AMOS & CELIA HEILICHER MINNEAPOLIS JEWISH DAY SCHOOL


Welcome to the Heilicher blog, where you can read about the experiences and accomplishments of students, faculty, alumni, parents, and more. Click on the blog title to read the full article, and use the yellow bell to receive automatic notifications when new posts are published.



A Note from the Heilicher Makerspace

How is olive oil made? Do green and black olives come from different trees? What is the difference between a Menorah and a Hanukiah? These are just some of the questions that were posed this past week when the first grade class came to the Makerspace with Hamorah Nechamit to learn about making olive oil.



Top 10 Books About Gratitude & Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is only a short time away and it is a great reminder to talk about the importance of an “attitude of gratitude” and a thankful heart. Heilicher Library Manager Lysa Shimkus shares her top picks for you and your kids to read and discuss during this season of Thanksgiving. 

Fall STEAM Fun

Need to keep your kids busy and having fun this fall?  We have a few ideas for you to incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) to keep your kids creating and enjoying the best of fall.

Cooking Together - Ideas for Fall

Cooking together can be fun and rewarding for parents and their littles. For a tasty treat check out this apple kugel recipe. 

Easing Separation Anxiety this Fall 

Whether your young child is just learning to walk or getting ready to go to their first day of preschool, leaving your child can be hard. We spoke with Heilicher school counselor Andrea Hansen, and she shared a few key strategies to help ease these transitions.

My Rosh Hashanah Traditions

Rosh Hashanah is one of my favorite holidays. For me, it is a time to be with family and friends, a time to reflect on my life, and to appreciate all the blessings I have. At my house, we carry on one of my childhood traditions; a tradition which is written about in the Talmud. It is to eat foods that have symbolic significance. We eat apples and honey so we may have a sweet new year, and pomegranates so we will be as full of good deeds as the pomegranate has seeds. 

Amazing Alumni

Mazal tov to the Heilicher graduating class of 2018. Read some of their parting thoughts, reflections from one of their teachers, and news of other alumni who are off to great places far and wide.

Alumni Grandmother Shares Her Fondness For Heilicher

Linda Gilfix, grandmother of three Heilicher graduates, Ethan ‘14, Ryan ‘16, and Justin Kadet ‘18, is thrilled to share her strong connection with Heilicher and her pride in her grandsons’ futures.

Yoni’s 360°: Teacher Professional Development in Summer Prepares Heilicher for Strong Year

A core outcome of a Heilicher education is our graduates’ drive to be lifelong learners. Our alumni go on to high school with the skills to navigate the rest of their lives with ethical standards, an inquiry focus, and ever-expanding thirst for knowledge. Our school’s ability to achieve this starts with the mindset and modeling of our staff, who continuously develop their own skills as professional instructors, guides, and mentors.

STEAM Camp

Heilicher and the Sabes JCC hosted its first ever STEAM Camp available to campers entering grades K-6. (STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.) Taught by Heilicher teachers, the week featured a variety of STEAM-related activities designed for summer fun. Campers created their own snacks, designed a unique mini-golf course, swam in the pool, and had fun getting to know one another. They got a little messy, but that was part of the experience!

Our First Year - Project Footprint

At the beginning of the 2017-18 school year Heilicher started a new sustainability initiative called Project Footprint. Read about program highlights and goals for the next school year. 

Shavout Reflections

Shavout/שבועות, which takes place this Sunday and Monday (May 20 and 21), commemorates the Giving and Receiving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.  Celebrated 50 days after Pesah/פסח, this Holiday bookends the transition of the Israelites from slavery to freedom, now guided under the Jewish value set of Torah and mitzvot/מצוות (commandments). 

The Scholastic Book Fair is Here!

The 2018 Scholastic Book Fair is here! March 19 through 23, you can purchase some of the classics, get your hands on never-before-seen books, and support your school all in one fell swoop. Heilicher Library Manager Lysa Yang gives her reviews of the hottest books at this year’s Scholastic Book Fair. 

