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The TASA Times
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January 18, 2019                  Parshat Beshalach                  12 Shevat 5779


On December 17th TASA students participated in a school wide SCRIPPS Spelling Bee.  The Scripps National Spelling Bee is held annually throughout the United States.   The TASA first place winner will represent TASA at the upcoming Bexar County Spelling Bee in March 2019.  Congratulations to all of our winners and runners up. Special thanks to Mrs. Endzweig for coordinating and overseeing our Spelling Bee.

TASA Kindergarten Open House

Thursday, January 31, 2019 ~  9:30-11:30 AM
Open to all perspective Kindergartners and their parents.

Tell Your Friends!

Student Voices

Please click on the image below to launch the video
"Student Voices"
Parshat Vayechi

Please click on the image below to launch the video
"Student Voices"
Parshat Beshalach

New Chapter of NJHS @ TASA

TASA has joined the National Junior Honor Society!  Our Chapter is called the "Shmuel Bass Torah Academy of San Antonio Chapter of the NJHS".

National Junior Honor Society, NJHS, is an international student organization that recognizes Middle School students for their outstanding leadership, citizenship, character, service, and scholarship. There are chapters in the US, Puerto Rico, and Canada. 

D'var Torah

Beshalach - The Shabbat of Song
Sing your Judaism

In this week's Torah portion of Beshalach we read one of the most beautiful and inspiring stories of all time, the splitting of the sea of reeds known as Kriat Yam Suf. The Jews who had left Egypt were chased down by the Egyptian army. Fear and chaos envelops the Jews as they see the Egyptians closing in on them and they pray for a miracle. Indeed, G-d commands Moshe to split the sea and have the Jewish people cross on dry land. The Egyptians follow and are decimated when the sea comes crashing down on them.

Following this harrowing experience and great miracle, the Jews are led in song by Moshe. They sing the famous words of Az Yashir, known as the "Song of the sea". They thank and praise G-d Almighty for his wonders and great delivery from Egypt.

When one looks closely at the beginning words of this song, we see something interesting. "Az Yashir Moshe Uvnei Yisrael"  "then Moshe and the Bnei Yisrael sang”. Rashi explains these words with a teaching from the Midrash that "Yashir"  "will sing” is a reference to the future song of redemption, in the times of Moshiach, when we shall yet sing again a song to G-d thanking him for the final deliverance from Exile. The simple textual understanding however is that the word "Yashir", which normally means "will sing", is used here to connote that Moshe and the Jewish people were moved and inspired to sing this song. They were so inspired and uplifted that their collective voices rose up in song, prayer and thanksgiving.

In our daily Torah observance, too often we become engrossed in the technicalities and minutia of Halachah and life. We forget that Judaism should inspire us and cause our spirits to soar. Judaism wants us to not just observe and study, but to sing and be joyful. Our children and students take note and learn a great deal not only IF we observe, but more importantly HOW we observe. When we demonstrate our joy in Torah and Judaism, and truly sing, it inspires our children to love their heritage and to sing as well. As the wonderful quote from Fiddler on the Roof “G-d would want us to be joyful even if our hearts lay panting on the floor”. No matter how challenging or stressful our lives may be, our children must see us singing.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Yossi Marrus
Dean of Students
Director of Judaic Studies

Teacher Feature:

Mrs. Naomi Grossbaum

Hello Mrs. Grossbaum.  We are very excited that you are teaching at TASA this year.  Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview so that we can get to know you better.

Q: We heard that you were born in Israel.  How long did you live there, and what do you miss the most?

A: I lived in Israel until I was 18. What I miss most about Israel is that it is so easy to tap into its holiness. I also miss the atmosphere of Shabbos and the Yomim Tovim in Israel, together with the beautiful hikes and amazing scenery.

Q: What is your favorite thing about teaching at TASA?

A: My favorite thing about teaching at TASA is seeing the excitement in my students eyes when they understand and speak stories and sentences in Hebrew!

Q: We have already benefited from your culinary talents in the past.  What can we expect in the future?

A: Maybe having to buy larger sizes of clothing? 😆


Q: From the time it was opened, what is the longest amount of time that a chocolate bar has lasted you?

A: Hmmm, good question.  Not too long, unfortunately. 

Q: Other than communication apps, what is the most used app on your phone?

A: Weather app :)

Q: What is your favorite place to take your kids in San Antonio?

A: We just recently started going to nature destinations and got to see Guadalupe lake. I have a feeling that one will be a favorite!

Q: What do you think about when you are alone in the car?

A: That doesn’t happen often, but when it does I try to relax.  :)

Q: What Kosher item do you wish would be readily available in San Antonio that currently is not?

A: Chinese food and Pizza.

Q: If you could only listen to 3 songs for the rest of your life, what would they be?

A: That’s a hard one. I love music and it really depends on my mood for me to know what I would want to listen to. I guess my 3 favorites would be
1. Avraham Fried's Song “Zichor”
2. Yaakov Shwekey “A Mother’s Promise”
3. Avraham Fried “Recalculate”

Q: What is the funniest thing that happened to you recently?

