HT Blog


Reflections From Israel

I recently returned from what was an emotional, meaningful, and inspirational trip to Israel. Devora and I spent quality time with our son, Hersch, who is learning in Torat Shraga this year, my parents who live in Yerushalayim, and many close family members, all of whom are either serving in the army themselves or who…

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Insights from a Preschool Teacher

There’s no way to really begin, so I’ll take you on a serene journey to my classroom, where I am a Morah to the youngest children in our school, three and four year olds. The room is fresh and bright and the children skip in, running into my arms for hugs, shouting gleefully to their…

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Rabbi Linzer Participates in Principal’s Leadership Program at Harvard

On July 10th, a group of Jewish educational leaders from around the country arrived at The Harvard Graduate School of Education, excited to begin LEV – Leadership: An Evolving Vision, a one-week intensive leadership program. The Day School Principal’s Program was developed and funded by a well-respected national foundation. The administrators who were chosen for…

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Joseph Kirschner GrowTorah Garden Field Report 2021-2022

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Hillel Torah Featured in New Book

We are excited to share that Hillel Torah is prominently featured in the first chapter of a newly published book, Inside Jewish Day Schools: Leadership, Learning, and Community, by Alex Pomson and Jack Wertheimer. In this compelling new book, the authors conducted meticulous research on nine Jewish Day Schools across North America ranging in size,…

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Skokie students participate as scribe restores torah that survived Holocaust

[Skokie Review] By STEVE SADIN PIONEER PRESS | FEB 01, 2022 AT 1:40 PM A group of eighth graders in Skokie understands that their generation will be the last to personally speak to Holocaust survivors, and they know that gives them an obligation to carry the message to future generations. Meir Felemovicius of Skokie is…

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Joseph Kirschner GrowTorah Garden

We are excited to announce the launch of the new Joseph Kirschner GrowTorah Educational Garden at Hillel Torah – an amazing new educational initiative that combines STEAM and Torah learning. The Joseph Kirschner GrowTorah Garden is a hands-on vegetable gardening program located at the southwest corner of the school, with plenty of sun exposure, encouraging outdoor learning, exploration, and connection…

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Hillel Torah Students Complete Sefer Tehillim

Ten years ago, Hillel Torah parents Rifka and Daniel Weiss approached Hillel Torah with a dream. The year before, the Weiss’s had been moved by the power of communal Tehillim when their daughter Emuna Shir (Emma), became ill.  After Emma’s passing, Rifka and Daniel wanted to do something to keep her memory alive, while at…

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Pedagogy of Partnership

Hillel Torah teachers love to learn and bring new ideas into the classroom, even during a global pandemic. Peek into the 7th grade Dinim class of Judaic Studies teacher Rabbi Yoni Gold, or Samantha Toljanic’s 8th grade ELA class, and you will see a new approach to the ideas and texts they study. Both teachers…

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Five Students Accepted to the Truman Scholars Program

We are excited to announce Hillel Torah’s participation in the Truman Scholars Program, an 18-month program for outstanding 7th grade students in Orthodox Jewish Day Schools. Five of our 7th grade students, Ami Gavant, Aaron Koenig, Josh Koplow, Natan Miller, and Aiden Rich applied and were accepted to this inaugural program from the Tikvah Fund.  …

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A Tu Bishvat Visit to the Deutsch’s Garden

Our Middle School students had the zchut of being hosted in the garden of Rav Menachem and Ziva Deutsch who live in Kiryat Ye’arim, nestled in the Judah hills, an 8 mile drive from Jerusalem. In addition to being a beloved Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Menachem, who grew up on a farm up north in Moshav…

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Sixth Graders Participate in JUF’s Partnership Together Program

This school year, Hillel Torah Day School is participating in JUF’s  Partnership Together Chicago, Kiryat-gat, Lachish Shafir,  a program of the Jewish Agency for Israel that links communities in the Diaspora with communities in Israel.  Through this program, a pilot group of sixth grade students from Hillel Torah, led by Judaic studies teacher Lior Kakon, …

