When I reflect upon the Torah I realize that it is far from being simple or easily understood. Yes, it does tell us about the history of the Jews, but it also includes detailed descriptions of the myriad laws of Judaism, including seemingly minute commandments like shatnez- the proscription of not mixing wool with linen. Some of these rules do not even seem to make sense, and the more I think about it the more I am convinced that these complex and detailed dictums are proof that the Torah was not written by humans, but by Hashem. There is no possibility that something as all-encompassing as the Torah could have been imagined or composed by anyone other than G-d.
This week’s parsha is Chayei Sarah, and the first chapter details Sarah’s death and Abraham’s acquisition of Ma’arat HaMachpelah, located in Hebron, for her burial. The negotiations were complicated, and Abraham paid full market price for the land. The Torah describes all of this very thoroughly, and I believe that it was recorded so meticulously by Hashem to show that the land was acquired legitimately by Abraham.
The week when this parsha is read is an important week in Israel, and 30,000 people gather to celebrate Shabbat in this small town where only 1,000 brave Jewish families live all year. People congregate in Hebron to acknowledge and support the settlers who keep Hebron a Jewish city and to affirm the holiness of the site to the Jewish people.
Why am I focusing on this particular parsha and why is it so important to me? It is because I have many Jewish friends who believe that Israel should give this land back to the Palestinians. They say that there are very few people living there and that it is dangerous, so why not let the Palestinians have it? My answer to them is that the Torah emphasizes how important this land is to the Jews, since it details that Abraham paid a significant price for this land so that Sarah could be buried there. It is a sacred site for the Jewish people, is the resting place for most of our Jewish matriarchs and patriarchs, and it is important that it remains in Jewish hands.
For many years I have taken our 8th grade students to Hebron during our Israel trip, and people have often questioned that decision. “Why are you going there?” “Isn’t it too dangerous?” My reply over the years has always been, “No, it would be much more dangerous for us not to visit this holy site,” and it is still what I truly believe.
Rabbi Ira Budow
Pictures of AHA in Hebron
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
The Abrams PTO, under the leadership of Sarah Weinstein, has volunteered to organize and facilitate this year’s feast, including the services of our turkey chef extraordinaire, Aaron Weinstein! Thank you, as always, to our wonderful PTO and to Aaron.
This year’s feast will be better than ever- great food, classroom activities with your children, and the opportunity to share our gratitude for the freedom we enjoy in the U.S. in the company of our Abrams community. It is a time for us to show our appreciation to the U.S. for giving Jews a safe place to live and work while practicing their Judaism in the open. Our freedom in America permits places like Lakewood and Borough Park to exist, and I am proud to be an American.
Grandparents are especially encouraged to attend- enjoy the food and camaraderie while spending time with your grandchildren in their classrooms and at the feast.
We still need sponsors for this program- last year’s budget was approximately $3,000, so if you are able to donate towards this great event, please contact Rabbi Budow ASAP.
***Finally, please RSVP to the office personnel to let them know how many people in your family will be attending so that we can prepare accordingly.***
Rabbi Ira Budow
Support the AHA Book Fair
November 7 and November 8
2:00-6:00 (during conferences
To volunteer- text Meryl
EITC Funds Still Available
A limited amount of funding is still available for new EITC donors to participate in the program for the 2018 tax year. This additional funding opportunity is limited to qualified people who pay PA state income taxes personally, not through their businesses.
Please contact Rabbi Budow ASAP to put your name on a
How to Participate in EITC
Tax Advantages Giving, for individuals, under the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC)
Pennsylvania individuals that contribute to the EITC may be able to both:
(a) Significantly reduce their Pennsylvania state tax liability by receiving tax credits for contributions to state-approved scholarship organizations (i.e. Abrams). The PA income tax credit is equal to:
a. 75% of the contribution for a one-year commitment or
b. 90% of the contribution for a two-year commitment (preferred)
(b) Claim a charitable tax deduction on their federal tax return for these contributions.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia and the schools in the region have created the Foundation for Jewish Day Schools. The Foundation raises contributions through the EITC program. Individuals can participate by joining a special purpose entity (SPE). You complete an application to join the SPE. Once your application is approved you will need to send in your donation check. The SPE applies for the tax credit to the State and disperses the approved funds to schools. You will received the State tax credit K1 form in February from the Jewish Scholarship LLC to file with your taxes, and you should expect to receive your State tax refund as you normally would.
