Purim and Community and Zoom, oh my!

February 2021   Keeping Connected

Hello School Community Friends,

The transition to being fully remote for a period of time seems to have gone smoothly. Thank you to everybody for your continued support, patience and flexibility.

Our goal is to always create engaging, interactive and informative class sessions. This seems like an appropriate time of the year to remind everyone of best practices for attending remote classes. Please review these expectations with your students to help all of us continue to provide the best Jewish education possible given the circumstances.

  • Come to class prepared with textbooks, Hebrew papers, paper, pencil and any other supplies that a teacher might request for a certain week.
  • Come to class sitting up right, in a position that shows kavod and the willingness to learn in class.
  • Turn on your video screen. It is much more engaging for the teacher and all the students to be able to see everyone and make connections.
  • Turn on your audio so that participation in class is able to occur. Make sure that your student is sitting close enough so that they can be heard.
  • Clear your work space for class so that there are no temptations to participate in other activities. Put your phone away. Please do not play other games on the computer (or on any device) while in class.
  • Respect the use of the Chat room and other Zoom functions.

If you know of another suggestion that will help to create conducive and engaging learning environments, please let me know.

We are aware that the fully remote aspect of school (and the pandemic) is preventing the students and families from hanging out with each other and enjoying each other’s company. The creation of community remains of great importance and is one of the many joys of Congregation Shalom. Last month you should have all received updated class lists with contact information.  We encourage you to reach out to other families in your classes or in the larger community. You can gather on Zoom to engage in games, discussions, play time, food, merriment and more. If you feel comfortable, make plans to meet a classmate outside for a winter hike, some play in the snow, or to gather around a bonfire. When you plan to Zoom into services, let your friends know so that you can all be at services together. Pick a book to read and discuss. Gather to read Hebrew to one another! The options are endless.  If you have other ideas, please share them with me. In addition, if there is a certain kind of program that you would like us to offer, please share those ideas as well.

Finally – Purim will be at the end of February this year. As this newsletter goes to press, we are in the midst of making plans. More information will be shared with you in the coming weeks. I do know that we are going to have a virtual costume contest! Plan to don a mask with a costume and snap a photo. We will vote on our favorite costumes, but it will all be anonymous because we are challenging everyone to wear a mask (not a covid mask!) with their costume! We will be sharing some hamantaschen recipes and encouraging everyone to make hamantaschen at home. We will be offering the opportunity for families to participate in giving Shalach Manot gifts to other members in our community. We will also be offering a Purim program and I know the Shalomites are working hard to create some sort of safe Purim carnival. Stay tuned and watch your email for more information.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, comments or concerns at any time.

With gratitude,


Schedule for February (subject to change, depending on circumstances)

  • Wednesday, February 3 – – Wednesday Hebrew School – all remote
  • Gimel, Dalet, Hey and Chai School
  • Friday, February 5, 2021 – 6th Family Shabbat at 7pm. All are welcomed and encouraged to join us at services on Zoom.
  • Sunday, February 7, 2021 – Sunday Religious School and Sunday Hebrew School – All Remote
    • 6th grade Family Ed – REMOTE
    • Virtual Mikveh Field Trip – 7th grade
  • Wednesday, February 10 – Wednesday Hebrew School – All remote
  • Gimel, Dalet, Hey and Chai School
  • Sunday, February 14 – NO SCHOOL – February vacation week in Massachusetts
  • Wednesday, February 17 – NO SCHOOL – February vacation week in Massachusetts
  • Sunday, February 21 – NO SCHOOL – February vacation week in Massachusetts
  • Wednesday, February 24 – Wednesday Hebrew School
  • Gimel, Dalet, Hey and Chai School
  • Post Confirmation
  • Sunday, February 28, 2021 – Sunday Religious School and Sunday Hebrew School


Information about Purim and different Purim events will be shared soon.