Hebrew Sunday School Program is Growing

The Canyon ChronicleBy The Canyon Chronicle

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Hebrew Sunday School Program is Growing
Photos by Mendy Piekarski The class works on the Aleph Bet Workbooks, as they master the Hebrew language.
As the school year began, Rabbi Mendy and his wife, Chana Piekarski launched a new and innovative after-school program at Chabad of Topanga. The program is titled “Bringing it Home: Making Judaism Come Alive Through Experiential and Interactive Learning.” Over the past year, Rabbi Mendy and Chana have been teaching and creating curricula for Hebrew schools in Brooklyn and Queens, New York, and are excited to bring their experience to the Topanga community. “Bringing it Home” is scaffolded to cater to each student within three age groups: K-2, 3-5, and 6-7. The curriculum has been designed to be taught through a diverse set of mediums, including drama, STEM, and stop-motion animation. The curriculum is comprised of six units that focus on integrative lessons that are learned from each of the Jewish holidays. Lessons come alive as students learn empathy, respect, and integrity among other life skills while exploring the Jewish holidays.
The class watches a video presentation explaining the meaning behind Jewish Names.
“Our Hebrew School is a place where children of the Topanga community engage with and connect to their Jewish heritage in a warm and accepting atmosphere” said Rabbi Piekarski. “I’m excited about “Bringing it Home” as I see the kids enjoy the well-rounded experience and find true and lasting value in the information they learn.”
The Hebrew School takes place every Sunday morning, from 10-12 a.m. Over the past few weeks, the children baked honey cakes and built and painted clay honey dishes for the Jewish new year, to represent a sweet year with only good ahead. Each of the children took upon themselves new resolutions to make this year as sweet as can be.
Sierra, a student, said, “I like that I’m learning about my culture. I also like baking and doing crafts and the teachers are great, too!” Another student, Aria, said, “I love Hebrew school! Not only is it fun but I also learn a lot! I enjoy it every time, and there are always fun activities and crafts to do. Rabbi Mendy and Chana are super nice, and a pleasure to be around.”
As the Festival of Chanukah arrived, the children also created their own Menorah out of clay, which was then fired in a kiln, and painted for the kids to take home. After a hunt for the last jug of oil, the kids learned how to make olive oil with an olive press, with which to light the menorah for the Holiday.
Yehuda is painting his Menorah that he made out of clay
Sierra is decorating the Hebrew letter “vet” with “velcro” to add to her Hebrew Alphabet scrapbook
As the school year continues, the children will learn how to read Hebrew through an innovative curriculum called “The Aleph Champion,” where they will climb up in level, from white belt to black belt, earning themselves medallions and status as they master the Hebrew language.
Chana Piekarski concluded, “We are hearing great feedback from the parents and community, and are excited to be accepting more students for the coming months. The children look forward to coming back every week, and we look forward to greeting them and providing an exciting program with more learning and fun ahead.”

For more information: chabadoftopanga.com, (310) 455-1597s
The Canyon Chronicle

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December 23, 2022