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.


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Second graders show posters with family pictures and Hebrew

As we close the school year, I’m prompted to reflect on the past nine months. A highlight for me was the incredible welcome our community offered to three families who sought refuge in Minnesota after fleeing the Hamas attacks in Israel. Far from home, Heilicher was able to offer a safe and inclusive space for these children.

Middle school boy uses Chromebook

Just like too many sweets, too much screen time can wreak havoc with kids. How do we maintain a healthy balance when digital media is increasingly embedded in our children’s lives?

At Heilicher, we have a new offering to help prepare students to navigate the digital world: the Digital Citizenship Program.

The most popular person at school may not be who you think it is!

The principle of sh’mirat haguf (safeguarding the body) underscores the importance of holistic care for both the mind and the body. The progression of the role and responsibilities of school nurses, especially here at Heilicher, exemplifies our collective commitment to promoting comprehensive well-being. It aligns with the concept of sh’mirat haguf by ensuring our educational practices encompass the nurturing of both mental and physical health.

Transitioning from the past, when a visit to the school nurse often entailed receiving minor first aid or a call home, the scope of the school nurse’s role has significantly broadened.

Four middle school boys sit in chairs. one looks in book. Two look at speaker

Families who don’t have kids enrolled at Heilicher really are missing out!

While the new year is only a few weeks old, classes for the fall of 2024 are already filling up. What is driving this demand for Heilicher?

Students sit on carpet, listening to teacher

One of our greatest strengths has been our ability to create a safe and secure space for our students and faculty as tensions rise worldwide in response to the Israel-Hamas conflict. 

These events have sparked widespread concerns about the safety and well-being of Jewish students who may face bigotry and threats of physical harm. In response to these challenges, I want to share my perspective and our efforts here at Heilicher.

Student D'var Torah: Parashat Vayishlach and the Rally for Israel in D.C.

This week's parashah (Torah portion) is Vayishlach, which is about Jacob and Esav reuniting. The night before the meeting, Jacob wrestled with an angel who blessed him and changed his name from Jacob to Israel. That moment in this parashah was really the creation of Israel. Now 3,000 years later we find ourselves in a new struggle. Israel is at war, and there is a rise in antisemitism in our country and across the world. In response to this new struggle, two weeks ago I went with my mom and my brother to the rally in D.C. to support Israel and also to call for bringing home the hostages and fight against antisemitism.

Team members

This summer, we launched our Student and Teacher Resource Team under the guidance of experienced psychotherapist Beth Shapiro. Rather than “blow up” what we had in place, we’ve opted to “glow up” as we move students out of the pandemic’s survival mode and help them thrive by offering a proactive and nurturing environment.

Yaakov Buchbinder in front of Ninja Israel sign

Buchbinder is a 19-year-old St. Louis Park native who spent his summer in Israel as a contestant on Ninja Israel — Israel’s version of the U.S. television show American Ninja Warrior. He appeared in the fifth season’s premiere episode on Jan. 8 as the only American competitor.

Campus Entrance: Laila says Hello! Welcome to Heilicher!

Eighth-grade students coded a virtual tour, celebrating their favorite parts of Heilicher before they graduated. Join Laila S. and Revaya D. as they show you around! Press your space bar to start.

Book covers: This Book is My Best Friend; Tia Fortuna's New Home; Endlessly Ever After; Black Bird, Blue Road; The Door of No Return

Summer is the perfect time to read! Heilicher librarian Mrs. Cook shared some book recommendations, including lists curated by Heilicher students, so students can read books recommended by their peers.

Ashie and Caleb G. with Federation CEO Jim Cohen

Earlier this week, I participated in what turned out to be one of the best meetings of all time. I had the pleasure of meeting with Heilicher Minneapolis Day School students Caleb and Ashie Gruenberg in their capacity as Heads of School for the day. They came prepared.

Jackie Smith testifies at Minnesota House meeting

On Thursday, March 2, on behalf of the Minnesota Association of Independent Schools, Director of General Studies Jackie Smith testified in front of the Minnesota House of Representatives Education Finance Committee in support of a bill that would expand state funding for mental health support in independent schools like Heilicher.

