This week was super fun! We sang songs in the beginning of class, and we read our favorite ABC book on helping out and doing mitzvot. Then, inspired by the book, we began working on an ABC book of our own!
In February, the Middles class learned about the importance of respecting people of all religions. We read The Sandwich Swap, which reminded us to focus on all the things we have in common instead of the differences between us. The Holocaust was introduced as a time when people forgot about what they had in common. We learned a little bit about Anne Frank, and decorated our own diaries in Anne’s honor.
During our February lesson, the sixth of the school year, we learned how to cook some delicious Israeli food! To open the lesson, students shared their favorite Jewish foods to eat. Then we returned to the timeline activity we began last lesson, and students worked to match undated episodes leading up to the founding of Israel with their correct dates. We corrected mismatches and talked about the flow of this history, from the First Zionist Congress and arrival of chalutzim (early pioneers) to Israeli independence, and discussed some of the struggles and conflicts between Jewish settlers, Palestinians, British colonial rulers, and others that characterized the period. After this introduction to Israeli history, the class read aloud a short reading on Israeli food from Jerusalem: A Cookbook, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. Then we got down to business with cooking! Students worked together to prepare sabih, a popular Israeli street food introduced by Iraqi Jewish immigrants to Israel in the 1950s. Sabih combines fried eggplant and chopped hard-boiled eggs with tahini sauce layered on pita, with the classic Israeli salad of chopped cucumber, tomato and parsley served alongside and zhoug, a Yemenite Jewish green chili sauce, drizzled over the top. The class did a great job of cooperating on all the different food prep tasks needed to create this treat and the hummus that we served alongside. We enjoyed our Israeli meal with a great sense of accomplishment, and I was pleased to have several students ask to take home copies of the recipes!