There was an article in this week’s Wall Street Journal that reported the results of a critical thinking test given annually to freshmen and seniors from about 200 U.S. Colleges. The test measures students’ ability to answer questions and demonstrate critical-thinking skills, and the Journal’s analysis of the results showed that at about half of the schools large groups of seniors scored at below-basic levels of these interpretive and analytical skills that are important for success in the workplace and other aspects of life beyond the classroom.
My belief has always been that education should be experiential for students to learn and remember what they’ve learned for use in their future lives. I do not think that memorizing facts is productive and have found that memorized factoids are forgotten almost as soon as the test is taken.
France has an extremely rigid educational system, and it is said that the Minister of Education can wake up on June 9 and tell you exactly what every school grade is studying that day. The system is formulaic and administered strictly “by the book.” I am very fortunate to be at Abrams Hebrew Academy in Yardley, PA instead of in France, because at Abrams this construct of education does not apply!
This week I attended our school science fair, organized and led by our esteemed science teacher, Amy Hamacher. The projects were really impressive, and most importantly, obviously conceptualized and implemented by the students themselves. It was easy to tell that the students really understood their topics and enjoyed preparing their projects for the event.
A group of girls approached me to show me their Play Doh experiment. They used commercial Play Doh and also created two home-made versions of the substance. They enthusiastically told me to feel all of the materials and asked me to let them know which version felt “real.” Their excitement was contagious, and it was obvious that they were proud of what they had done and will remember this experiment someday when their own children are playing with Play Doh! That is the meaning of true education- learning should be internalized and not recited by rote. Abrams teaches children to think and learn for life, not for the moment.
I offer my sincere thanks to Amy for her leadership and ability to spark the intellectual curiosity within our students.
Rabbi Ira Budow
Science Fair 2017
This year’s science fair was a huge success. The students were creative, thoughtful, and a credit to themselves, Abrams, and our science teacher, Mrs. Hamacher!
Thanks to everyone who participated in this popular and informative event.
Mr. K and 4th Grade Class
Mr. K’s 4th Grade Visit
Mr. K invited his 4th grade class to visit his home and his animal friends! They met Mr. K’s chickens, his neighbor’s goats, and visited his neighbor’s fully functioning aquaponics greenhouse.
Students then returned to the soccer field where they played frisbee, soccer, and ate snacks on some very rustic seating!
Field Day Obstacle Course
Mr. G outdid himself this year creating an intricate and impressive obstacle course as part of the annual Field Day event.
Although school is about to end for the year our teachers are still working hard to make sure everyone is learning and having fun-
Kudos to Mr. G and the entire Abrams faculty.
Morah Raya’s Students Featured in Etzbioni
Morah Raya’s 4th Grade
Once again Morah Raya and her students were featured in the monthly publication “Etzbioni.”
This “paper” is read by students in Jewish schools all over the world.
Mazal Tov To Our 2017 Graduates
Lital Abergel Sara Kestenbaum
Ronen Adler Gillian Lane
Joshua Beigman Jacob Littwin
Jeremy Brandspiegel Sophia Rogovoy
Joseph Couzens Alexis Schachter
Samuel Doshna Nicole Shaulov
Moriah Eley Maya Shavit
Abner Gordan Milena Shevelev
Abrams gives special thanks to Ayelet Farage for all of her work in making the graduation reception so lovely!
Bucks County Jewish Festival
Bucks County Jewish Festival
The Bucks County Jewish Festival was held on Sunday, June 4, 2017 and was a huge success. There were over 2,000 people in attendance, and Abrams was well-represented at our booth by our enthusiastic ambassadors.
Abrams board president Ellen Weiss spearheaded the efforts along with teacher volunteers Sonia Arusy, Raya Benhaim, and Ronit Rackowski.
Abrams parents Donna Segal and Liora and Seth Zirkel also participated in supporting Abrams and telling everyone about our incredible school.
Thanks to all of our volunteers!
One Israel Fund
7th Grade One Israel Fund Project
One Israel Fund Project
On June 5, 2017 the 7th grade students got a jump-start to their future eighth grade graduation trip to Israel in the form of a presentation by Natalie Sopinsky of the One Israel Fund.
One Israel Fund is a premier North American charity that helps support and enhance Jewish life throughout Yehudah and Shomron. Natalie lives in Susya, in the Hevron Hills, with 180 families that include many children. As Natalie told the class “I have five children, and where I live, that is a SMALL family.”