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Making Birkat Hamazon a Fun and Exciting Part of the Day

Fourth grade general studies teacher Shainy Peysin saw an opportunity to increase student engagement during Birkat Hamazon and took it upon herself to make Birkat Hamazon a fun and engaging part of her students’ day.  Here is her story: When I first started working at Hillel Torah, one of my responsibilities was saying Birkat Hamazon…

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Connect the Dots – מחוברים

This week we kicked off our theme of the year:  Connect the Dots – מחוברים! After building much anticipation last Friday with a staff polka dot day, Kindergarten through eighth grade gathered for a zoomsembly on Monday. The theme was announced and the students played a school-wide game making connections with each other from classroom…

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A Torah thought as we approach the Yamim Noraim

Dear Friends, What is taking place at Hillel Torah right now is nothing short of incredible. We are so grateful to be back in school, in person. Seeing children playing and enjoying being together (with masks and socially distant of course) and the voices of Torah and tefillah filling the classrooms and hallways has been…

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Anna Shkolnikov Named “Outstanding Beginning Teacher” by IACTE

Anna Shkolnikov, Hillel Torah Kindergarten teacher, received the 2020 Outstanding Beginning Teacher Award presented by the Illinois Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (IACTE). The award honors teachers in the first five years of their careers who are recognized for their dedication to students and the profession. Morah Shkolnikov is an alumna of Hillel Torah…

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Student Leadership Seminar

A group of our 8th graders was privileged to represent Hillel Torah at a Student Leadership Seminar held at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center this past Wednesday. Entitled “The Power of One: Choosing to Make a Difference,” this all-day seminar included student leaders from over thirty middle schools throughout Illinois. The sessions and…

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Author Talks

Third and fourth grade students were treated to an author presentation from our own Mrs. Shainy Peysin, assistant teacher in fourth grade General Studies. Mrs. Peysin told the students about her love of words and writing, and how she wrote her chapter book Bold and Brave, published by Hachai. Students learned about where she gets…

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Random Acts Of Kindness

Teaching and developing kindness, in a way that children will understand and internalize, is an essential part of educating our students. Hillel Torah’s second-grade general studies teachers, Ms. Alison Fink and Ms. Katie Goodman, are doing just that with their innovative Random Acts of Kindness initiative.  The second graders are learning about and practicing using…

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Sari Kravitt Wins 1st Place Hartman Educator of the Year Award

The Associated Talmud Torahs of Chicago Hartman Family Foundation Educator of the Year Award recognizes outstanding and innovative education professionals in the ATT system.  Hillel Torah teacher Sari Kravitt was named the 2019 1st place winner.  Over the past eight years, Sari has earned a stellar reputation as a teacher who really gets to know…

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Chesed Is Part of Our Everyday

The Emuna Shir Weiss z”l Chesed Program at Hillel Torah provides unique opportunities for students of all ages. Partnering with organizations around Chicago, including the ARK, Keshet, Junior Yachad, and many more, students can experience different ways to give to others. We learn that donating money is only the tip of the iceberg when it…

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NEW Physical Education Program

Chai Athletics was founded in 2017  when I recognized that there was not a consistent professional athletics company dedicated to teaching Jewish values such as confidence, courage, and leadership. Chai Athletics was created to help provide the Jewish community with Jewish values along with excellent youth sports coaches and programs.  This year’s P.E. teacher is Wes Baker.…

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Another Year of Chidon Success

[Chicago Jewish Home] MAY 30, 2019 – In early May, 250 students qualified nationwide (out of 600+) to travel to New York to take their shot at the National Chidon HaTanach finals.15 out of 24 of our 7th and 8th grade Chidon participants represented Hillel Torah at the competition. Yishar Koach to the four students…

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Nine Years of Names, Not Numbers ©

