Celebrating Jewish Holidays at Private School

Celebrating Jewish Holidays at SIA

One of the greatest things about being a Jewish Day School, a member of the Virginia Association of Independent Schools, as well as an International Baccalaureate (IB®) Primary Years Programme (PYP) candidate school servicing Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Norfolk is that we get to have a lot of fun while we learn. This includes learning about the history of the Jewish religion and culture including the customs and traditions we follow.

We saw an example of that recently when we celebrated Purim at school. Our Early Years Program students learned about and fulfilled the four mitzvot of Purim including:
–    Hearing the Megillah: Our EY students not only had an opportunity to hear the Megillah, they then set out to help make a copy of it. Each class from the toddlers to EY4 created a panel that depicted the story of Queen Esther, the heroine of the tale, when the panels were brought together. The toddlers through EY3 students got to hear the Megillah read in person by Morah Elyssa, while the EY4 classes were able to stream the reading in real time through the miracle of technology.
–    Mishloach Manot: The second mitzvah of Purim requires us to give gifts of at least two different kinds of food to others. Each class fulfilled this mitzvah by creating gift baskets filled with Purim treats that were then given to our office staff and our school security guards, Ramon and Mark.
–    Give Tzedakah: While most of our Purim celebration was about having fun while learning, the third mitzvah is teaching the importance of giving tzedakah. This is a Hebrew word meaning “righteousness,” but is commonly used to signify giving charity. This is viewed as a moral and ethical practice, which is not only good for the recipient(s), it’s an important part of building good moral character and developing good citizens of the world.
–   Have a Festive Time: You don’t need to ask Early Years students twice to have a good time, so this was the easiest mitzvah to fulfill. Our students participated in costume parades, played games, rocked out at a dance party, and enjoyed lots of delicious treats including popsicles, cotton candy, and hamantaschen, the famous cookie that is named for Haman’s ears. These cookies commemorate Esther’s victory over Haman and his plot to destroy the Jewish people.

Many special thanks for the teachers who helped make this celebration memorable and joyful for all of our students. We all had an amazing time celebrating Purim and the coming of Shabbat.

Looking for a Jewish Day school serving Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Norfolk? Come visit Strelitz International Academy and let us tell you more about our International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP). The mission of the IB program is to build a better world through education. Our mission is to enrich the life of the whole child, to develop compassionate, lifelong learners, and to promote a social and global consciousness that encompasses a profound respect for all humanity. Please join us!

Art Show at the Norfolk International Airport

Child with his parent explore the Art Show Gallery at the Norfolk International Airport

When it comes to truly shaping young minds, a report by Americans for the Arts found that young people who regularly participate in the arts are more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, participate in math and science fairs, or win an award for writing poems or essays.

As one of the best private schools near Norfolk, Strelitz International Academy believes that exposing students to the arts is crucial for creating well-rounded learners, and well-prepared leaders. That’s why we’re proud to offer a curriculum that includes inquiry-based education focusing on both scholastic studies and the arts.

By allowing our students to take control of their education, with teachers acting as facilitators and collaborators, they can discover the pursuits that they are most interested in and follow them with passion. In addition, the arts help students develop creative problem-solving acumen by improving motor, language, social, decision-making, risk-taking, and creative skills. Through art, students learn about perspective, balance, color, and layout, all of which translate into skills that are essential in creating and staging presentations. Students at the Strelitz International Academy experience a strong foundation in fine arts, music and strings. Many SIA graduates choose their middle school programs based on the fine arts electives and programs that are offered.

That said, we’re proud to announce that our students were recently asked to participate and are currently being featured in an exhibit at the Norfolk International Airport (ORF). The exhibit is part of an effort by Norfolk International Airport to showcase the efforts of students all across Coastal Virginia schools. Artwork from students at Strelitz International Academy will be on display throughout the month of February 2021.

If you are interested in viewing the exhibit, you don’t need a ticket for a flight to check it out. It is located in the upstairs main waiting area on the left side of the food court. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Go take a peek. We know you’ll be proud, too!

Celebrating Chanukah at the Strelitz International Academy

How many ways can you celebrate Chanukah? At the Strelitz International Academy, the ways are endless and include a combination of learning the story and rituals, celebrating traditions, doing mitzvot to help others and of course having fun!

The SIA students started preparing weeks ago decorating the hallways, participating in the annual Chanukah Gift Drive run by Jewish Family Service and making cards for patients of the Gordon Family Hospice. Not to mention ordering their Chanukah attire to wear at school all week long!

Students learned and reviewed the story of Chanukah through stories, songs and art. Our littlest learners integrated math skills into their Chanukah learning by focusing on counting 8 candles and learning to name the numbers in Hebrew. Students explored the miraculous story of Chanukah, discussing the brave Maccabees, making Dreidels, singing the Menorah blessings and Chanukah songs, and creating their own menorahs to use during Chanukah.

Chanukah learning by focusing on counting 8 candles

But Chanukah learning is more than menorahs, dreidels and latkes! As an IB® PYP school, important global and unifying concepts were covered relating to Chanukah. On Chanukah we celebrate the miracle of the oil of the Menorah that lasted for 8 days and we celebrate the right for all to have religious freedom. From the four year old classes who considered the diversity of our world by learning how other cultures celebrate the holiday season. To the fifth graders who are studying other historical revolutions that have taken place throughout the world. At SIA students learn the importance of the Chanukah story and how it relates to our lives today.

With Covid numbers rising through our community and most students throughout Virginia Beach learning from home, the SIA students are feeling so fortunate to be able to learn and celebrate Chanukah with their friends at school in person.

For more information on the Strelitz International Academy, please contact:
Carin Simon, Admissions Director: 757-424-4327 or csimon@strelitzacademy.org

Register Today for The 32nd Annual SIA Golf Tournament

car for golf play

As Governor Northam’s plan to start opening Virginia back up moves through various stages of returning to “normal” activities, we are optimistically planning to move forward with our 32nd Annual Strelitz International Academy Golf Tournament. The event is scheduled for Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at Bayville Golf Club. The course is located at 4137 First Court Road in Virginia Beach. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. and tee off time is noon.

After months of staying at home and keeping ourselves safely distanced from friends and loved ones, we are looking forward to getting together for some fun, excitement, and fresh air. The tournament will feature contests, prizes, and great food, all framed by a beautiful, waterfront golf course.

Our annual golf tournament is our biggest fundraiser of the year, so we’re not only looking forward to having individuals and teams join us on the links, we have sponsorship opportunities available for those who would like to donate to this worthwhile affair. You can view the sponsorships opportunities on our registration flyer.

Your participation in this event as a golfer or a sponsor helps to ensure we can provide the quality education and experience for which Strelitz is known.

To register for our 32nd Annual Golf Tournament, you can sign up online, you can complete the fillable PDF and email it to Patti Seeman at pseeman@strelitzacademy.org, or you can mail the completed PDF with your entrance fee to Patti Seeman at Strelitz International Academy, 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Suite 180, Virginia Beach, VA 23462. We look forward to having you join us out there!

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