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"Upper School Corner"

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 »

Upper School Corner - BNOS CHABAD

This Shabbos we are having our first HAOC Upper School Girls Unity Shabbaton!!!

We are so excited to bring our girls together for a Shabbos of growth, fun and memories. It is going to be an incredible opportunity for our girls grades 6 through 12 to get to know each other and bond in a new way. We are looking forward to a fun outing to bowling and slurpees on Friday followed by a photo booth and souvenir sign in. Mrs. Mushka and Rabbi Friedman will be joining us to provide inspiration over Shabbos. We will be having workshops on healthy friendships, self awareness and independent thinking and lots of fun programming to ensure a great time is had by all. We are going to end off with swimming and a sing along bonfire with music provided by… Read More »

Upper School Corner - Rabbi Avrohom Popack

Judaic studies at the Hebrew Academy strengthens and reinforces everything that our students learn all  across the curriculum.

Moreover, the method in which our students engage in Chumash/ Torah studies in Middle school affords them wonderful opportunities  to stretch their thinking and imagination, and the ability to create and construct powerful and inspiring personal life lessons that they can apply to their  lives as students today and that will guide and shape their characters long into the future.   

As our students study the original text of the Torah, they are asked to make associations and form connections with everything else in their lives.Our Middle school boys Chumash/Torah class incorporates Bloom's… Read More »

Upper School Corner - Mr. Paul Sangha

Scientific Inquiry- Bridging Hearts and Minds

Small class sizes, something I never fathomed to experience in public education. The ability to track, assess, motivate and engage students is a customized experience here at Hebrew Academy. We all learn differently and science can be a difficult topic to get across to young minds. I am very blessed and grateful to have this opportunity to investigate scientific concepts with a group of eager students and a very supportive and flexible staff.

We have began the year as most science classes do, by engaging in discussions and creating a climate of respect and acceptance. Student’s quickly began learning about scientific investigations and how learning can be a community effort. We are… Read More »

Upper School Corner - Mr. Greg Schneider

The end of the calendar year brought with it a wonderful opportunity for the sixth graders to work cooperatively on a middle school project which focused on endangered species.  This Project Based Learning or PBL had our students engaged in deep research in their science classes to find out as much as possible about the impact human activities have had on habitat and species loss.  Through meticulous data collection and analysis, they were able to make connections between climate change and the potential extinction of their chosen species.  Once they collected all of their data, they were tasked with filming an educational video to educate others on the challenges facing their species and how the risks to these animals could… Read More »

Upper School Corner - Mrs. Jennifer Bledsoe

 

 Preparing for the Future

The students in the high school have been engaged in activities which focus on postsecondary preparedness. We have been examining the entrance requirements of the various colleges and seminaries for which your students have expressed interest. All high school students wrote college application essays for their college or seminary of choice. This was a very practical exercise for our seniors, who have submitted applications beginning at the end of November. We have learned about the traits of a compelling entrance essay, and we’ve explored various methods of writing which will help our students’ submissions to stand out.

Additionally, our seniors sat down for another in an ongoing… Read More »

Upper School Corner - Mrs. Yiska Berkowitz

Hello, my name is Yiska Berkowitz and I teach Jewish History and Yahadus to the Middle School Girls and Jewish History to the Middle School Boys.


In Yahadus, we delved into all of the holidays of Tishrei, as well as the month of Elul and The Fast of Gedaliah.  We reviewed the basics and learned new insights and meanings behind the laws and customs.  I hope your children shared some of the information with you over the holidays!

After Thanksgiving break, I will be doing a unit on The Calendar.  The students will learn why some months have one day of Rosh Chodesh, and others have two, and they will also become more familiar with the dates and events on the Jewish Calendar.

In Jewish History, we picked up right where… Read More »

Upper School Corner - Mr. Greg Schneider

Mr. Schneider’s 6th Grade US History

As the British Colonies in the New World inevitably inch closer and closer to all-out war against the Crown, we are reminded of the power that words have over human events.  Our 6th graders have been exploring this remarkable time in the history of our country with a focus on the impact of the written and spoken word.  They are reminded of the power of words that each of them is endowed.  Whether these words are written down or spoken aloud, they have the opportunity to reflect on the impact their words have on the world around them.  When they write a powerful, emotionally moving essay they are able to affect anyone who reads it.  And more immediately, their spoken words… Read More »

Upper School Corner - Mrs. Marjan Jahanfard

When I announced to our Middle School students that I want them to be the first generation of middle school students not to be intimidated by real world problems and application of math, they looked at me as if I was completely out of mind!

Two months later, they have all risen to the occasion and done their best to keep an open mind while facing this challenge head on.

Just this week, some of the 8th grade girls were learning about football, the velocity of it, and how to predict how long it would take for a pass to get to a certain height. With the football season being underway, the question seemed more relevant than ever. We were able to draw on real examples, talk about the different types of passes, the importance of math and… Read More »

Upper School Corner - Mrs. Raychel Lydon

 Loyalists and Patriots Battle it Out in the Middle School

As November begins, the 7th and 8th grade students at the Hebrew Academy have just finished taking the role of loyal British subjects and rebellious colonial patriots as part of their study of early American history. In their pamphlets, students were required to describe six things that took place between the end of the French and Indian War and the outbreak of the Revolutionary War and use their descriptions to convince other colonists to join in their side. One convincing Patriot wrote, “There are a few MAJOR problems that we have encountered with these troublesome Brits, disgusting rats: The Proclamation of 1763, the Boston Massacre, and the Boston Tea… Read More »

Upper School Corner - Mrs. McKenna Harkins

 Ecosystems and Populations and Habitats-- Oh My!

Since the beginning of the year, the middle school students have been engaging in thoughtful dialogue about ecosystems-- understanding what they are, how they work, and how they can be impacted. In order to do this, students have learned about the living and nonliving factors that influence an ecosystem, and what kinds of responses the ecosystem can have. In addition, students have learned about food chains, food webs, and how interactions between different species can have a big impact!

In order to help students understand these concepts in a hands-on way, Mr. Nason and I have been eager to provide interactive opportunities for the students to engage with the content in a… Read More »

Upper School Corner - Coach Zoltan

 Coach Jonathan Zoltan

Director of Physical Education 

The Hebrew Academy PE program is off to a great start this school year! The students are learning all kinds of sports such as, basketball, baseball, soccer, football and along with many more. As we play these sports throughout the school year, I as their coach, put a strong emphasis on teaching your students sportsmanship. This is an everyday lesson for the students at the Hebrew Academy. I want the kids to learn how to win well and lose graciously. At the end of class both teams will line up to give a high five to the opposing team and say “good game” to build the moral of the entire school. I hope this will message will carry with them for the rest of their… Read More »

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