It doesn’t happen often, but this year we were able to have a full week of Hanukkah celebrations at Gross Schechter!  The smell of latkes permeated the air, we enjoyed fresh Schechter sufganiyot masterfully baked by Esti Rub, celebrations occured in classrooms, and of course the two wonderful musical performances helped to create an atmosphere of celebration and joy.  There is no doubt that Gross Schechter knows how to celebrate the Hanukkah season.

I hope everyone had the opportunity to attend the K-4 Hanukkah Concert on Tuesday evening.  It was a fantastic performance by our lower school students. They knew the words to a variety of Hanukkah songs, followed the choral directions from Mrs. Clerget, danced a little and used rhythmic sticks to keep the beat.  The highlight of the evening was the Hanukkah parody sung to music from the Broadway hit Hamilton.  A very loud shout out goes to our teachers, Sheri Gross and especially to Carolyn Clerget for putting together an amazing program.

Our third and fifth graders had an authentic experience of pressing olives for the olive oil this past week.  They were able to use the oil to light a Hanukkiah and hear about the story of Hanukkah from Rabbi Shmuli Friedman.  These learning opportunities help to enhance the understanding of our traditions.

Our middle school students are excited about their new art electives this trimester.  Their electives options were a student run school newspaper, 3D Art, acapella singing, or participating in the musical, “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.”  We are all looking forward to the results of their hard work later in the school year.

On Thursday evening, our youngest students entertained a standing room only crowd to an evening of Hanukkah songs.  The ECC staff does an amazing job of coordinating this performance, but this year it was an even bigger challenge with over 100 students on stage.  Even our aftercare staff, led by Debbie Friedman, got into the act with a couple of songs. It takes quite an effort to get all those little ones to learn the songs and perform in front of such an audience.  Kudos to Tracey Bortz and her staff.

On Friday afternoon, we celebrated the end of Hanukkah week with our monthly Shabbat Shabang.  There was Hanukkah music, Shabbat music, and as always a short faculty performance.  We always welcome parents to come in early and enjoy a short Shabbat celebration with us on Shabang Fridays.

Upcoming Dates:
  • Tuesday evening, December 11:
    • SPA Meeting, 7:00 pm
    • 8th Grade Israel Trip Meeting, 7:30 pm
  • Monday, December 17: Dial-a-Thon, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
  • Tuesday, December 18, 5th Grade Meet the Explorers Program, 7:00 pm
  • Friday, December 21: Last Day of School (full day)
  • Monday, January 7, 2019: School Resumes (ICC Opens Wednesday, Jan 2)
  • Thursday, January 31, 6:30pm: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat


Enjoy the remaining days of Hanukkah,  Shabbat Shalom and have a wonderful weekend!


Randy S. Boroff
Head of School
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