What a fantastic MESS! Hamsas take form

Omanut Families,

If you had the chance to see the Omanut room this past Sunday you may have noticed something unusual; a fine coat of light blue goo! After exploring the history and cultural elements of the Hamsa, our time on Sunday was spent creating moulds of each of our hands from Thermagel. A variety of alginate, Thermagel is very similar to the material used in dental and orthodontia offices to create extremely detailed casts of teeth. We used it to create moulds of our hands which were filled with plaster after class. Fingers crossed, come Tuesday/Wednesday students should be able to open their moulds and birth plaster reproductions of their hands to turn into personalized Hamsas.

Another, HUGE goal for this week is gearing up for the Art Show on Sunday (April, 28th)!!!! Students have been, and continue to, work hard putting finishing touches on past pieces as well as preparing our Omanut space for the the show. The hallway of the Religious School is being transformed into an Art Gallery featuring all the products of years worth of art. I/we hope and look forward to seeing everyone on Sunday for the show and some group programing.

As our year begins to wind down the art show will be a great opportunity to reflect on a year of learning and creating. It is our hope that these pieces will serve as both reminders of the ideas that have been explored this year and as keepsakes of your students at this point in their life and religious education.

See you all Sunday!


PROGRESS!!!! Here comes the Art Show!!!

Omanut Families,

Talk about a solid day in the Omanut room. This was our first Sunday back since Passover/Spring break, and we dove right back into our projects!
With the Art Show just 2 weeks away (APRIL 28th!), the day was spent making serious headway on past projects that are very near completion. Students sorted their pieces by complete vs. incomplete and rallied to make a serious dent in the “incomplete” pile. Nothing motivates like a deadline!
For some students this time was spent putting the polish on their Moses Narrative pieces so that they can be sent out to be turned into lovely trivets for use at home. Others revisited earlier projects dealing with the work of Menashe Kadishman and the Shema. Students also used the hot glue gun (with supervision) to begin mounting our Agam projects from the very start of the year. I love it when a plan comes together!
Be on the lookout in the religious school hallways, and possibly other buildings at Temple Isaiah for posters advertising the upcoming Art Show (APRIL 28th!), students not working on past projects or helping their peers have been putting in solid work to let the community know of our upcoming event.
TPR with Tammy and Yardena was a hit as always with the students being introduced to the hebrew words for , “star”, “blue”, “white”, and “flag”. Yom Ha’atzmaut is here again, and as we celebrate Israel’s 65th year, it is great that the students are being introduced to corresponding vocabulary.
THIS WEEK (Tues/Wed, and Sunday): We begin work on our final project for the year where we will be exploring and creating our own Hamsas from molds of our own hands. This project is materials heavy and time sensitive. The introduction will be taking place Tues/Wed with the the molds being made on Sunday. This project will allows students the opportunity to explore an interesting element of Jewish culture as well as provide a keepsake of their hand at 3rd/4th grade. Those in attendance this week are in for what should be a ton of fun as well as the creation of a lasting memory.

Have a great week,


Go down Moses!

Omanut families,

This has been a solid week for the Omanut students leading up to our Passover break. That’s right, no religious school until the week of April 8th. Please plan accordingly.

Today in class we continued our work focusing on particular portions from the Moses narrative. Most all students have moved on from sketching to working on the final draft of their single picture depiction of an assigned portion. For this project students are choosing which medium they wish to use to best convey their understanding. When this project reaches its conclusion we will have a room full of beautiful compositions featuring, water color, oil pastel, colored pencil and acrylic paint. Omanut students and families can also look forward to, with the completion of these masterpieces, the arrival of tile trivets featuring a computer generated reproduction of their work. While this is still a little ways off, it is something fun to anticipate.

While working diligently on Sunday the class also worked with teachers to review the story of Moses. When we would reach a portion being addressed by one of the students they would explain their understanding with teacher support to fill any gaps. All in all a fun and productive Sunday.

Hag Pesach Sameach,


Moses in a basket —> Israelites reach the Promised Land. Omanut explores the Moses narrative

Hello Omanut Families,

Riding the wave of success following last weeks plate painting project with Marsha, the Omanut students dove right back in today, focusing their attention on Moses. During the week the students had the chance to (re)familiarize themselves with a very popular portion of the story of Moses; from the basket all the way to “Let my people go” and the Desert.
Given the sheer volume of information/events that transpire through Moses’ life, the Omanut students are each working with a particular portion of this epic. After reading through text provided in class as well as watching a short animated G-dcast clip dedicated to the same portion, our students took to the task of sketching out (in 1 picture) the big idea or take away that stuck with them. Ultimately these sketches will be turned into beautiful Omanut Original pieces and later recreated on a tile trivet for use at home. 1 project 2 end pieces (nice deal huh?). Areas of focus vary from parting of the Red Sea all the way through to the death of Moses himself. As this project continues students will be able to learn about the other portions from each other, so that everyone ends up with the same information. In focusing on a given portion of the narrative, our students’ understanding will be just as rich as the work they produce celebrating it. Today we also had a visit from Joel for Music featuring the ever so seasonally appropriate songs corresponding to Passover.