Leah Shapiro and Debate it Forward campers in front of The Adler Planetarium

Heilicher alum Leah Shapiro (Heilicher ’08) is redefining debate — what it looks like, what it sounds like, and, most importantly, who can participate. She created My Voice Matters, a debate camp with programs for pre-K through tenth-grade students, with the concept that all children deserve to be heard and feel empowered to share their ideas.

poster board with photos of students preparing for the event

Heilicher's fifth grade planned a mitzvah day and brought together 170+ people, collected 180+ food items for donation, and made 200 mitzvah bags for those in need. They raised $453 to distribute to Sharsheret cancer research, Hadassah children's hospitals, and the Animal Humane Society. Fifth-grade student Mia M. shared her experience working on the event.

Marlene and Jim Bukstein with grandchildren Delilah, Sylvia, Ilsa, and Reuben

The Buksteins, Heilicher’s Annual Fund Grandparent Co-Chairs, have seen the school grow from the beginning. Their youngest daughter, Cari Rohe, graduated from Heilicher in 1994, 10 years after the school was founded. Now four of their Minnesota grandchildren attend Heilicher — the fifth will start kindergarten next year.

Heilicher faculty and administrators pose together at ISACS Conference

On Friday, November 4, 2022, the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS) held its annual conference at the St. Paul RiverCentre. Heilicher teachers and administrators attended this full day of professional development along with 700 other independent school educators. I found the conference to be invigorating and thought provoking.

girl red hair, glasses, green shirt, holds her lulav and etrog made of toilet paper roll, popsicle stick, pipe cleaner, pom-pom

Ms. Vlodover, science teacher/makerspace educator, and Hamorah Hadassah, Hebrew and Jewish studies teacher, collaborated for a STEAM Jewish studies project with Heilicher's kindergarteners and first graders. The project combined coding and robotics with the holiday Sukkot.

Heilicher 5 logo: Heilicher in white text on red square. numeral 5 in black on white square immediately to the right

Welcome to Heilicher 5, a Heilicher news show made by and for Heilicher students. The middle school crew works on screen and behind the scenes to cover a variety of topics appealing to both middle and lower school students. Keep up with news and insights from Heilicher middle schoolers here.

Wishing you and your family a sweet new year: four kindergarteners hold shofars over their heads in front of their lockers

Dr. David Ackerman (Doc) shares a teaching about Rosh Hashanah. "It's never too late for things to improve."

In addition, see our Rosh Hashanah blessings to help you celebrate Rosh Hashanah 5783.

8th Grade Trip to DC Blog

Eighth graders had an impactful experience visiting Washington, D.C. in early May. Read their student blog all about their experiential learning in our nation's capital.

Noisemakers from the Makerspace

With Purim coming this week, now is the perfect time to make a grager! This activity is an example of the types of projects students at Heilicher do in our Makerspace. The Makerspace, which opened in 2018, is a self-directed workspace where kindergarteners can tinker, try solutions, collaborate, and problem solve with one another. The hands-on character of the Makerspace provides a “creative playground” where students can explore materials and learn by doing.

Rep. Youakim and seventh graders on Zoom call

Seventh-grade students researched and wrote essays on Minnesota issues and presented their ideas to Minnesota State Representative Cheryl Youakim on Monday, February 14. She listened, asked questions, and gave advice to the presenters. Then, she had a Q&A session with the students, helping them to understand the role state representatives play in helping Minnesota be a great state to live. Student Revaya D. wrote about the experience.

K-2 wrote their dreams: people will have everything they need, no more pollution, etc.

Each year when we celebrate MLK Day, we focus on a new theme, and this year we studied food justice.

two students dressed as Brits for War of 1812 play

Seventh graders learned about the War of 1812 and produced a video recorded play about it. Watch the video and read students' reflections on the experience.

vegetables simmer in broth

Sunday morning, I collected all of our vegetables that didn’t make it into meals last week and threw them in a pot, covered them in water, and added various spices. They simmered until the aromas wafted through the house. The broth tasted delicious, but once I blended everything together the result tasted like drinking savory mashed potatoes, perfect for a cold day. Our family ate some, and we packaged some to give to a neighbor who is living on her own. She loved the soup and the visit.

