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7th Grade Blog                                                     January 9, 2019


This week we decorated our Tu B'Shevat poster in preparation for Tu B'Shevat,

the birthday of the trees, on January 21, 2019. 

7th Grade Blog                                                           January 2, 2019


Students worked on the before and after blessings for Torah and Haftarah and Yotzer Or.

Mr Z

7th Grade Blog                                                           December 12, 2018


We did a huge review today of all the blessings the group should know including: Shabbat candles, blessings over the bread and wine, holiday blessings and the shehecheyanu.

Mr Z

7th Grade Blog                                                        December 5, 2018


Students worked on Ma Tovu, Shema, V'ahavta, Hanukkah blessings and Yotzer Or.

Mr Z

7th Grade Blog                                                         November 7, 2018


Students worked on Modeh/Modah Ani, Shema V'ahavta, Ma Tovu, Nissim B'chol Yom and Yotzer Or.

Mr Z

7th Grade Blog                                                              November 28, 2018

Judaism and the Family: The Relationship

7th Grade Jewish Family Education Program

Jeff and I would like to thank all of you for participating in our Family Education program on Wednesday evening. It was wonderful to spend time with you. We hope that the ability for you and your kids to talk at the table about how faith plays a role in your everyday family life and being able to draw what that relationship looks like was something that will further strengthen the relationship you have with your children.

Your children did a wonderful job standing up in front of everyone and explaining their drawing, and hopefully their work of art will hang in a special place in your home!

Thank you once again for participating and have a safe and wonderful Hanukkah!


Joel Weinberg - Judaica teacher
Jeff Zagoren - Hebrew teacher


7th Grade Blog                                                             October 17-24, 2018


We completed a two-part session on the issue of whether Jews should outwardly express their Judaism by wearing Star of David necklaces outside vs. inside their clothing. This topic was brought about by two articles we read illustrating singer Billy Joel's wearing the yellow Star of David patch on his suit jacket during a concert last year in Madison Square Garden. Joel said he donned the Holocaust-style patch in protest of the president's statement that both sides were to blame for the Charlottesville violence.

We had a discussion on Wednesday about the students' opinion of Joel's decision. Everyone understood why he did it and seemed to agree with him. They felt that it is fine to do it once but didn't think that it should be done again; once was enough.

We then discussed the wearing of the Star of David necklace and the students felt that they are more comfortable wearing the necklace on the inside, not the outside of their clothing. Everyone was proud of their Judaism but didn't believe that it was necessary to "market" their Judaism by wearing the necklace in a place where everyone could see it. It was a fascinating discussion and, as I said before, your kids were very proud of being a Jew.


Joel Weinberg



We are working on completing our evaluations, to learn the specific areas each individual needs to focus on, so we can work in pairs more effectively.  I am happy to say that the majority of the seventh graders are doing well and just need a little refining in some areas.  By next class, I should have a plan for each student on what they should be working on.  We wll contnue to move forward during the month of November.

Previously, I had given a homework assignment to listen to Patti LaBelle's song New Attitude.  All the class, except for one student, did the assignment, which was impressive.  They also understood why I gave the assignment.  It is important that you speak with your son or daughter as to what they learned from it.  Although the song lyrics deal with relationships, sometimes personal, my point was, it is time for a refocus in our class.  We have a short time to work, and our teaching and learning time is precious.  The students need to change their former ways and work harder this year.  Expectations are different and a bit stricter, with fewer warnings.  The students were definitely on the same page with me and got the meaning.

I also expect to be able to allow some work in pairs for learning some prayers.

Please don't forget that we do not have class next Wednesday night, October 31.

See you in two weeks. 

7th Grade Blog                                                   October 10, 2018


Tonight we discussed the meaning behind the quotation, "I believe in the sun even when it is not shining." The students wrote down their thoughts on the quotation and each student made a short presentation in front of the class in addition to being questioned by me.

Answers included, "There may be bumps in the road but everything will end up shining someday." "Believe in something even when it's not there, always have hope." "Believe in God, even if it doesn't appear that He is apparent in our lives." " Have faith no matter what." "Balancing life might be hard sometimes, but if you move some pieces it can make room for everything to fit and work out." "Even when you are sad you have to remember what makes you happy." "Have faith in things, even when you can't see them."

Joel Weinberg
7th grade Judaica teacher



I am in the process of reevaluating the students' prayer abilities to determine what they remember and where to focus from here. Our prayers covered today were Shema/V'ahavta, Avot/G'vurot, Modeh/Modah Ani, Mah Tovu and Nissim B'chol Yom. Since class meets only once per week, I strongly suggest that your student practice reading the relevant prayer(s) 2-3 times during the week.  


7th Grade Blog                                                        October 3, 2018


We had a shortened class this evening due to the NFTY presentation.  We finished and made sure we know the class rules and last minute notes.

We did a dress rehearsal for our service scheduled for this Friday night.  Many students wanted to read English parts, and we will lead the Shema, V'ahavta, Avot/Imahot  and G'vurot possibly together as a class.  

We completed class by Mr. Z. giving a homework assignment on listening to Patti LaBelle and the song "New Attitude."  I have told the students that more respect is expected in class and that they need to arrive with it for next week's class.  It will be a long year otherwise, as I will not continue conducting our sessions as they have been.  There is a time for fun and a time for learning.  Please have a conversation with your son or daughter about this.  

Thank you for your assistance.


7th Grade Blog                                                       September 26, 2018


Tonight I had the opportunity to meet with your children for the first time this school year. I introduced myself to the students by giving them a background of my experience as a teacher here at Kol Haverim and the expectations for the class.

We also had a discussion I called "Who am I?" in which each student made a short presentation about their own backgrounds and what Judaism means to them. The students were terrific and had a lot of interesting things to say. I look forward to a wonderful year with your students!

Joel Weinberg



It was great to see your children again after a long summer break.  We had a general chat to catch up together.  We went over what the rules and procedures are for class this year, and how a little more effort is expected.  There is a lot for me to teach, and prayers or hymns your son/daughter need to know.

It is important to note that our 1st Friday Community Shabbat Service is on October 5, which we will do together with the sixth grade.  It is the one Shabbat service scheduled for our grade for the year.  We hope to see everyone there!

I look forward to a challenging and exciting year with the group.

Jeff Zagoren

Wed, January 16 2019 10 Sh'vat 5779