[Chicago Jewish Home] MAY 30, 2019 – For the past nine years, Hillel Torah’s 8th grade classes have been privileged to gain firsthand knowledge of the Holocaust through participation in the worldwide, intergenerational Holocaust oral history film project, Names Not Numbers©. Names, Not Numbers © is an ongoing documentary created by students who research Holocaust…

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The Promise of Day School Education: Cultural Virtuosity

[E Jewish Philanthropy] MAY 15, 2019 – I’ve been studying Jewish day schools for the last 25 years, a long time by most measures. Over two days recently, the potential of this enterprise to create Jewish cultural virtuosos  – people with outstanding ability to contribute to Jewish culture – suddenly gained new clarity for me.…

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Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZaikaron and Yom Ha’Atzmaut at Hillel Torah

[] MAY 16, 2019 – On Yom HaZikaron, we remembered those who lost their lives in the struggle that led to the establishment of the State of Israel, and all military and civilian people who were killed while in active duty in Israel’s armed forces or in terrorist attacks. Our Bnot Sherut HT 2018-19 created…

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Hillel Torah Selected for Exclusive Jewish Day School Book Project

Hillel Torah has recently been selected as one of nine schools to be highlighted in a new book being written about the impact of Jewish day school education in North America.   As one of the final projects of the Avi Chai Foundation, Drs. Alex Pomson and Jack Wertheimer will be capturing the stories of…

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CTD Partners with Jewish Day Schools

FEB 26, 2019 – Our partnership with the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University funded by the Crown Family Philanthropies is off to a strong start. This year we embarked on a full review of our higher level educational programming, the first step in this multi-year process. Northwestern collected data from parents, students, faculty,…

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How Hillel Torah’s Aliza Rosenbaum Uses

[] Aliza Rosenbaum has been teaching Judaic Subjects to seventh and eighth grade students at Hillel Torah North Suburban Day School in Skokie, Il for seven years. She has spent much of that time experimenting in her classroom in the hopes of developing the most effective ways to teach and work with her students. In…

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Eight Years of Names, Not Numbers ©

For the past eight years, Hillel Torah’s 8th grade classes have been privileged to gain firsthand knowledge of the Holocaust through participation in the worldwide, intergenerational Holocaust oral history film project, Names Not Numbers ©. Names, Not Numbers is an ongoing documentary created by students who research Holocaust survivors’ stories at the beginning of the…

posted by Hillel Torah

Celebrating Israel@70

The day before Yom Haaztmaut, Israel’s Independence day, Hillel commemorated Yom HaZikaron, where they remembered those who lost their lives in the struggle that led to the establishment of the State of Israel, and all military and civilian people who perished while in active duty in Israel’s armed forces or in terrorist attacks. Hillel Torah’s…

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What is HT Maccabia?

“Ma-cca-bi-a.” It’s what our Middle school students chant from the moment they walk into Hillel Torah’s doors at the beginning of the school year. The anticipation and excitement build up until it is finally announced in a legendary breakout. But what exactly is the hype about the HT Maccabia and what makes it so special?…

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Skokie Eighth Graders Create Documentaries That Preserve Holocaust Survivors’ Stories

[Skokie Review] Like other Holocaust survivors, Lane Rubinstein recently told of his interrupted childhood and the horrors he and his family faced at the hands of Nazis – all as cameras recorded his testimony. What was different this time was who was asking the questions and who stood behind those cameras. In both cases, it…

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HT Partners with the Museum of Science and Industry

For students at Hillel Torah, the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) is not just a world-class cultural institution at their fingertips. It’s part of their curriculum. The museum’s Science Leadership School Partners Program works with K-8 schools in the greater Chicagoland area to integrate a cross-disciplinary approach to science education. As the only Jewish…

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Google Expeditions: Skokie Students Take Grand Field Trips Without Ever Leaving School

[Skokie Review] Hillel Torah North Suburban Day School students recently experienced what many would consider field trips of a lifetime — only they never physically left their familiar classrooms in Skokie. Simply by donning a viewing device, inside of which was a cell phone running just the right free app, they suddenly were transported. They…

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