News

2018

  • November

    Carmel Academy Students Become Forensic Investigators In Elective Science Class

    It was a serene autumn day at Carmel Academy when a group of the school's seventh and eighth graders were summoned to the science lab to deal with an "urgent" matter. The students, all part of a forensic science elective class, rushed excitedly to the courtyard where they were met with an unexpected scenario -- a mock crime scene, where poor Fred had met with an unfortunate demise. The students immediately went to work as detectives, making observations, searching for clues, discussing their theories and comparing notes. The mysterious whodunit was a way for Carmel science teacher Kelly Mulligan to introduce her students to the important work, skills and techniques used by forensic scientists.
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  • October

    Carmel Academy Students Connect With Ancient Jewish Traditions

    Carmel Academy students got their hands dirty and their toes wet as they experienced the rituals surrounding the Hebrew month of Tishrei.
     
    In the days leading up to Rosh Hashanah, Carmel Academy’s sixth grade students spent the afternoon with Rabbi Schneur Wilhelm, who teaches about the crafts of Judaism. Rabbi Wilhelm, who is the Rabbi at the Chabad of Milford, led the sixth graders in a hands-on shofar workshop, as each student cleaned, sawed, sanded and created their very own shofar.

    “The Rosh Hashanah Amida is made up of three parts: Shofarot, Zichronot (remembrance), and Malkhuyot (kingship). At Carmel, each Middle School grade studies one of the sections and each has a corresponding experiential activity to help them grasp the meaning and relevancy of the ancient liturgy,” said Rabbi Jordan Soffer, Carmel Academy’s Rabbi-in-Residence.

    “Our sixth graders learned about the powerful sound of the shofar, the blast for ultimate redemption, and then built their own shofarot,” he said.
     
    “Our goal is to re-mystify the rituals by demystifying the rituals,” he said. “We hope to create a sense of awe and wonder that emerges from a familiarity. By making the shofar with their own two hands, our students gained a deep appreciation about how remarkable a shofar is, and, at the same time, how accessible it is,” Rabbi Soffer said.
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  • September

    Social-Emotional Learning Panel at Greenwich YMCA

    Parents and educators are invited to a panel discussion that will provide insight into children’s social-emotional growth. “Social-Emotional Learning & Its Impact", a panel discussion, will take place on Wednesday, October 3rd, at the YMCA of Greenwich, 2nd Floor from 7-8:15 p.m. An interdisciplinary panel of experts, including Carmel Academy's Head of School Nora Anderson. will discuss social-emotional learning and its impact on individuals in an academic, home, and work setting.
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  • Carmel Academy Faculty Members Selected For Teacher Institute For the Arts

    Carmel Academy’s art teacher Lori Amer and Hebrew studies teacher Einav Dahaman-Frumess were selected to take part in the Teacher Institute for the Arts, a year-long program which brings together educators from Jewish day schools to explore Jewish text, tradition and values through artistic expression. 

    The Institute, which is developed and operated by a prominent national foundation that prefers to remain anonymous, brought the Carmel educators to California this past July for an intensive workshop. Working alongside peers from around the country, the teachers studied with Israel-based artist David Moss, who is best know for his ability to enrich Jewish life by synthesizing tradition, beauty, learning, art, and creativity into engaging new forms of expression.
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  • Carmel Academy’s Director of Judaic Studies Selected to Help Revamp Curriculum In Israel This Summer

    Dr. Tali Aldouby-Schuck, Carmel Academy’s Director of Judaic Studies & Professional Development, was one of four educators recruited by the Israeli Ministry of Education to help create a curriculum exploring Jewish Peoplehood for Middle School students across 6,000 Israeli schools. 

    In this unprecedented collaboration, the Ministry was awarded a grant by the UJA-Federation of New York to bring the small team of educators to Israel in July to partner with Israeli curriculum writers to explore Jewish identity and diversity. Some of the questions discussed as the framework of the curriculum were: What does it mean for Israel to be grasped not only as a State of its citizens, but also as the national home of the Jewish People? What enduring understandings or essential questions should the curriculum writers be guided by? How can the curriculum transcend ideological divisions?