Meet Alumni Grandparents and Jewish Community Leaders Sharon and Bill Hope

Sharon and Bill Hope are remarkable, longtime Jewish community members in both Minneapolis and Boynton Beach, Florida. They are Minnesota natives who raised their three children in Minnetonka and are proud grandparents of three Heilicher alumni. Read more about their family's Heilicher experience.

Top 10 Books for Preschoolers

While winter is still here, cozy up with a great book. Here’s a list of books for you and your preschooler to snuggle up with together: 

Tips for an Active Winter with Kids in Minnesota

Winter is here! The cold weather has finally arrived here in Minnesota. With many more cold days ahead, keeping your kids active and getting outside can be a challenge. Heilicher Physical Education teachers Hector Stanizer and Raffi Forbush gave us their top picks for keeping kids active this winter. 

Purim Fun at Home

Purim will be here soon, on March 1. Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman in Persia circa 357 B.C.E. The story is recorded in The Biblical Scroll of Esther/Megillat Esther. Celebrating Purim can be one of the most joyous holidays to celebrate with your kids. Whether you dress up in costume, read the Megillat Esther, exchange mishloah manot (gifts of food and drink), or eat the se’udat Purim (celebratory meal), it is a fun and festive day. 

Alumna Profile  Josie Berman, Heilicher (‘12): Maccabiah Athlete

As a young person swimming with the Rays Swim Team at the Sabes Jewish Community Center, Josie Berman never imagined having the opportunity to represent her country in an international athletic competition. This past summer, however, Josie had the opportunity to do just that, competing as a member of the USA Water Polo Team at the 2017 Maccabiah Games in Israel (often referred to as the “Jewish Olympics”). 

Fairytales and STEAM

We are well into our second trimester of Wellness Wednesday classes, and during this session I have had the pleasure of working with First Grade Teacher Susan Vlodaver and 15 students from grades 1-4 in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) challenges stemming from popular fairy tales. The first two, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” and “Three Billy Goats’ Gruff,” yielded the two challenges below. After hearing the stories, students were asked to plan and build a solution in teams of two and three. 

Eight Unique Un-Gift Ideas for the Holidays

This year, why not opt-out of the holiday buying game altogether? Imagine no more trying to find a parking spot at the MOA, waiting in interminable lines at the stores, and trying to make room in your house for yet another gadget or toy. How about instead, you give a few meaningful gifts that will last? 

Our Heilicher Kehilah/Community

Guest writers Lauren V., Gigi S. and Molly S. share their reflections on what makes their Jewish Day School a kehilah/community.

Jewish book selection

It’s that time of year again—Jewish Book Month! This is a great opportunity to read and learn more about Jewish history, traditions, and holidays and find some wonderful books written by Jewish authors. 

The Kaplan Family

Driving across the Twin Cities during the fall colors is always beautiful. Especially beautiful when crossing the river. Each day, during the school year, the Kaplan family did just that on their way to Jewish Day School.

Rosenblatt family

Twice a week when Carol and David Rosenblatt pick up their grandchildren, Mia and Eliana Wolfe, from Heilicher they get to hear what is going on with them at school. After a while, Carol thought it might be time to get involved as a volunteer. 

Head of School for the Day

Each year at the Heilicher Annual Benefit, one of the auction items available is “Head of School for the Day.” This year featured seventh grader Emma S. Check out her reflections on what it was like.

Two Heilicher friends smiling

During the elementary and middle schools years friendships become more important to children, but parents often feel less in control. Read tips from Heilicher General Studies Director Maia Poling on navigating these relationships with your kids. 

Heilicher students harvest carrots as part of Project Footprint

Heilicher parent and environmentalist Liba Zweigbaum Herman spearheads Project Footprint, an initiative that empowers students and staff to enhance their environmental awareness and impact. Read about the latest organics and recycling project and more.

Student with ritual objects associated with Rosh Hashana

Head of School Yoni Binus explores the concepts of observing and observance connecting the Jewish high holy days with STEAM education at Heilicher.

