Heschel Lower School Virtual Classroom

Dear Lower School Parents,

We entered the school year after a summer of retrospectives about the 50th anniversary of the first walk on the moon. Among the many reflections were not only what it was like to walk on the moon, but the perspective the astronauts shared upon their return, seeing the earth from afar. As we close the school year, I crave some perspective of that sort. How will we eventually be able to look back on this time of a world pandemic, coupled with the egregious reminders of systemic racism in our society? What will we see when we have a flipped perspective as opposed to a sense of really being in the thick of it? I hope we will recall having gained strength, flexibility, and resilience, as well as a renewed commitment to meaningful values, education and action.

Over the summer, our faculty will be working in various committees to prepare for the coming school year. In addition to detailed logistical planning for a variety of scenarios, we will be looking at ways to incorporate the learning about teaching that this unplanned "experiment" of remote learning has taught us. Additionally our faculty will be working along with Deborah Rose and Rabbi Anne, to create a robust anti-racist curriculum in each grade, 1-5, that builds on what is already being taught in the Lower School.

This has been a year of learning well beyond our initial plans for the year. It has required each of us to stretch broadly and deeply. We have relied on one another more than in previous years and it wasn't always easy. I want to extend my sincere thanks to you, the families of our students, for your support and partnership. Each family has its own situation, but all families had to adjust to difficult and changing circumstances. Juggling is a modest metaphor for the many obligations families tried to balance in these past several months. We truly appreciate the many ways you supported your childrens' learning during these times.

I also want to thank the teachers and the entire Lower School faculty and staff. I am truly inspired and humbled to see the strength and skill of my colleagues. I am honored to work together with you.

To our students of all ages, these are times you won't soon forget. I hope the embedded lessons of this time on our planet will resonate strongly within you and that when you do find yourselves able to look back, you will see not only a prize in the destination, but huge satisfaction in the journey.

I invite you to join us today as we celebrate the end of the school year, as well as the many achievements and growth within it.

Tuesday, June 16

10:00 AM- Lower School End of Year Assembly:


Password: community

Tuesday, June 16

11:40 AM- All School End of Year Assembly:


Password: community

Additionally, I'd like to call your attention to the letters you should have now received by email from the teachers in each upcoming grade, alerting you to summer reading as well as summer review resources. Below are links for each grade's information. You can also find the information on our Community Hub.

Rising First Grade

Rising Second Grade

Rising Third Grade

Rising Fourth Grade

Rising Fifth Grade

Wishing you a summer of good health. I'm looking forward to seeing you before too long.



Dear Lower School Families,

Having enjoyed each grade’s beautiful culmination celebrations in the past days and weeks, we now are preparing for the Lower School End of Year Assembly as well as the All School End of Year Assembly. Taking advantage of the easier access of Zoom, we are excited to invite you to join this year’s programs both of which are planned for the last day of school, Tuesday, June 16th.

The Lower School End of Year Assembly is the opportunity for each grade to mark the moment of moving up to the next grade level. We will be metaphorically transcending our Zoom boxes with singing and many cheers as each grade passes the flag to the next grade to represent the transition. We will also be sharing with the children the results of the Lower School birthday tzedakah donations for the school year.

Tuesday, June 16

10:00 AM- Lower School End of Year Assembly:


Tuesday, June 16

11:40 AM- All School End of Year Assembly:


Passwords can be found on class sites.

We look forward to seeing you at these assemblies and to final days of the school year that share our pride in our children’s accomplishments throughout the year.



Grade 5 Moving Up Ceremony

This week, Heschel's fifth graders officially "moved up." Students and their families took a trip down memory lane as the students reflected on their time in the Lower School. With both sadness and excitement, they said good-bye to their Lower School days and look forward to life as Middle Schoolers. Mazal tov, rising sixth graders! We hope you are proud of all you have accomplished!

Click here for videos!

Grade 3 World Communities Celebration

As part of their World Communities study, third graders research the geography and culture of another country. Students also begin their formal study of Humash in third grade; they learn to read the text in Hebrew and then discuss the plot and message of each story. You can see their beautiful work on the class websites they created for their final celebration.

3-612: https://sites.google.com/heschel.org/3-612-worldcommunities-2020

3-603: https://sites.google.com/heschel.org/3-603-world-communities-2020/home

3-703: https://sites.google.com/heschel.org/3-703-world-communities-2020/home

Grade 2 Fraction Flowers

Dear Lower School Families,

I hope that the weekend brought time for some rest and regrouping after such a difficult week. The brutal killing of George Floyd, and the intense societal issues it evokes, demand important work ahead at Heschel and in the larger world. Along with the teachers and Rabbi Anne we are already working on a developmentally appropriate curriculum to help educate our children of all ages about the inherent societal issues that need to be addressed. As a school we are well aware of the power of education.

