Perspectives
The Heschel Blog
November 17, 2017
Message from Moreh Greg

This week we learn the middah, “think before you act.”   This weeks parshah, Toldot, focuses on Rivka and her twin chidren Esav and Ya’akov.   Esav, the firstborn, impulsively sells his birthright to Ya’akov for the sake of some soup.  By contrast, Rivka’s carefully thought out plan helps Ya’akov receive the blessing of the firstborn, and thus become the …

November 15, 2017
Poetry Festival

Being open to new experiences, solving problems, and exercising our imagination are all ways of thinking flexibly that we teach our children at The Toronto Heschel School. Nowhere in our school is this more evident than in our Poetry curriculum which culminated yesterday with our school-wide Poetry Festival. Poetry is the place where we learn …

November 10, 2017
שלום ש”ש

Today in grade 2 we learned about the sense of hearing. Uri brought the Oud, an ancient Middle Eastern instrument, and played it for the students. While listening, the students expressed how they felt and what they heard while Uri was playing. We also learned a song in Hebrew by Arik Einstein and made the actions to the song using …

November 10, 2017
Message from Moreh Greg

At Heschel, we teach our Judaics studies in Hebrew, not in English.  We do this because the Hebrew language carries within it rich ethical concepts that are not translatable.  Hebrew words such as רחמים (rachamim) , חסד (hesed), or חן (chen) lose depth of meaning when translated into English terms like “mercy,” “grace,” or “kind-deed.”   …

November 03, 2017
JK and Grade 8 Meet and Mingle

The JK and Grade 8 students had an opportunity to meet and mingle today. Looks like new friendships are forming and we look forward to meeting again when we march together into the concert hall in December for our Festival of Lights.

November 03, 2017
Message from Moreh Greg

This week’s parshah is Parshat Vayeira.  In this week’s parsha, Avraham and Sarah welcome three guests into their home.  Avraham runs out to greet them, and Avraham  and Sarah work together to prepare a meal for them.    The mitzvah of  הכנסת אורחים (hakhnasat orkhim) – “welcoming guests” is a mitzvah we take very seriously. …

November 03, 2017
שלום ש”ש

Today in Grade 2, we learned about the sense of smell and the blessing בורא מיני בשמים (Boreh Minei Besamim). We also learned about the blessing that we recite in Israel, בורא עשבי בשמים (Boreh Isbei Besamim), and the difference between the two. The students smelled different fragrances and described what they were smelling. Shabbat Shalom, Uri …

October 31, 2017
Jeff Weissberger’s Inspiring Dvar Torah

Thank you to Jeff Weissberger for delivering an inspiring Dvar Torah at our last Board Meeting, which we would like to share with the Heschel Community.  The Parsha Lech Lecha is rich with narratives that are the cornerstone of Judaism: Abraham leaving his homeland to the land promised to him by God, Abraham and Lot splitting the …

October 27, 2017
Learning about Day 1 of Creation in JK

Over the past two weeks the JK students have been immersed in learning about Day 1 of Creation. Our generative topic for Day 1 of Creation is: “The difference between dark and light helps us notice details.” וַיַּבְדֵּל אֱלֹהִים, בֵּין הָאוֹר וּבֵין הַחֹשֶׁךְ. וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָאוֹר יוֹם, וְלַחֹשֶׁךְ קָרָא לָיְלָה The Torah teaches us that tohu va’vohu …

October 27, 2017
שלום ש”ש

Today in Grade Two Besamim and Bikkurim we continued learning about our senses and focused on taste. We learned how to say taste and the verb tasting in Hebrew. We made delicious sweets made of dates stuffed with chocolate, tahini and coconut and enjoyed tasting them while using our new vocabulary to describe what we were doing. Shabbat Shalom, …

October 27, 2017
Message from Moreh Greg

Parshat Lekh Lekha recounts the journey of Avram, Sarai, and their family from Ur in Mesopotamia to the unknown land to which God led them. Lekh Lekha means “go for yourself.”   Avram and Sarai were destined to become the forefather and foremother of new nations, but their first prerogative was to take a spiritual journey …

October 24, 2017
Learning to Read and Write Ivrit in Grade 1

Our Grade 1 students are learning to read and write in Ivrit! With the help of Morah Rachely and her animal puppets, the children are learning to associate specific Hebrew letters with the parts of the mouth that make their sounds. The giraffe, for instance, has a very long neck, and reminds the students to …

October 20, 2017
שלום ש”ש

We continued to host “Ushpizin” in class this week in grade 7. We learned about the cost of living in Israel and about the tent protests that took place in 2011-2013. We “hosted” Stav Shafir who was a journalist, a Knesset member and one of the activists of the protest. Shabbat Shalom, Uri and Maya

