3rd Grade with Morah Dafna

December 11, 2016

Hello Third Grade Parents,

Today at JJEP we learned all about Hanukkah! We told the Hanukkah story traditions, and studied how to read and sing the blessings. We also caught up on our Dvash Hebrew (the kids put together their own sentences with the vocabulary words we’ve been studying!), and had music with Morah Molly. Attached are a picture of them during music, and a copy of the song Al HaNisim that we learned today – all about praising God for the miracles we’ve been granted.

Don’t forget that next Sunday is Latkepalooza! We will meet at Beth Shalom at 9:30 for Tefilla, and then stay for Hanukkah games and food. Can’t wait to see you there!



November 20, 2016

Hi all,

I had such a great time at All School Breakfast this Sunday! We had a meaningful Tefillah with all our families, followed by a delicious breakfast and an awesome 5th anniversary art project – the kids made mosaic sun-catchers, and I loved seeing how creative and colorful everyone’s creations were!

After the art project, Morah Kathy’s 3rd grade class joined mine, and together we studied the rules of eating and cooking kosher food, and broke off into smaller groups to create the perfect Shabbat menu.

Remember that there will be no JJEP this Sunday, November 27th, in honor of Thanksgiving. I look forward to seeing everyone again Sunday, December 4th!

I wish everyone a happy a full Thanksgiving. Safe travels!



November 6, 2016

Shalom 3rd grade families,

During yesterday’s class we reached a very important milestone – we filled up our very first jar of Dvash drops! The kids have been working on earning points for good behavior during Hebrew lessons so we can celebrate each time the jar is filled up. I’ve been very impressed at how much Hebrew reading and speaking your kids have retained. Our party will be Sunday, December 4th – we will take half an hour out of class time to play card and board games together. I will bring games, but if your kids have anything they want to bring in for the day, feel free!

We also made pop-art with Morah Nina, and learned about the book of Leviticus and different types of commentary on the Torah. We learned that the Torah teaches us very important lessons about not cursing the deaf or tripping the blind – in essence, treat others with kindness and respect, always.

Remember that next Sunday (November 20) is a very exciting day at JJEP as well. We will be hosting All-School Tefilla at 10:30, followed by breakfast and JJEP’s 5 year anniversary project kick-off. I’d love to see you and your entire family for any or all parts of this event.

As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.



October 30, 2016

Shalom Third Grade Parents!

We started today with cooking with Morah Nina – our class made delicious hummus and pita chips, and got a recipe to take home with them! We then went to an energetic all-school T’filla, and then returned to classroom for our weekly DVASH Hebrew lesson – ask your kids how to say “I/Dad/Mom is in the sea”! We ended the day by writing poems about what makes us feel closer to God.

Hope you enjoy this beautiful warm weather we are expecting, and I’ll see you next week!



October 16, 2016

Shalom Third Grade Families!

Today was all about Sukkot! After practicing our Hebrew reading and speaking, we learned about Sukkot traditions and blessings – ask your kids to see their blessing flashcards from today! We also had art with Morah Nina, where we made stick people to decorate your Sukkah (or porch, bedroom, etc.) at home! I loved seeing how hard and creatively everyone worked.

Remember that consecration, to celebrate JJEP’s newest students, will take place next week (10/23) during all-school Tefilla (10:30 – 11:00). After the ceremony, we would like to welcome our new students and their families to a cookie reception.

Happy Sukkot! Enjoy the beautiful weather!


October 9, 2016

Shana Tova third grade families,

We started our day today by practicing our Hebrew reading and speaking with the Dvash Hebrew curriculum. After our all-school Tefilla, we visited the library to check out books and make Rosh Hashana cards for the new year. We then returned to our classroom to talk about Yom Kippur customs and blessings.

Some exciting JJEP news: Consecration, our annual ceremony to celebrate our new students, will take place October 23rd during all-school Tefilla, from 10:30 to 11:00. We’d love to see all our students and families there!

As always, don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Hoping you have a meaningful Yom Kippur,


September 18, 2016

Hi Third Grade Parents,

Yesterday, our Rosh Hashana preparations kicked into high gear! We made Rosh Hashana resolutions, learned a few blessings for the new year, and talked about the difference between the secular and lunar calendar years. We ended the day with some relaxing Aleph Bet yoga – the kids built every Hebrew letter with their bodies, and ended the day with a few moments of mindful relaxation.

JJEP will be closed next Sunday (September 25th) for the Great Race, but you are encouraged to visit the Apples and Honey Festival (1:00 – 4:00 PM) at Schenley Park’s Anderson Playground that day. JJEP will have a table, and we would love to see you!

JJEP will also be close the following Sunday, October 2nd, so the building can prepare for Rosh Hashana.

I will see you all October 9th – until then, I wish you all a happy and sweet new year!



September 11, 2016

Hello third grade families!

Thank you all for coming out on JJEP’s first day! I enjoyed meeting you and your children today. We had a busy and exciting day of ice breakers, learning the Shehecheyanu blessing, Tfilla with special guest Dan Nichols, Andy Warhol-style art,and discussion about what makes us holy.

Join us again next week, when we’ll be practicing Hebrew, talking about themes in Leviticus, practicing mindfulness with Torah yoga, and, of course, coming together as a community for Tfilla at 10:30.

Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns!



September 6, 2016

Shalom Third Grade Families!

My name is Morah Dafna, and I am so excited to spend this year with you! I am studying for my master’s degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh, and am loving the city life. My favorite parts of Pittsburgh include the food, the Strip District, and, of course, JJEP Sunday mornings!

In the first few weeks of school, we will be getting to know each other, studying the holidays, and learning about what makes life holy. Parents, please feel free to walk your children to their first day of class (this Sunday, September 11th) at 9:30 AM. I will be there early, ready and excited to meet you and your children. Please also note that Tfilla this year will take place at 10:30 AM, and as a special treat, musician Dan Nichols will join us for Week One. We’d love it if you joined us for Tfilla this week or any week.

Parents, we are also offering an exciting education opportunity for you! JJEP Parent Elective: Grow your Judaism through Chai Mitzvah, will be taught by Rabbi Bisno and Rabbi Adelson on a once-a-month basis. For more information, email or call Kate (kim@rodefshalom.org or 412-621-6566 X 111)

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns.

Looking forward to a great year,


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