This week I was reading Parsha Kedoshim, in which Hashem instructs the Jews to be holy. Among many topics concerning moral values, the Parsha talks about being a good person, not being a bully, and to fear G-d. What does that mean- to fear G-d? Hashem tells us that although you may fool other people by being devious and denying something that you have said or done, you cannot fool G-d. Man can be misled about your motivations or actions, but not Hashem.
The Parsha goes on to tell us that we should not gossip about one another, and next states that “you should not stand by the blood of your neighbor.” Why is a duty to help someone who is drowning, for example, associated with gossip? The commentary says that when we gossip about people it is akin to spilling their blood. Loshon Hora chips away at a person’s soul and does not go away. We say. “Talk is cheap,” but it is not- it can be deadly to a person’s entire life. We all have incidents from our past that still have an effect on us today, so we should remember that before we casually say hurtful and ugly things about one another.
The Torah tells us not to hate in our hearts. It is fine to tell people what we think, but we must be mindful not to bear sin by being unduly harsh while doing so. Relationships would be much better if people could disagree, talk about their differences without animosity, and come to a compromise.
Kedoshim also tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. It teaches that we should not consider ourselves better than others and to give people the benefit of the doubt.
There are innumerable commentaries on the Parsha, but Reb Akiva teaches that the essence of Torah is to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” Peace among us is the foundation for a better world. If we incorporate these teachings into our daily lives we will go a long way in eliminating bullying, improve all of our relationships, and achieve higher self-esteem.
Rabbi Ira Budow
News About Ruth Schnur
This week’s Parsha Kedoshim talks about the mitzvah of charity. The Torah tells us to leave the corners of the fields unharvested so that the poor will have food, and it commands us to be generous and give tzedakah. Today, at the age of 97, Ruth Schnur passed away. Many of our current Abrams community may not know her, but the Schnur family has been involved with the school for more than 70 years.
Ruth and her husband Bun inaugurated the annual scholarship dinner, a fundraising event which has provided millions of dollars in educational assistance to Jewish children through the years. Ruth and Bun donated the money for the gym, and the plaque with their name reminds us that they were always “team players” for Abrams. They donated the funding for the assembly room and so many other things. The Schnurs participated in the first building campaign in 1980, and Ruth and her family have continued to provide generous financial support to the school each and every year. She and Bun served on the board of directors, and Bun was president of the board for many years.
Ruth’s last years have been challenging for her and her family, but she continued to live a full and meaningful life with the devotion and help of her children and grandchildren. One of her greatest joys was seeing her grandchildren, Anna and Lincoln, attend Abrams. I remember calling her from Israel with Anna and how thrilled she was to hear her granddaughter’s voice from the ice rink in Israel.
The Parsha this week is Kedoshim- holiness. It seems particularly fitting, since Ruth will surely be counted as one of the holy ones.
Rabbi Ira Budow
Funeral Services will be held:
Sunday, May 15, 2016
Orland’s Ewing Memorial Chapel
534 Pennington Rd, Ewing Township, NJ 08618
Pre-Israel Trip Message
The AHA annual trip to Israel began in 1999, and for the first time in many years I worried that we would not be making the journey in 2016. Although I am disappointed that many of our 8th grade students are not going with us, I am grateful that we gathered enough people to continue our tradition of taking the 8th grade to Israel this year.
I am really excited about the 8 action-filled days we have scheduled, including a basketball game where the students will see Nate Robinson play! We will go to Rachel’s’ Tomb, and thanks to our close connections with the IDF, will tour the Army base at Beit Lechem. The IDF soldiers have arranged to lead us to Rachel’s Tomb and escort us to Hebron. We will be under the protection of the Army the entire time that we are there and will be completely safe.
It has been four months since my surgery, and I really did not think I’d be going on the trip this year. Thanks to Hashem and everyone who supported me during this time I will once again lead the trip in 2016.
I am thrilled to say, “Next week in Jerusalem.” Stay tuned for messages from the Holy Land…..