Happily, despite the many issues facing us, we have reason to celebrate and it is important that we do. I want to personally invite you to join the Heschel community to recognize Rivka Soloway on the occasion of her retirement from her role as Early Childhood/Lower School Judaic Studies Director. Rivka has been at Heschel for 23 years and her impact is immeasurable. It is our privilege and honor to find even a few ways to thank her for all she has done. In addition to other Lower School specific celebrations that the children and teachers will be involved in, I hope you will join us at 3:00 PM on Monday (tomorrow) as we express our deep gratitude to Rivka. It's going to be a special experience.


Password: Community

I thank you for being our partners in the important work we do together and I hope to see you on Zoom tomorrow as we honor Rivka.



Grade 5 Moving Up Celebration

June 10

5:00 PM-6:00 PM.


Password: sent in email

Grade 1 Reading and Writing Celebration and Grade 2 Big Apple Bonanza/Creation Celebration

This week brought culminating celebrations for first and second grade. With bright, shining smiles, first graders shared examples of their reading and writing. It was clear that the students grew in so many ways, from how they view themselves as community members to their ability to read and write in not one, but two languages! Students created a class Hebrew dictionary and read about community workers to complete their first research project. The learning process, a year long journey, was appreciated as much as the final projects.

The second grade Big Apple Bonanza and Creation Celebration gave families an opportunity to hear and see the learning that has taken place in the second half of the year. Each student researched a New York City landmark and then created a project to reflect their learning. Students sang the full kiddush and shared their artistic interpretations of the creation. You can see the students’ work on their end of year celebration websites.




Parent Coffee Slides

Rising First Grade Parent Coffee - Spring 2020 - Parent Version
Rising Second Grade Parent Coffee - Spring 2020 - Parent Version
Rising Third Grade Parent Coffee - Spring 2020 - Parent Version
Rising Fourth Grade Parent Coffee - Spring 2020 - Parent Version
Rising Fifth Grade Parent Coffee - Spring 2020 - Parent Version

June Physical Education Calendar

Check out the June P.E. Calendar, which will have new games, workouts, and challenges to keep students energized and fit at home to close out the Zoom school year!


There will be no Zumba this week.

The Heschel P.E. FlipGrid is here!

Want to show us a cool new trick you learned? Need some help performing a specific exercise or skill? Well, this Heschel P.E. FlipGrid is a place to show us or ask! Check it out!

As always, pictures and videos of students taking part in challenges & fitness-related activities can be sent to talia.fromm@heschel.org or recorded on the Heschel P.E. FlipGrid, and with permission may be featured in both LIVE and pre-recorded lessons for other classmates to see!

The P.E. Team created a variety of games, workouts, and activities for the Heschel Lower School students over the past few months of virtual learning, all in an effort to promote physical activity and a commitment to maintaining healthy levels of physical fitness while at home. CLICK HERE to watch archived P.E. videos from past lessons and continue developing skills & building fitness!


Dear Lower School Parents,

I hope you are safe and well. These days are challenging in the world at large, yet we are using every school day for learning and engagement.

On Monday, we spoke to all students in Grade 5 about George Floyd’s death and the events that have occurred since then, connecting the conversation to the history of racism in America, which they have been discussing already as part of their 5th grade social studies curriculum.

As we have listened to our students across the division over the past few days, and as the protests, both peaceful and violent, have continued in our city, we have decided to extend our teaching of the current situation throughout the Lower School in age appropriate ways.

In Grades 1 and 2, we will not discuss the death of George Floyd. We will offer a lesson about racism, reading a book by Jelani Memory, as a first step towards a more developed unit on this topic beginning next year, building on the teaching we are already doing.

In Grades 3 and 4, Rabbi Anne will visit classrooms. She will explain simply what has happened over the past week. Some of the questions she will touch on are: Why is protest part of our country’s history and political process? How are the protests that are going on related to the history of racism in our country? We will certainly talk about the difference between peaceful protest and engaging in illegal activities such as destruction of property and theft.

If you have any questions, please be in touch.

With wishes for a peaceful night,


Shavuot Assembly

The students of grades 1-3 celebrated Shavuot this morning with singing and dancing to the songs of Eretz Zavat Halav, Toda and Chag Samech.

They watched the EC students welcoming the holiday with fruits and vegetables, recreating the pilgrimage to The Holy Temple in Jerusalem in biblical times. They also listened to the Midrash about Riv Ha'arim (the mountains arguing on which mountain God will give the Torah) and watched a dramatization of the story on a video. The celebration ended with more singing and dancing.

Chag Sameach!

Grade 4 Heritage Museum

The phrase l’dor v’dor, from generation to generation, was beautifully illustrated this morning as the fourth grade students, their parents and grandparents attended the opening of the Fourth Grade Heschel Heritage Museum. This months-long project was almost completely planned and created by the students, with the help of their incredible teachers. Students researched heirlooms that have been passed down in their families and interviewed family members about the meaning of their Hebrew names. They wrote poetry about belongings they would like to pass down to future generations. This rich content became the exhibits on their Heritage Museum website. The website has many other features created by committees of students. A playlist for the museum was generated by the student music committee. A museum mission statement was written by a group of students and put on a virtual museum brochure. Activities were created to make the museum interactive for visitors. Even the website was designed by fourth graders. Please visit the Heritage Museum at https://sites.google.com/heschel.org/heritage-project-2020.