– Individual income of $200,000 or joint income (spouses combined) of $300,000
– Minimum PA tax liability of $6,900.
– Minimum donation of $6,200 in each year.
Pennsylvania only allows a limited amount of charitable contributions to be donated to the EITC every year, so you’ll need to act quickly. We currently have 2 opportunities available:
- For 2018 tax year: We are in a unique position this year of still having funds available for new donors for the 2018 tax year for qualified people who pay PA state income taxes personally (not through their businesses). We do not know how long these funds will remain unclaimed, so please contact Rabbi Budow to put your name on a waitlist.
- For 2019 and 2020 tax years: If you are interested in participating in the EITC for those years, please call Debra Goldfarb at Abrams; ph: 215-493-1800; email: email@example.com as soon as possible
It is advisable to consult your tax advisor before participating in the EITC program.
Most taxpayers work with their tax advisors to prepare a projection of their estimated PA tax due before participating in the EITC program in order to determine eligibility as well as their eligible tax credit.
Nursery Gets a New Look!
The Abrams nursery is getting a new look, and everyone is SO excited! We are asking people to donate money so that our teachers can pick out what they want and make our wishes come true!
The list includes the following items:
Chalk board paint
Dress up clothes
Large bean bags
Table & chairs
If you are able to help fund the purchase of wish list items, please bring your check to the AHA office.
Current Abrams families with a child not currently attending Abrams who will be starting Kindergarten in September, 2019 will be eligible for special tuition pricing.
This offer is limited to the first 10 new Kindergarten students enrolled.
If you are interested, please call Rabbi Budow immediately.
AHA Basketball Tryouts
Boys Tryouts Girls Tryouts
November 5, 2018 November 1, 2018
Tryouts open to all boys/girls
Grades 6th- 8th
Tryouts- AHA Gym- 3:45 pm -4:45 pm
**All students must have transportation home no later than 5:00 pm.
Girl’s first practice: Tuesday, Nov. 6
Boy’s first practice: Wednesday, Nov. 7
All practices will be held in the Gym
3:45 pm to 4:45 pm.
Final roster will be posted the day after tryouts.
For further information, please see Mr. Gowton
City of Jerusalem Mural
City of Jerusalem Mural
This year, 5779, is the 20th anniversary of the annual Israel trip, and generous donors have funded a commemorative City of Jerusalem art piece to be installed prominently in the school as a lasting tribute to the relationship between Abrams and the Land of Israel.
There are 78 naming opportunities to memorialize your support and commitment to Abrams by purchasing plaques to be affixed to the sculpture. Each brick, stepping stone, windowsill, or urn plaque costs between $1,000 and $9,000, depending on the size of the plaque, and is an opportunity to give a beautiful tribute to whomever you wish while supporting Abrams.
If you are interested in contributing or have additional questions, please contact Debra Goldfarb 215-493-1800 ext 29; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bricks in the Link
Buy a Brick on the Link Wall and
Support Abrams by purchasing a commemorative brick on the wall in the Link for a $100 donation. The bricks are made of colored Plexiglas and visibly located on the wall outside the gym.
Buy a brick to commemorate a special occasion- it is a wonderful and lasting gift to celebrate a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, birthday, anniversary, graduation, or to recognize the memory of a loved one or friend.
Your donation will be acknowledged to the recipient, and Abrams will benefit from your donation.
Please contact the office if you would like to purchase a brick.
Open houses in people’s homes is an effective way to meet with families who are potentially interested in enrolling their children at Abrams. Rabbi Budow and a small group of faculty members are happy to travel to meet informally with your friends and neighbors to discuss the advantages and opportunities that Abrams offers to Jewish children.
