The basic theme that runs through the 10 days of repentance preceding Yom Kippur is that G-d is King. During the second Avinu Malkeinu we say to G-d, “You are our only King.” Our prayers during the High Holiday services focus primarily on the historical matriarchs and patriarchs, barely mentioning Moses at all. It is particularly interesting to me that Abraham was the first person to realize that G-d exists, since up to that point people worshipped idols.
Fast-forwarding to today, we find ourselves in a world where all religions, including Judaism, are plagued with scandals involving their spiritual leaders. Headlines abound with stories of sexual, financial, and other moral misconduct and crimes perpetuated by those who hold themselves out to be role models and teachers of the faith. We find these reprehensible behaviors even within the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, and we have to ask ourselves, “Why?”
After much thought, I have concluded that this behavior stems from a lack of belief in G-d. I argue that if people really, truly believed in G-d they would not do these things. In today’s world G-d is barely a topic. There is no thought or fear of G-d seeing and judging us for all of our actions, and I dare say that people almost never even think of G-d outside of the few days a year they spend in synagogue, churches or mosques. Why should people believe in G-d when their spiritual and secular leaders do not?
Despite this negative beginning to this message, I think that there is a way for all of us to return to a belief in G-d. When we consider why G-d created the world with such a vast variety of climates, animals, flowers, topography and terrains it seems apparent that his purpose was to show us the splendor of the world he made and to make us believe in his presence.
When I spent summers in Ocean City, MD I often stood on my balcony praying, and there were times when I looked out at the ocean and saw schools of dolphins in the water. The sight was so breathtaking and majestic that in that moment I saw proof that there is a G-d. When driving through the Rocky Mountains looking at the clouds, mountain peaks, and the vast vistas around each bend of the road, I had to say, “There must be a G-d.” Coming back from vacation in Montreal, driving home through the Adirondacks towards Yardley, I was mesmerized by the beauty of the mountains and was reminded once again of the beauty of the world G-d created.
These moments that I am recounting are not traditionally religious experiences, but they all brought me closer to G-d as I admired the beauty of his creations unfolding right in front of my eyes. One of the most moving and convincing arguments for the existence of G-d was made when I was privileged to witness the births of my granddaughters- again, I thought to myself, “There simply has to be a G-d to produce these miracles of life.”
For all of you who question the existence of G-d, I urge you to just look around to witness the beauty that surrounds us every day. Look at nature, your children, grandchildren, wherever you find beauty and meaning in your life. Those are the places where you will find G-d and you will know to whom you are praying. My hope and prayer for each of you this year is to feel close to G-d as you experience meaningful prayers.
Rabbi Ira Budow
Back to School Night
Back to School Night
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Promptly at 7:00 p.m.
Schedules are full, so please arrive on time and
go directly to your children’s classrooms.
City of Jerusalem Mural
City of Jerusalem Mural
The High Holidays are the time of year when Jews reflect on the past and look to the future as they focus on their lives and what Judaism and the State of Israel mean to them personally. Abrams has always been committed to fostering Zionism and support of the State of Israel within its students, and the culmination of an Abrams education is the 8th grade graduation trip to Israel.
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.
At this time of year, when Jews gather to pray, reflect on their lives, and recommit to Tikkun Olam, please consider donating to this worthwhile and beautiful project.
If you are interested in contributing or have additional questions, please contact Debra Goldfarb 215-493-1800 ext 29; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Computer Lab News
The newly equipped computer lab is up and running! Our students are already settling in to the new setup with 25 new computers and new grade-appropriate computer technology curricula.
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.
September Soccer Practice:
Sept. 17, 20, 26
3:45pm – 4:45pm
*A practice and game schedule will be distributed at practice
All students must be picked up no later than 5:00pm.
I would like to remind you that Abrams Hebrew Academy will continue its after school high school level Hebrew and Judaic Studies program in the 2018/19 school year if there is enough interest. The 2 hour class is taught by Morah Sonia Arusy and focuses on spoken Hebrew Language and current Jewish topics (holidays, Israel news, etc.).
This program was started by a group of parents as an after-school Hebrew/Judaic Studies activity and has been very successful. The students enjoy practicing their Hebrew, discussing Jewish holidays and current events, and keeping in touch with each other post-Abrams.
Class is held once a week in the evening at Abrams. Last year the class was held on Wednesdays at 7:00 PM. The schedule may change this year depending on the students’ high school schedule. The 2018-19 classes will begin after the holidays during the first week of October and will last until the end of May. The final day and time will be determined at the end of the summer once the high school schedules are published. There are approximately 40 meetings in total.
The affordable tuition defrays the cost of the teacher’s salary, and financial assistance is available from Abrams to any interested student who wants to attend. Tuition for the year -TBA.
If you and your 9th grader are interested in participating in this program please send this form with a refundable $50 registration commitment fee to the school office immediately.
Rabbi Ira Budow
My Son/Daughter _______________________ will be joining the 2018-19 Abrams After School Hebrew/Judaic Studies program.
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
“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.
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.
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