שבת פרשת בא

Shabbat Parshat Bo
Candle Lighting: 4:29
Havdalah: 5:31

ו׳ שבט תשע״ט
 6 Sh'vat 5779
January 12, 2019
Issue 16


Dear Friends,

I look forward to celebrating our school, paying tribute to our founders, and bringing the community together at our 50th Anniversary dinner tomorrow night. Thank you to our fabulous dinner chairs, and our dedicated professional staff for their months of work in preparation for this event. We expect record attendance and fundraising numbers, and we are grateful to all who have participated.

Shabbat Shalom, 



!מזל טוב

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


Isaac Helwaser (Gr. 7)




Shira (AC '06, HS '10) and Zack Baratz on the birth of a baby boy. Mazal Tov to big sister Zoë (2N). 

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.  





HOT OFF THE PRESSES! Enjoy our third edition of the 50 Spectacular Stories newsletter and blog posts. These memories, personal reflections, and old photos came from YOU--current and former faculty and staff, SAR Academy and High School alumni from the 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s, and parents. Share in this spectacular initiative by reading and sharing your own stories and memories.



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 Go Figure. 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.



In relation to our study of the letter Mm this week, the students in Gan Parparim focused on magnets. We learned that magnets are made from a metal called iron and attract things towards them. We experimented with different kinds of materials to predict what would be attracted and what would not. The children noted that metal things were attracted, but items made of paper, wood, plastic, or rubber were not. However, upon further experimentation, we realized that not all metals were in fact attracted to the magnets, since our coins felt no pull at all! This is because coins are made from different metal. We tried "breaking" the force of the magnet by putting a paper in between the magnet and the metal object, but the pull of the force was so strong that the magnet lifted both the paper and the paper clip! Similarly, we tried submerging metal rings in a plastic container filled with water. The magnet was able to attract the rings through both the water and the plastic! We learned that magnets may come in many shapes (horseshoe, balls, bar) but they all have two poles (north and south), the opposite poles attract each other, and similar poles repel (push away). We then went about experimenting with magnets around the classroom, making predictions about what our magnets would attract. The children especially enjoyed playing with the magnets themselves, attracting iron filings, repelling and attracting different poles, and making other magnets move with magnetic force without even actually touching the magnets. It certainly was Magnet Mania this week in Gan Parparim!




We have just concluded our most recent social studies unit, dinosaurs! Our second graders read many books, studied facts, and conducted research on the history of dinosaurs. Over Chanukah we had a special visit from a paleontologist who brought fossils, replicas of dinosaur bones, and different tools that are used to dig up artifacts from the ground. The students were fascinated by the size difference of dinosaur bones compared to their own! To end this unit, each student was asked to bring in recyclables from their homes such as plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, egg cartons, and more. The children then had the opportunity to build their own dinosaurs using these materials. They had so much fun constructing their group dinosaurs, naming them, and determining their characteristics. For example, they decided whether the dinosaur would be one of prey or a predator, what the dinosaur would eat, and what its strengths and weaknesses would be. They then had the chance to present their projects as a group, showing the entire class what they had created. We look forward to seeing what our upcoming unit on civil rights heroes will bring!



Third grade is buzzing with excitement as we begin to introduce Rashi. We began this week watching clips from a biographical film about the life of Rashi and how it came to be that we learn Rashi today! Who knew that a simple man like Rashi and his writings on the Torah would eventually become something learned worldwide, and even today here in third grade! In addition, the third grade students received a new Rashi choveret and are familiarizing themselves with the letters of


Rashi. The third graders quickly realized that there are many Rashi letters that are very similar, basically the same as regular Hebrew letters, and only a few unique letters to learn and practice. We also are beginning to learn Rashi during Chumash lessons, putting on our Rashi thinking hats to come up with "What is Rashi's question?" and learning Rashi's answer. Before we know it these third graders are going to be riding the Rashi train and reading Rashi like pros!



What do this week's parsha and this week's Learning to Look lesson have in common? The moon! In Parshat Bo, Hashem commands the Jewish people to set up a calendar system that is run by the moon. In this painting by Vincent Van Gogh, there's a big crescent moon in the upper right hand corner.


What else do we see in this painting called Starry Night? That's right, stars! How many? Take a minute and count them…you got it, eleven.


What other famous story do you know that had eleven stars in it? That's right, you got it again.


Why do you think Vincent Van Gogh did that? Do you think he knew the story about Yosef in the Torah? Perhaps he did since he came from a religious home. Do you think that the values you learn at school and home can influence the work you do?



Ms. Douglas' sixth grade math class took real life math skills to a new level! A "candy store" in the back of the area gave students the opportunity to use estimation when adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing decimals  to figure out how much candy they were able to buy with a certain amount of money!



