Meet Our Students


Can you think of a memory at Briskin that makes you smile?
I can think of many but I’ll never forget in kindergarten when Zero the Hero came to visit us. We were all so excited to see him because we had been learning about numbers and he came to visit on the 100th day of school. It was such a fun way to learn about place values and we were all very happy.

What is your favorite subject at school?
I like a lot of subjects. What I really love about our school is how creative it is. I love doing take-home projects every year because we get to express ourselves creatively. In first grade, there was a research project about the human body. I studied the XXX system and made a huge poster. In second grade I did a research project about Queen Elizabeth and dressed up like her when I gave my presentation to the class. It was really neat. In the upper grades, projects get even more serious but are still creative and fun.


What are your hobbies?
I play soccer every day. I play piano. I play chess.

What is the best book you have read at Briskin Elementary School?
I think the best book we’ve read as a class was Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson. It allowed us to discuss racism as a class and really understand that racism began in our country when slavery was rampant during the 1800’s. A lot of kids, including myself, were aware of racism but we didn’t really understand where it came from. Chains helped us understand that it was rooted in American society from the beginning of time. The Giver by Lois Lowry was really great too, but different. We learned what a dystopian novel was and it got us thinking and reflecting.  We had to decide whether the main character, Jonas, received an honor or a punishment. We had great discussions in class.


What is your favorite subject at school?
In fifth grade when we learned about the different branches of government and the separation of powers, that was really fun. We had very interesting talks about politics. Those are some good memories. It was a very engaging class and we all took something from the discussions. Elissa was great at teaching stuff like that. It is so easy to tell she loves teaching government.

What are your tips for success at Briskin?
Look forward to getting to know the teachers. The teachers here are fantastic. Every year I have had a teacher who has taught me something new. They all love what they teach. That makes it just that much more engaging for the students. 

I also think you will definitely find a very good friend at Briskin that you might keep for the rest of your life. You will have a great time here whether you want to or not. Savor every moment.


Can you describe an event or lesson at Briskin that you will always remember?
We went to Sacramento in 4th grade with Brian’s class. We slept in tents and were at the waterfront looking for gold with little pails and buckets. Brian was teaching us how to find it like people did during the Gold Rush. That was a great way to learn outside the classroom about our State.

What is the best book you have read at Briskin?
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls is the most heartwarming book I’ve ever read. We all loved it and got to write book reviews with our opinions and ratings. Briskin has definitely inspired me to read more. I remember when we were in library and Allison the librarian read us a book called The 39 Clues. It was so good, I read the entire series.

What advice can you give to little kids who are starting school?
I would say you are in the best hands and you are at my favorite, the absolute best school ever! There are really fun activities in kindergarten and you should try everything. At the end of the day, it’s really fun and you will learn things you can use for the rest of your life.


What was your favorite school project?
Last year in math we did a really fun project. We had to interview our families about spending habits and talk about when our parents use credit cards. Then we researched a bunch of different types of credit cards to see which one would suit our family best. We looked at things like travel benefits and how much annual fees are, interest rates and other benefits. We used math to compare what annual costs would be based on a fixed credit card balance. That was a really interesting project, and I learned something totally new.

What is something special about Briskin?
The community. Because it is a small school you have so many close, amazing friends to bond with over the years, and you get really close with them. I have made lifelong friendships with a bunch of people. Also, I know my teachers so well, and they know me well. I have been here my whole life and my teachers know my brothers and my parents too. I really like that.


What is your favorite subject at school?
Math is my favorite subject. I’ve enjoyed it since I was very little. It’s used in so many things in the real world, like sports statistics and shopping. It’s very important to learn math.

Any advice for new students?
At Briskin the classes are not too big. You will know everyone in your grade and will get to make close friendships. You just make a whole lot of great friends here and will have great relationships with teachers too.


Are there programs designed to connect the new kindergarten kids to the Briskin community?
Yes, the Buddy program is great. Little kids get paired up with a buddy in a higher grade. When you are in 3rd grade you get a 6th grade buddy to sit with at services. It was fun, really cool. I had two sixth grade buddies and they would alternate reading with me from the prayer book in services. They showed me how to do it. And the book is all in Hebrew so that was great.

Have you played on sports teams at Briskin?
I played on the Briskin basketball team. I play a lot of basketball outside of school too. The team was fun. We played a lot of different schools. I also play football and soccer at school. And the new field is great. At recess we all play gator ball and have so much space to run around.

What are you learning about right now that’s interesting?
We are studying the civil rights movement from the 1960’s. We are studying Martin Luther King, the Jim Crow laws, racism, and the protests going on right now. Martin Luther King was a great leader and made a really big difference in the world. We read Ghost Boys and Black BrotherBlack Brother both by Jewell Parker Rhodes.  They were both great.


What advice would you give kids when they come to Briskin for kindergarten?
Don’t be nervous! Everyone in your class is new too and you all are having the same experience. All the teachers and kids here are so supportive and encouraging. Just say hi to someone new and they will definitely be nice to you.

What was your favorite school project?
In Judaic Studies we did a family history project. It was so interesting. We picked one family member to research or interview. I picked my great-grandma on my mom’s side because she is my oldest living relative. We took their life story from our interview notes and wrote about it in paragraph form and made a presentation with pictures from their life. We also mapped out our whole family tree and then we made a creative project inspired by them. My great-grandmother grew up in Brooklyn in the 1920’s and I made a clay model of the Brooklyn Bridge.  It helped me learn so much about my family and where I came from. Then we presented our projects to the whole grade and all of the parents and grandparents. I loved it.


What is a favorite memory from Briskin Elementary School?
Our fifth-grade field trip to AstroCamp was so great. We learned a ton—we got to do so many cool science experiments. It was so much fun and a great overall trip. When we were younger we would watch the fifth grade kids leave for Idlewild and got so excited when they would come back in their cool AstroCamp sweatshirts. We all just really couldn’t wait to go. Idlewild is really different than Los Angeles. It’s a different climate—it was snowing when we were there. We had so much freedom. It was really nice.

Do you have any tips on those who are about to start Briskin Elementary School?
I would say no matter who you are and no matter what you like, there is always something interesting to do here. Even if you are coming to Temple Israel for the first time and don’t know anyone, Briskin is a great place to meet friends. There is so much to do you will never feel left-out or lonely. You will make a whole lot of great friends here.

Advice on grades?
Just remember, sometime’s you’ll get good grades, sometimes you won’t. But you’ve just got to move on and keep at it. Don’t get upset if you don’t get 100% every time. Your teachers will always help you. Just try your best. We all need improvement.