MaccaBee September 13th, 2012

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Letter From the Head of School

On my initial visit to AJA, I was struck by the warm and welcoming atmosphere. Each classroom exemplified the learning experience. The Technology Lab was impressive, housing the many desktop computers readily available to students. The library, in contrast, was a drab disappointment. It stood in stark contrast to the Tech Lab with its colorful mural and the classrooms so brightly decorated and inviting. How could a library full of books and children be such a sad and neglected space?  I soon learned that the changes in the Tech Lab were recent and that changes were already planned for the library as well.  On my return visit, the library had undergone a magical transformation.  New bookshelves, circulation desk, and furniture graced a library of which the school could be proud.

On September 20th,   AJA will be rededicating both the Tech Lab and the Library. These two bright spots in our school building were underwritten by The Zeifman Family in memory of Clifford’s mother, Abby Zeifman, The Garber Family Foundation, and an Anonymous donor for the Technology Lab.  The library was underwritten by Treva and Jeff Horwitz in memory of Jeff’s grandmother, Dora Adler Horwitz, and Treva’s father, Johnny Lloyd Cooper.  These two rooms will serve as a perpetual memorial -as children learn and grow within their walls.  We are truly grateful for the generous gifts these families have bestowed upon our school.

Please join us for the rededication, followed by a wine and dessert reception.  We look forward to seeing you there.


Cheryl Hersh

Save the Date

  • Monday – Tuesday, September 17th-18th: No School Rosh Hashana
  • Thursday, September 20th, 7:40-10:15am: Flu Fight Clinic (for more information, please see below)
  • Thursday, September 20th, 5:30pm: Volleyball Home Game (versus Brentwood)
  • Thursday, September 20th, 7:00-8:30pm: Library and Tech Lab Rededication
  • Tuesday, September 25th: Early Release at 12pm for Erev Yom Kippur
  • Wednesday, September 26th: No School Yom Kippur
  • Sunday, September 30th, 12:30-3:30pm: AJA will host a booth at SukkahFest on the JCC Campus

Updates and Announcements

  • With the generous support of Dr. Sharon Hausman-Cohen, the Austin Jewish Academy 8th grade class and JCC Wellness Program will be offering flu shots to the community. The price for the shots is $25 for mercury free shot, and $30 for nasal spray. Mark your calendars and Click Here to request a priority time slot.  Kindly direct questions to This event will take place at the JCC Welcome Desk.
  • Please be sure to complete the Student T-Shirt Size Survey by Wednesday, September 19th.

Congratulations, Condolences and Tributes

  • Congratulations to 5th grader Jack Bonilla and his swim team for winning State this summer!
  • AJA extends its condolences to 4th Grader Dekel Sentis, his mom Adela and their family with the passing of Adela’s mother.
  • AJA offers condolences to 3rd Grader Ruby Dachis, her mom Jill and their family with the passing of Jill’s grandmother.
  • Cheryl Hersh made a tribute in memory of Dekel Sentis’ grandmother, in memory of Mike Wendling’s mother, and in memory of Jill Dachis’s grandmother. She also made a donation in honor of Jack Bonilla for his swim team winning state.
  • AJA Alumni were actively involved in McCallum High School’s Fine Arts Academy’s production of  “Beauty & the Beast”. Sarah Swedlow, Lee Hauseman-Cohen, Avi Webberman and Lauren Distler worked backstage to make the sound, carpentry, stage management and makup/costume “magic” happen!

What’s Happening at AJA?

  •  Last week, AJA Middle School students stayed at Nature’s Classroom Institute (held at the CYJ camp in Wimberley). While on their trip, students learned about conservation and energy sources, the history of immigrants coming through Ellis Island, team-building and more!


  • Fourth Grade has been setting the foundation for the study of the human body as the students construct their understanding of animal cells. Using yeast, a one celled organism, the kids  experimented with the notion that all living things use energy, respire, create waste, react to their environment, grow, and reproduce. Students also explored osmosis – water molecules passing through a semi-permeable membrane into the cell.
The yeast is growing and respiring!
  • TK and Kindergarten were given their first gift from Zero the Hero, who only comes every 10th day of school!  He brought the two classes a box of Cheerios, which the children enjoyed eating outside on the picnic tables.

The Jewish Corner

Parents are welcome and encouraged to attend Kabbalat Shabbat on Fridays from 8:00-8:30am!  In addition, to encourage family discussions, the Parsha is listed and family-friendly Parsha discussion ideas are available at the Shabbat Table in the foyer on Fridays.


  • Friday, September 14th:  Abby Gostein will be chanting Kol Nidre for K-5. Middle school will be studying the Parsha Nitzavim with Dave Kaplan.
  • Friday, September 28th: The entire school will come together to celebrate Rosh Hodesh Tishrei.

Upcoming Torah Portions:

  • 9/14 Nitzavim: Means “You are Standing”. We will be talking about Moshe saying goodbye to the people and a reminder to them that they are standing before God.
  • 9/21 Vayelech: Moshe instructs us that we must be brave and strong as the leadership of the people goes from Moshe to Joshua.

What’s Happening in the Community?

  • Northwest Austin Youth Basketball (NWAYBA) will open registration on September 1st at The league offers competitive recreational play for everyone from 1st grade through high school. NWAYBA offers an excellent co-ed developmental league for 1st and 2nd grade kids. There are separate boys and girls divisions from 3rd through 6th grade. Tryouts start the weekend of October 20th (every kid makes a team!).
  • Volunteer tutors are needed for The Math Buddies Program at Hill Elementary School which runs from mid-October through April.

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