The Monthly Roar, March 28th, 2014

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Letter From the Head of School

Dear Families,

This week, I spent a meaningful three days learning with my cohort in New York for the Day School Leadership Training Institute. This retreat focused on admissions and retention. I came away with helpful information and feel recharged as we continue to review our admissions procedures and calendar. Also, I was extremely pleased to share the many excellent programs and processes AJA has in place. We have much to be proud of. The conclusion of the program is a final three weeks in July. I thank all of you for allowing me this valuable opportunity.

I want to remind everyone to come see the beautiful family film, Igor and the Cranes’ Journey , which is being shown at the Arbor on Sunday, March 30th at 4:00 as part of the Austin Jewish Film Festival. AJA will have an art installation, which ties into the theme of the movie, on exhibit. We thank Mrs. Slomowitz for her vision for this creative exhibit of which all AJA students took part. I loved the movie and look forward to a second viewing with all of you. I encourage all to attend.

In our efforts to promote open dialogue and conversation, AJA is adding Parking Lot Chatter to our website. This will be a page located under Contact Us, where parents can ask questions anonymously. So if you’re sitting on a question or are curious about anything having to do with the school, this is your opportunity to ask. The question will be directed to the appropriate individual and will be answered promptly!

Shabbat shalom to all!

Cheryl Hersh

Mark Your Calendars

  • Austin Jewish Film Festival – Come see AJA sponsored movie Igor and the Cranes’ Journey. You can join other AJA families and enjoy AJA’s art installation and this wonderful movie Sunday, March 30th at 4:00 at the Arbor Theater.
  • Austin Jewish Film Festival will run from March 29 through April 4 this year. For further information please check out the web site Austin Jewish Film Festival.
  • Tuesday, April 8th, 8-9AM Parents Association Meeting after morning drop-off in the Library.
  • Monday, April 14, 2014 – Tuesday, April 22nd AJA is closed for Passover. The office will be open Monday April 14th, Thursday April 17th and Friday April 18th.
  • Wednesday, April 23rd AJA Professional Development – school is closed.
  • Thursday, April 24, 2014 AJA is back in session.
  • The JCC will be running a Yom Kef (Fun Day) Program – Monday 4/14, Thursday 4/17, Friday 4/18, Wednesday 4/23
    7:30am-6:00pm, Lunch and snacks will be provided and will be kosher for Passover. The cost per day is $50 JCC members/$65 nonmembers. If interested, contact Jessica Ochs.

Future Important Dates

  • Sunday, May 4, 2014 – Sunday, May 11, 2014 Back by popular demand, this year’s Palette of Young Artists Exhibit is returning to the Texas State Capital! The exhibit will feature work by all AJA art students. It opens Sunday, May 4th and ends Sunday, May 11th. Please join us Sunday, May 4th for a school wide picnic on the capital grounds 12-3PM.

Grey Bush

Help us Pave the Way

Our Pave the Way project is off to a great start! But, we still need YOUR help. Thank you to all the families, alumni, grandparents, and grandfriends that have already purchased a brick. Bricks start at only $36.00. Feel free to reach out to your class representative, a parent volunteer from our class, to place your order.

But… what do I WRITE on the brick? Here are a few ideas….

Foundation Brick 4”X8” for $36
We love you, Sam!/Proud parents/The Rosenbergs
You are an/amazing wife!/Love, David
Celebrating the Life/ of Betty Rose/ The Stewart Family
“One man’s candle/ is light for many”/ – Talmud on Shabbat

Developer Brick 8” x 8” for $180
The beginning of our/happiness lies in/the understanding/that life without/wonder is not worth/ living. In Honor of/Karen Hidalgo./ The Zakis Family
Celebrating the Life/ of Ruth Kramer/ an amazing/ Grandmother/ who continues/ to inspires all of us.

Let’s finish the walkway leading up to the beautiful Science and Innovation Center!

Brick -Pave the Way

Congratulations, Condolences and Tributes

Congratulations to our AJA Middle Schoolers who participated in the ExxonMobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair this past weekend in San Antonio. Mitchell Worob presented in Micro-biology and Aytahn Ben-Avi placed 4th in Materials and Bio-Engineering. For a list of all winners please check out Science Fair awards.

Our condolences to AJA Counselor Janai Bryan on the recent death of her mother.

Our condolences to the Kobrin-Brody family for the loss of Rabbi Kobrin’s grandmother Ella Finkelman.

A speedy recovery to Dekel Sentis’s grandfather who is in Turkey.

Cheryl Hersh donated a library book in memory of Ella Finkelman, great grandmother of Noa and Adin Kobrin-Brody.

Alexis Tretter had a Library book donated in honor of her birthday.

Alexis Tretter

What’s Happening at AJA?

AJA’s Medical School

This year in Middle School science, students have been studying cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems. They recently started a project-based learning experience called AJA Medical School. In AJA Medical School, the students choose a specialty (cardiology, pulmonology, immunology, neurology, urology, gastroenterology, and orthopedics are the options). Students then do research, labs, and activities related to that specialty.