A: My life is filled with so many funny things, I love laughing. My kids constantly say and do the funniest things. Recently Chayale asked if we can go to the “Nile River”. She meant to say the River walk. That was funny. :)

Changemaker: Dr. Joe Ghitis

Dr. Joe Ghitis, a radiologist whose speciality is neurological radiology, visited with our students on December 14th as part of TASA’s Changemakers program.

In his practice, Dr. Ghitis focuses on the diagnosis of abnormalities of the central nervous system, spine, head and neck. He explained to students how he works with doctors to help diagnose patients by looking at CT and MRI scans, and how he "paints a diagnostic picture with words".

Dr. Ghitis showed students an informative slideshow featuring a number of CT, MRI and X-ray scans. The slides displayed specific internal body parts, as well as abnormalities such as tumors and broken bones.

Thank you Dr. Joe Ghitis for spending time with our students and giving us an insight on what you do!

Changemaker: Samantha Pearlman Mazuz

On January 11th TASA students welcomed Mrs. Samantha Pearlman Mazuz as part of our Changemakers program.

Mrs. Mazuz shared with the students her experiences of growing up in New Jersey and attending Rutgers University. She then attended a Birthright trip that changed her life. The trip inspired her to make Aliyah. She lived in Israel for several years and met her husband Idan there.

They later moved to the states where she continued to be involved in Jewish community leadership. Currently she lives in San Antonio with her husband and two wonderful children. She has worked for Hillel and the Jewish Federation in San Antonio, and now is the Director of Learning at Agudas Achim.

Thank you Mrs. Mazuz for sharing your experiences with TASA students.

TASA’s Changmakers program is designed to expose our students to a variety of people of note, in order to broaden their understanding of the individuals who contribute positively to our community and the world around us.

Keep sending in those Box Tops!  Help earn cash for our school!

TASA Kindergarten Open House

Coming Thursday, January 31, 2019
The Shmuel Bass Torah Academy of San Antonio is excited to announce its Kindergarten Open House for the 2019-2020 school year to take place on Thursday, January 31, 2019.  The program will run from 9:30-11:30 AM.

Parents and students will get to participate in hands on learning activities while exploring general studies, Hebrew language, and Judaic Studies. After the activities the children will enjoy a healthy snack. Interested parents are encouraged to come with their preschool children. RSVPs are preferred to assure the best possible experience for you and your child.

TASA features a dual curricular program. TASA Students enjoy a rigorous STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics) focused college preparatory general studies program, alongside a rich Judaic studies program that allows students to celebrate their heritage in a warm inclusive environment. TASA explicitly emphasizes developing the character and leadership potential of each student to prepare them for being the next generation of Jewish leaders.

For more information or to set up a tour please call 210-607-7261, or email .

The PTO would like to thank
Mrs. Brocha Leah Altman, who brings a special
Kabbalat Shabbat Treat
for the students each Friday afternoon, adding to the excitement
of Erev Shabbat.  

We appreciate her time and commitment!

Georgia O’Keefe Inspired Art at TASA

As part of our creative art program, TASA students have been studying Georgia O'Keefe's floral and landscape paintings. To cap off this unit, our students participated in a "collaborative class art competition". For this project, each class was given a photograph of a flower or plant from the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. Each student painted one section of a flower. After combining their individual segments, they produced a single image of a flower.

Thank you to our phenomenal art teacher, Mrs. Henderson for inspiring yet another creative art class project.

TASA Gear Spotted Here!!

Please send your tasteful photos of TASA Gear Spotted
in interesting places (or on interesting people) to
to be featured in future issues of the TASA Times!
Thank you!

Upcoming Events and Programs

  • Friday, January 18: End of 2nd school quarter
  • Monday January 21: No School - MLK Day
  • Monday January 21: Tu B’Shvat
  • Thursday January 31: Kindergarten Open House
  • Tuesday, February 12: Faculty meeting: No after school clubs
  • Monday, February 18: No School - Presidents Day
Derech Tzleicha to Ariye Leib Diamond and his entire family on their recent move to Israel. We miss y'all already!
Mazel Tov to Adam & Stacey Schwartz on the marriage of their son Jacob to Miryam Cohen.

Digitized January Jewish Journal Available

San Antonio's unabridged version of the Jewish Journal is now online. You can access the Jewish Journal at:

For a direct link to the January 2019 issue of the Jewish Journal,
please click here

The Jewish Journal is produced by the Jewish Federation of San Antonio.

From The TASA Photo Gallery

Remembering Pre-Winter-Break Spirit Days at TASA

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Shmuel Bass Torah Academy of San Antonio is a beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of San Antonio
The TASA Times is produced by Rabbi Dov & Mrs. Rivkey Nimchinsky
Copyright © 2019 The Starr Family Jewish Day School, All rights reserved.

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Shabbat Shalom, y'all!