The Latest from BZBI

Early Childhood Education at BZBI: October 2017

October 27, 2017

Notes from Risa

“Thankfulness has an inner connection with humility. It recognizes that what we are and what we have is due to others and above all, to God.”   Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

As we conclude our second month of school and rejoice on how well the children have settled into their classrooms, we now prepare for Thanksgiving with discussions and activities that embrace gratitude, mitzvot, and family.  The Hebrew word for gratitude is “hakarat ha’tov”, which means “recognizing the good” or “recognizing the good that is already yours.” In our tradition we are to say “100 blessing a day” starting with Nisim B’Chol Yom, the Blessings for Everyday. I happen to love the tradition of adding personal blessings of gratitude (of which there are many). I was so excited when Rabbi Annie invited the children to add personal blessings during our Young Family Service on Rosh Hashanah. We also do this with our children during our school Kabbalat Shabbat celebrations. Of course, parents, ice cream, toys, and pets are at the top of their gratitude list! We know that this practice, of taking time to acknowledge what we have, is the foundation of “mindfulness.”

I am sure that our teachers would agree that we are all grateful to now have “full weeks of school.”  The children now have time to participate in deeper learning explorations. All of the children will be learning about the season of Autumn through stories, special activities, and, of course, engaging with nature. “All About Me” will be explored at different levels within all classrooms and will be expanded throughout the year. Our Pre K class will be partnering with Jewish Federation to do a special Mitzvah Project, preparing 80 breakfast bags for the Klein Senior Program.  Jewish content and Hebrew will be integrated into the children’s experiences as we discuss the story of creation, Noah and the Ark, and continue our discussions about gratitude as we prepare for Thanksgiving.

Our entire ECE team extends our heartfelt gratitude to all of the families who attended our Back to School Night. It was wonderful to see parents and teachers having the time to share information, learn, and create together. This is the essence of the teacher and parent partnership.

I would to extend Mazel Tov to the following ECE families for the blessing of a new baby:

  • Melissa, Sam & Ella Grodofsky on the birth of their daughter, Teddi
  • Dayna, Andrew, & Sasha Benn on the birth of their son, Jacob Elliot

As I mark my third month anniversary at BZBI I can truly say

Modeh Ani (I am grateful for)

…..a welcoming community!

…..the blessing of children’s joy and laughter!

…..a truly wonderful team of teachers and colleagues!



Check out our pictures from Back to School Night!

Hebrew Hadashot / חדשות בעברית

News From Dorit Amos, Hebrew Language Teacher

During the month of September we focused on music, movement, and vocabulary related to Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Simchat Torah. We spent time studying in the Sukkah, singing, and shaking the Lulav.

Here is a list of some of the words that the children have been learning:

  • Shalom / שלום– Hello, Goodbye, and Peace
  • Boker Tov / בוקר טוב– Good Morning
  • Ani / אני– I
  • Achshav / עַכשָׁיו Now
  • Stav / סתָיו Autumn
  • Geshem / גֶשֶׁםRain
  • Ruach / רוּחַ Wind
  • Shemesh / שמש Sun
  • Mitriah / מִטְרִיָה  Umbrella
  • Etz / עֵץ Tree
  • Ahleem / עלים- Leaves

In November we will be celebrating Havdalah together during our Hebrew sessions.

Shabbat Shalom,

Dorit Amos

Music with Lori


Shalom, my friends, shalom! October has been filled with music, movement, singing, dancing and a whole bunch of learning. Through the songs Boker Tov, Shalom My Friend, 1 Little Ladybug, Clap Clap Clap, Lemme Hear You Shake, Shake It Up and Shavua Tov, your kinderlach have been accomplishing many goals within the music and movement objectives I have set forth for them.

PLAYSCHOOL has been working on active participation through singing together, clapping their hands, playing shakers and sharing gathering drums.

PRESCHOOL has been practicing personal space of their bodies, spatial awareness of the room and others, gross motor movements and mirror movements through clapping, patting and stomping (known as body percussion), improvised movement, playing shakers and sharing gathering drums, while singing together.

PRE K has been practicing personal space of their bodies, spatial awareness and gross/fine motor movements through mirroring activities and instrument play. We have played shakers, rhythm sticks, xylophones (wood bars) and metallophones (metal bars), while reading quarter note and eighth note rhythms. We’ve also had group discussion that centers around the science and math that makes music happen.

ENRICHMENT has been challenged to learn a variety songs, dances and games that I present to preschool and Pre K. They are given quality time, dedicated to hands-on exploration of all the instruments I’ve spoken of above.

WHOLE SCHOOL. I think it’s extremely important for the eyes of children (no matter their ages) to see music notes when I’m with them. If they can identify letters, they can identify Ta (quarter note) and Ti-Ti (eighth notes). We draw a 4 beat pattern of these rhythms for every class. We read the rhythms and practice the rhythms on our bodies and through instrument play, continuously. I also think it’s equally as important for the children to know, they do not have to take a turn practicing or performing if they are feeling shy, embarrassed or uneasy. While I’d love every child to be a performer, it’s way more important for us to build trust and comfort in this performance based atmosphere. When they are ready, they will let it be known.

As we head into November, the songs Bouncin’ and a-Boppin’, Monkeys in the Middle, Shakin’ Our Shakers, Little Music Monkeys, Turkey Trottin’, Thankful, Little Dreidels, Hebrew Dreidel and Gut Yontiff will be added into our repertoire. I look forward to seeing your children and am excited to see what we create together.

Shabbat Shalom,