    Dr. Aldouby-Schuck reflected on the collaboration: “The process of partnering with Israeli educators to think together about educating young Israelis to think about Jewish life in more complex and nuanced ways was transformative for all of us. It challenged our own thinking about how to engage with core questions addressing Jewish Peoplehood and re-envision the relationship between young Jewish Americans and Israelis.”
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  • August

    Congratulations To Carmel Academy's International Math Olympiad Champions

    Carmel Academy Students Win Top Honors in International Math Olympiad
    Seven Carmel Academy students placed in the top 10 percent internationally in the International Math Olympiad Competition.  Carmel students who were the overall winners for their respective grades are fourth grader Jacob Lebwohl, fifth grader Nathan Toback, sixth grader Adina Ament, seventh grader Sophie Citron, and eighth grader Ben Levy. In addition to the school's overall winners, sixth graders Lily Lebwohl and Yishama Orlow also ranked in the top 10 percent internationally. The students competed in five challenging competitions throughout the academic year, testing their knowledge in complex math word problems. 
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  • June

    Carmel Academy Graduates Largest Class in School History

    As it culminated its 20th anniversary year, Carmel Academy graduated its largest class in school history on June 14th.

    The student-designed graduation ceremony centered around “20 Years of Daring,” in keeping with the theme of the school year. The school’s 33 graduates poignantly reflected upon what they learned at Carmel, and how the school has shaped and prepared them for their future. Through personal writings and songs, in both Hebrew and English, the graduates shared their memories, as well as their aspirations for the future based on the foundation they received at Carmel Academy.

    “Throughout our years at Carmel, we have grown so much as people, as Jews, as life-long learners, and as citizens of the world,” said graduate Talia Siegel Moss.
    The graduates shared in Hebrew excerpts from their yearlong project Shorashim, or Roots. The project was modeled after an Israeli initiative that has become a nation-wide tradition, where the students researched their family’s history and connection with the Jewish people.

    “In essence, it was a journey of self-discovery for each of us,” said graduate Ben Marinoff-Spindell. “Through this project we reflected on how we view ourselves within our family’s heritage and enhanced our understanding of Jewish peoplehood.”
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  • A League Of Their Own

    Carmel Academy seventh graders Francesca Margolius and Nili Sprecher had been playing on the school’s baseball team for a number of years. As the only girls on the all-boy team, and with their growing interest for the American pastime, the two young athletes decided it was time for a league of their own.
     
    They took that dream and made it reality, launching Carmel Academy’s first-ever softball team. The team of ten Carmel Academy girls took to the softball diamond for their inaugural game in mid-April.
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  • May

    CA 5th Grader Receives State-Wide Creative Writing Award

    Congratulations to Carmel Academy 5th grader, Liora, whose essay "Everyone An Immigrant" took the third place prize in Connecticut's Celebrate America Creative Writing Contest! The contest challenged fifth graders throughout the state to reflect on and write about the theme “Why I Am Glad America Is a Nation of Immigrants.” Liora's essay, which she wrote from the perspective of the Statue of Liberty, was selected by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy!

    We are so proud of Liora and all our fifth graders, who each submitted an essay and delved into their integrated immigration unit with tremendous interest, curiosity and creativity! The Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association in Connecticut, along with alumni parent and immigration lawyer, Beth Boyer, will be visiting Carmel this spring to recognize our students' contest participation and hard work.
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  • April

    Carmel Academy Student Qualifies For State Geography Bee

    Which of these countries does not border the Indian Ocean: Tanzania, Indonesia or Uzbekistan? What state straddles the Tropic of Cancer - Hawaii or Alaska? These are the types of challenging questions Carmel Academy students answered as part of the 2018 National Geography Bee,an annual competition organized by the National Geographic Society that is designed to inspire students curiosity about the world. For the second year in a row, Carmel Academy eighth grader Ben won the school championship, answering 103 of the bee's 105 questions correctly. His near perfect score earned him a spot at the State Geography Bee, which is being held at Central Connecticut State University. Ben will compete for the state title and the chance to head to Washington D.C., in May where the winner from each state will vie for a $50,000 scholarship to college and the glory of being the National Geographic Bee Champion.
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  • March

    The great debate! Keva vs. Kavana

    It was the great debate! Keva vs. Kavana.
     
    Carmel Academy's seventh grade welcomed five local rabbis to sit on a mock beit din (rabbinic court) as our students debated keva (fixed/routine prayer) vs. kavanah (intentional prayer). Our students invited star witnesses such as Moshe, Avraham, and rabbis from the Talmud to advocate their positions on each side of the debate. They made compelling opening and closing arguments, and the witnesses substantiated each argument very effectively! To prepare for the debates the students studied text sources, which helped form their opinions and arguments. Ultimately while the visiting rabbis explained that the two types of prayer are mutually dependent and equally important, they came down on the side of kavanah.
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  • Guided By Text and Study Carmel Academy Students Lend Their Thoughts and Voice To The Issue of Gun Violence

    On March 14th, as students across the nation grappled with their desire to be heard surrounding the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Carmel Academy’s Middle School students honored the victims and joined the national conversation.