On Wednesday, the eighth grade had a flashback with their first grade teachers. Thank you Morah Soo, Morah Lisi, and Morah Shira for giving our eighth graders a chance to revisit their SAR beginnings!




Our kindergarten classes began their coding rotation this week with Morah Rivka in SAR's Makerspace classroom. Students were introduced to the concept of algorithms (a list of specific steps to finish a task) and were challenged to direct Morah Rivka to her desk using only the terms that they will be using in their online coding challenges: move forward, move backward, turn right, and turn left. This activity reinforced the idea that computers can only follow the specific directions given to complete a task. Now that they have learned how to log into and utilize the website on the Makerspace iPads, they will begin to solve the Angry Bird challenges next week. During this coding rotation, the children will be introduced to coding fundamentals while also strengthening their sequencing and problem-solving skills. 




By Hila Loeser, 5Y


In Parshat Bo, Moshe comes to Paroh to warn him about makkat bechorot, the tenth makkah. He says to Paroh that makkat bechorot will come at "kachatzot halaylah." Rashi tells us that this means around midnight, and not exactly midnight. This makes it sound like the makkah can start at any time around midnight. The question is, why is Moshe saying that it will be around midnight, and not exactly at midnight, if Hashem has perfect timing and can make the makka whenever Hashem wants? An answer is that Moshe is saying around midnight because it might be that the Egyptians don't have perfect timing, since there were no clocks in those times. Moshe didn't want Paroh and the Egyptians to think that he was not being honest if the makkah came a little before or after midnight according to their calculations. Moshe was so careful with his 


words just so that the Egyptians wouldn't accidentally think that he said something that isn't true. This teaches us to always be completely honest and the importance of honesty.




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

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


8th grade boys basketball vs. Moriah: 69-67


7th grade boys basketball vs. Moriah: 66-47


7th and 8th grade girls basketball vs. Kushner: 41-27


Boys hockey vs. MDS: 5-1





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.


You're a Good Man Charlie Brown 

The Riverdale Junior Rising Stars present You're a Good Man Charlie Brown at the Riverdale Y. Two shows remaining: Sunday, January 13 at 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM. Several SAR students are in the cast. Buy tickets by clicking here


Yeshivat Maharat Yom Iyun

Join Maharat for a Yom Iyun (Day of Learning) on Tuesday, January 15, 3:45-7:00 PM. Learn with Rabbi Herzl Hefter, Har-El Beit Midrash, Rabbanit Michal Tikochinsky, Beit Morasha, Dr. Miriam Udel, Emory University, and Aliza Sperling. At 6:00 PM, join us for a panel discussion moderated by Rabbi Hefter on the topic of Next Generation Orthodox Clergy, featuring Rabba Sara Hurwitz, President & Co-Founder, Rabbi Jeffrey S. Fox, Rosh HaYeshiva, and Rabbanit Devorah Zlochower, Dean. Click here for more information and to register. Can't join us in person? We'll be sharing hourly divrei torah on our website, social media and WhatsApp! January 15 is also #maharatgivingday. Support Orthodox women clergy by joining our campaign.


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

Register by Sunday, January 13 to ensure your seat at A Sense of Riverdale on Friday night, January 18 hosted at Riverdale Temple. Join us for Shabbat dinner and learning with Professor Paul Franks, Ariel Freidenberg, Deputy Commissioner Marissa A. L. Jackson, Rabbi Avi Killip, MaNishtana, and Mason Voit. Sponsored by the Riverdale Jewish Community Partnership and coordinated by the Riverdale Y. Pre-registration required. For detailed information and to register, click here.


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

Volunteer spots are filling up quickly for the Riverdale MLK Day of Service on Monday, January 21. Generously sponsored by UJA Federation's Time for Good initiative and coordinated by the Riverdale Y. Join other volunteers from throughout Riverdale as we serve meals, address environmental concerns, grapple with racism, compile vital items for countless individuals in need, and more. Adult, family, and teen opportunities available. Register in advance by clicking here.

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


Cabaret Evening Featuring Elon Gold

The Mikvah of New Rochelle's tenth annual fundraiser will take place on Saturday, February 2 at 8:30 PM at the Young Israel of New Rochelle. Men and women are welcome for an exciting cabaret evening featuring actor and comedian Elon Gold. To be included in the Scroll of Honor and to RSVP, please click here. Email with questions.


Substance Abuse and Addiction: What We Need To Know And What We Should Be Doing Better

Riverdale Jewish Center and Amudim and invite the community for an evening of awareness and education on Saturday, February 2 at 8:00 PM at RJC. Hear speakers Rabbi Menachem Penner, Louis J. Abrams, Rabbi Moshe Drelich, and Rabbi Zvi Gluck. No admission fee or reservations required. For questions, email or

!שבת שלום

SAR ACADEMY  Open for 50 years.

655 West 254th Street • Riverdale, NY 10471 

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