Medical School 1

Medical School 2

Medical School 3

Medical School 4

Medical School 5

Medical School 6

Kindergarten Reader

Thanks to Sandra Bucklin for coming in and reading to our Kindergarteners.

Kindergarten Reader

Science Day

We were treated to beautiful weather on Science Day 2014. The 4th Graders enjoyed helping their Kindergarten buddies plant seeds in a glove.




Thank you for remembering the library when celebrating a simcha or looking for a meaningful tribute. We just received 21 additional books (half of them award winners). Plans are under way for our Spring book fair which will be held the week of May 5th-9th. Once again, our independent local book seller, Book People will be stocking the fair and returning 20% to the school. The month of March we started by saluting Dr. Seuss across the grades and also read some of the books which have received the Theodore Seuss Geisel seal.

Field Trips

Middle School attended the Anne Frank Exhibit at the Georgetown Public Library. For those interested is it open through May 4th, 2014.
MS - Anne Frank Exhibit A

2nd Grade went to Crowe’s Nest Farm and had a great day !

2nd Grade - Crowes nest A

1st Grade went on an exciting field trip to Culver’s restaurant to learn about the states of matter! The students got to see custard and waffle cones turn from a liquid into a solid. The students also got to take a tour around the kitchen and go into the freezer – brrr!!





Special Events at AJA

Spirit Week at AJA was filled with a variety of special activities. On Purim, the children were able to parade their costumes through the ECP, enjoy the Megillah in the synagogue, do a service activity for soldiers in Israel as well as hear Purim songs and a Dr. Seuss version of the story of Purim.





5th grade learn about Fair Trade

Mrs. Hidalgo’s class dove into this research by analyzing 5 fair trade chocolate companies. They ate their way into an understanding what makes Fair trade products such an incredible pursuit. Students learned where these products were made, from which materials, by whom, and more importantly, how the farmers and the farmers’ families benefit from this system within their families and communities. The students then researched the multitude of fair trade companies to choose which they were going to learn about and promote within a local Austin business. Through their persuasive efforts, they are hoping to have these businesses not only learn about these companies, but invest and carry these fair trade products. Students chose to advocate for fair trade sugar, beauty products, ice-cream and energy drinks. Wish them luck in these humanitarian pursuits!

Support AJA

Scrip is an essential part of the AJA’s fundraising program and a very easy way for our parents to do their part in supporting our wonderful school. Scrip cards are purchased at face value and Austin Jewish Academy receives a rebate from the vendor.

Scrip cards can be purchased daily in the AJA office. You can also, go online to to purchase scrip from hundreds of participating vendors. Using ScripNow!â„¢ is a great and easy way to purchase your Scrip, right from home! Once your account is set up, following the instructions on the website, you can just purchase Scrip and print out the codes or use them online to make your purchases. An easy way to do your shopping and help our school at the same time! You can even send your child with a completed Scrip Order Form or fill out an Authorization Agreement and have scrip cards pre-authorized and sent to your home.

Want to learn more about scrip? Contact the Advancement office at 512-735-8374 or send an email to Sarah Craemer.

Library Book Donation

Recognize an event, milestone or someone special by purchasing a book from the Library wish list. A book plate will be placed in the donated book. The student you are honoring will be able to choose from the newly purchases collection (not yet received). He/she will be the first to check the book out and it will be presented at Kabbalat Shabbat. Alternatively an acknowledgement letter will be sent to any non-student who is being honored.
Want to learn more? Contact the front office at 512-735-8350 or e-mail Myrna Glikman.

Alumni News

HISTORIC MOMENT FOR AJA! Rachel Sher ’02, became our first Alumna to substitute teach for us. It was so great to have her back at AJA. Check out this photo of Rachel today posing in front of her photo taken at AJA when she was a student.

Rachel Sher

What’s Happening in the Community?

  • National Essay Contest for High School Students. The Story of the Jews will be shown on PBS April 1 7-10PM CST. As part of the series an essay contest has been launched which is open for grades 9-11, ages 13-18. All entries must be submitted by June 13, 2014 to PBS essay contest.
  • Camp Young Judaea is accepting registration for summer camp for children entering Grades 2-9. For further information click here Camp Young Judaea.
  • Sunday, April 6th – Mitzvah Day. Don’t miss this fun, family friendly day of community service activities all over Greater Austin Mitzvah Day.
  • Anne Frank: A History for Today at the Georgetown Public Library – opened through May 4th, 2014
  • Monday, April 7, 2014 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM – Women’s Division 15th Annual Mosaic Luncheon honoring AJA Alum mother Tracy Solomon and Susan Dell. For more information visit the website at Mosaic.

Please join us – Parents are welcome and encouraged to attend Kabbalat Shabbat on Fridays from 8:00-8:30am. We would also like to encourage all students to wear white shirts on Friday to give AJA that special Shabbat feeling.

On behalf of the staff at AJA we would like to wish you and your families a Shabbat Shalom!