Principals Blog

Grade 8 Mesivtah Prep, Rebbies and ELA Program


28 Av, 5782

Dear Eighth Grade Parents,

We are in the final stages of setting up a successful year for our Eighth Graders. Kita Ches is a pivotal year in it being one side of the transition and connection to mesivtah.  The research stage for the mesivtos involves reaching out to cheder to find out about the talmidim and the cheder will be an important resource for you in making your decision and putting in place a plan A and Plan B for mesivtah

Eighth Grade is also a key year academically.  Mesivtah is a place where the dominant approach to learning is independent learning. The modal of the yeshiva takes shape in mesivtah. Talmidim spend many hours learning with a chavrusa in a beis medrash and are expected to come in with the skills, interest and motivation to learn on their own. 

Now that the boys are all bar mitzvah they can focus their learning exclusively on the goals of a yeshiva bochur; every talmid should strive to be able to successfully prepare Gemoro on their own (make a laining), to learn Chumash Rashi independently as well as mishnayos.

Rabbi Shimon Dubinksy will be teaching the grade all day with the exception of the 1:45-3:00 pm slot. During that time, the talmdim will daven minchah and we divided into groups to learn a sichah, Tanya and improve their ELA by writing essays on the Tanya they are learning. 

This unique approach was successfully launched last year and was very matzliach.  Last year, the students wrote essays on the first 11 perokim of Tanya. They were given instructions on how to write an essay, and the essays were graded. Talmidim enjoyed the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas on the Tanya and present the Alter Rebbe’s themes in a compelling way. 

More information about the groups will be shared IYH end of next week. Rabbi Dubinksy will be teaching the talmdim until 2:00PM on Wednesday and Thursday of this coming week. 

Orientation and First Week

Orientation - Date and Dress Code

Tuesday, 3 Elul, August 30 10 AM - 12 PM
Rebbies of first through eighth grades will be in their classrooms to greet your son and settle him in his desk and cubby. 
Pre-1-A orientation will take place on Wednesday, 4 Elul, August 31.

Timings for Pre-1-A are as follows:
Last names:
A-K 9:00-9:30
L-P 9:45-10:15
S-Z 10:30-11:00

Students are required to wear shoes that are inline with the Cheder dress code. Beyond the shoes or sneakers, students aren’t required to wear the Cheder uniform to orientation. See Cheder dress code

First week - dismissal times
Cheder will end at 2:00PM on Wednesday & Thursday, August 31 & September 1.
Friday, September 2nd, Cheder ends at 12:00PM.
Sunday, September 4th, 1:30 PM
Monday, 9 Elul, September 5, Cheder ends 4:10 PM for the younger grades and at 5:00 PM for grades 6-8. General Studies begins on Monday, Labor Day. 

Back to School Night - Save the Date
Back to school night for the Boys' Cheder will take place Tuesday, 10 Elul, Sep 6, 2022 at 7:30 PM. A detailed breakdown of the scheduling will be provided in the days leading up to BTSN.

Principals and Cheder Faculty Update

Update on Departments and Principals

As we prepare for the coming school year, we are expanding our infrastructure to accommodate the growing number of students ka”h. Towards this end, the principalship of the divisions is being restructured.
Rabbi Itkin’s primary focus will be the older grades 6-8, and Rabbi Kaplan’s primary area of focus will be Grades 1-5. 

Rabbi Silverstein and Rabbi Ezagui lead dismissal daily. 
We would also like to remind you about the ongoing support staff who are working with your children day to day:
Rabbi Simpson- bochen and Gemoro support 
Rabbi Kessler assesses all younger students individually on their kria skills. He also works with the Rebbies to help students learning Gemoro build their skills. 

Mendy Spater - Sports Coach and Recess Monitor
Now in his second year, we are planning a more robust approach to recess supervision and guided sports which will be announced to the talmidim in the first few weeks of cheder. 

Strengthening Sundays


Chazal instructs us to fortify areas of perceived weakness, i.e. applying stricter muktza rules on yom tov than on Shabbos. This guides us to strengthen and raise, rather than lower expectations in areas of weakness. 

At cheder chabad, our Sundays are exclusive to limmudei kodesh learning. Keeping in mind that some parents have Sundays off and would like to spend it with their children, cheder ends earlier accommodating this valuable connection. The cheder recognizes this connection between parents and children and contributing to children’s well-being thereby improving students’ ability to succeed in learning. 

Our experience is that parents being home and other factors, lead to weakened Sunday attendance. Weak attendance on one day reduces the value of learning in the students eyes and shifts the students' mindset from learning to babysitting, thus hindering the cheder’s overall ability to lead in education. 

A Rebbi sitting in a half empty classroom, reflecting on what to teach the disgruntled half remains in a jeopardized state going forward. 

Consider what it is like for a student to sit in a half empty classroom reflecting on his friends who must be out having fun, and thinking that whatever is learned today, will be repeated tomorrow. Is what they are learning a filler rather than learning a key part of the ongoing subjects.  

Our Rebbis structures their week in a way that Sundays are a critical part of the week, a key part that if missed is difficult to make up. Sundays are filled with special programming, tests, new beginnings in added tefilos, rules of dikduk, Chumash, Mishnayos and Gemoro. 

We are proud of the parents who go the extra mile and make sure their children attend every Sunday despite living far away and despite having Sunday school programming which makes it an extra hectic day. We encourage every parent to make this commitment and strengthen the Torah learning for all our students.  Your commitment will benefit your child on a daily basis, instilling in them the value and critical importance of every day. 

