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Leadership Blog - Happy 2019!

Dear Parents:

Welcome back to school and happy 2019! It has been so wonderful seeing all of you and your children this week – hearing fun stories from vacations, coming together for our first Havdalah of 2019, and jumping right back into our learning!

2019 is going to be a busy and fun-filled year at ADAT. In about a month, we will have our incredible Intergenerational Day, which you and your loved ones will not want to miss. About a month after that, we will have our biennial Jump-a-Thon – raising money for new water-filling stations. And then, on May 4, we have our 2nd Annual Day School Celebration – an evening of fun, food, dancing, and community! Mark your calendars today!

Around campus, you may have noticed that our Adat Ari El Cafe is open for business and expanding its offerings everyday. Groundworks Coffee and Tea has joined us to offer their delicious beverages, and food – fresh from our kosher kitchen! Drop by for a quick drink or snack or stay a while and enjoy the space. The proceeds from the cafe benefits our Building Fund, which pays for security improvements for our students and campus. The cafe’s hours of operation are 7:30AM-4:00PM each day, with the exception of Tuesday, when they are open until 6:00PM. Now you can start skipping your daily trip to Starbucks for a cup of coffee!

On that note, earlier today, I sent out an update on our Security Town Hall meeting. In it, I mentioned that we will be postponing our previously scheduled meeting for this coming Tuesday, due to the date change of the audit. We are, however, continuing to pursue the other aspects of our security plan. We will update you when we have new information to share, but please be assured of our ongoing...

Leadership Blog 

Dear Parents:

It seems like only a week ago that we were welcoming you back to a new school year. And yet, here we are getting ready to close for our winter break! What an amazing first part of the school year it has been. Together, we have accomplished so much, including:

  • Welcoming the Jewish new year 5779

  • Celebrating holidays from Sukkot to Hanukkah and Shabbat Under the Stars

  • Learning together through parent education and parlor meetings

  • Giving back through tikkun olam projects, such as Safe Parking LA or responding to the needs of the Woolsey Fire victims

  • Sharing our mission and touring prospective families around our campus

  • Reaching 96% participation in our first-ever Annual Fund campaign so far

It really is incredible how much we have done in these first four months of the 2018-19 school year. As we look ahead to 2019, we are equally excited about what lies ahead, including:

  • Grade Level Shabbat Dinners

  • Intergenerational Day 2019

  • Jump-a-Thon

  • Class Field Trips

  • Our 2019 Annual Celebration on May 4

  • ...and so much more!

In the meantime, please enjoy a well-deserved break from the routine – whether you’re traveling or staying close to home. We hope you have a fun, rejuvenating, and family-filled winter break and a healthy, happy new year!

We look forward to seeing you...

Leadership Blog 

Dear Parents,

What an exciting month is has been here at Adat Ari El Day School! Last month, we held our Prospective Parent Open House. Prospective families had a chance to hear from our leadership, watch our mission in action video, and tour the campus – going to many of our classrooms to see our students at work. Our classrooms looked amazing, our teachers were awesome as always, and our current students were friendly and welcoming in every way, and I couldn’t be more proud to show off our school. It was such a successful morning, due in large part to the teamwork of our administration and teachers … and some pretty cute kids to give our visitors the best possible look into ADAT!

With just one Open House, I spend a good portion of the “admissions season” giving tours and fielding inquiries daily. If you know of anyone looking for a school as unique and special as ours, please encourage them to call or e-mail me about coming to visit. We expect to have a full kindergarten class next year with many new students – strengthening and expanding our community even more!

Don’t forget, parents, we also have a robust Parent Ambassador Program, in addition to every parent’s role as an advocate for our school.  If you are interested in formally joining our Ambassador Program, please feel free to contact me.

Wishing you all a wonderful winter break and looking forward to more admissions excitement in 2019!

Warmly,

Sarah

Inside the Classroom

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TK

Kindergarten

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Leadership Blog - Shining a Light on Community

Dear Parents:

Tonight, we will light the 6th candle on our chanukkiyot. I hope it has been for you, as it has been for me and all of us here at ADAT, a Chanukkah filled with the light and warmth of community.

