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More Hebrew in the Classroom



Tishrei 5771   [email protected]   

Written by Nechama Retting, Director of Education for Shlock Rock


Welcome to Shlock Rock Educator’s Newsletter Volume 21. Our goal is to give you some new ideas for teaching about Mitzvot & Middot, Torah, Israel and the Holidays. Visit our website at, click on Educators Corner to view our back issues.


Adult Learning: This month we will be focusing on incorporating more Hebrew into our classrooms and homes. The beginning of school is an exciting time, everything is new, plus students and teachers are excited about a new year! If you speak Hebrew, than you are blessed! Please share your knowledge with teachers and parents in your school so they can glean through your knowledge! Create a Hebrew Immersion program (or partial Hebrew immersion). For those of us who are not fluent in Hebrew, start by learning a word a day that you can share with your students (remember to use them regularly so you both can learn and remember!). Even singing Hebrew and Israeli songs and the Alef Bet can be helpful for students to learn new things!  If you need help learning the Alef bet, check out this link.  If you want to do an Immersion Program in your school, check out Chalav u'Dvash  which is a Hebrew Immersion program through the Jewish Agency in Israel.  

For ideas related to teaching about the High Holidays click here, for Sukkot click here and for ideas related to Simchat Torah, click here. 


Suggested Shlock Rock Songs: "Aleph Bet Rap", "Ivrit Zeh Bishvili"  from the CD Shlock Rock for Kids Volume 1, "Hebrew Hokey Pokey", and "Achat Shtayim Rap" from the CD Shlock Rock Kids Sing Together,  "Eretz Zavat Chalav", "Eretz Yisrael Sheli" and "Oogah Medley" from the CD Shlock Rock for Kids Party Time! "Am Yisroel Chai" and "Blessed is God" from Lenny and the Shlockers, "Hinay Ma Tov" from Shlock Rock Jewish Pride. Plus Shlock Rock has a whole category of CDs with songs all in Hebrew, see the link below. My personal favorite is Osher V'Osher. To hear the songs, click these links:  kids songs ,  original songs,  parody songs and Hebrew songs  then click on the CD, then the song you want to hear. You can download songs to your MP3 player or computer and burn a CD for only $.99-$1.25 per song just click HERE. Check out Shlock Rock’s newest CD: Shlock Rock No Limits available here.  It’s easy to download all these songs to make a CD, email me if you need help. 

Suggested Activities to try with your students or family:


Israel Connection: Of course because we are looking to increase the Hebrew we use in our classrooms, than we should increase teaching about Israel as well. For ideas related to teaching about Israel click here and here. 


Teacher Project: Create some sentence strips for your classroom to help you learn simple Hebrew expressions that we commonly use in the classroom. Examples: Come, let’s go to the bathroom. Please wash your hands. Come sit on the circle, please. Etc…. I wrote them in block letters, translated and transliterated them (plus had a visual picture too) so all the teachers in the school could read them. It is also helpful to label other items in the room: tables, chairs, windows, doors, etc..  AND remember to USE them!!!!!!!!




Where is the…..

Baby doll?







They’re here!




Come, let’s go to the bathroom. (Left)
Come, let’s sit on circle. (Right)



Please wash your hands.


Activity: Teach the children body parts in Hebrew. Play games or do finger plays using body parts in Hebrew like “Hokey Pokey” (see the Shlock Rock versions in Hebrew suggested above!!), or “Put your finger in the air”, “Put your hands on the wall” (yadayim, auf, Kof regel, etc…) and “Where is thumb kin?”, etc… Substitute all the different body parts in Hebrew. Email me if you need a list of body parts b’ivrit!


Game/Activity: Play “Gufy Mitzvot” (“Guf” means “body” in Hebrew). On butcher paper, trace the outline of a child in the class or draw a large person. Place Velcro dots on the mouth (peh), nose (auf), eyes (ainayim), ears (oznayim), and hands (yadayim).

Get pictures from Google Images (I also like to use old Judaic catalogues like The Source for Everything Jewish,) or have the children draw their own pictures showing different mitzvot. Then have the children tell you which body parts are used for each mitzvah. Have the child place the picture onto the body part with Velcro dots (some mitzvot use more than one body part!). Examples:


Mouth (peh): Eat challah, speak kind words, make a bracha, eat apples and Honey, eat kosher food, sing prayers, blow the shofar, and greet people with a smile.

Nose (auf): Smell the Besamim (spices) for Havdalah, smell the

Etrog, and fruits in the sukkah, smell challah baking.

Eyes (Ainayim): Look at a Torah, look at Hebrew letters, watch

Shabbat candles burning, or see the good in everyone you meet.

Ears (oznayim): Hear a shofar being blown, hear the sound of a

Grogger, listen to Hebrew prayers and songs, hear the jingling of the rimonim (Torah crowns).

Hands (yadayim): Touch or hold the Torah, kiss a Mezuzah, giving tzedakah, light

Shabbat candles, ritual hand washing (al netilat yadayim), or holding a yad to read the Torah. What else can your children come up with?


Game: Learn some Israeli games or finger plays and do them with your children. This could be as easy as David Melech Yisrael! There was an Israeli study showing the importance of singing and clapping with children to help them improve motor and cognitive skills.  Check out "Oogah Medley" for some fun Israeli children’s songs like Oogah, Nod Ned, Yonatan Hakatan, and Hashafan Hakatan. Email me if you would like ideas for using these songs in the classroom. Or you could buy the CD Shlock Rock for Kids Party Time with curriculum Guide available at . J


Projects: Learn about an Israeli artist who incorporates Hebrew letters into their art. Check out these links:  Dov Lederberg  or Yitzchak Greenfield or Marci Weisel.   Have the children try and create their own art using these artists as inspiration.

Or have the children try and write (or you write) the first Hebrew letter in their name (in black marker so you can see it) and see if they can turn it into something else. Example: A Shin for the name Shayna could be a crown on a queen. See what the children can see in their letters to create something amazing!

Paint with Alef Bet sponges, use Alef bet stencils, or try writing like a Sofer (Torah Scribe) using a feather and thin paint to write Hebrew letters. Make Hebrew name banners for each child. If a child in your class doesn’t have a Hebrew name, just sound out their name and write it phonetically. Example: Frank could be:
 Fay, Resh, Alef, Nun, Koof (remember to write the letters right to left!) Talk to the parents about having their child named at the Torah. This could be a beautiful ceremony for your whole school to celebrate! Talk to a Rabbi after you spoke with the parents to arrange.


Cooking/Science: Make some different foods but call them by their name in Hebrew (Oogah is cake, Oogeeah is cookie, Gleedah is ice cream, Lechem is bread, sookareeyah is candy, tzeneem is a cracker, etc…) Make some sugar cookies in the shape of the Hebrew Letters.



The dough holds its shape really well, however it difficult to mix by hand so an electric mixer is recommended. It also makes a lot of cookies and can be cut in half.  Metal Alef bet cookie cutters are available here. Or plastic ones (that are a lot cheaper, but I think are harder to work with) are available here.


6 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 cups butter or pareve margarine
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt

Cream together the butter/margarine and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients.   Mix well. Roll to desired thickness and cut into Alef Bet shapes.  You can also have the children make “snakes” to form the Hebrew letters. Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges.  This recipe can make up to 8-dozen 3” cookies.


***Please feel free to share this newsletter!! If you know someone who wants to be added to the list have them email me at [email protected].com. To see our back issues go to and click on Educators Corner ***