At the November Or Emet Sunday school session, the 5th-8th grade class learned about Hasidic Jewish history, culture, and presence in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. Students read a newspaper article together about the conflicts that have emerged between Hasidic Jews and Puerto Ricans, long-time residents of this neighborhood, and the recent influx of artists and hipster-types fleeing Manhattan for the cheaper rents and lively creative scene that have come to define Williamsburg. After discussing the article and talking a little about gentrification, the class created a large-scale drawing of the Williamsburg neighborhood, illustrating the different communities that live there, their homes, businesses, et cetera and their needs, interests, and conflicts. After the break, students continued discussing plans for a service-learning project, identifying doing work around hunger as the most important focus in their eyes. We made a decision together to volunteer at a food pantry/soup kitchen and to do some associated study/learning around issues of hunger; parents, I’ll be proposing some possible dates for a trip in December/January in an upcoming email. The class will also be participating in the November 22 rehearsals at Articulture, working on a presentation of our group’s Hanukkah play.

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March 24, 2018
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