Making it R.E.A.L. Blog

Empower Your Child's Digital Habits

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Digital life is integral to our children's lives today, but creating a healthy balance with technology is essential. Excessive screen time can negatively affect children's physical and mental health, including disrupted sleep patterns, eye strain, and decreased attention span. The upcoming masterclass will provide knowledge and tools to create a healthy relationship with screens and help your child positively reset their digital life. 

In this masterclass, parents will gain a comprehensive understanding of the effects of excessive screen time on children's physical and mental health and the importance of creating a balanced digital lifestyle. 

This masterclass aims to equip parents with the knowledge and skills to help… Read More »

From L.A. to the Classroom - Implementing RCD

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As a parent, you want the best for your child. You want them to receive a quality education, be in a safe and nurturing environment, and surround themselves with positive role models. At the Hebrew Academy, we understand this, and that is why we are excited about our new initiative, Larry Thompson's Give ‘Em Five Responsibility-Centered Discipline.

This innovative approach to discipline, designed to empower students to take ownership of their actions, encourages them to make good choices and to be responsible for their behavior. The Give ‘Em Five process includes setting clear expectations, teaching the expected behavior, modeling the behavior, providing positive feedback, and constructively correcting misbehavior.

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Top 3 Things to Consider When Choosing the Right TK Program.

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 A TK program is an innovative preschool program designed to help children develop the skills needed to succeed in kindergarten and beyond. It focuses on developing a solid foundation for early childhood education by providing activities that challenge young minds. Through various activities, children are better prepared for the challenges of kindergarten and beyond.

Finding the best TK program for your child can be a daunting task. With so many options available, it’s good to research and compare different programs to find one that is right for you and your family. 

Here are the top 3 things to consider when choosing the right program for your child.


Finding the right curriculum for your… Read More »

Lighting a love for Learning



Chanukah is in full swing at Hebrew Academy, and joy is in the air. Our entire student body looks forward to gathering around the campus’s Values Circle to light our community menorah. A  wide range of fun and exciting Chanukah activities like singing, dancing, games, and special guests lead up to the daily menorah lighting ceremony that has become a much-anticipated community-wide event each year. Throughout the eight-day holiday, we share stories and the deeper meanings behind the traditions we celebrate. We recounted the story of the Chanukah miracle when the Maccabees triumphed over their oppressors, and the one-day supply of oil lasted for eight days. But we also bring a present-day meaning to the holiday, one of… Read More »

Compassion: The Currency of a Vibrant Community

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By Rabbi Avremi Popack

As a Rabbi, I was taught to lead with compassion. As a Judaic administrator of the Hebrew Academy Community Day School, I recognize the importance of compassion. This approach often propels me to step out of my comfort zone and assist in various situations. Of course, I am humbled and extremely grateful to be on the giving end. Most recently, through circumstances that placed me on the receiving end, I have had to redefine my perspective on compassion.

Last  April, my family and I mourned the loss of my dad, A”H. We sat shiva as a family in Denver, where my parents lived and we were raised. Naturally, at times like these, much comes to mind. All priorities are reevaluated, and the value of life… Read More »

4 Things to Keep in Mind When Planning Winter Break


Winter break is a time for our family to get together and enjoy each other’s company and an excellent time for parents to spend quality time with their children. But it can also be a challenge to keep them engaged and motivated. 

Here are four essential things to keep in mind when planning winter break with your kids:


1) Learn new skills together: We should not think that learning only happens inside the classroom; children are natural learners and it is good to make time for learning during breaks. Learning opportunities occur while cooking, playing with children, or doing anything else.

A break from the routine is the perfect opportunity to expose your kids to new things. Some museums, zoos, aquariums, and… Read More »

Chanukah Celebrates the Light in Every Child

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Candles burning, latkes frying, dreidels spinning, Chanukah, the festival of lights, fills our hearts and homes with a radiant glow. But, it is far more than the menorah candle’s flame reflecting on our children’s wonderous faces that warms our hearts. It’s the light that glows from within. 

Chanukah is a time to recognize, celebrate and amplify the light that flickers inside us. As King Solomon writes in Proverbs, “The soul of man is G-d's candle." The miracle of Chanukah that allowed a small single day’s supply of oil to last eight days celebrates the limitless power of the individual, and this is especially true in young children. 

When children craft their menorahs, they are… Read More »

Top 3 Reasons to Tour a School Before Enrolling

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Enrolling your child in a school is one of the most important decisions you make as a parent. First, you must ensure the school is a good fit for your child and family. Many factors go into choosing the right school. It is a good idea to take a tour of prospective schools before making your decision.

Here are the top 3 reasoning to tour the school before enrolling your child.