Some have come by the room today looking for their completed glass plate from last week. The finishing touches to these were added today by Danielle and a small handful of Omanut students assisting her. Thank you Danielle. They will be ready for pick up Tues/Wed & Sunday, we apologize for any confusion surrounding pick-up. Our TA’s helped out like the all-stars that they are, many thanks to them as well.

Please check the religious school schedule as we have some days coming up where class will not be meeting. If we are all on the same page everybody wins.

Have a great week,


Book completion, Purim, and our Family Program

Hello Omanut Families,

A lot of action to report on from our group of Omanut students.

Principle among recent events is the near total completion of our Illustrated Art Guide to Israel. The students have been working diligently in completing their primary contributions to the guide, and then going back to work helping out with maps of Israel, cover design and general organization of the book. A little more paper sorting to go, and then the behind the scenes book building can take place. The students dedicated hard work is to be commended, it will be reflected in the final product.

Last week it was great to see a number of Omanut faces during Temple Isaiah’s Purim celebration. Several of our number took part in the Purim play that was put on in the sanctuary, yasher ko’ach (phonetically correct?) to them! Everyone had the chance to celebrate during the carnival, it was lovely to see the costumes and generally seeing students having such a good time.

Yesterday we had our rescheduled Family Program for Omanut, thank you to all who were able to attend. Omanut families joined their Omanut students in as we went through a class day that was very similar to a typical Sunday. We all had snack (bagels as opposed to the usual pretzels/goldfish), followed by Meeting, where families participated right along with their students in a name game. The highlight of the day was our art project. Jewish Children and Family Services provide numerous types of aid to those in need. One of these is meal delivery. Omanut Students and their families worked together to decorate the bags that will soon be used to deliver both Shabbat and Passover meals by JCFS to those who most need them. As a group we brainstormed and came up with two great lists of things that we equate with either Shabbat or Passover. Thank you to everyone that was able to participate.

Looking forward we have some big things on the Horizon. Past Omanut instructor Marsha will be with us next Sunday working with students to take some of what we’ve learned during our guidebook project and creating some beautiful painted glass work from it. Students are invited to come for a DOUBLE SESSION this Sunday as this is a 1-day project. While students are welcome to come during their regular session time, think about attending both sessions as a way to allow for maximum work time.

We will follow this project up by diving into the Moses narrative, working as a group to tell the story visually. So much good stuff coming up, the rest of our Omanut year is looking to be visually stunning.

The Guide Book Continues!

Hello Omanut Families!

So what’s been happening the last few weeks in Omanut?  LOTS!!!

The Illustrated Art Guide to Israel is coming along nicely.  The Omanut Students hard work is really paying off.  Each student, working from a starting image, has gone through several drafts and peer critiques to produce some truly strong work.  While at times this process can require patience, the payoff is visible both in their drawings as well as each student’s approach to the peer critique.  These skills of observation and constructive criticism are ones that ultimately can extend far beyond the Omanut room and Temple Isaiah.

We are entering the last days of the project and with them comes one last push to wrap it all up.  Lately, students have been transitioning from drawing to writing up short descriptions of their locations.  Some students  have even moved onto cover design collaboration, and working on ideas for the map of Israel that we are going to need to help organize the overall project.

On top of all of this we have continued with our TPR with Tammy, lately focusing on vocabulary having to do with Tu’Bishvat and more recently Purim.  Swing by the Omanut room in the coming days to see some of these words explored visually on our bulletin board in the hallway (Sunday at the latest)

We have been lucking out lately, having music more often with Joel, which makes sense considering all the holidays that have been happening (or are just around the corner).  This time in the day, not only allows the students an opportunity to relax and make stronger connections with different aspects of Jewish culture, but helps the Omanut Students  focus that much more when we return to our art projects.

Our Family Day Program will be in on March 3rd, we will be decorating bags used by Jewish Family & Children’s Services to deliver meals to those in need.  I hope you can all join us in this endeavor.

Finally, here are a few images from the past weeks.SAMSUNG SAMSUNG SAMSUNG SAMSUNG SAMSUNG

Guide book progress and a fire drill


Hey Omanut families,

What an exciting day for the Omanut students!

Both sessions were introduced to some Tu bishvat vocabulary during TPR with Tammy.  Later in the morning trees were also the theme of music.

The ball is rolling and picking up speed with our art guide to Israel.  Today students picked locations and destinations throughout Israel and began working on line drawings of their selection.  Students had to consider scale and determine if there were particular features they wanted to include.  Everyone generated strong work today.

Both sessions participated in a fire drill today, and the Omanut students conducted themselves very well.  Afterwards everyone was able to get right back to work.

A reminder, the religious school does not meet next Sunday.

Have a great week,



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