    Carmel Academy’s students took the opportunity to find empowerment through study, discussion and remembrance. Together, students and faculty studied Jewish text, which sparked deep discussions about issues surrounding life, choices and responsibility toward fellow humans. They also read and discussed a summary of research on gun policies and their effects, explored gun violence statistics and engaged in discussions that focused on finding areas of agreement among all people and how to address this issue. As a culminating activity, each student wrote their own thoughts on what they personally or as a community can do to address gun violence in America.

    Carmel Academy’s Rabbi-in-Residence Rabbi Jordan Soffer began the program by telling the students: “The Torah demands action, our conscience demands action, I need to take action. Today we will start with what may seem like a small action, but can truly have a major impact.”

    He continued, “The Gemara asks, ‘What is more important, study or action?’ We learn that study is, because study leads to action. So we are starting with study, and that has to lead us to action.”
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  • February

    1st Graders Explore Community

    Who are the people in your neighborhood? Let Carmel Academy's first graders tell you! After months of learning about what institutions are integral to a vibrant community, our first graders welcomed their parents to "Carmel Place" this week. Throughout the school year, first graders visited important places in a community as part of their social studies curriculum -- from the police station to the bakery to the general store. In fact they took seven field trips where they learned about various institutions and interviewed people who work in them. To prepare for their visits the students read non-fiction texts, watched videos and brainstormed interview questions. As part of a culminating program, parents had the opportunity to browse "Carmel Place." Dressed as bakers and police, librarians, grocers and postal workers, the students went to work at their respective businesses. Using "Carmel Cash" parents purchased treats at the bakery and general store, mailed letters at the post office and checked out books at the library. Student writing about what type of job they would want and why was on display, and artwork, inspired by artist James Rizzi, adorned the walls.
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  • Carmel Academy’s Rabbi-In-Residence Launches Popular Parsha Class for Parents

    On a recent Monday morning, a diverse group of Carmel Academy parents gathered at the school to delve deeply into Parshat Hashavua, the weekly Torah reading. The group was studying verses about redemption from Egypt, sparking a robust conversation about how the establishment of a modern State of Israel may affect ancient Jewish ritual and practice.
     
    The discussion, the varying points of view and the deep thought were exactly what Carmel Academy’s Rabbi-in-Residence Jordan Soffer had hoped for, he said, when he launched a Torah study group for parents earlier this year.
     
    Rabbi Soffer coined the series “Parsha for Parents”, which is open to Carmel parents and adults from the wider community. The hour-long class has become so popular that Rabbi Soffer took his teaching on the road, hosting a “Parsha For Parents” lunch in New York City as a way to enable Manhattan-working parents to be part of the conversation.
     
    “The series explores deep and resonate questions, without demanding any prior knowledge of the text,” said Rabbi Soffer. “My goal is two-fold. On one hand I hope to encourage parents to be role models as lifelong learners for their children, and, secondly, to give a platform for parents to explore Jewish issues in a sophisticated, but unassuming space.”
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  • January

    Fourth Graders Create Interactive American Civics Museum

    Carmel Academy’s fourth graders embraced our school’s yearlong theme of daring as they pushed themselves and encouraged each other to try new learning styles and methods while delving into their study of American Civics.

    The result was a completely student-created learning celebration that included a robust interactive museum of exhibits and performance exhibits showcasing unique presentations that shared the historical events surrounding our country's founding, and the visions of our founding fathers. The students' parents spent time at each interactive exhibit learning about The Constitution, The Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, Articles of Confederation, The New Jersey Plan, Virginia Plan and Great Compromise, The Three Branches of Government and The Three-Fifths Compromise.

    Our students became true experts in their subjects and imparted their learning by writing and performing in their own plays and creating engaging visual presentations.
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< 2018

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  • Carmel Academy is a private school for children of all Jewish affiliations, serving children from transitional kindergarten through 8th grade.

Carmel Academy is a recipient of UJA Greenwich, the United Jewish Federation of Greater Stamford, New Canaan and Darien, Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County and The UJA Federation on New York.