Tikvat Israel Congregation

A Conservative Synagogue in Rockville, MD

Atid Learning Center Update Feb. 14, 2017

Shalom Atid Families,
Happy Presidents Day Weekend- NO CLASS 2/19
Thank you to all the families that joined us for Youth Shabbat this weekend and contributed to the Kiddush.  Thank you to Cantor Helzner for helping prepare the students and the teachers, Rabbi Shull, Michelle Sobel and Sam Freedenberg for their support.
This past Sunday we had a Tu B’Shevat seder.  Thank you to all of the families that contributed food and a special thank you to Amber Leyani and Mara Miller for coming in and helping setup.
At the Tu B’Shevat seder, I read a story about Honi the Circle Maker.  

A Talmud Tale
Told by Peninnah Schram

Honi the Wise One was also known as Honi the Circle Maker. By drawing a circle and stepping inside of it, he would recite special prayers for rain, sometimes even argue with God during a drought, and the rains would come. He was, indeed, a miracle maker. As wise as he was, Honi sometimes saw something that puzzled him. Then he would ask questions so he could unravel the mystery.

One day, Honi the Circle Maker was walking on the road and saw a man planting a carob tree. Honi asked the man, “How long will it take for this tree to bear fruit?”

The man replied, “Seventy years.”

Honi then asked the man, “And do you think you will live another seventy years and eat the fruit of this tree?”

The man answered, “Perhaps not. However, when I was born into this world, I found many carob trees planted by my father and grandfather. Just as they planted trees for me, I am planting trees for my children and grandchildren so they will be able to eat the fruit of these trees.”

Originally, Tu B’Shvat was a time to count the age of a tree for tithing purposes, today it is a celebration of nature and the first signs of spring in Israel.  The beauty of this story is that it reminds us that we should not think only about the world for us currently but the impact we can have on future generations.
As a family:
  • What are some “carob trees,” things that we value, and want to ensure are around future generations to enjoy?
  • What steps as a family do you do to take care of the environment?
  • Want to do a Tu B’Shvat seder with your family? Here are some resources.

Your partner in Jewish learning,


Kitah Alef (K-2)
Teacher: Limor Dahan
Sunday we:
-read a story about Tu B’Shvat
-learned the word “Ilan” (a kind of tree)
-decorated and planted parsley (hopefully it will sprout in time for your Passover seder)
-explored the Hebrew letter Tet ? for Tu B’Shvat and the sound it makes. We decorated the Hebrew letter with colorful tape.
-tasted the flavors of Tu B’Shvat at the seder with our ALC friends

Kitah Bet (3-4)
Teacher: Meirav Shahar

Sunday we:
-continued our unit about Tu B’Shvat.
-identified the seven species (Wheat, barley, grapes, fig, pomegranate, olive and dates…
the staple foods consumed by the Jewish people in the land of Israel during biblical times)
-learned a song of the seven species and discussed how we use each of those fruits and grains are a part of our daily lives
– read the story “Sammy Spider’s First Tu B’Shevat”
-discussed what we get from trees, and how we can help the trees and nature in return
-had a lovely Tu B’Shevat seder lead by our director, Luisa.

Thank you to our wonderful parents volunteers and for all the fruits donated for our Seder.

Our tzedakah total as of today: $239.15!….Lets keep that going!

Kitah Gimel (5-6)
Teacher: Yosef Landy

Sunday we:
-we discussed the topic of Tu Bishvat, and why we celebrate the trees’ birthday.-explored the 7 species in Hebrew and English (see Kitah Bet for significance of 7 species)
– discussed the traditions of Tu B’shvat, such as eating  fruit and planting trees.
– the class practiced the brachot for eating fruit and shehechiyanu.
– each student took turns reading through the environmentalism chapter in the Modern Israel textbook. 
-the class enjoyed a video of Honi the circle maker.
– we joined the other classes in a Tu B’shvat seder.

Mark Your Calendar:

  • Saturday, February 25th/ Torah Club
  • Sunday, February 26th/ Women’s Network Rosh Chodesh Program (see below)
  • Saturday, March 4th/ Junior Congregation 10:30am
  • Saturday, March 4th/ Minyan Yeledim 11:00am
  • Sunday, March 12th/ Purim Puppet Show 11:00am
  • Sunday, March 19th/ Billy Jonas Family Concert 4:00pm

Rosh Chodesh Program

“What Does It Mean to Be Commanded?”
Sunday Morning, February 26
Join Rabbah Arlene Berger and the women of TI from 10:30-11:30 am for a lively Rosh Chodesh discussion on “What Does It Mean to Be Commanded?” and how that lines up with our own personal sense of commandedness.
The program will explore different definitions/examples of being “commanded” and examine how they relate to our daily lives and times. Light refreshments. Sponsored by Women’s Network. RSVP to Ellen Eisner (eeisner@comcast.net) by Wednesday, February 22.