Heilicher Alumna Ora Raymond

Heilicher alumna ('12) Ora Raymond takes her Jewish and Hebrew learning to the max this summer volunteering for Magen David Adom in Jerusalem. 

Students work with Rube Goldberg machines

Head of School Yoni Binus discusses failure as an essential component of the STEAM/inquiry-based learning approach Heilicher has adopted.

Yoni Binus with students at Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School

Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School Head of School Yoni Binus shares thoughts about the purpose of education.

Moot Beit Din participants

Heilicher alumnus Zachary Weiser shares about his experience in the national Moot Beit Din (Mock Jewish Law Trial) in Houston, Texas, an activity sponsored by Prizmah, the national Jewish day school network.

Students get their hands dirty working on gardening project with St. Louis Park SEEDS program

Heilicher students get up close with worms and dirt in environmental education and sustainability program at school.

Parent Perspective: Inspiring MLK Day Program at Heilicher

Since enrolling her three children at Heilicher in 2009, one of the things parent Ann Kaner-Roth has always been grateful for is the school's intentionality around recognizing the important day of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

An Amazing First Experience in Israel

In December, 7th grader Lauren Vegas had the privilege of going to Israel on a Herzl Camp family trip. She really enjoyed being in an environment where almost everybody was Jewish and spoke Hebrew. 

Head's Up: Veterans Day

Why is the history of this day important? Because it is a day designed for us to recognize our veterans' sacrifice to ensure the peace that we and our our children benefit from every day.

Letter from 2016 Graduate

Last week, Heilicher 8th graders walked across the stage to receive their diplomas as a certificate of graduation from the Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School. While staff and faculty are sad to see these intellectual and young leaders leave, they are very much excited for the impact they will have on the future. We wish them the best of luck and would like to share a letter from one of the Graduates. We could not have said it better, thank you Nina for your kind and empowering words.

Class of 2008 Reunited

A few months ago, recent Brandeis University graduate, Abby Kirshbaum, reached out to the Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School to bring back her eighth grade graduating class of 2008 for a reunion. On Friday, June 3, the graduating class spent the afternoon back at Heilicher sharing memories of their time as students and providing words of wisdom to this year's seventh and eighth graders. It was a pleasure to have past Heilicher students on the campus, and this is a tradition we hope to continue for years to come.

Heilicher 6th Grade Wolf Ridge Trip Day 4

On their last day, Heilicher 6th graders enjoyed visiting the USS Irvin and other exciting Duluth attractions. We can't wait to share all of their photos and experiences they had at this year's 6th grade retreat! Welcome home!

Heilicher 6th Grade Wolf Ridge Trip Day 3

From more hiking, singing songs, visiting a shul and having fun swimming. The sixth graders are enjoying their time at Wolf Ridge! We can't wait to hear about their last day and have them back at school next week!

Heilicher 6th Grade Wolf Ridge Trip Day 1

Heilicher 6th Graders were extremely busy on their first day at Wolf Ridge. Activity groups became voyageurs and hiked to the top of Marshall Mountain. They are staying busy and excited for another fun and full day ahead!

Happy Passover from Heilicher

Passover or Pesah/פסח, is the Jewish Holiday celebrating the Israelites freedom from slavery circa 1250 BCE. The Torah describes Pesah as the Holiday of Matzah/חג המצות and the rabbis call it The Spring Holiday/חג האביב.

Seventh Grade Retreat – A Huge Success

What can seventh graders accomplish in a single day? Develop leadership skills, cook dinner, play games, plant a community garden bed, learn to diminish bullying, sing, make s'mores, Torah Yoga, singing... It's hard to believe but our seventh grade students packed all of that, and more, into the second annual HMJDS Seventh Grade Retreat.

Welcome to the new HMJDS.ORG

Welcome to the new and improved Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School website. Stay updated on current school news, education trends, and jewish rituals. 


Not receiving The Roar?

Send us an email with your name, email and child's grade to make sure you receive all Heilicher communication.

Sign-up Today!



Mark your Calendars!