinct messages of goodwill. You all just "got it right."We thank you for your very meaningful tokens of pure and direct chesed. We are grateful to Ms. Lieberman for spearheading this project, to SAR's administration for supporting it and to you, for taking it on so creatively and lovingly.

With best wishes for continued hatzlacha in all your endeavors,

Miryam Rabner



Third grade STEAM enrichment clusters have come to an end this week. The students engaged in various STEAM projects throughout the semester, enjoying activities in clusters they chose based on their interests. As each weekly session ended, it was amazing to hear the buzz amongst the children about what they each did in their various groups. Whether it was investigating and building cars powered by different energy sources, exploring electrical circuits, conductors and insulators, creating art inspired by patterns found in nature, designing mechanical animations, acting as junior bioengineers as they explored the human body, or applying toy science to create their very own straw rollercoasters (just to name a few), the excitement that this program has brought to the students' learning experiences is extraordinary. We thank all of the teachers who have shared their talents and passions with our 3rd graders. Pictured here is a sampling from some of the STEAM clusters that took place this semester. 






Click here to view the English version of Daf Yomi: Parshat Vayigash.

Click here to view the Hebrew version of Daf Yomi: Parshat Vayigash.



Congratulations to the following teams on their victories this week:


Boys hockey vs. Ramaz: 8-1

7th & 8th grade girls basketball vs. Hillel: 34-33 

7th grade boys basketball vs. Yavneh: 58-28





Newsies at The Riverdale Y

Come see the Riverdale Rising Stars production of Newsies at the Riverdale Y. Only two performances left: Saturday, December 15 at 8:00 PM, and Sunday, December 16 at 3:00 PM. Several SAR students are featured in the production. Click here to buy tickets.

UJA Gift of Chanukah Celebration

Do a holiday mitzvah on Sunday, December 16 from 2:00-3:30 PM at UJA-Federation's annual Gift of Hanukkah celebration at Kittay House in the Bronx. Play bingo, do crafts, and share sufganyiot with more than 150 seniors. $36 per family. RSVP to Susan Glick at or call (914) 385-2120.


Stanley Lane Coed and Girls Basketball League

The pre-season warmup for 1st-12th grades will take place this Sunday, December 16 at the Riverdale Y. Register now and learn more by clicking here.


Defensive Driving Class at RJC

There will be a defensive driving class at Riverdale Jewish Center on Monday, December 17 at 6:45 PM. Attending this class will give you 10% savings on your liability and collision auto insurance for three years. You can also reduce up to four points on your NY driver's license. Cost is $60 per person. For more information or to RSVP, email or call (718) 339-1300.


A Sense of Riverdale
The Riverdale Jewish Community Partnership proudly invites you to A Sense of Riverdale, honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy. We will come together for prayer, dinner, learning, and dessert, Friday, January 18 at 5:30 PM at Riverdale Temple. Generously funded by UJA Federation of New York and coordinated by the Riverdale Y. Registration and additional details coming soon. For more information, email or visit


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
Join the entire Riverdale community on Monday, January 21 for a day of service supported by UJA and A Time For Good, coordinated by the Riverdale Y. Volunteer projects include serving meals, addressing environmental concerns, grappling with racism, compiling vital items for countless individuals in need, and more. Volunteer registration opening soon. For more information, contact Rabbi Joseph Robinson at or visit

!שבת שלום


SAR ACADEMY  Open for 50 years.

655 West 254th Street • Riverdale, NY 10471 

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