Preschool News from Director Melissa Loyd

Tue, 09/03/2013 - 11:55am -- AJ Blog

Dear Parents and Families,

Our first few weeks of school have started off great! The children seem to be adjusting well to school, new classrooms, new teachers, and new activities.

So many activities have been going on in the classroom! Here are just a few I have seen/heard:

  • Finger painting
  • Easel painting
  • Discovery Tables
  • Learning our colors
  • Expressive self-portraits and All About Me activities
  • Expressing thoughts/ideas in journals
  • Name Writing
  • Apples & Honey
  • Rosh Hashanah Activities
  • The Kissing Hand 
  • Smiling faces
  • Laughter
  • Nurturing and loving teachers
  • 4's Educational Enrichment Program
  • Ted Bear
  • Beautiful Babies in the Nursery


As the Jewish New Year approaches, I wanted to remind you of this weeks school closings. In observance of Rosh Hashanah, AJ Preschool will be closed on the following:


Wed Sept. 4th - Close @ 3:00pm - Erev Rosh Hashanah

Thurs & Fri Sept. 5th  & 6th - No School - Rosh Hashanah


Below I have included some information about a few opportunities to volunteer at AJ , preschool information, and some information about Rosh Hashanah.

L'Shanah Tovah!!!

Melissa Loyd

Director, AJ Preschool


Picture Day

We need 2-3 volunteers for each day during Picture Day.  Below are the days and times.  If you are able to help for some or all of the time, please contact Marie Gregory, [email protected]

Mon., Sept 30:  9am - 12pm

Tues., Oct. 1:  9am - 12pm

Wed., Oct. 2:  9am - 12pm

Thurs., Oct. 3:  9am - 12pm

Fri., Oct. 4:  9am - 12pm

We are still in need of room parent volunteers too!!!! Please contact Marie if you can help.  


Rosh Hashana 101

Reprinted with permission. For more about Jewish holidays and Jewish life, visit

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, is a fall holiday, taking place at the beginning of the month of Tishrei, which is actually the seventh month of the Jewish year (counting from Nisan in the spring). It is both a time of rejoicing and of serious introspection, a time to celebrate the completion of another year while also taking stock of one's life.

The High Holiday Period  

The two days of Rosh Hashanah usher in the Ten Days of Repentance (Aseret Yemei Teshuvah), also known as the Days of Awe (Yamim Noraim), which culminate in the major fast day of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The Days of Awe represent the climax of a longer process. Starting at the beginning of the previous month, called Elul, the shofar is traditionally sounded at the conclusion of the morning service. A ram's horn that makes a trumpet-like sound, the shofar is intended as a wake-up call to prepare for the Tishrei holidays. One week before Rosh Hashanah, special petitionary prayers called Selichot are added to the ritual. Rosh Hashanah itself is also known as Yom Hadin or the Day of Judgment, on which God opens the Books of Life and Death, which are then sealed on Yom Kippur.



The origins of Rosh Hashanah may be sought in a royal enthronement ritual of biblical times, though the Bible itself never mentions the "New Year" or "Day of Judgment" aspects of the holiday. Even though Rosh Hashanah falls in the seventh month, later rabbinic tradition decided to designate it the beginning of the year. Although the origin of this tradition may have been adopted from the Babylonians, the rabbis imbued it with Jewish significance as the anniversary of the day on which the world was created, or of the day on which humanity was created. Another explanation can be found in the significance of Tishrei as the seventh month, hence the Sabbath of the year.

At Home

The challah (traditional bread) that is eaten for the Rosh Hashanah season is round, symbolizing the eternal cycle of life. The challah is traditionally dipped in honey, symbolizing the hopes for a sweet New Year. The same is done with apples, which are made even sweeter with the addition of honey. Some people avoid eating nuts at this time, since according to a somewhat convoluted Gematria (mystical numerical interpretation) the Hebrew words for nut (egoz) and sin (het) have the same numerical value.

Three unique sets of prayers are added to the morning service during Rosh Hashanah. These are known as Malkhuyot, which address the sovereignty of God, Zikhronot, which present God as the one who remembers past deeds, and Shofarot, in which we stand in nervous anticipation of the future.

Each of these sections culminates in the blasts of the Shofar, the most potent symbol of the holiday. The shofar is alluded to in the most memorable Torah reading for the holiday, the Akedah or Binding of Isaac (Genesis 22). The story and the shofar serve as reminders of the covenant between God and the people of Israel, carrying with them the message of sacrifice, hope, and continuity.  

Among the popular traditions associated with the holiday is a ceremony performed on the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah called tashlikh, when people throw crumbs or pieces of bread, symbolizing their sins, upon flowing water.

Theology and Themes

This is the time of year during which we are to atone for both our individual-and on Yom Kippur, our communal-sins committed over the course of the previous year, before God literally closes the books on us and inscribes our fates for the coming year. God's rule over humanity and our need to serve God are stressed time and again over the course of the holiday.