If you would like to volunteer to host one of these gatherings, please contact Rabbi Budow.
Safety and Security Reminders
Reminder- AHA Security Procedures:
All parents should use the front door to enter the school with key cards and not the back doors. Parent swipe cards only work at front door.
Please do not ask students to open any doors- parents must report to the front office and check-in before entering the school.
No student or other person should use the lunchroom doors other than for dismissal or emergency purposes.
These rules are for our children’s safety.
Thank you for your cooperation!
Cell Phone Rules
REMINDER: Cell Phone Rules
Electronic devices have become a common means of communication and information access in today’s society. However, these devices have the potential of disrupting the orderly operation of school. Our cell phone/personal electronic devices policy is designed to keep the focus on education.
At the start of the school day, all cell phones MUST BE TURNED OFF (NOT IN SILENT MODE) AND STORED IN THE STUDENT’S LOCKER OR BOOK BAG FROM 8:30 AM UNTIL 3:30 PM. Students are not permitted to carry them on their person or to use them to make or receive any calls or text messages during the given time.
If a student has an emergency, and needs to be in contact with someone, she/he must use a school phone, or have the permission of a faculty member, to use his/her cell phone. Parents should contact the school office, if they have an emergency message for their
Electric devices, such as iPods, or hand-held gaming devices may be used on the bus/van transportation to/from school, prior to school, and following school. Students must turn off and place these items in their locker/backpack during school hours.
If any of these items are out at the inappropriate time, they will be confiscated by staff, and given to the director of discipline.
Students will be allowed to bring cell phones on school trips for emergency use only. Any hand-held gaming device will be the responsibility of the students on a school trip.
The school is not responsible for lost, misplaced, damaged or stolen electronic devices/cell phones.
CONSEQUENCES FOR STUDENTS WHO DO NOT FOLLOW THE ABOVE RULES:
1st Offense – Phone confiscated, and returned at the end of the day.
2nd Offense – Phone confiscated, returned at the end of the day, and written notification that requires parent signature.
3rd Offense – Phone confiscated, and parent must pick up phone from director of discipline.
4th Offense – Suspension from school
Support AHA Donor Businesess
Abrams is greatly appreciative of all of the benefactors who donate generously to the school through participation in EITC, LLC, grants, cash donations, etc. Many of these donors are business owners, and Abrams encourages the AHA community to support the businesses of these people whose largess supports the school.
* This is not a complete list- we will add businesses throughout the year!
Thank you very much to all of our supporters!
Abrams thanks Oorah, a nonprofit organization located in Lakewood, NJ for all of its financial support to our students.
Oorah sponsors numerous programs that all share the common goal of opening doors for Jewish children and families. The mission is to reach out to Jewish families everywhere with opportunities to make their Judaic heritage more personal, relevant and meaningful.
Abrams received $100,000 in scholarship aid for qualified families this year from Oorah and is extremely grateful for the generosity of this organization.
Please do not send meat lunches or snacks to school with your children.
Food sent from home must be
dairy or Pareve only!
Thank you very much for your cooperation
Car Pool Rules
All Parents who Car Pool:
Please note that the car pool line is for grades N and K only. All other students are to be dropped off in the front of the building.
Parents who use the back for drop off should follow the directions of the teachers in the parking lot. They are there to assist students and maintain a safe environment.
Under no circumstances are parents to park their cars in the middle of the line and leave them unattended to walk students into the building.
** We ask that parents refrain from cellphone use in the parking areas while dropping off and picking up their children.
Abrams Dress Code
Studies have found that appropriate dress influences behavior and learning. Abrams strives through the dress code to maximize the learning environment.
Respect for the sensitivities of others requires that students/parents/guests follow reasonable standards of modesty and privacy. We ask that students/parents/guests dress in a manner befitting a Jewish day school when entering the building.
Dress Code for Grades 1-8
Clothing cannot advertise or advocate the use of alcohol, drugs, tobacco or weapons.
Clothing cannot display writing or pictures that are obscene or suggestive.
No writing or pictures on the back of pants.
