From Teacher Josh and the Littles Group…
AT JCS on Sunday, we learned about Shabbat. We discussed how we sometimes work, and sometimes rest. We lit candles, said Secular Humanistic prayers, and had challah covered in the challah covers that we made. We read TWO Shabbat stories, and sang songs together. Next week we will be focusing on Hanukkah!
And for those of you who don’t know, my family is growing! We are having a baby in the spring (due 4/28/19). I told the class this news on Sunday but they were less than impressed.
From Teacher Colline and the Middles Group:
During our class on Sunday the theme of the lesson was gratitude. We read “Bagels From Benny” and discussed the varying religious ‘levels’ of being Jewish and gratitude. We then talked about what we were thankful and grateful for as we shared our plans for Thanksgiving. From there the kids made Hanukkah paint scratch cards for the elderly (a compliment to our story and gratitude) which will be delivered to a Jewish retirement home.
We also had a chance to finish and paint our Apple pots!
From Teacher Renee and the Juniors Group
In November, the Juniors class learned about Kabbalah. After a briefly learning the basic idea of Kabbalah, we focused our attention on Jewish lore about golems. We watched two film interpretations of traditional golem stories, and followed up with a group discussion about the Golem of Prague. We also compared traditional Jewish golems to modern interpretations in Minecraft and Pokemon.
Students sculpted and painted their own clay golem. (Don’t worry, we decided they can’t really come to life.
) We also reviewed the Hebrew letters alef, bet, vet, and dalet. Students practiced with a color-by-letter activity sheet. Try your very best to come next month – we will be learning about and practicing a short play for the Or Emet Hanukkah party! Below is one of our golem creations:
From Teacher Eva – The B’Mitzvah Class …..
November’s B’ Mitzvah Prep class lesson focused on the beginnings of Jewish diaspora, Talmud, and Yiddish. Students learned about how Jewish communities moved and scattered across the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe at increasing rates after the destruction of the Second Temple, and reflected on ways that Jewish religion and culture needed to change to respond to new realities–including the end of Temple worship and sacrifice. We discussed how the debates recorded in the Talmud reflect how rabbis in the beginning of the diaspora period worked to come up with interpretations of biblical laws, et cetera that could guide Jewish community life in the new era. Students read and acted out a bit of Talmud in translation, focusing in on how rabbis reinterpreted and transformed a biblical law from the book of Deuteronomy that describes how a “rebellious son” should be punished. Then the class learned a little about Yiddish, the Jewish language that emerged from the fusion of German and Hebrew in the Ashkenazi diaspora. Students split into teams to play a game where they transliterated some still-commonly-used-today Yiddish words (think “shlep,” “mayven,” “shmaltz,” “megillah,” etc), and then competed to accurately match these words with their definitions in English. We wrapped up the day with some creative writing; students wrote poems, short stories, and jokes that incorporated the Yiddish vocabulary that they learned or reinforced in the game. It was a fun way to end class!