Purim Traditions You’ve Never Heard Of

Written by Elisheva Blumberg on . Posted in Features

The four mitzvot of Purim — reading the Megillah, eating a seuda (festive meal), sending mishloach manot (packages of food), and giving charity to the poor — have been preserved by Jews across the globe for millennia.

Kids From Local Chabad Hebrew Schools Compete in JewQ Championship

Written by Emily Cohen on . Posted in Features

Nine-year-old Sara Moncarz was a little nervous as she prepared to step onto the stage at the New Heights Middle School in Brooklyn, N.Y. Not only was she about to participate with dozens of kids in a competition testing her Jewish knowledge, she was doing so in front of hundreds of strangers, far from her home in Bethesda, Maryland.

Learning About Native American Culture at Berman

Written by Ava August on . Posted in Features

Lakota means allies. We were separate peoples who bound together because it is harder to break five sticks tied together than it is to break one.” The power of unity was one of Dovie Thomason’s main points during her talk to sophomores at Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville, Maryland. Dovie is a storyteller who travels from place to place to talk about her culture. A member of the Lakota tribe, she spoke about their beliefs and their folktales.

YGW Girls Present ‘The Adopted Princess’

Written by Miri Solomson on . Posted in Features

The Yeshiva of Greater Washington Tiferes Gedaliah (YGW) put on their annual production for women and girls Feb. 24 and 25 at the Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville, Maryland. Production, as it’s known in the parlance of YGW, is run by the junior class at the Silver Spring, Maryland, girls’ school. Each year in October, after the juniors choose a play and write a script, the girls begin to put together the show. Every girl in the Yeshiva, from grades 7-12, participates in an aspect of production, such as: dance, gymnastics, choir, drama, tech, business, scenery, props, or costumes and works with the juniors to perfect her part.

Shomrai Preschool Hatches Chicks

Written by Chaya Sara Melendez Marizan on . Posted in Features

The learning opportunities afforded by observing, caring for, and interacting with animals in early childhood classrooms are tremendous. This year, Shomrai Preschool, located in Silver Spring, Maryland, had an amazing chance to participate in RentACoop’s month-long Hatching Rental program. Located in Germantown, Maryland, RentACoop offers a variety of chicken coop or egg hatching rental programs for schools and homes.

MILTON Educator Jill Stepak Awarded Kohelet Prize

Written by Editor on . Posted in Features

The Kohelet Foundation announced March 7 that it awarded Jill Stepak, art specialist at Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School of the Nation’s Capital (MILTON) in Washington, D.C., with the Kohelet Prize for Excellence in Jewish Education for her work in the category of Differentiated Learning. The award includes a cash prize of $36,000.

TSGW Goes Full STEAM Ahead

Written by Editor on . Posted in Features

In 2010, Marcia Laundy, accelerated math curriculum coordinator at the Torah School of Greater Washington (TSGW) in Silver Spring, Maryland, introduced the first school-wide math fair. After nine years of successful math fairs, Chaya Shinensky, a third grade teacher and Endeavor STEM Certificate candidate, partnered with Laundy to expand and produce the first annual TSGW STEAM Fair, held March 7. STEAM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics, is an educational approach that endeavors to guide students in inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking.

Why Did the Chicken Come to Tikvat Israel?

Written by Luisa Moss on . Posted in Features

“Why did the chicken come to Tikvat Israel?” sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but on Feb. 24, Harriet the Hen was a special guest at a Tikvat Israel Congregation in Rockville, Maryland. Harriet’s visit was part of a program titled “Ha-motzi Lechem Min Ha’aretz – Who Brings Forth Bread from the Earth” for the synagogue’s Atid Learning Center's religious school families. Overseen by Jewish educator Luisa Moss and facilitated by local JOFEE fellow Amanda Herring, students learned how to make challah, explored the science of yeast, mastered challah braiding technique, discovered how we get flour from grain with mortar and pestle, and were taught and partook in the mitzvah of “hafrashat challah,” the separation of challah.

Irving Torchinsky, 91

Written by Suzanne Pollak on . Posted in Features

Irving Leon Torchinsky, father of eight children and a charter member of Shaare Tefila Congregation in Olney, Maryland, died on Feb. 14. He was 91 years old.