This week’s Parsha, Emor, has lead to important discussions about how one should behave as a thoughtful and conscientious Jew.  It also teaches good principles that we can extend to our talks regarding the upcoming Mother’s Day celebration.  We asked the children to tell us what kind and helpful things they have done for others.  It was nice to see that most of the children were aware of how they can be helpful to others and were willing to share it with us.  They spoke of helping with younger siblings, helping prepare food and challah with their parents, and setting and clearing the table for meals.  We also asked the children why they think we have a special day that we thank our mothers.  What do our mother’s do for us?  They again understood how important our mothers are to us and talked about mothers preparing food for them, taking them places, buying things for them, and taking care of them when they are ill.

The children have also begun to work on their Mother’s Day gift.  They made salt dough and are using it to make something pretty to thank their mother’s for all that they do. They also started working on cards that they will be able to write themselves!  Wait till you see the lovely things they have created for you!

We are learning many things about Eretz Yisrael – how we lived there after leaving Egypt, how enemies forced the Jews to leave, and how we were finally able to go back in recent years.  So we celebrate having our homeland once again.  We have been reading books that describe the experience of living in Israel or visiting there.  We read:  Ella’s Trip to Israel  by Vivian Newman, which related the story of Ella and her family’s visit to such sites as the Kotel in Jerusalem, the big city of Tel Aviv, and the salty waters of the Dead Sea; and And Shira Imagined by Giora Carmi, which turns back time to ancient Israel and how Shira imagined how things looked long ago, in places such as the port of Caesarea.

Our class will present the great city of Tel Aviv to the school at our Yom Ha’Atzmaut celebration next week.  We hung up many pictures of the cities of Tel Aviv and Yaffo (Jaffa).  The children learned about the old port of Yaffo and we taught them how to make paper (origami) boats.  We also compared the pictures of Tel Aviv, with its tall buildings, and New York City, which all the children have visited. The children painted cut-up cardboard boxes, which will be transformed into the skyscrapers of Tel Aviv.  We are using the boats and the buildings to create a mural of the skyline of Tel Aviv-Yaffo.

Shabbat Shalom, Morah Fran and Morah Yafit .