Heilicher 5 Cover Photo with five of the middle school students

Welcome to Heilicher 5, a Heilicher news show made by and for Heilicher students. Amichai D., Shimshy K., Avital K., Sky L., Hannah L., and Leah S. work on screen and behind the scenes to cover a variety of topics appealing to both middle and lower school students. Keep up with news and insights from Heilicher middle schoolers here.

A Preschool STEAM Investigation — 4 glass bowls with an ice cube each, three glass bowls each with one with cornmeal, one with flour, one with sugar

My name is Ilena Marron, and I have been a teacher at Heilicher for almost 20 years teaching third and fourth grade. This year, I took on the fun and new challenge of being the Makerspace Educator and the Curriculum and Instruction Coordinator for Heilicher. I am loving both roles. I am also a parent of two children at Heilicher; one child is in fifth grade, and the other is in third. It has been so special to see my children thrive at a place I love to work. Below is a STEAM activity you can do with your kids. It is fun and easy (important) and can lead to more exploration.

Elena Levitt

When one of my students asks me, “Why do we light the hanukiah this way?” or “How long should my candles burn for?” my answer is often, “It depends on who you ask.”

Ryan H. and Farrah F.

Getting the vaccine at Heilicher was a great experience for many reasons. For example, Farrah and I both noticed how all of the faculty there were very kind to all of the kids, especially the younger ones who were scared and nervous to get the shot. For me, Ryan, I noticed how quick and easy the whole process was.

young boy wearing backpack hugs his mom before leaving home

Whether your young child is just learning to walk or attending 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. Then read how Heilicher is keeping our community safe during COVID-19.

a pile of green, white, orange, yellow, and brown gourds

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.

More than Just Cheesecake: The Meaning of Shavuot

Although Shavuot is one of the three pilgrimage holidays of the Jewish tradition along with Pesah and Sukkot and is just as important as they are, it sometimes seems that the “Feast of Weeks” is the poor cousin of the other two

The Passing of A Year, The Crossing of A Sea

Isn’t it ironic that we celebrate our hurried exodus from Egypt, one in which we did not even have time to let bread dough rise, with a meal that is so full of preparation and organization it is literally called “order”? The seder plate is even laid out from chazeret (lettuce) to charoset (fruit and nut mixture), helping to ensure the order of the meal is followed and no mitzvah is passed over. We scour the house in advance of the holiday, searching for chametz (forbidden foods), and we arrange to sell the rest, as a way to ensure there is none remaining in our possession at sundown on the first night of Pesach. It is remarkable that we remain so devoted to the detailed preparation of a holiday designed to mark when we went from bondage to freedom without time for even the simplest food preparation.

Pesach, Women’s Rights, and the Four(th Grade) Children

Passover has always been my favorite Jewish holiday. As a child, I appreciated the timing. My birthday often falls during the holiday. When you’re a cute little kid and family gets together around your birthday, everyone feels compelled to bring you a present. That and my grandmother’s matzo ball soup made the holiday worth the trouble.

The Power of Words

I’m Mia Wolfe. I am a sixth grade student at Heilicher Minneapolis Jewish Day School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I am writing to you because I feel like almost nothing is being said about the detention camps in China. I feel like this is a very big topic that we all know so little on. We need to learn more about this before it is too late to do anything.

Teacher Reflections on Racial Justice Work at Heilicher

“You are not obligated to complete the task, but neither are you free to withdraw from it.”

This is one of our school’s core values, and for me, it describes the challenge of teaching our students to be thoughtful, ethical citizens who take action for social justice. Not long after George Floyd was killed in May 2020, two Heilicher fourth graders spoke at the school’s annual meeting. They challenged our school to take a more active role in combating racism and working for justice. This was a powerful and inspiring call to action.


