Friday, April 28, 2017

Jesse Kellerman - Open Beit Midrash

Jesse Kellerman grew up in LA and went to a Jewish Day school a lot like OHDS. He always liked to make up stories, even before he learned how to write. Once he learned to write, he was constantly writing. When he was 11, he tried to publish one of his stories in a magazine, but it was rejected. It took him another 15 years until he actually had a story published. Since then, he has written seven books and is working on an eighth. Mr. Kellerman writes crime and mystery novels for adults. It usually takes him about 6-8 months to write the draft, and then it’s time for editing. Thank you for coming to visit!

Millea Kenin

Super Heroes and Prayer - 1/12/17

In Open Beit Midrash this week, Dr. Lou Schubert came to OHDS to talk about superheros and Jewish prayer. Many of today's comic book superheroes were created by Jews, including Superman. According to Dr. Schubert, these heroes are a form of prayer. In the Superman comics, Superman punches Hitler, which might be a prayer of many people in the time of the Holocaust. The Hulk was seen by a little girl as a Golem, to help the people. What we see from these comic books, is that these superheros were a kind of Jewish prayer.

Thank you, Dr. Schubert, for coming to Open Beit Midrash!

Millea Kenin

Friday, February 3, 2017

Interview with President of Student Council - 2/3/17

Interview with Student Council President, Seth Elkins

Seth Elkins is our Student Council President. He has been on Student Council for 3 years.

Chanah Zimmerman: What do you do as student council president?

Seth Elkins: I approve and edit events, plan events and budgeting.

CZ: What is your favorite part of being Student Council President?

SE: My favorite part is learning leadership skills, such as delegating, communication and perseverance.

CZ: What events has SC planned this year?

SE: So far we have done Fajita friday, for 5-Middle School. We did snow day for BK-3rd Grade , which is where they watched a winter movie, made paper snowflakes and drank hot chocolate. We also had CCJDS and Tehiyah over for a luncheon to connect with the other Jewish kids in the area. In the future I hope to do more charity fundraisers.

CZ: What is your favorite event since being Student Council President?

SE: Last years End of Year Jumpy house event. It was our first major event that year.

CZ: What do you think the job of Student Council is?

SE:  I think the job of Student Council is to represent the student body, and help make a better OHDS experience for the entire school. I look forward to having a wonderful rest of the year!

Chanah Zimmerman

Monday, January 30, 2017

Parashat HaShavuah

Parsha Shemot
By Irit Wiseman

Shabbat Shalom. At the beginning of Parshat Vayera, God reveals himself to Moshe. God commands Moshe and Aharon to go to Pharaoh to order to him to let Bnai Yisrael go. He then tells Moshe what to expect. Pharaoh won’t listen to Moshe and will continue to say no. That gives opportunities for Moshe and God to show Pharaoh miracles. In this parsha, we learn about seven of the ten plagues of Egypt. The seventh plague is Barad (hail).  “The hail was very heavy—fire flashing in the midst of the hail—such as had not fallen on the land of Egypt since it had become a nation. (Shemot 9:24)”

How did the plague of Hail happen?

Rashi suggests that the hail was a miracle within a miracle, fire within ice. To do the will of their creator, the hail and fire made peace between themselves for a short time. Another interpretation is that the hail was not a miracle. Just heavy hail together with lightening. This is the opinion given in the translation by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. I prefer the opinion of Rashi that the plague of hail was a miracle. The idea of a supernatural miracle is interesting because it proves there is a creator protecting us. In this world, it can be hard to believe in a God that is not seen, but the supernatural somehow makes it easier to believe.

In our time, God does do miracles. But sometimes they are not as obvious as we would like. One modern miracle is the State of Israel. It is not an obvious miracle because we have fought for it with our hopes, dreams and army. But we realize that for the state to exist God must have given us the strength to prevail and tell our story. So when you go home, think about the little miracles that you witness in your life and realize how important they are to you.


Shoftim ( Judges)

In Dr. Beliak’s A block class, we are learning about different judges in the time of the book of Shoftim. The Book of Judges begins with Joshua dying, and Bnei Yisrael struggling to find leaders. Bnei Yisrael continued to show a pattern of how they dealt with each of their problems. At the beginning of each story, Bnei Yisrael did bad in God's eyes (Idol worship). God then sold Bnei Yisrael out to their enemies, as a punishment for their bad behavior. Bnei Yisrael usually prayed to Hashem, and Hashem sent them a Shofet (judge). The judges ended up saving Bnei Yisrael each time, but as soon as the judges died, Bnei Yisrael reverted back to idol worship. We are learning the different judge stories, and studying how the cycle is shown throughout each one.

Millea Kenin

Gav Shapiro and Maxim Shusteff came to our Open Beit MIdrash to talk about the potential Oakland eruv, and just eruvim in general. The purpose of an eruv is to allow people to carry things on Shabbat from one domain to another. An eruv turns the public space into a private space. In Oakland, because telephone wires are underground, the eruv will potentially be made of highway fences.

Thank you, Maxim and Gav!

Millea Kenin

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Get to Know Our Blog Writers!

 Fanya Fenton

I am a 6th grade student at Oakland Hebrew Day School. I am on Yearbook committee, write for the blog and am in the school musical. I love to read, make art and swim. I have three siblings including a twin brother.

Chanah Zimmerman


Hi! I’m Chanah Zimmerman, an 8th grade student. I am on Student Council and the Yearbook Committee. I like photography, little kids, and geometric patterns. I also enjoy acting and singing, and play Veruca Salt in OHDS’s production of Willy Wonka.

Millea Kenin

I am in 6th grade at Oakland Hebrew Day School. I am a student council representative, and a member of the Yearbook staff. In my free time, I enjoy doing art, and creative writing. I love to sing and act, and I’m in the OHDS production of Willy Wonka Jr..