Rabbi Ira Budow
Matching Grant Opportunity
Abrams will be eligible for a $100,000 matching grant funded by the Legacy Heritage Fund starting June 13, 2016 and ending June 20, 2016.
For the past year, members of the AHA board of directors, along with several key administrators, have participated in governance and fund raising training conducted by coaches from the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE). This training has significantly improved our fund raising skills, and we have now qualified to participate in the Match program.
Abrams will earn matching funds for gifts that meet the program’s criteria. Qualifying donations are:
New gifts of at least $1800;
New alumni gifts of $500 or more; and
Current gifts (minimum $1800) that are increased by at least 50%.
Please help Abrams to obtain this much-needed extra funding. If you are able to increase your donation to the school this year, or if you know someone who might want to support the school who either has not done so in the past or is able to increase his/her donation, now is the time to take this opportunity to make these contributions even larger!
Your generosity enables Abrams to thrive and grow as the premier Jewish day school in the area, and Abrams appreciates your support.
Donate between June 13, 2016 and June 20, 2016 to help Abrams achieve its goal and earn $100,000 in matching funds.
Bucks County Israel Festival
Bucks County Israel Festival
Sunday, May 15, 2016
10 am-2 pm
Briarwood Day Camp
1380 Creek Road
Free Admission- Join the fun and
If you are able to volunteer to help, please contact Eve Berger at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yom Haatzmaut at Abrams Residence
Abrams 8th grade students and Abrams Residence seniors celebrated Yom Haatzmaut together at the next-to-last visit of the year. Students sang Israeli songs and performed an Israeli Flag dance for the Abrams residents after Rabbi O gave a brief explanation of Yom Haatzmaut. A surprise treat came when one of the seniors stood up to lead everyone in a moving rendition of HaTikvah.
Of course, no Jewish celebration is complete without food, so everyone enjoyed delicious donuts from Lakewood as they schmoozed with one another before saying goodbye until next month.
Abrams thanks the Legacy Heritage Fund for its sponsorship of this meaningful collaboration.
Collecting Toiletries to Benefit Homefront
Mrs. Abramowitz and her English classes want to help
the community around them and have chosen to hold a drive to benefit Homefront.
Homefront is a NJ organization that helps homeless families become self-sufficient by offering services and assistance to over 14,000 families a year.
Homefront needs donations of personal hygiene items to be distributed to homeless individuals living in its shelters. 100% of all money collected by Abrams students will be used to purchase toiletries.
You can participate in two ways:
Purchase or donate unused personal hygiene items such as shampoo, soap, toothpaste etc.;
Donate money- (change is okay!)
May 15- June 10
Collection box- Room 34 (3rd floor)
Thank you for your generosity and for helping Abrams to teach tzdekah to our students.
The Foundation for Jewish Day Schools, which has been approved as a Special Purpose Entity (SPE), just announced that there is an opportunity for AHA to receive extra EITC funding from people who sign up for the program NOW.
This means that individuals who pay individual income taxes to PA can now participate in the EITC program by joining the SPE before the regular sign-up date of July 1, 2016.
****Remember- you no longer have to own a business to participate in EITC. EVERYONE who pays taxes in PA can support the school and gain a tax credit by applying to the EITC program.
This is a great opportunity for Abrams families and supporters who pay at least $5000 in PA State taxes to help themselves and Abrams through their participation in the program and for Abrams to receive the money sooner.
If you qualify, please take this opportunity to help the school and benefit from a tax credit for yourself. If you know someone whom you believe qualifies and would be interested in helping to ensure Abrams’ future, please ask them if we can contact them. The future of OUR school depends on raising funds, and EITC is a win-win for everyone.
The process is not difficult, and the Foundation for Jewish Day Schools will provide guidance on this process so that you can participate as an individual.
Call Rabbi Budow at (215) 584-7919; or contact Ellen Matz at email@example.com; or call (215) 832-0525 for more information.
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 avoid nuts because of 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com. (215) 493-1800 ext. 22 by
Wednesday of the target week.
Abrams Hebrew Academy, 31 West College Avenue, Yardley, PA 19067