Chanukah is here!  The great miracle of the oil! The crushing victory of the Maccabees! The reality of the original Chanukah story played out much like the lead-up to our recent election, only then it was a fight for the soul of Judaism, or at least it felt that way. Some Jews living under Greek rule (165 BCE) loved the Greek traditions and wanted to embrace them. Some felt that if Jews embraced any of them, it would lead to the end of Judaism.The stakes felt that high, and eventually it was the Jews who engaged in their own civil war over the future of Judaism;  Did Jews have to refrain from all Greek customs?

Showing Resilience in the Face of Uncertainty

On Tuesday, October 27th, Maia Poling entered my classroom and informed me that we had our first confirmed Covid-19 case in the 8th grade. A swirl of questions formed in my head, but we first focused on informing the students and getting them ready for distance learning

One of the things I admire most about Heilicher

One of the things I admire most about Heilicher is the dedication to supporting students through their development. I am so impressed to see how inspired the students are to grow and learn. The staff have fostered a culture of academic growth that allows each student to truly feel passionate about their learning. 

Why I Love Teaching at Heilicher

Over the last 20 years, I’ve had the privilege of travelling to schools across the country, consulting about how to create vibrant and effective school cultures. The foundation of this work is about relationships. Regardless of a student’s innate skills or abilities, if the teacher and student have a strong relationship, that student has a greater likelihood of progressing.

Rosh Hashanah 5781

On Friday, September 18, at sundown we bid good-bye (not l'hitraot) to 5780.  Who could have predicted just one year ago the trajectory of this past year? During the month of Elul we make specific efforts to reflect on what we have done during the previous year.  We attempt to make amends, and we think about how we will change our behaviors in the coming year. These coming days are the days of Judgement and Atonement. Assessing, reflecting, apologizing, asking forgiveness, and planning for the year ahead are goals of the Yamim Noraim, the Days of Awe. Let’s consider a central prayer of the Days of Awe.

My Eighth Grade Capstone Experience

One of the hallmarks of the Heilicher experience is the eighth grade capstone project. The capstone assignment is an interdisciplinary project where students explore a social justice issue of their own choosing. Heilicher eighth grader Josh B. shares below about his experience with this milestone project.

Reflections on My Sabes JCC Senior Buddy Experience

This spring, Heilicher teamed up with the Sabes JCC to connect community senior citizens with Heilicher students. The goal of this program is to help seniors and students feel less alone during these times of social isolation. Heilicher seventh-grader Andrew S. shares about his experience. 

Building Community Through Theater

Each year, around Mid-Winter Break, the seventh and eighth grade students feel a little added pressure – They are only a few weeks away from the public performances of our play. 

Nancy and Neil Fink to be Honored at Heilicher Annual Benefit

When Nancy and Neil Fink toured Heilicher as prospective parents eight years ago, they were impressed by the poise of their seventh-grade tour guide and how older students greeted much younger students by name in the hallways. This was their first glimpse of the values, skills, and foundation Heilicher would provide for their children.

Kindergarten FAQs

Parents often wonder about what their children's future school experience will look like. Why Heilicher? What is a typical day like? What makes Heilicher unique? See the answers. 

Rosh Chodesh  STEAM Activities

Monday, January 27 is the start of the new Jewish month of Sh’vat. Rosh Chodesh, which literally translated means “head of the month,” marks the beginning of each new Hebrew month. In honor of the moon, here are a few STEAM activities you can do with your children at home. 

How to Enjoy MinneSNOWta in the Winter

Here in MinneSNOWta we have to embrace the long winter months. Here is a list of our favorite winter activities to get you through the long, cold months.

Establishing Good Study Habits

Developing good study habits at home is an important part of school success. It takes some time and effort, but can help ease the stressors of the school year. Read more from Heilicher General Studies Teacher Polly Holzman. 

Holiday Exchange Program

Many parents send their children to Heilicher so that they can learn about Judaism and develop their Jewish identities. At the same time, parents sometimes express concern about whether our children are living “in a bubble”. Are we preparing them for the diverse world they will inhabit?

One way that we bridge these differences is through our third grade exchange between Heilicher and Good Shepherd Catholic School. 