These children grow up with a strong connection to this important region of Israel, and although they enjoy a high quality of life, the standard of living is low in some of the periphery areas like the Jordan Valley, Northern Shomron and Hevron Hills. One Israel Fund’s purpose is to fill the gaps in security, medical, social welfare and recreational services.
The soon-to-be 8th graders will dedicate the upcoming year to raising funds for a specific project in Yehuda and Shomron. Some projects under consideration are playground equipment, the renovation of a section of a synagogue, and building a classroom for a special needs school.
When they visit Israel next spring for the 8th grade trip the class will travel to the site and see their work firsthand, participate in a special dedication ceremony, and join the local children in a joint activity.
Updates on this project will follow throughout next year!
2018 Israel Trip
Upcoming 8th Grade Parents!
The 2018 8th grade graduation trip to Israel will begin on April 30, 2018
Last Day of School
Last Day of School
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
12:30 p.m. Dismissal
After School High School Learning
Please contact Rabbi Budow ASAP if you are interested in the after school high school program that will begin in the fall.
*8th Grade Parents- look for the After School High School Survey Monkey questionnaire!
Help Abrams Succeed With EITC
You Can Help Abrams Succeed!
Participate in EITC and Jewish Scholarship LLC
Tax Credit Opportunities
There are two ways you can benefit both Abrams and yourself or a friend if you either own a business located in PA that pays PA income taxes or live in PA and join the Jewish Scholarship LLC as an individual.
Participate yourself, or
Suggest a friend, family member, or colleague who may be qualified and willing to participate in the EITC program on behalf of Abrams-
Please think of whom you may know and ask him/her to help the school and receive a tax benefit at the same time!!
1. EITC for Businesses
EITC is a PA initiative that allows PA businesses to direct a portion of their PA income taxes to private schools. The program allows contributors to claim up to a 90% tax credit on their returns for a two year commitment. This year Abrams received almost $400,000 in EITC funding, and that money is all used to help our school and our children. This is a win-win for businesses to be able to direct their taxes to benefit the school and provide scholarships for our students! There is no minimum amount required to participate in EITC as a business entity.
For information concerning business participation in EITC contact:
The Jewish Scholarship LLC is a special purpose entity (SPE) that was formed when the PA rules changed to allow individuals to participate in the EITC program, which was previously limited to businesses.
Individuals who pay at least $6200 in PA income taxes can join the Jewish Scholarship LLC and direct a significant portion of these taxes to Abrams. This will provide scholarships to our children and a significant tax credit to the participant! Participants receive a tax credit in PA and a tax deduction on their federal income taxes. It is a win-win situation for all.
For information concerning the individual LLC participation contact:
Jewish Scholarship LLC
Please consider this unique opportunity and help Abrams to thrive and fulfill its mission to provide a Jewish education to as many children as possible! If you or someone you know qualifies as an individual or owns a business that can take advantage of this opportunity and help Abrams to offer financial assistance to our qualifying families, please contact the people listed above or Rabbi Ira Budow at 215-584-7919.
**We are starting now so that everyone is ready for the July 3, 2017 (NOTE NEW DATE) application date for businesses. The applications are ALL submitted on the same day, on a first-come, first-served basis, so timing is very critical.
Thank you for your consideration!
OSTC Referrals and EITC for Nursery
PA Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program (OSTC)
Significant financial aid may be available to families who qualify for the PA Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program (OSTC).
Children who attend a state-designated underperforming school are eligible to receive scholarship funding from the OSTC program that allows children to attend Abrams Hebrew Academy at a minimal cost.
**Refer a NEW family who qualifies for funding from the OSTC program and enrolls a child or children for 2017-18;
**Receive a $1500 discount from your tuition bill for each NEW student who is enrolled!
Know someone interested who qualifies? Call Rabbi Budow at 215-584-7919.
You may qualify to receive EITC funding for Pre-K- call Rabbi Budow to discuss whether or not you can benefit from this program!
Food from Espresso Cafe:
Penne with vegetables & Feta
American cheese baguette
Fettuccine with marinara sauce
Egg salad & tuna salad sandwiches
Available Every Day:
Bagels, butter & cream cheese
Lunch cost: $5 per day
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 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