October 20, 2017
Message from Moreh Greg

This week’s parshah is Parshat Noach.  The story of Noach and the flood is well known.  Noach is chosen to save a remnant of the world from the flood because he is איש צדיק (ish tzaddik) – a “just” or “righteous” person.  The word צדיק (tzadik) is related to the word צדק (tzeddek) – “justice,” …

October 11, 2017
שלום ש”ש

Grade 2 students visited the Heschel Sukkah today. Using our senses vocabulary, we described how we smell, taste, touch and see the hadas, arava, lulav and etrog. We all recited the bracha on netilat lulav and took turns shaking the lulav. Chag Sameach, Uri and Maya

October 11, 2017
Message from Moreh Greg

Today at Heschel we celebrated the seventh day of Sukkot, also known as Hoshana Rabbah.  Hoshana Rabbah literally means, ‘Great Saving’.   Hoshana Rabbah is celebrated through a special prayer service in which we walk in ‘hakafot’ — circles around the Bimah holding the Lulav and Etrog.  As we walk we call out ‘Hoshanot’ — recollections of how we …

October 04, 2017
Message from Moreh Greg

As part of our commitment to Torah learning at Heschel, we start each of our staff meetings with a Devar Torah delivered by a teacher.   This week, Morah Nechama from Grade 4 taught us about Chag Sukkot. She taught us that among the many laws governing the building of a Sukkah, is one that states …

October 03, 2017
שלום ש”ש

This week in grade 7, we learned about Benjamin Zeev (Theodor) Herzl. We hosted Herzl in the sukkah, as the first guest of seven Ushpizin. We gathered as the first Zionist Congress to determine what will be the flag, the נס (symbol) of the Jewish State to come. We talked about different flags and their meanings, and also the reasons …

September 29, 2017
Message from Moreh Greg

This Shabbat we observe Yom Kippur – the day of “Atonement.”  We repent and ask forgiveness for our “sins.”  The word “sin” in English is a loaded word; it may make us think of very terrible deeds. However, the Hebrew wordחטא  (chet) which is usually translated as “sin,” does not necessarily imply something that terrible. The word חטא  (chet) is related to …

September 20, 2017
Message from Moreh Greg

Rosh Hashanah is considered to be the Birthday of the World; a day on which we acknowledge and celebrate the wonderful world that has been created for us to live in.  The symbols and rituals of Rosh Hashanah — apples and honey, blasts of the Shofar, the head of a fish — open all of …

September 15, 2017
Message from Moreh Greg

This week we read the double parshah Nitzavim-Vayelech. In Parshat Nitzavim, Moshe offers the significant teaching that the Torah is not “in heaven,” inaccessible to us, nor is it “beyond the sea;” but rather, it is “very close to you; in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can fulfil it.”

September 14, 2017
Heschel Garden Garlic Sale!

Organic hard and soft neck garlic varieties were planted by our amazing Heschel family volunteers last Fall. The individual cloves hibernated all winter long and grew into beautiful bulbs of garlic that were harvested in early August.

Grade 7, 6, 8
September 11, 2017
Junior High Orientation – A Student’s Perspective By Zachary R.

This year’s Junior High (JH) orientation was so much fun. On the first day, instead of the teachers explaining the rules of the Junior High, they performed skits that explained derekh eretz and why it is important at Heschel.

Grade 6
June 26, 2017
The Grade 6 Tikkun Olam Project

Each year in Civics class, the Junior High grades complete a Tikkun Olam project that is connected to our curriculum in some way. In grade 6, we decided to connect our Civics project to Science class.

June 07, 2017
The Heschel Golf Tournament

Dear Heschel Community, I am proud to re-introduce the Heschel golf tournament to our community. I was on the committee for the last Heschel golf tournament in 2012 and am excited to reignite the tournament for 2017. I gathered 6 other Heschel fathers to get the ball rolling and we decided to use this opportunity …

May 30, 2017
Garden Guardians

The Heschel Garden needs your help! We are asking each Heschel family to volunteer a minimum of one time during the summer to keep our garden growing.

Grade 3
May 11, 2017
The Grade 3 Animal Research Project

In preparation for the Grade 3 Animal Research Project students chose an animal to observe in their own backyards. Noa chose a snail and collected some snails to observe their behaviour.Students thought they would observe slow walking and eating but discovered that they were about to observe the laying of eggs and birth of some …

Grade 7, 8
March 20, 2017
Pay it Forward Purim

On the evening of Wednesday, March 15, Grade Seven and Eight students went downtown after school to participate in Pay it Forward Purim. Pay it Forward Purim is an annual program where students from Grade Seven and Eight, along with their parents, go to give out gift bags (Matanot Le’evyonim) to Toronto’s homeless, in the …