My favorite part of going to school at Heschel is free play and outdoor exploration."
I, amongst many members of the Heschel Community, will be representing Canada in the 2013 Maccabi Games held in Israel. The Maccabi Games is ‘home to world class sport events that brings together the best Jewish athletes from all over the world’ in order to compete against one another.
This will be my 2nd Maccabiah as an Open Division Fastpitch player, having participated in the 2009 games. In 2009, we defeated the USA by a dramatic one run to win the Gold Medal game. That year we won all 10 games we played, and were one of the most successful and dominating team in the Canadian delegation.
Also participating in the Jewish Pan-American games in Brazil two years ago, where we won a silver medal, I can say that these games are some of the more exciting and significant baseball and Jewish experiences of my life. From opening ceremonies, which bring thousands together, all the way to traveling around the country the 2 weeks are truly memorable time.
We look forward to reclaiming our Gold medals this summer. Stay tuned for updates from the Games. Also, anyone who happens to be in Israel this summer between July 18 – July 30 is more than welcome to come out and cheer for their country!
I have attached a link to the schedules so you can see when and where we will be playing.
Also, below are pictures of our Gold Medal team from Israel in 2009 and our Silver Medal team from Brazil in 2012.
The first strawberries of the season have sprung up in The Toronto Heschel School garden thanks to all the hard work and care by our garden club and with help from our Grade 1 class. Later this week our Grade 3 class will also be looking for some wonders in the garden as we work to complete our study of plants.
On Friday, May 31st, the Grade 1 students participated in a momentous event in their Heschel and Jewish Day School education – Kabbalat HaSiddur. Over the past few months the students have been working hard to learn how to read from a Siddur respectfully and follow along during a prayer service. On Friday, they shared this experience with their families in a warm and inclusive community event.
After the service, the students and their families worked together to create lunch bags for the homeless, which were distributed by Ve’Ahavta on Sunday. Ilana Linden, a representative from Ve’Ahavta, came to speak to the families after the sandwiches were prepared and to thank the students for their involvement in this important project. (See photo below)
The project stemmed from the students’ learning through our generative topic of Chacham Lev / Nadiv Lev. The concept of Chacham Lev / Nadiv Lev is found in the book of Exodus (35:5,10). B’nai Yisrael were building the Mishkan in the desert and Moshe asked that whoever is of a generous heart (Nadiv Lev) bring gold, silver or brass for the building of the Mishkan. God also asked Moshe to request that everyone who is wise hearted (Chacham Lev) come and help craft the Mishkan. Moshe wanted B’nai Yisrael to bring their knowledge and skills (Chacham Lev) and to collectively work together (Nadiv Lev) to build the Mishkan.
The students collectively decided on several ways that they can help the world (Tikkun Olam) – one of which was helping those in need. Another was helping sick children. As a result of their learning, the Grade 1 students engaged in a number of Tikkun Olam projects, including the sandwich project and a sock drive for the needy, and a sticker drive for sick children. The students also worked collaboratively and with care to create beautiful notes, one of which was included with each sandwich.
The Grade 3 students are learning about plants and soils.
Students were asked to consider what changes in the environment might change the growth and development of a healthy plant.
We planted black beans in special soil pods and then planted and labelled them in five different experiments:
Experiment 1: Water plant with water vs. Water plant with coke
Experiment 2: Sunlight vs. Darkness
Experiment 3: Hot water vs. Cold water
Experiment 4: Fresh air vs. No air (plant in a sealed bag) vs. Too much air (from a fan)
Experiment 5: Music vs. No music
We are watering our plants equally and exposing them to the elements and recording our results.
So far the most clear results are that of Experiment 1. The plant that is being watered with water and the control plant are flourishing while the plant that is being watered with coke is shriveled up and dying.
We will continue to observe our plant growth until the end of the year!
Last week our Grade 3 students had the opportunity to be illustrators for an original children’s book written by class parent Tzippy Nathanson.
The story was inspired by the penguin walk at the Calgary Zoo. http://calgaryzoo.com/penguins/
Students heard the original story and learned about the process of making a children’s. book. Following illustrators notes from the author we illustrated the most current draft of the story.
It was great to learn about how story books we love are made. In our current animal research project we are learning about the important features of non fictional books. We were able to compare fiction and non fiction through this workshop.