שבת פרשת וארא

Shabbat Parshat Vaera
Candle Lighting: 4:22
Havdalah: 5:24

כ״ח טבת תשע״ט
 28 Tevet 5779
January 5, 2019
Issue 15


Dear Friends,


It was nice to welcome our students and teachers back to school after a refreshing vacation break. I look forward to spending Shabbat at SAR with our sixth grade for their Shabbaton. Thank you to Ali Bloom for all of her hard work coordinating this meaningful Shabbat, to all of our teachers who will be with us, and to the host families.


If you have not yet confirmed your reservations for the SAR dinner next Motzaei Shabbat, please do so this weekend. This is an important way to support our school, come together as a community, and express hakarat hatov to our founders.


Shabbat Shalom, 



!מזל טוב



Alison and Josh (AC '97) Kaufthal on the birth of a baby girl. Mazal Tov to grandparents Judy & Uri Kaufthal and great-grandparent Mr. Lou Bravmann (Chairman, SAR Board of Trustees).

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





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 Once Upon a Staircase. 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.



During daily routines in Gan Dubim we encourage the children to be as independent as possible and to take responsibility for their own belongings. We have been working on putting on our own jackets, using the coat trick (the Gan Dubim children can show you!) and the language of "flip flop over the top." On Thursday during library, Morah Beth further enhanced our independence skill unit by reading the books Crazy Clothes, Elizabeth Jane Gets Dressed, and Ella Sarah Gets Dressed. Gan Dubim loved hearing the adventures of the main characters in the book and how they get dressed by themselves. They were also able to identify with some of their struggles. We talked about how it is hard at times and we can get frustrated but it is always important to try. We are finding that even when the children have difficulty with something, they end up smiling because they tried. It's a positive strategy that we have busily been applying to our many other experiences throughout the day!




In fifth grade we have been learning about Moshe Rabeinu and the mission Hashem charged him to do. Moshe's first encounter with Hashem was at the burning bush at the base of Har Ha'elokim, later known as Har Sinai, where Bnei Yisrael received the Torah. The conversation between Hashem and Moshe lends itself to vivid illustration by our fifth grade students--as depicted in these beautiful drawings by Leah Goldenberg, Noa Haehnel, Shefa Silverman, and Jaden Weissbrot.




Our third grade students have been working on a special project during MakerSpace for the upcoming SAR at 50 celebrations. The MakerSpace is one of the regular offerings during the library period for all third graders throughout the year. This project includes all aspects of STEAM–Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math, with an emphasis on engineering design. The students have been working with Mr. Sandler to learn basic physics concepts while exploring various ways to turn circular motion into linear motion and vice versa. Morah Ayelet Feinberg, a mechanical engineer, created and initiated this project and will be working with the students over the next few weeks while she is visiting from Israel. They will choose an act of chesed that SAR has been involved with during its history to visually display in this Chesed Machine that will combine all of the students' work into one large spinning display. We are looking forward to sharing it with everyone at the end of the year!



Today, 50 Middle School students opted to compete in a spelling bee. The winner was Leora Blechner (Gr. 6) with the word ACCLAMATIONS. Kol Hakavod to Leora and to all the participants! 





As part of the Hudson River Exploration taking place during second graders' library period, they will begin working with Morah Ayelet Feinberg, a mechanical engineer, during the next few weeks on a bridge investigation unit. Our first groups were excited to explore the purpose of bridges as well as how various bridge structures help to distribute force, allowing a bridge to hold greater weight without collapsing. Using simple materials like raw spaghetti and paper, students were challenged to see how much weight their bridge could support. They were fascinated to see how bridges made of the same materials but with different designs fared under the same weight. Who would have thought that a simple arch could make such a difference?!




By Emanuela Perelis, 1Z


In this week's parsha, Parshat Vaera, Hashem speaks to Moshe from a burning bush. He commands Moshe to tell Pharaoh to let the Jewish people go. Moshe was not confident that he would be able to do this, so Hashem gave him signs to show that he was capable. In one of them, Moshe banged his staff on the ground and it turned into a snake. Pharaoh laughed at him and said that he could do that, too. However, when he did so, Moshe's snake ate Pharaoh's snake. Hashem performed many more miracles in this parsha to show his power, but Pharaoh still refused to let the Jews go. What I learned from this parsha is that you should never give up. Even though Pharaoh kept refusing his demands, and the Jews continued to suffer in slavery, he knew that eventually Hashem would help them. Moshe never lost his hope and faith in Hashem, and we shouldn't either.





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

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


Film Screening of Righteous Rebel: Rabbi Avi Weiss

On Saturday night, January 12 at 7:30 PM, join producer/director Phil Schneider at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale for a screening of the documentary Righteous Rebel: Rabbi Avi Weiss. Doors open 7:15 PM. Film screening will be followed by a Q&A with Phil Schneider. Seating is limited; advance registration strongly suggested. Your sponsorship donation is greatly appreciated. Click here to register and donate. Click here for the flyer.


An Evening with Chuck Todd
The Riverdale Y's Patron of the Arts program is proud to present a talk with the host of MSNBC's "Meet the Press," Chuck Todd. Join us on Tuesday, January 15 at 7:00 PM for an evening of talking the future of politics, the role of the media, healing the nation, and news of the day. Click here to register.


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. To view the flyer, click here. Register by clicking here. Contact Rabbi Joseph Robinson at for more information.


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

Join the Riverdale community on Monday, January 21 for a day of service supported by UJA Federation's "Time For Good," and coordinated by the Riverdale Y. Volunteers will give back in meaningful ways: serving meals, addressing environmental concerns, grappling with racism, compiling vital items for countless individuals in need, and more. To view the flyer, click here. Registration can be found by clicking here. Contact Rabbi Joseph Robinson at for more information.

Celebrating the Publication of Ennoble and Enable: Essays in Honor of Richard M. Joel
The Riverdale community is invited to a special event: The American Jewish Community: Past, Present and Future--An Armchair Conversation with Richard Joel and Gary Rosenblatt, in celebration of the publication of Ennoble and Enable: Essays in Honor of Richard M. Joel
Saturday night, January 26 at 8:00 PM at the Joel home, 5543 Arlington Avenue, Riverdale. To view the flyer, click here. To RSVP, email

!שבת שלום

SAR ACADEMY  Open for 50 years.

655 West 254th Street • Riverdale, NY 10471 

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