On Tuesday night, it was a joy to welcome so many of you – 375 Day School, ECC, JLC, and synagogue members – to our Chanukkah Fest celebration. What stood out to me most was the vibrant community we have built among our three schools. There are many day schools that do not have the benefit of being part of a synagogue, as well. I was so grateful, looking out at Farber Auditorium that was literally overflowing with people, for the deep communal roots we have here at Adat Ari El, and for the excited screams from children and the many hugs between adults.

The beauty and cohesiveness of our community has also been illuminated by our first-ever Day School Annual Fund. To date, and with weeks still to go in our campaign, we have reached a whopping 94% participation as a Day School – as a community. The Annual Fund is largely about the collective, the whole. Though individual gifts – whether big or small – are critical, it is even more meaningful to see participation in a cause that is so universally important to this community – your children’s education. The success of the Annual Fund thus far is reflected in the strength of this community. And, I am filled with pride and gratitude.

This community emanates light and warmth, and it is seen everyday in the smiles of your children, the shared hugs and laughter between parents, and in moments like Tuesday when our three schools come together in our synagogue home. Thank you for all you do to make Adat Ari El Day School shine.

May you continue to have a chag Chanukkah sameach!

Warmly,

Shara...

Leadership Blog - Shehecheyanu at Hanukkah

Dear Parents,

At my house last week, we recited the Shehecheyanu prayer at our Thanksgiving dinner, and we will do it again each night of Hanukkah.  I felt blessed for all who gathered in my home on Thursday. As the decorative candles burned, we felt safe, and warm and free.  For the moment, we were insulated from feeling vulnerable; from sickness, brutality, and nature’s fury.

“How close were the fires?” the out-of-towners asked.  

“Too close,” we replied.

Soon we will gather again watching different kinds of candles burn. The candles on the Hanukkiah will also make us feel safe and warm and free.  For eight days, we will feel insulated from vulnerability; from tyranny, brutality, and prejudice. We will take our strength from the story of the Maccabees, and teach our children to stand for what is right.      

“How close were we Jews to annihilation?” our children may ask.

“Too close,” we reply.

With much gratitude for all that is good and for bringing us to this season, let’s take strength from our traditions and our beliefs by reciting the Shehecheyanu each night of Hanukkah.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמָן הַזֶּה

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech haolam, shehecheyanu, v’kiy’manu, v’higiyanu laz’man hazeh.

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of all, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.

May we all be safe and warm and free.

B'Shalom,

Sari

80 years of Adat Ari El....

Come join us for a fabulous Celebration

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Leadership Blog 

On Wednesday, our students acted to improve the world, and it was incredible to witness.

Our 3rd and 4th grade students gathered with their teachers and with parent volunteers to cook a beautiful meal from ingredients donated by their parents. Chicken, shnitzel, vegetables, rice, fruit salad, potatoes … all of it made with care and love. Then, in the evening, three students, their parents, Ms. Goodman, and I delivered the food to participants in the Safe Parking LA program, ate dinner with the program’s participants, and got to learn a bit about their lives.

Next Wednesday, we are making extra food for our Thanksgiving Feast, and more students and parents will be bringing a Thanksgiving dinner to Safe Parking LA participants.

Safe Parking LA is a program that arranges safe, overnight parking for people who fall into one of the gaps in the system that supports the homeless population. Participants in this program sleep in their cars. Many of the people that this program serves have jobs, go to school, or do both. They are the “hidden homeless”-- they could be your coworker, or sitting next to you at a fast food restaurant, and you would have no idea that they were homeless. But they sleep in their cars. They make too much money to qualify for housing assistance programs, and not enough to afford an apartment.

I had the pleasure of speaking with one participant for about 30 minutes who is a student at American Jewish University (my alma mater) on-track to earn her MBA in nonprofit management. She works three days a week, goes to school two days a week, and supports her daughter who is earning her AA from a community college. When she graduates, she wants to start a nonprofit that actually serves the needs of the homeless community. She said that the problem with the...

