Kol Ami — The Northern Virginia Reconstructionist Community


October 22, 2017, 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington
4444 Arlington Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22204


Moreh Steve’s Hebrew class. We started with a refresher on our whiteboards, writing English words using Hebrew letters, and practicing our alphabet. Then we looked at what standard Shabbat prayers we already know, and settled on “Ahava rabba” because a couple of our students remembered the words and a tune from last year. We read the first sentence or two, translating and looking at vocabulary, grammar and religious context as we went. We went over what we’ll do for the fall: more Hebrew prayers, more Hebrew writing exercises, and more B’reshit in the original.
Homework: Read and study the Ahava rabba prayer to the end, or as close to the end as you can get —it’s only a few sentences of Hebrew. Try to figure out what each word means, using the English translation in our siddur (everyone says she or he has one at home).

Morah Erin’s Hebrew Class It was good to see everyone after a long break from Hebrew school! We learned the phrase sh’vua tov (have a good week) today and we added the number five (chamesh) to our known numbers. We used 1-5 to play pop. In I Can Read Hebrew we did a little speed reading on page 11. Then we translated the first five words in Al shlosha devarim and sang the first phrase a few times. The words to the song are glued in the student’s notebooks and I am sending a link to the song. Please excuse the Spanish and the strange video–it was the only video I could find of the melody we’re using. We finished by reading a few of the blessings on page 6 of S’fatai Tiftach and playing a game of trasketball with the vocabulary words we’re learning.
Here is the link the Al Shlosha:


Homework: Page 9-11 in I Can Read Hebrew. Page 9-11 in S’fatai Tiftach. Study the meaning of the words on page 8 of S’fatai Tiftach.

Moreh Eric’s Hebrew Class We did a review of the letters they have learned thus far – alef bet, vet, gimmel, dalet, resh, shin and sin. We added tav and mem and lamed. We reviewed vowels and had the kids reading Hebrew words on the chalk board. We all broke off into pairs and did some team reading to one another with the teacher hovering and working with each group. Moreh Jerry, one of our highly capable teen teachers, worked with all of the kids.
HOMEWORK: In the new textbooks, they should do lessons four and five (lessons on the tav, mem and lamed). Where there is a writing exercise, they need to do all of them.  For the reading portions of the lessons, they need to say the lines aloud. Reading aloud and writing the letters down will help make it all stick.


Moreh Steve’s Jewish studies. We took our first look at the history text we’ll be using, Seymour Rossel’s “Journeys Through Jewish History,” which JCEP has used in the past. We read the intro together and looked at pictures of world Jewry. We questioned whether our community was a tribe or more than that, and if so what else it id (religious, linguistic, national); introduced the idea of the role of geography in nationhood; then wrote a set of questions for the question box, and pulled out the first question at random, which was why we celebrate Shabbat (fitting, because Shabbat is th most important Jewish holiday and ritual observance).  Homework: Read the first brief chapter in “Journeys.”  And come to class prepared to talk about a Jewish current event (sporting events excluded). We’ll try to make time for current events and people in the news every week.

Moreh Zach’s intermediate Jewish Studies On Sunday we discussed two chapters in All-of-a-Kind Family: “Dusting Is Fun” and “Rainy Day Surprise. “We started with some great questions from the students: about Picklenose’s nickname, about the girls’ desire to visit Papa at his shop, and about their preference for some books over others. We resolved that it’s best to address people by the names they prefer, and that if Picklenose likes that name, it’s a fine one. That a chance to be with people you love is more important than physical comfort. And that some books have information, some have stories, and that the Torah has both.
Both chapters concern work: domestic chores in the first, and paid employment in the second. This gave us the chance to talk about commandments to be honest in business, such as those found in Leviticus 19. The more general commandment is “Ye shall not steal; neither shall ye deal falsely, nor lie one to another,” while the more specific ones call for “no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure” and “just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin.” While the measurements are unfamiliar, the students understood why it would be important for Papa to maintain accurate scales, in order to pay fairly the rag pickers for the material they brought him. We looked at some photographs of ragpickers circa 1900.
Homework For next week (October 22), students should read the next chapter: “Who Cares If It’s Bedtime?” And keep those questions coming!

Morah Shana’s Jewish Studies Due to not having class for the last two weeks, we are covering Holidays that have already occurred.  This week we spent discussing the harvest holiday Sukkot.   We compared Sukkot to Thanksgiving, read a story, danced and drew pictures.  Each child had a chance to shake the luluv and smell the etrog.  Next week we will talk about Simchat Torah–so please read the chapter in My Jewish Year on it.

Contact Kol Ami

P.O. Box 1801, Annandale, VA 22003
Phone: 571-336-5544
Rabbi's Study: 202-364-3006

Where We Meet

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington
4444 Arlington Blvd.
Arlington Blvd. (Route 50) & George Mason Dr.
Arlington, VA 22204
View Map & Directions

Join Our Mailing List

Sign up for a monthly newsletter about upcoming Kol Ami events and programs. Subscribe.