A day of absence is a missing building block in the wall that we erect for Hashem.  The Midrash in Shir Hashirim 8:9 explains: “אני חומה” – the Yidden say to Hashem “We will stand firm in mitzvot and good deeds like a wall”.

Eighth Grade Extracurricular Areas


The Eighth Grade Year at Cheder Chabad is truly a special year. Guided by the saying of chazal הכל הולך אחר החיתום, we strive to provide our talmidim with the greatest experience possible.

Extracurricular Learning

Minchas Chinuch shiur 

When it comes to learning Torah, we want to open horizons in Torah for our talmidim beyond the basic curriculum provided in chadorim and yeshivas. 

A weekly shiur in minchas chinuch, presenting a window into chakiro, investigation and the depth of pilpul, is now entering its third year. 

The shiur is given by the Rosh mesivtah, Rabbi Lustig shlita, who has a gift of presenting deep and complex ideas in an organized and clear way. Refreshments are served and the shiur is followed by Maariv. 

Chavrusa Program 

A unique opportunity is available to select talmidim of grades 7-8 to learn one on one with a kollel yungerman at Kollel Beis Levi Yitzchok funded by Cheder. There are certain conditions that must be met in order to be approved. A talmid must commit to learning at least twice a week and the learning must consist of an area of hosofoh. Students may not use the time to review cheder subjects.  Please contact Rabbi Kaplan if you are interested in hearing more about this program and if you would like your son to join. 

Programs and Speakers 

Throughout the year we bring mashpiim, bochurim shluchim and Rabbonim to farbreng, farher and give shiurim to the talmidim. These events may be connected to a special day on the Chabad calendar or with a milestone connected to the learning goals of the class.

Learning Chassidus 

The Eighth grade is the year when talmidim begin learning Tanya as a text based part of their curriculum and truly initiates their engagement with texts of chassidus. The goal for the year is to learn the first eleven perakim of Tanya. Talmidim are provided with a list of topics in each perek on which they are required to write an essay. Talmidim are instructed on various aspects of essay writing. The papers will be graded based on the instructors guidance and set expectations. 

Mesivtah Preparation

We encourage parents to begin actively looking into a mesivta for your son right after Chanuka.  Mesivta registration is unique in that every year is vastly different. Nevertheless, it is safe to say that no mesivta opens registration before Chanuka. 

When thinking about a mesivta keep in mind your child's social, academic, spiritual and material needs. Also keep in mind that you may not end up with your first choice and it is important to be open to other possibilities and not to stubbornly pursue a yeshiva in which he won’t be accepted.  We therefore encourage you to register your son in more than one mesivta. 

The application process may include documentation, an interview, written references from the Rebbi and principal as well as self assessments of your child. 

It is worthy to take a look at what mesivta applications ask so that you have a good understanding of what is expected from a Lubavticher bochur graduating Eighth Grade in the area of chitas, Rambam, Mikveh, shnaiim mikro, mivtzoim, and more


The funds for the graduation trip are raised by the students. All plans and trips must be done with the guidance and permission of the Rebbi. The cheder does not run the graduation trip. The principal will spend time with the class discussing various lessons learned from past experiences and suggesting how to share the responsibilities in the class so that things are organized and responsibilities shared and they don’t put too much on one student. 

It is common for students to express frustration at the pressure of what they need to get done. Please be empathetic, reassure them that everything will be okay, and send them back to their Rebbi and Principal in order to resolve their frustrations. Please do not get involved in planning or in serving in any role, treasure, accountant, travel agent, etc. in place of your son. 


The Eighth Graders fundraise towards their end of year trip. More will

Be shared about this after Tishri.


The graduation takes place on a Tuesday evening, in the week following the last day of school.  The class mothers enhance the event with some design, colors or balloons.  

The class appoints representatives who work closely with the menahel planning the program, speakers, presenters and features of the program. 

Students are encouraged but not compelled to speak 

It is appropriate to thank the Rebbies and teachers and to recognize unique, school related, achievements. 

Graduation Trips

Information will be forthcoming after yom Tom. 


A yearbook is a great way for the students to compile and retain positive memories about cheder and help them keep up their cheder friendships as they part ways and go to different mesivtos.  

The yearbook also provides the opportunities to families and friends to offer well-wishes to the graduating students in the form of print ads. 

The cheder website features a link that can be shared with family and friends where they can post and pay for their ads. 

The ad money is held in the Cheder account until the money is needed for the graduation trip.

Improved Communication - Blog

Communication Summer 2022

We hope you and your families are enjoying your summer and are gathering fresh koichos for an improved upcoming cheder year.   At cheder, we are reflecting, improvising, planning and preparing for an outstanding year. 

Last year’s updates and improvements were primarily in the area of learning, we added a curriculum update to our newsletter, implemented smaller learning groups in some grades, augmented our kria and ksiva resource room capacity, in depth classes by a visiting Rebbi, and added more assessments for more skills throughout the year. 

While we focus on one area, we don’t lose focus on the others and we continue raising the bar in all areas.

An area of focus this coming year will be on strengthening our chassidishe environment.  Creating an atmosphere requires focused and deliberate efforts that keep in mind an impact beyond the individual. We are looking forward to sharing these programs, events and programs with you. 

Good communication between the school and the parents is important to us.  Open communication between Cheder and the parents creates an optimal environment for our children to learn and grow.  Our experience has shown that when a child knows that the school and his parents are in close contact it brings out the best in them. Bringing out the best in our children is our goal. 

In improving our communication, we are adding two features to our website, a blog with messages and articles from the principals about the cheder’s goals and a contact form in which you can post a question to the principals which will be directed to the correct department head. 

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