In May, the Middles class discussed what we do every day to celebrate that we are Jewish. We looked at pictures of something many families use for this: mezuzot! Each student made a clay mezuzah to take home, with a special mezuzah message hidden inside. They all turned out beautifully! Sarah led the class in singing the Alef-Bet. We learned even more about Hebrew by coloring Hebrew letters as a thank you to Richard. Thank you to Ben Drucker for his help in class this month. Teacher Renee also sends a big thank you to all the students, parents, teachers, and volunteer helpers who made this a great year at JCS!
In May, the Juniors class learned about Ketuvim—or Writings—the final book in the Tanakh, closing out our year of Tanakh and ancient Jewish historical study. After reflecting on the year with JCS, we turned our attention to Psalms (Tehillim). Students read and discussed Psalm 92, listened to it sung to a popular tune for the traditional Kabbalat Shabbat service, and then individually rewrote the psalm to give it a humanistic meaning. Then we looked at Proverbs (Mishlei), reading over a list of proverbs from the book that resonate with Humanistic Jews. (Some highlights? “Better a meal of vegetables where there is love / Than a fattened ox where there is hate.” – Proverbs, 15:17 & “Seven times the righteous man falls and gets up…” – Proverbs, 24:16) We each took turns acting out proverbs from the list in pantomime for the group to guess, and then the class split into two groups to create more elaborate skits that illustrated proverbs. Very brief introductions to the Book of Job and the Book of Ruth bookended a discussion of The Song of Songs (Shir Hashirim); students used great dramatic voices to read excerpts from this biblical love poem aloud, and then talked about the meaning of its symbolism and how it compares to modern love poems. Music and Hebrew with Sarah was a lesson in chanting Torah. Then the class decorated part of the thank you banner for outgoing Or Emet president Richard Logan, and listened to JCS grad Ben Drucker talk about his experience preparing for his bar mitzvah with Or Emet. We finished the day by gathering with all the other JCS classes to take a photo of everyone with the “Todah rabah, Richard!” banner. Thank you for a great year, Juniors!