Our final Jewish Cultural School session for 2019-2020 was held on June 9, 2020, once again using the Zoom media platform. Read below to find out how each of our groups finished the year.
Attendance has been great throughout the year. 10 of our 29 students had perfect attendance, 5 missed only one session and 9 missed only two sessions. With the inevitably of illness, family travel, and significant student athletic or performance events posing conflicts, such strong attendance speaks to the value our families place on the knowledge gained and community built for their children through Jewish Cultural School.
Littles Group – PreK – Kindergarten, teacher Josh Kaplan
The Middles Group, Grades 1 – 3, teacher Colline Roland
In today’s class we focused on social justice and had a productive discussion about the events that took place in our community the past few weeks. We discussed the following:
1. What is your community like? How are people different?
2. Have you ever been the different one?
3. If you didn’t tell people you were Jewish could they just look at you and know?
4. What does it mean to stand up for people, have you ever stood up for someone?
5. Is different bad or good?
To facilitate the conversation we read “Hannah’s Way”. After our read aloud the ideas of food injustice, environmental injustice, housing inequality, and educational injustice where briefly touched upon. Each of us then chose something that mattered to us and we created a ‘Justice Quilt’.
Top, left to right: Neva: Food Justice; Leta: Food Justice ; Ilsa: “I want everybody to be treated the same, nicely”
Bottom, left to right: Colline: Justice for ALL!; Benjamin: Educational Justice, Rosalie: “Everyone should have love”
Juniors Group, Grades 4-5, teacher Renee DormanIn June the Juniors class discussed the recent murder of George Floyd, and connected the protests to the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam. Students had the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings on the subject. After our discussion, we switched to learning about Hezekiah’s Tunnel and the history of Israel. After watching a video about Hezekiah’s Tunnel… of brave adventurers were trapped inside! We worked hard to move five big rocks out of our way to escape. Try it at https://sites.google.com/view/or-emet-jcs/trapped?authuser=0 (copy and paste this address to access the puzzles).
Clockwise from top left – Hezekiah’s Tunnel, King Solomon, divided ancient kingdoms (Israel and Judah), Israeli and Palestinian flags.
B’Mitzvah Group, grades 6-7, teacher Sam Wegner (for Eva Cohen)
The B’Mitzvah group used their time to discuss the dual impacts of COVID-19 and the murder of George Floyd on the Twin Cities community. The students shared how this crisis is impacting them, and the group discussed ways our community can heal from police violence and work towards alternatives for community safety. We finished by taking some time to view and create works of protest art surrounding the unique evil of police violence in the United States.