This week at JCS was all about Purim. We learned the story of Purim, colored Purim pictures, and sang songs about Purim. Our classroom day ended early, as we had our yearly Purim carnival. We sang songs for our families, played games, won prizes, and made arts and crafts.
In March, the Middles class learned the story of Purim. Sarah taught us a great Purim song. Then, we worked together to make delicious Hamentaschen fillings before joining in the carnival. A HUGE thank you to this month’s Middles classroom helpers for their excellent work in the kitchen – Ben Drucker, Dan Gladen, and Naomi Rockler! Filling recipes are available below:
Caramel Apple (A big hit! Dulce de leche is available at World Market, Trader Joe’s, and Kowalski’s)
Apricot (dairy free)
In March, the Juniors class connected Purim celebration with their Torah and Tanakh study, reviewing the Purim story and Esther’s role in it while also learning about other strong women prophets—or prophetesses—in the Jewish tradition. We opened class with a brief joke-telling session in honor of Purim, and then moved on to talking about how, in stories in the Tanakh, a prophet(ess) is “…a spokes[wo]man for G-d, a person chosen by G-d to speak to people on G-d’s behalf and convey a message or teaching. Prophet[esse]s were role models of holiness, scholarship and…set the standards for the entire community” (http://www.jewfaq.org/prophet.htm). We talked about how, according to the Babylonian Talmud, 48 prophets and seven prophetesses preached to Israel, and reflected on why, when the Torah/Tanakh focuses on stories about men, we as feminist, progressive Jewish people would want to study women’s stories in the Bible more closely. Then students split into three groups, rotating through three stations where they learned about the prophetesses Deborah, Hannah, and Esther in more detail. At each station, students read a book excerpt retelling the story of one of these prophetesses, discussed the story critically, and then creatively illustrated key characters, events, and themes in it on a large add-on drawing before rotating to the next station. Discussions touched on Deborah’s powerful leadership qualities, Esther’s courage (overlooked by many who focus on her beauty), and understanding Hannah’s struggles with infertility. Finally, we wrapped up the lesson with a brief music lesson with Sarah, learning a Purim song about a little clown, “Leitzan Katan,” before we dismissed class to celebrate with the whole congregation at the Purim carnival!