Printed from

"Upper School Corner"

5 Tips to be Socially and Emotionally Ready for the First Day of School

Getting off on a positive start for a new school year will make the transition from summer much easier. Below are some tips to help make this as smooth as possible for you and your child.  

Progress Not Perfection 

If you focus on progress rather than perfection, you will show your children how improvement is more important than top grades. You can communicate realistic expectations to your child while understanding that mistakes and setbacks are normal. 

Be a Team Player  

Just as perfect grades shouldn’t be the goal neither should be winning. A competitive spirit has value in moderation. Kids need to know how to lose gracefully and how to operate as part of a team. 

Making Friends… Read More »

Passover is All About Connecting

Rabbi Newman's Message in the Jewish Chronicle 2019

Passover is All About Connecting

The Seder of Passover is the most widespread practice in the Jewish community worldwide. According to the Pew Research survey 93% of families in Israel and 70% of families in the United States come together for the Seder meal. The Haggadah is the book widely used to guide the folks through the evening. One of my highlights is the passage about the four sons. And at the same time it is perplexing. I understand the wise, simple and even the mischievous son but the one that ‘does not know to ask’ who is he?  If it was knowledge alone that he lacked it would have been covered with the simple son. Why is there a distinction?


Read More »

Opening Boys High School


Boys High School to Open in the 2019/20 School Year

The Hebrew Academy is pleased to announce that beginning next school year we will be adding a 9th grade boy’s high school class and adding a grade level each year until the high school is complete.

At our last board meeting, the board gave full approval to the plan that was presented by Rabbi Newman, head of school. The Alevy Family has most generously offered to fund the high school into the future. The gift from the Alevy family to the middle school has allowed the program to grow and thrive and  the family has decided to put their support behind the full high school at this time.

In… Read More »

Our Principal at the Prizmah Conference

At The Hebrew Academy, we pride ourselves on continuing education for all of our staff to stay at the forefront of education and learning. We value the professional development of our staff to learn new ways to incorporate ideas and tackle challenges in the classrooms so our students can get the very best of our teachers, the environment and the general and Judaic material we are teaching.

Our principal, Dr. Bryn Harari, attended the National Conference of the Prizmah Center for Jewish Day Schools last week. Over 1,000 professionals came from North and South America to learn together for 3 days about current and upcoming educational trends and initiatives.

The conference covered initiatives like Project Based Learning, Universal Design… Read More »

Space X speaks to Students about Beresheet

 Our 5th graders and Upper School students had the special opportunity to enjoy a remarkable presentation from professional space engineers and scientists.  Our own STREAM Lab Coordinator, Dr. Greer invited these accomplished professionals to teach about space exploration. 

They explained the historical launch of the first-ever lunar-bound Israeli  spacecraft, Beresheet. The spacecraft was launched by SpaceIL, a non-profit Israeli organization, who received the Google Lunar X Prize to land a spacecraft on the Moon.  

Our students swelled with pride as the spacecraft shared its first-ever “selfie” from the moon portraying a picture of the Israeli flag, and the words:  “Small… Read More »

Upcoming Production by the Upper School - The Bond of Faith

The Hebrew Academy Upper School is showcasing their very own production this coming Sunday, March 17. Come and see an amazing story of faith and how one girl discovered her true self. Set during the Egyptian exile, Nailah is on a journey to find where she really belongs.

Come see this amazing story and performance at the Hebrew Academy, Huntington Beach, at 5:00 pm. Can’t wait to see you all there! For women and girls and boys under the age of 9.

Students lead fundraiser for Community Non-Profits

Project Based Learning - Spring 2019

Each semester the students lead a "Thesis" project from start to finish. This project ties in their learning from our multi-faceted curriculum and school values. The students design the project from concept to plan, then they oversee the implementation and results. 

This spring, Hebrew Academy students will identify needs in their community, then research non-profit organizations (NGOs) that fulfill those needs.

Through a student-led fundraiser (The Hebrew Academy Shop N Swap, Wednesday May 1st 3:30-5:00), each Middle School grade level will donate to organizations of their choice. Be on the look out for more information regarding our HA Shop N Swap and our Middle School… Read More »

Yearbook Ad and Dedication

We are now selling ads in our yearbook! Check out the flyers below. 




4 Benefits of Gaming for K–12 Students

Mounting research shows there may be benefits to playing video games.

When including video games and esports in the classroom as part of curriculum, administrators are seeing an increase in teamwork and engagement from participating students. 

