First Day Re-Cap

13 Elul 5778 / August 24, 2018

Well, our FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL is officially a wrap, and we at MMA are over the top excited about this history-in-the-making!

Just to give a quick summary of what we covered, we’re sharing a copy of the letter we sent home to our MMA parents at the end of Day 1…..

Dear Parents,

Can we just say how AWESOME your kids are?!  We had a fantastic first day at MMA!

We started off with our Morning Kick Start, where we got to know each other a bit.  We did a fun team-building activity, and Reb Shmiel shared some Personal Development insights with us.  Rabbi Chaim then led us in Davening, after which we enjoyed a nourishing snack and some well-deserved Play Time. (If you’re curious about our snack, we had delicious chocolate chip muffins, made from organic spelt.  And YES, it is possible for chocolate to be yummy AND healthy!)

Our main activity of the day was an incredible Build-a-Bench Workshop.  Our boys got to make their very own custom-fit benches that they will use as their chairs in the classroom for the duration of the year. Why would they need to make their own chairs, you ask?  Because there is significant research that links body posture to one’s overall ability to learn, stay focused, and absorb information.  So, today the boys were led in several different exercises to measure their own leg length and learn how to build a correspondingly customized bench at their own perfect height!  We worked on this throughout the day at different increments.

Here are the skills and knowledge addressed through the Build-a-Bench Workshop:

  • Measures using standard and non-standard units
  • Uses measuring tools to collect accurate data for designing and constructing things
  • Uses appropriate tools to mark wood for cutting
  • Understands concept of ergonomic seating and the importance of this
  • Uses hand and power tools appropriately to join wood pieces together (with supervision)
  • Increases hand strength and grip through using screwdrivers
  • Understands the need for appropriate safety gear
  • Can answer the question “Where does wood come from?”
  • What is the difference between a deciduous tree and a conifer? (leaf vs. needle bearing)

For lunch the boys enjoyed baked (vegan) ziti, served with vegetable sticks, hummus, tahini, and fresh fruit.  We had banana coconut cream ice cream for dessert, and then the boys got to blow some steam with a nice long recess.  As a reminder, all of our food is handmade from scratch, using only fresh, organic, kosher, plant-based ingredients.  We never use sugar, food coloring, preservatives, or any toxic chemicals.

In addition to our bench activity, the boys also worked on some very important Life Skills today.  We focused on how to THRIVE every day at MMA, and we did an exercise on Brotherhood.  Over the coming weeks and months, the boys will work to develop strong bonds between each other.  They will grow to love and protect each other and learn how Hashem wants us to create shalom wherever we go, especially with unconditional acts of goodness and kindness.

To wrap up our day, Rabbi Chaim led us in a great Parsha lesson and activity while the boys snacked on freshly chopped fruit.  We invite you to ask your son about his Parsha worksheet at your Shabbos table; he will be so proud to share what he learned!

We will share some incredible pictures and videos to re-cap the day, so stay tuned via email and Facebook.

Today was the starting line of a new era in education. We are grateful and blessed to have you with us on this journey as the Founding Families of Menachem Mendel Academy. We will all grow together throughout the coming year, and we are beyond excited about making sure that your boys know just how very special they are!

Wishing you a great Shabbos, and we can’t wait to see everyone again for our first full week together on Monday!

With blessings and success,


Your MMA Leadership Team