A Class Filled with Gratitude

November brings with it images of families and friends sitting tableside celebrating Thanksgiving along with lines of shoppers out the door looking for the best deals at every store. Children take time creating long lists filled with possible Hanukah presents. So the big question is: how do you focus on all the great things you have during this time? The answer is simple: by practicing gratitude.

Alumni Reflections: Q & A with Julia Birnberg

Heilicher alumna Julia Birnberg (Heilicher ‘12) is no stranger to Jewish community leadership. A rising senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she has already distinguished herself as a pro-Israel student activist and campus leader. We had the opportunity to interview Julia this past summer about her activism and how Heilicher assisted in shaping her Jewish identity. 

Steam Activities for Fall

In honor of the High Holidays, fall and all things apples, we wanted to share some of our favorite apple STEAM activities you can easily do with your child. All you need are a few household items and a few moments of free time. 

A New Year’s Visit

Sixth graders had the opportunity to review the basics of the Tishrei holidays with Rabbi Max Davis and learn a few new things.

Customs to Welcome the New Year

We’ve been in school for five weeks already and this week we turn our attention to the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. Read about Heilicher staff customs to welcome the New Year on the Heilicher Blog.

All-School T'filah

New this year, on Monday mornings, we will have an All-School T’filah (prayer) service in the Dolly and Edward Fiterman Theatre. Our students will chant Torah each week. We’ll celebrate birthdays and milestones. And we’ll have a place to pray, whether that means working on our character, connecting with God, reflecting and/or rejoicing. 

Reflections on the Heilicher Experience

As a gift to her eighth-grade class for graduation, Ms. Weiss gathered student reflections and crafted them into a poem. These words of inspiration will stay with her students for years to come.

Breaking the Worry Cycle with Lynn Lyons

This spring Heilicher welcomed Lynn Lyons, a psychotherapist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker, to speak to the community about "How to Break the Worry Cycle." Heilicher alumna Ruthie P. shares her thoughts on the night in a recent article in The Echo, St. Louis Park High School's newspaper.

Heilicher Education Prepares Graduates for Real Life

After graduation, Heilicher alumna Simone P. encountered an uncomfortable situation at basketball camp. She decided to take a brave step to educate the camp about Jewish history related to an unintentional, yet offensive, long-standing camp practice.

Spring Fun for Your Family

Now that warmer weather has finally made its way to Minnesota, it is time to get outside and enjoy the freedom it brings to parenting little ones with lots of energy. Here are some of our favorite activities to do with your kids this spring. 

Grief Doesn’t End When the TV Cameras Go Away: Bringing Sweet Potato Comfort Pie to Pittsburgh

On February 8, 2019, Rose McGee of Sweet Potato Comfort Pies and Wendy Goldberg, Heilicher Assistant Director of Jewish Education, traveled to Pittsburgh to deliver homemade pies to members of the synagogues affected by the tragic shooting last October. Heilicher students and parent volunteers helped make and ship the pies and included heartfelt messages of hope with each one. Read Wendy's reflections here.

Heilicher Alumni Board Kicks Off Its Second Year

The Heilicher Alumni Board, made up of current high schoolers, met in February to begin formulating recommendations to strengthen the school and its programs. Read about the first meeting of the 2019 year.

Poetry Comes to Life in Seventh Grade

Morgan Stair's seventh graders read and wrote a variety of poems and created websites to display them. Explore some of their creative works here. 

Grandparent Spotlight: The Riedels

Heilicher Grandparents Claude and Laurel Riedel have made careers grounded in tikkun olam and Jewish values. Read about their careers and their experience as day school grandparents.

Connecting with Israel: A Visit to Bechor Levi

Two Heilicher administrators visited our twinning school, Bechor Levi, in Rehovot, Israel during winter break to participate in workshops strengthening ties between the two schools.

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. 

Let's Have Lunch

Heilicher Head of School Yoni Binus has been having a blast eating lunch with Heilicher students and hearing their thoughts and ideas about school life. Read more in the latest edition of the Yoni 360° blog.

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. 

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.


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. 

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