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A Historic Progressive Conservative Congregation in Valley Village, CA
A Dynamic Jewish Early Childhood Center Serving Children Ages 6 Weeks to Entering Pre-K
A Jewish Day School serving students in Grades TK-6
A Historic Progressive Conservative Congregation in Valley Village, CA

What's News at ADAT: 9.21.18

09/17/2018 06:47:39 PM


Leadership Blog

I spend so much time surrounded by lights, concrete, and noises here in Los Angeles that one of the greatest gifts I can give myself is going into nature. My family and I often leave on a Friday afternoon from school, drive up into the Angeles National Forest, and go camping for Shabbat evening. The kids love hiking, falling down and getting back up again, and discovering all different kinds of pine cones, squirrels, and lizards. My husband loves building a campfire, sitting around it and talking until the kids fall asleep on our laps. My favorite part is getting to breathe clean air, NOT having cell service, and being able to be truly present with those I love.

We unplug, spend time together, and make Shabbat as the sun sets over the mountains. Then, Saturday morning, we wake up, make breakfast, and, right around the time that everyone needs a good shower, we head back home.

It's amazing how restorative that small break from LA can be. I come back feeling whole in a way that usually surprises me, though it happens every time. In his book Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv talks about “nature-deficit disorder”, a phenomenon in which our human-made environments have evolved so far from the environments in which we are intended to live that we actually feel a lack of nature in our lives on a biological level. For any parent looking for a book worth reading, I highly recommend it.

As we prepare for the holiday of Sukkot, we think about what it means to connect with nature, and to live outside. The sukkot that we build are supposed to be affected by the elements; our tradition encourages us to connect with nature, to feel it and to smell it, and experience what our daily homes shield us from.

As Ori Zadok (Adat Ari El ECC Director) and I were discussing nature-deficit disorder and how it affects our children, combined with the timing of the holiday of Sukkot, we had an idea: what if this idea of taking time away, and restoring our nature-deficit, was something that caught hold in our community? How amazing would it be if we were able to establish a group of like-minded families who got out to experience Shabbat in nature?

So, Ori and I are going to take our families camping together for Shabbat on October 19, and we would love to invite any Day School or ECC families who are interested to join us. Let's try it, and see what we notice about what it feels like to truly get away. Please let me know if you would like to join us by October 12, and we will decide on a location depending on how many people are interested.

If camping isn't your thing (and I get it, it's not for everyone!), then I encourage you as we think about Sukkot, to reflect on whether you feel the effects of a nature deficit. Consider reading Last Child in the Woods, or reading some articles online, to learn more about this. And try to define: how are you being worn down in ways you might not notice, and what might build you back up?

I wish everyone a Shabbat shalom, chag Sukkot sameach, and meaningful time off. Looking forward to gathering together again as a school on Wednesday, September 26.


Inside The Classroom

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1st Grade

2nd Grade

3rd Grade

4th Grade

5th Grade

6th Grade

Outside The Classroom

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In the Community

Register for our 3rd Annual Day School Family Shabbaton

We are excited to open registration for our 3rd Annual Day School Family Shabbaton at Camp Ramah - - Friday, November 2, 4:00 PM until Sunday, November 4 at 11:00 AM in Ojai. Last year was so much fun, and we are excited to build on our experience with all of our new and returning families. You can find the link to the registration page here.

Some highlights of our time together will include challah braiding, student-led Kabbalat Shabbat, creative Shabbat morning service with student Torah readers, an incredible ropes course experience (unless it rains, in which case we will have something else fun), hikes, yoga, Havdalah, campfire, FUN parent socials, and time to be together and build community.

We will have a Gan (nursery) for ECC age kids (2 and older), programming for TK & K, and programming for 1st-6th graders.  Depending on how many 7th grade and older kids we have, we will determine the best fit for them in this experience - either jr. counselors, or teen programming.  Please be advised that the Gan will be open at various times throughout the weekend (about 6 hours total) so that families will spend most of the weekend together.  Children in 2nd grade and older are encouraged to sleep in the bunks with counselors.  There will be evening Shmira (babysitting) in the lobby of buildings with kids sleeping in adult rooms. Adults have private rooms with bathrooms - motel style. Fee includes lodging, meals, and all activities.

Please note ways to get involved on the registration form-- we would love your help!

We are grateful to have generous sponsors again this year such that we can offer a discount of $250 per family to the first 30 families who register. A non-refundable deposit of $200 is due by Friday, October 5th in the office in order to confirm your reservation. The balance is due on Monday, October 22.  Please see registration form for full pricing information.

For more information or to register please visit the registration page.


Tour de Summer Camp:

Did you go to Jewish summer camp? Did your time there shape who you are today? Join us to support sending thousands of kids to Jewish summer camp. Ride, spin or cheer with Shara and Team Adat Ari El for the Tour de Summer Camps. Register now for a day of "cycling, activities and laughter."

Click here to sign up:

IAC Sukkot Festival

Stop by the ADAT booth at the IAC's Sukkot Festival on Sunday, September 23!

From the Synagogue

Monday, October 1

Simchat Torah Dinner & Celebration

6:00pm Picnic Dinner

7:00pm Tefillah Celebration with N'ranena Band


Mark your calendars for these important dates:

  • September 24 & 25: Sukkot - No School
  • September 27: PJ's in the Sukkah - 5:30 - 7:00pm
  • October 1: Sh'Mini Atzeret - No School
  • October 1: Simchat Torah Celebration - 6:00 pm - 7:00pm Tefillah Celebration with N'ranena Band 
  • October 2: Simchat Torah - Yom Limmud (School Open, Optional)

*click here to view the full calendar

Jewish Trivia question of the week

Each week, we'll pose a Jewish Trivia question of the week and will reveal the answer in the following week's newsletter!

Here's this week's question in honor of Sukkot:

During Sukkot, observant Jews welcome Ushpizin. What are Ushpizin?

a. Guests

b. Messages of good cheer

c. Strangers

d. Children

ANSWER from last week's question:  What is the final prayer of Yom Kippur?

a. Neilah

Thu, June 4 2020 12 Sivan 5780