Drop Off & Pick Up

  • Thank you for using carpool and being patient. Carpool has gone smoothly so far. Using carpool can really help to minimize separation anxiety. We strongly recommend driving through the carpool line. It makes morning in the building a lot less hectic and can help school seem less crowded and more calm for the younger children. Remember to hang your carpool number so we can see it. If you do not have your carpool # we will ask you to park and walk in to pick up your child (even if we know you).
  • If you intend on walking your child in instead of using carpool you must enter through the gates at the Woodbourne entrance and use the ramp. Park on the hill so you do not have to cross the carpool line. Please feel free to use strollers if bringing in multiple children.
  • We are asking walkers to please pick-up from 12:00-12:10 instead of coming before noon. This will give us time to get some of the children loaded into the cars before parents walk in. The more bodies in the building the more hectic.


Innisbrook Fundraising 

Be on the look out for your Innisbrook packet!!! We are so fortunate to have all the money raised go directly to the preschool. Thank you for your support!

Tip - If you order online you will receive your order much quicker!

Our school # is 111420

Online ordering will open Friday September 6th!

For more information please contact Sara Celello @ [email protected]



  • Wed Sept 4                         Close @ 3:00pm - Erev Rosh Hashanah
  • Thurs & Fri Sept 5 & 6          No School - Rosh Hashanah
  • Fri Sept 13                          Close @ 3:00pm - Kol Nidre 
  • Mon Sept 23                        Open House and Family Picnic @ 5:30 (parent & children) - Music by John Gage
  • Sept 30 - Oct 4                   School Pics - Info coming home soon
  • Wed Oct 31                         Halloween Parade - 9:30am



We ask that you encourage your child to play with the toys at school and keep his/her toys at home. This helps to avoid lost or broken toys. We do allow children to bring a soft item for rest time if it fits into their backpack. Also, please do not allow your child to come to school with food, in keeping with our Kosher dietary laws and to avoid problems with other children. A morning snack is provided at A.J.  


AJ Tshirt Day

Every Friday we have a Shabbat Sing-A-Long. This a very special time where the whole school sings and celebrates together! If you have an AJ T-Shirt, we ask you to dress your child in their A.J. T-shirt or sweatshirt to show your child's A.J. spirit . All kids with A.J. shirts are invited to come to the front and sing a few special AJ songs! If you do not have a shirt, but would like your child to have a t-shirt orders will be sent home soon. If your child does not wear his/her AJ t-shirt on Friday, don't worry we sing tons of songs and all have a blast!!!


For Your Information

If your child stays late day (3:00-6:00 PM) please remember to sign him/her out on the sign-out sheet by the office door. You're doing great - keep it up!    

Also, if any information changes on the Emergency Medical Information form you filled out at the beginning of the year please contact us right away. This is the information we use to contact someone in case of emergency.


Shoe Safety

In order to keep our children safe, we are going to continue implementing our school rule. No sandals without a strap around the heel and no platform shoes. Flip-flops and sandals without straps are very unsafe for the children to ride bikes, run in, or even safely travel the hallways. If your child comes to school with unsafe shoes they will have to sit out during playtime. Crocs are okay as long as the strap is secured around the child's heel. Thank you for your help in keeping all the A.J. kids safe!!


Finally, I thought the article below including some tips from your preschooler would help ease separation anxiety. I hope it helps! Have a great week!


Tips for Parents from Your Preschooler 
Written by Linda Caldwell, director of Lollipop U. Daycare, Fairview, PA


Be positive! Don't tell me that I'll have a great time at child care and then tell Grandma that you feel guilty about enrolling me. I pick up on your feelings very easily! If you feel great about leaving... I'll feel great about staying. 

Don't mind me if the first day I love it, and the second day I hate it!! It's a new place, new kids, new adults, and new schedule. Keep my schedule consistent and I'll be fine!

When you drop me off in the morning, give me a kiss and a hug and leave!!! When you linger around for a while to see how I'm doing, it makes me feel uncertain because you feel uncertain. Then I don't want to stay... I want to go with you. If I'm crying, the teachers will hold me. They love me also and want the best for me. 

Please take time to look at my artwork that I created. I work long and hard at it all day while you are at work. If you do not care, I will not be enthusiastic about creating it. And if I see it laying in the trash at home, I will lose my creativity!

Spend time with me after we get home. I know that you're tired, and I'm full of energy because I took a nap! Let's go for a walk after dinner. I need time with my mom and dad, too. 

Sometimes I would like it if you would talk to me and explain to me what is going to happen to me, before it happens. Tell me what day I am going to start preschool, and what I am going to do there all day long. It would help to lessen my fears. Point out the center to me as we drive by, so I can be excited about it. 

Give me the choice to do things by myself. I'm little and slower than you are, but I can do things all by myself. I can get dressed by myself, and I can pick what breakfast cereal I want to eat. Making decisions can make me feel very important. 

Sometimes I don't want to go to preschool. Sometimes you don't want to go to work! But after we both get there, we're fine. 

Don't be mad at me if after I pass that "adjustment period" I don't want to go home with you when you come to pick me up. Be glad that my teachers are wonderful people to make me feel that way. 

Please don't feel guilty about leaving me! I know that you love me and that you would not do anything bad for me! I also know that when I start kindergarten I will be well adjusted socially and mentally, I will be asking questions way ahead of other children. Why? Because you had the insight to put me with other children at a young age when I learned new things and met new friends.

Thanks! Your child


Copyright © 1995 by Linda Caldwell.