This week at Or Emet’s JCS, we learned a hilarious Purim song in both English and Hebrew with Mrs. Sarah. We watched a Shalom Sesame video about the story of Purim, and continued work on our Mitzvah Book. While we worked, Aayush sang “Let It Go” from the movie “Frozen” to great effect. At the end of the session, we sang for our parents and had our fun Purim carnival.
In March, during our seventh lesson of the school year, students prepared for Purim, learned about Jewish values, and helped to make the Or Emet Purim carnival a success! Students began the lesson by watching a short, funny animated video retelling of the Purim story entitled “The Purim Story for Kids and Other Double Dutch Jumping Hipsters.” Then the class brainstormed a list of Jewish values expressed by Esther and Mordechai in the Purim story. Next, students looked at a list of Jewish values with predominantly humanistic overtones. Each student considered six different values and determined the most important in her/his opinion. After splitting into small groups, students took turns sharing their most important Jewish values and then comparing them to more theistic Jewish values, considering whether and how a theistic Jewish value can still be meaningful to Humanistic Jews. Finally, members of each group worked together to sort all of their group’s values into group-defined categories, and then everyone came together to share their values discussions with the larger group. To close the activity, students looked at some examples of symbols that represent Jewish values and beliefs, and then used ink on paper to draw their own creative symbols to represent the Jewish values of their choosing. Sarah joined us toward the close of the lesson to teach some Purim songs, including “Chag Purim” and “Little Purim Clown,” and then the class went downstairs to join the Purim carnival! Juniors students led some carnival games and assisted with the hamantaschen-making activity; their assistance was a big help!