No sleepwear or bedroom slippers to be worn at any time, unless pre-approved for a special occasion.
Heavy linked chains may not be worn as jewelry.
No extreme hair colors are permitted.
All boys must come to school wearing a kippah. Baseball caps and other head coverings are NOT permitted.
No sleeveless shirts, tank tops, halter tops, spaghetti straps, tube tops, crop tops, belly shirts, or tight shirts.
Dress Code for Boys Grades 5-8
Shirts, sweatshirts, tank tops, and tee-shirts should be appropriate for school. Students may not wear undershirts.
Pants or denim jeans must be properly hemmed and not dragging on the floor. Pants will not have rips, holes, or fraying and will not be too tight or over-sized.
Shorts must be to the knee.
Pants/shorts will not sag, as underwear may not be visible.
Boys are to be clean-shaven.
Hair is to be well groomed. Partially or fully shaved heads and ponytails are not allowed.
Piercings of any kind are not allowed.
Dress Code for Girls Grades 5-8
Dresses/skirts/shorts must be no shorter than 2 inches above the knee.
Pants or denim jeans must be properly hemmed and not dragging on the floor. Pants or shorts will not have rips, holes, or fraying and will not be too tight.
Leggings of any type are not permitted to be worn in place of skirts or pants, but may be worn under clothing. If worn, they must be accompanied by a fingertip length or longer, dress, skirt, or top.
Clothing that exposes any part of the midriff, cleavage (front or rear), or any clothing excessively revealing may not be worn.
Clothing materials for tops and bottoms must be opaque (not see-through).
Consequences for Students Who Do Not Follow the Dress Code:
1st Offense – Explain to student what is wrong with his/her attire. Student must change into appropriate clothing.
2nd Offense – Written notification that requires parent signature. Student must change into appropriate clothing.
3rd Offense – Student must change clothes to follow guidelines and parent is called on the telephone immediately.
4th Offense – Suspension from school.
Parent conference required for student to return to school.
Birthday Celebrations at School
When sending birthday treats into school to celebrate that special day for your child, please consider sending in a healthy treat, such as frozen fruit bars, rice cakes, fruit salad or cups, sugar free pudding snacks, yogurt cake or pie, cheese sticks, light popcorn or air popped popcorn (when age appropriate), pretzels, carrots/celery (when age appropriate).
Please do not send anything with nuts due to allergies.
In order to maintain a consistent kashrut policy and to avoid confusion, ALL orders for birthday cakes/cupcakes MUST be ordered from Cramer’s Bakery, 16 E. Afton Avenue, Yardley. Cramer’s will deliver the order to the school at a discounted price.
Please call Kim Pierce at 215-321-5707 to place your cake/ cupcake order.
Celebrate Your Simcha at Abrams
Abrams Hebrew Academy is a perfect choice to host your family or social affair, business meeting or athletic event. Whether you’re looking for an inviting space to celebrate a special occasion; a meeting area with state-of-the art technology; a fun, safe environment for a child’s birthday; or a gym or athletic field for a sporting event, Abrams can accommodate your needs and your budget. For more information on room rentals at Abrams Hebrew Academy, call (215) 493-1800 or e-mail email@example.com.
Check Your Child’s Assignments with Homework Now
Parents- all homework will be posted on-line by all teachers grades K-8 by Sunday evening each week.
Instructions for use of homeworknow.com:
Click on homeworknow.com
Click on Parent and Student
Click on find school
Click on Pennsylvania
Click on Abrams Hebrew Academy
Click on your child’s teacher
View homework assignments
Share Abrams News With Others
Is there a family member (such as a grandparent) or friend who would be interested in hearing about everything going on at Abrams? Sign them up for our e-mail list today! Please contact the Main Office.
Information about the Extra
Please submit any information to be considered for inclusion in the Extra to Dale Sattin, Director of Development & Communications: firstname.lastname@example.org. (215) 493-1800 ext. 22 by
Wednesday of the target week.
Abrams Hebrew Academy, 31 West College Avenue, Yardley, PA 19067