Leadership Blog 

Dear Adat Ari El Families,

Last Shabbat, a group of families gathered at Camp Ramah in Ojai California.  We spent the weekend learning both with and from each other, watching our children make new friends and strengthen their pre-existing relationships, and relaxing in the scenic backdrop of Camp Ramah.  In addition to the time spent getting to know each other, the weekend featured other opportunities, such as challah braiding, yoga, hiking, ropes course and a mini color war competition.

This was my first Shabbaton with the Day School at Adat Ari El and I was blown away with the sense of community and love that I felt from our families.  Last Shabbat, we read from the Parsha Chayei Sarah (The life of Sarah).  There was a discussion about the idea that since the Parsha begins with the death of Sarah, the focus is on Sarah’s legacy and how she pushed those around her to be better people.  

Watching our children this weekend really highlighted this message from Chayei Sarah.  They were supportive of each other at the ropes course, cheering each other to succeed.  They pushed each other to try new things and sat together at meals. They really embodied the message that we received from the Parsha.  These were not things that had to be asked of them, they are values and beliefs that are ingrained in them because of who they were raised by – they are a product of you, our community, and our school.  

The mission of our school reads, “Through Jewish vision and values, Adat Ari El Labowe Family Day School raises up students who KNOW themselves, SERVE others, and ACT to improve the world”.  The behavior that I witnessed this weekend, whether it was at the ropes course, in the dining hall or celebrating Havdalah together, showed me that our children have made this mission statement a part of their lives.

I am looking...

Leadership Blog 11.2.18 - Annual Fund: The Story Behind the Numbers

Dear Parents:

We’re at day 41 of our 100 days, 100% participation 2018-19 Annual Fund campaign. And, if the numbers were to tell a story, it would tell one of community, strength, “firsts”, and so much gratitude for all of you!

The numbers speak for themselves:

Faculty, Staff, and Administration - 100%
Governing Board - 100%
TK - 85.5%
Kindergarten - 73%
1st Grade - 77%
2nd Grade - 80%
3rd Grade - 86.7%
4th Grade - 71%
5th Grade - 91%
6th Grade - 47%

It’s important to me that I reiterate the WHY of the Annual Fund. There are so many benefits for our school if we can get to 100% participation:

  • Our accreditation from CAIS (California Association of Independent Schools) will be stronger if the visiting team sees 100% participation from our families
  • We will be able to approach outside donors - including foundations - more easily to ask for support
  • More funds will be available for programming, facilities, curriculum enhancements and professional development, to name a few.

Remember that “community” does not only refer to you, our parent community, but also to the Board, faculty, and administration. We are filled with appreciation that our Board members are so deeply committed to what an investment in ADAT means - not just of time, but of financial resources, that they have come together with 100% participation. Then, there is our administration and faculty. Whether they have been here for 30 ...

Leadership Blog: What is Language Arts Night?

Dear Parents:

You may have noticed an event on the calendar coming up very soon - Language Arts Night - Thursday, November 8, from 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. What you may have also wondered is … what is this event and why should I be there? Well, I’m here to give you the inside scoop on this fun and informative evening for parents and students.

What is Language Arts Night?
Language Arts Night is a celebration of the ways our students use and engage with language. This can be the reading and writing they do in English and in Hebrew, it can be the ways that our students use language to communicate with each other and/or adults, it could even be the special vocabulary used in Math and Science.

At this event, each grade will exhibit work that showcases what they have done so far this year with language in a variety of educational, creative, and hands-on ways.

What is special about this year’s Language Arts Night?
This year, many of our grade levels will be displaying their work around their “Difference Makers” statements. These are the statements that each class wrote in answer to the question: “How are we difference makers?” I think you will be amazed and impressed by the depth of their thinking.

What else will be happening during this time?
Our book fair will be open, you will have a chance to purchase ADAT swag with our ADAT Shop, and you will have a chance to interact with fellow parents across all grades of our community.

If you have any further questions about Language Arts Night, please don’t hesitate to contact me at any time. We can’t wait to see you there!

Shabbat Shalom,

Lauren

Inside The Classroom...

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