Below are 4 examples of benefits that can be learned from gameplay.

  1. BETTER SPATIAL ATTENTION: One study found that playing action video games improves the ability to locate a target stimulus among distractions — a test that predicts driving ability. A meta-analysis of 111 video game–related studies recently published in the Psychological Bulletin found 10 to 30 hours of gameplay can help students improve their spatial cognition and multitasking. The report’s… Read More »

The Earth Moves Under Our Feet: Students Learn About Seismic Activity through Project Based Learning

Hebrew Academy Middle School Students have been conducting an in-depth, interdisciplinary research project about earthquakes. Their research has included discovering the causes of and patterns of seismic activity. They have also learned the differences between the tectonic activity associated with volcanoes and those associated with earthquakes.

The students use the knowledge they have gained through their studies to design a structure and identify what could help their structure stay standing. Students will be presenting their research findings and their structures with a presentation on Dec 13.

Students are also creating a creative visual component to supplement their final reports.  Some students will be using a news segment, a… Read More »

A fond farewell to Dr. Hilary Buff

 Dr. Hilary Buff has been the consulting psychologist for The Hebrew Academy for the last 5 years. She has touched and impacted the lives of all of our students, teachers, staff, and parents. With her dedication and skill, she established strong partnerships between our school and The Jewish Federation & Family Services in both Orange County and Long Beach. The Hebrew Academy has benefited from her efforts by having these organizations on-site regularly to help our children and families with support and counseling services. She also contributed to the core social emotional program our school prides itself on to nourish young minds and hearts.  She is an alum of the Academy as well as a legacy parent whose children have… Read More »

Why Jewish Day School?

There are 6 main reasons, according to the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education, that are behind most parents motivation to send their kids to day school. They range from education to comfort within the Jewish Community. Each has their place, and each helps affirm why The Hebrew Academy is the best place for our communities children. No matter what stage of Jewish life you may walk in, a Jewish Education will not only prepare your child for the real world but will also perpetuate their Jewish Identity and help them see the beauty in our religion and culture.

 Excellence in Education -

Jewish Day Schools offer a challenging dual curriculum that is usually coupled with a smaller class size. This allows for individualized… Read More »

Hebrew Academy Orange County Student Wins Local Yom HaShoah Creative Writing Contest

photo courtesy of Alpert JCC
Sima Gollub delivering award-winning poem (photo courtesy of Alpert Jewish Community Center)
A high school student at Hebrew Academy Orange County's high school was recently honored with winning a local writing contest. Winning the annual Evelyn Linden Baldwin Creative Writing Contest at the Alpert Jewish Community Center (AJCC) was Hebrew Academy Orange County tenth grader, Sima Gollub. Ms. Gollub had the honor of reading her contest-winning essay at the AJCC’s annual Yom HaShoah event last Sunday.


The prompt for this year’s essay contest was Martin Niemöller’s famous poem:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Socialist.


Then they came for the… Read More »

High School Girls to Perform 'A Light for Greytowers' on Tuesday

The Theatre Arts Program at Hebrew Academy of Orange County is excited to present this year’s annual high school girls’ performance. The annual performance allows young theater enthusiasts to share their passion for the arts with their peers and the opportunity to perform or work backstage. Based on A Light for Greytowers, this year’s performance will be taking place this upcoming Tuesday on February 27th at Hebrew Academy of Orange County (HAOC).

Light for Greytowers.jpg

The girls’ involvement with putting on the annual production is “one of the most important projects done all year,” according to Chedva Aben-Moha, who, along with Devorah Serraf, runs the production, with the help of Rochel Leah Stillerman, the… Read More »

Krav Maga Helps Hebrew Academy OC Girls Develop Self-Confidence

HAOC Krav Maga 1.jpgThe need to defend oneself physically is one that is always useful. That might be said doubly so for women, and especially for young ladies. What if young ladies were trained in a self-defense technique to help them?

That is precisely what is being done at Hebrew Academy Orange County, where girls in 5th grade through high school are offered a self-defense class. The class utilizes krav maga, contact-combat in Hebrew (קרב מגע), which is a military self-defense and fighting system developed for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The class is taught once a week for 45 minutes by Hebrew Academy Orange County’s chief of security, a ten-year veteran of the IDF.

The krav maga course is about more than self-defense. “I’m… Read More »

Looking for older posts? See the sidebar for the Archive.