This week’s Parsha talks about the law of Shmita, which commands the farmers to sow their fields and gather the produce for 6 years, but leave them fallow during the 7th year so that the poor people in the community can eat. This law is still being observed by some caring and religious farmers who believe that their adherence to the law will be recognized by Hashem, despite the hardship of losing the income from the sale of their crops.
Hashem also commands that farmers leave the corners of the fields and the gleanings of the harvest for the poor every year, and as you may recall, Ruth ate from the gleanings of Boaz’s fields to feed herself and Naomi.
King David said that he judged people in a just way, but that he was also merciful. It seems that would be a contradiction- how can one be both just and merciful at the same time? The Talmud tells us that in a case involving a money award, King David made the just decision by finding the defendant guilty, but showed mercy on the poor defendant who could not afford his fine by paying the amount due personally.
My life’s work has been to provide the opportunity for a Jewish education to people who could not afford it without help. Every summer I field numerous calls from families who want to send their children to Abrams, but simply do not have the financial ability to do so. Every story reminds me of my own- I was one of these children from a family without the means to afford a private day school education, and Rabbi Pikas z”l told my father to enroll me at the school and pay when he could. I never forgot that act of kindness that impacted my entire life, and that is a driving factor in my commitment to “paying it forward” for Jewish families in similar circumstances.
I am not naïve, and I realize that there are people who are not always truthful about their financial circumstances. However, I am not embarrassed to ask you to help people in need. Our annual fundraising campaign has begun, and the money we raise is used to supplement our scholarship aid. After all, the money for scholarships has to come from somewhere, and the need always seems greater than what we have.
I know that you are all tired of me talking about EITC, but I am doing it for the children who really need our help. There is an immediate opportunity for people to participate in the EITC program and reap a substantial benefit to them while helping deserving families at the same time. Elliot Holtz and other dedicated volunteers associated with Federation have been an enormous help in assisting us in this endeavor, and we owe them all a debt of gratitude for their service to Jewish education.
You too can be a hero, even by just referring someone to participate in the EITC program. All of us know lawyers, doctors, accountants, etc., who qualify to participate and could benefit from the tax credit, especially now that the tax laws have changed. It really is win-win- people can feel good about the fact that they are supporting Jewish education while reaping a personal financial benefit, too.
Please remember King David- a king, a judge, a warrior, and a person who never forgot the neediest among us. We can follow in his footsteps by sharing our good fortune with those who need some help. Who among us hasn’t needed some assistance along our way?
Rabbi Ira Budow
EITC Opportunity Update
for a One Year Commitment
Abrams now has commitments of $85,000 from 3 new EITC participants thanks to the help of Brandon Swartz!!
The Jewish Scholarship LLC still has $100,000 available, but this opportunity only lasts for the next 2 weeks.
If you are able to participate yourself or know someone whom you believe would be interested, please contact Rabbi Budow immediately!
This funding will make a significant positive impact on AHA’s 2018-19 budget- you can make the difference!!
2018 Annual Matching Campaign
2018 ANNUAL ON-LINE CHARIDY MATCHING CAMPAIGN
Our annual matching fundraising campaign (organized through Charidy) will be held for 24 hours starting Tuesday, March 13 at 1 pm. Donations on-line will be recorded as they are made, so you will be able to see your donation and monitor our progress at: charidy.com/abrams.
This is our opportunity to raise the funds we need to ensure that Abrams can continue to provide a stellar education to our children and also honor our dedicated faculty and staff members who have devoted 10 years or more of service to the Abrams community.
It is not too early to make your donation- it will be added to our total on the day of the campaign and will quadrupled in value!
A $100 donation = $400 thanks to our generous benefactors who have provided this great opportunity to maximize your gift.
Please note that all donations of $1,000 and more will qualify for a display ad on our digital monitor outside of the office. Your ad will run for the entire year and be seen by everyone who comes into the school. Send your CAMERA-READY ads to firstname.lastname@example.org so that they can be uploaded to our monitor as soon as possible!
Volunteers are needed on March 13 and March 14 to make calls! If you are able to volunteer, even for a short period of time, please let Ellen Weiss email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org know as soon as possible. Last year the volunteers had a lot of fun, so please consider joining us in helping Abrams once again achieve its goal.
More information to follow…..
Parenting Meeting with Dr. P
February 13, 2018
On February 13, our meeting will review the latest research on children’s friendships. Join us with questions, concerns, and opinions!
See you then,
IDF Soldiers Visit AHA
Visiting IDF Soldiers
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
On Wednesday, February 14, 2018, Abrams will once again welcome a group of IDF soldiers to visit the school. A group of 7 Israeli soldiers will spend the morning interacting with AHA middle school students and joining them for lunch.
The program is sponsored by Lev Echad, an organization that brings IDF soldiers together with young people in the U.S. The soldiers will meet in small groups with the students, describing their lives as soldiers, recounting their experiences in military service, and answering student questions.
The program seeks to put a “human face” on the IDF. The goal is to counter misconceptions about life in the IDF and push back against anti-Israel activists, particularly in schools and on college campuses. The delegation is touring campuses schools and communities discussing moral issues, serving the army, human rights, and other issues.
This is always a great experience for the students and the soldiers- please feel free to join us on Wednesday!
Beth El (East Windsor)
The 8th Grade visits Abrams Residence for Purim!
The 8th grade students created an art project with the seniors at Abrams Residence in celebration of Purim. Of course, there was time for food and chatting, too!
A great time was had by all!
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
“New Family Recruitment”
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.
Canned Food and Socks Drive
Canned Food and Socks
Ms. Abramowitz and Ms. Zuazo will collect cans of food and warm socks for the homeless from now until February 16, 2018.
Abrams teaches our students the mitzvah of tzedakah, and providing food and warmth to people who are less fortunate benefits both the donors and the recipients.
Please bring or send donations of canned food and/or new socks to school with your children- Donations should be brought to Room 34.
After School Art
After School Art Club with Donna Moskowitz begins January 22, 2018.
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
Safety and Security Reminders
Just a reminder of 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!
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.
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 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.
Abrams Hebrew Academy, 31 West College Avenue, Yardley, PA 19067