1. Learn about the school's values: The first reason to tour a school is to learn about its values and if they align with your own. Schools have different values, and you want to ensure that your child is taught in an environment that respects their individuality. 

2. Get a feel for the curriculum: Schools are more than just classrooms and teachers; they… Read More »

8 Chanukah Delights for 8 Chanukah Nights

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On Chanukah, we come together with family and friends to celebrate and share the traditions. Chanukah has many unique opportunities that engage, excite, and inspire. It is extraordinary when we can maximize the experience for our families.

The Chanukah festivities are a fantastic opportunity for children to see the real-world applications of subjects such as Math and Science in our Jewish experiences and traditions. As we light our menorah, eat foods fried in oil, or play the dreidel, we can make connections with scientific thinking and mathematical applications that can and will inspire future learning.

On Chanukah, we celebrate the miracle of oil and how the supply of oil meant to last one day lasted for eight. We remember this… Read More »

Top 3 reasons it's important to promote Gratitude in school.

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Here at the Hebrew Academy, we focus on five core values, kindness, gratitude, truth, respect, and courtesy. As Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful and show appreciation, we chose to highlight the value of gratitude this month. 

In truth, according to Judaism, gratitude is significant; it is not just a once-a-year occurrence but how our sages teach us to begin our day. Each morning, upon opening our eyes, our sages instructed us to recite the prayer of Modeh Ani. As we start our day, this prayer reminds us that G-d has granted us the gift of life again. 

What is so essential in showing gratitude that, as Jews, this is how we should begin our day? The value of appreciation is the opportunity to think beyond… Read More »

Top 5 things you can do to support a successful Middle School Transition

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It was a familiar scene at Hebrew Academy as they welcomed students back to campus. The cohort of first-time middle schoolers huddled together— some talking loudly with anticipation, others quietly observing as all students were quickly swept into a supportive, nurturing 6th-grade learning environment.  

Mixed emotions are typical. Students undergo tremendous growth and change between elementary and middle school—physically, emotionally, and cognitively.   “My son, Josh, was a little anxious and also excited about starting 6th grade,” says Karen Berger, who has three children at Hebrew Academy and is also the Admissions Director. “He’s looking forward to having more independence and… Read More »

Our Students got the Moves and are going places


Tour the campus at Hebrew Academy during the school week. Students will be immersed in their studies, working collaboratively on hands-on projects or conducting science experiments. You may also see students busting out Dougie dance moves in our Hip Hop class. 

A hit among students, Hip Hop classes are part of our Enrichment Programming that brings learning to life (and, in some cases, to music) outside the classroom. Along with weekly Hip Hop instruction, our students expand their learning experiences in extracurricular classes ranging from swimming to soccer, technology, and music. While having fun, students in these programs build their confidence and social skills, discover talents and interests, and challenge themselves… Read More »

4 Strategies for a Successful Parent Teacher Conference

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Parent Teacher Conferences are a valuable opportunity to partner with your child’s teacher and gain the perspective of trained professionals who spend a great deal of time with your child.  Teachers often have the chance to see children in ways different from parents. Just like parents do at work, children show many different sides of themselves at school. Teachers observe children interacting with others in a variety of contexts. They are objective observers in the classroom, playground, special classes, activities, and events. In addition to sharing a unique perspective on your student’s abilities, challenges, strengths, and areas for growth, they have a wealth of understanding of the specific age level and… Read More »

A kitchen is the heart of a home and our school

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Our Kindergarten Judaic staff discovered that much could be learned in the kitchen. Looking for an immersive, joyful, hands-on experience to engage all learners in the learning process, our Kindergarten teachers dreamt of adding a Kitchen to the Kindergarten experience. Ten years ago, this dream became a reality with the building of the Kindergarten Kitchen, an entire classroom designated for this purpose with everything they would need to cook, bake and experiment with.

Our Kindergarten Judaic teachers have developed their unique Alef Bet curriculum to engage all learners in an immersive experience that encompasses all five senses maximizing engagement, explorations, and satisfaction. While the classroom rigors peel… Read More »

Simchat Torah Flags Wave Strong and Proud

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We are just coming off a whirlwind of festivities and celebrations that unite and embrace our heritage, people, and communities. As the Hebrew Academy endeavors to inspire continuity and a Jewish future, we know it's the littlest hands that get involved, the tiny sparks that touch our souls, and the grand celebrations that create the memories that inspire a bright Jewish future. 

As we embark on the journey of educating the youth, we create small yet meaningful moments of engagement to inspire deep learning, great questions, and personalized lessons that impact the most incredible growth and success for every student. Our award-winning program finds success in the collaboration of our General and Judaic studies grade-level teams.… Read More »

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