Practice, Practice, Practice

December 2021   Keeping Connected

A person was walking through New York City and stop another person in the street to ask “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?”

The second person responded with “Practice, practice, practice.”

The theory of learning a second language runs on a similar theory. Practice helps you get better. Practice leads to comfort. Practice leads to more fluency. You probably try really hard to get your children to sports practices. You probably encourage them to practice a musical instrument at home. Similar to these scenarios, language learning needs practice.  Revisiting what is taught in Hebrew School reinforces their long-term learning and leads to better retention and maximizes their learning potential. Just attending Hebrew class each week is not enough to allow your children to progress with their Hebrew. The good news is that practicing Hebrew at home only needs 10-15 minutes a day, a few days a week.

As your children grow and develop, they access prior learning and foundations to move forward with their continued learning. They use what they have already been exposed to and build on it each week. When your children begin the formal work of preparing for their actual Bar/Bat Mitzvah, they are required to practice several times a week in order to be ready to become a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. If they are already in the habit of practicing regularly at home, it makes this requirement go a lot more smoothly. The journey to the bima should be paved with Hebrew practice starting in the younger grades!

How can you help your student practice Hebrew at home?

  1. Do not make it a chore. Try to refrain from telling your children how much you dreaded learning Hebrew. Do not use it as a punishment. Try to make Hebrew practice fun and light hearted.
  2. Give your student an audience. Encourage them to practice so that you can listen. Have them read for ten minutes out loud while you are driving, folding laundry, or preparing dinner. The more the students read out loud, the more comfort they will develop.
  3. Do not worry if they are making mistakes. The teachers/madrichim will help with correcting mistakes.
  4. You do not need to know how to read Hebrew to support your student. Support them in their efforts. Encourage them with their work. If you would like the transliterations of any of the Hebrew prayers and blessings, please ask me and I will help you access them.
  5. If you do want to follow along, there are many prayers in the Prayer Books that have transliterations. Have your child read Hebrew and you can follow along with the transliterations.
  6. Help your child keep their Hebrew books and folders neat and organized and accessible, with easy access to the different resource sheets that might be helpful while practicing.
  7. Make Hebrew reading fun. Have your student read to a pet. Have them read to grandma or grandpa over the phone or on Zoom. Have them reach out to a classmate for a little one on one Hebrew practice before playing together.
  8. Attend Shabbat services on Friday nights (in person or live streamed) to allow them to find meaning in the the prayers in a service.
  9. Access the chanting of the prayers on the temple’s website to allow your student to become more familiar with the tunes and melodies. Many times I have suggested to students to play the chanting clips while making their bed or brushing their teeth. Familiarity with the prayers and blessings will add more comfort. (It is just like listening to the same song over and over again.)
  10. Prioritize your students Hebrew class time and their time working with their Hebrew madrich/madrichim.
  11. Some families find that having a Homework Chart works well. Help your student keep track of the days spent practicing at home. Share the chart with me or your Hebrew teacher for kudos and maybe even a little prize.
  12. Feel free to talk to me about ways to help your student at home.

We are so fortunate at Congregation Shalom to have such an enthusiastic group of teachers and Hebrew madrichim to help with your students Hebrew learning. The continued support of Hebrew practice at home will help to create a well-rounded language learning experience and will help to develop strong and eager Hebrew readers! Thank you in advance for your support in helping your student to practice their Hebrew at home.

Wishing you all a Happy Hanukkah and a joyful season,


Schedule for December

Wednesday, December 1 – Hebrew School
  • Hebrew School – remote and in-person according to schedule
  • Kitah Hey – 4:15pm-6pm in temple
  • 6:30pm – BIG Menorah Lighting outside the temple
Thursday, December 2
  • 6:30pm – BIG Menorah Lighting outside the temple
Friday, December 3
  • Family Shabbat at 7:00pm (led by the 7th graders,) all are invited
  • 6:30pm – BIG Menorah Lighting outside the temple
Saturday, December 4 – 10:30am
  • 6:30pm – BIG Menorah Lighting outside the temple
Sunday, December 5
  • Hanukkah Party in the Parking Lot
  • Family Event for all to join in the celebration – 10am-12pm
  • This is class for the day
  • Bring a gift card (Walmart, Amazon, Target, Market Basket) to donate to the refugee settling in our area from Afghanistan
  • 6:30pm – BIG Menorah Lighting outside the temple
Wednesday, December 8
  • Hebrew School – remote and in-person according to schedule
  • Kitah Hey – 4:15pm-6pm in temple
Friday, December 10
  • Shalomites Creative Service – this is always a fun service with lots of music, come join and support the Shalomites as they lead the congregation at 6pm
Sunday, December 12 – Religious School
  • K-4th – 8:30m-10:15am
  • 5th – 7th – 10:30am – 12:30pm
  • 6th grade family ed – 10:30am – 12:30pm
Wednesday, December 15
  • Hebrew School – remote and in-person according to schedule
  • Kitah Hey – 4:15pm-6pm in temple
  • Post Confirmation – 6:30pm – 8:00pm (Pizza at 6pm)
Sunday, December 19 – Religious School – Shacharit Service


  • PreSchool – 8:30am – 10:15am
  • K – 2 – 8:30am-10:15am
  • 3rd grade – 8:30am-11:30am
  • 4th grade- 8:30am – 10:45am
  • 5th – 7th – 10:15am – 12:30pm
Wednesday, December 22
  • Hebrew School – remote and in-person according to schedule
  • Kitah Hey – 4:15pm-6pm in temple
Sunday, December 26 – NO RELIGIOUS SCHOOL
Wednesday, December 29 – NO HEBREW SCHOOL
Sunday, January 2, 2022 – NO RELIGIOUS SCHOOL
Wednesday, January 5 – BACK IN SESSION with Hebrew School