Save The Date!

Please save the following dates for end of year programming in each grade. Our goal in reimagining these Zoom-suitable end of year programs from the initially planned activities, is to celebrate accomplishments and growth of the children and to mark the moment with families in a joyful way. Each program will include a short live Zoom component. We look forward to seeing you there!

End of Year Programs

  • Grade 1 Tuesday, June 2nd Readers and Writers Celebration

          • 1-610 8:30 AM- 9:00 AM

          • 1-608 9:00 AM-9:30 AM

          • 1-609 9:30 AM- 10:00 AM

  • Grade 2 Wednesday, June 3rd 9:00 AM-9:30 AM Big Apple Bonanza and Creation Celebration

  • Grade 3 Monday, June 8th 9:00 AM-9:30 AM World Communities Celebration

  • Grade 4 Thursday, May 28th 9:00 AM-9:30 AM Heritage Museum

  • Grade 5 Wednesday, June 10th 5:00 PM- 6:00 PM Moving Up Celebration

Zoom links to be provided as we get closer to the end of year program dates.

Upcoming Dates with Lower School Education Leadership Team

Looking ahead, please save the date for end of year Parent Coffees. These Zoom meetings will be an opportunity to hear from the Lower School Education Leadership Team about curriculum highlights for next year in each grade.

Parent Coffees with Lower School Education Leadership Team

  • Grade 5 Parent Coffee with Lori Skopp and Rabbi Jack Nahmod 6/2 4:30 PM

Zoom links to be provided closer to the coffee dates

Students at Work: Chatterbooks Discussions are Underway

Heschel Lower School’s third and fourth grade bibliophiles gathered recently to discuss their most recent reads. Fourth graders shared their thoughts on book banning after reading Ban This Book by Alan Gratz. The students had an opportunity to look at the issue from a variety of perspectives and concluded, much like the main character in the book, that only their parents should be allowed to tell them what books they can or cannot read. The third grade Chatterbooks members discussed loyalty, loss and responsibility in their conversation about Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech. The students made some interesting connections between the characters and their previous experiences. You can get a quick peek into our meeting in the video. 5th grade Chatterbooks will take place as well on May 27th.

New book recommendations for summer reading will be shared soon with all classes by Stephanie and Gideon. In addition, each class will create a book recommendation list to share with their classmates. Happy reading!

Grade 4 Virtual Tour of Copenhagen

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After reading "Number the Stars," set in occupied Denmark during WWII, Grade 4 embarked on a virtual tour of Copenhagen.

Recess Schedule

Recess Schedule For Hub

Featured Media and Programming

Hungry for Math?

Hungry for MORE Math Wednesdays!

Ready to really S T R E T C H your mind?

Join Heschel’s team of math specialists on Wednesday afternoons for a drop-in math challenge session that will include a mini lesson and a follow-up activity that we will begin together and then you can continue to work on at home.

This special offering is geared for students who bring grit and passion to their math work, enjoy thinking “out of the box,” and seek to put their math skills to the test!

Watch the Hub each week for a brief description of the week's activity along with any Zoom links.


Is your child hungry for more math at home? In the attachments you will find some suggested resources put together especially for you from the math team at Heschel. There are a variety of options to choose from. These resources are aimed to stretch your child’s math mind and have your child apply skills he or she has already learned in a new and fun way. Enjoy!


Are you looking for additional math resources for your child to practice their basic math facts in a fun and engaging way? Use the documents below to find both computer based and paper and pencil options for fact practice. Your child should know the facts as fast as they "know their own name!"

May - P.E. Calendar

Bentie Reads..."The Color Monster"

Danielle reads “Joseph Had a Little Overcoat”

A glimpse into the art classes

Color Wheels

Resources and Activities

Typing Pal

Please visit this site for information of how to log in to Typing Pal: https://support.heschel.org/support/solutions/articles/10000048041-logging-into-typing-pal

Art Challenge for Passover Break

Are you looking for something challenging and fun to do with your family during your break?

A museum in Los Angeles (The Getty Museum) has tweeted a challenge; they have invited people, while at home, to recreate a favorite work of art, using things that they have in their homes. The idea has caught fire! The museum has been flooded with results! Can you find a piece of art that you would like to recreate? See some of the examples that we are sharing with you and then...who knows?

Look closely at these inventive results: Getty Museum Challenge: A Selection

Can you figure out what everyday objects were used to create them? Do they inspire you to make your own?

Here are the links to 3 world class NYC museums. You can browse through their collections to find an artwork to recreate!





Babette, Maxine and Susan

Book Recommendations from the Library

Book Recommendations from the Library

A Message from Bentie and Danielle