Thanks to our parents, teachers and students who made our first session of JCS such a happy time. From my observations, all of the students were happily engaged in active learning. Read below to find out a little about what each group did. The bring-your-own-snack worked out really well, too. I was prepared with a stash if any students (or their parents) had forgotten, but no one did! What a great community!
The B-Mitzvah Prep Group – 6th and 7th Grade Students, teacher Eva Cohen
For our first JCS session of the year, we kicked off with welcomes, introductions and icebreakers, and Hebrew conversation practice. Students learned a little about the Hebrew Bible from a secular humanistic Jewish perspective, and then the class read aloud and acted out Genesis 1-2 in translation. Through critical discussion, students realized that these two chapters actually contain two different versions of the creation story that come from two different biblical authors/sources. The Torah, our lesson emphasized, reflects the perspectives of different human authors from different time periods with a range of agendas and priorities. The B-Mitzvah Prep group has 9 students.
Juniors Group – 4th and 5th Grade Students, teacher Renee Dorman
t was great to come together again in September. This month the Juniors learned about key High Holiday practices and artifacts, and worked in small groups to go deeper into the traditional spiritual importance of Rosh Hashanah. We then watched a short film of the story of Abraham and Isaac and discussed it through a humanistic lens, identifying the beliefs, traditions, and decision making tools we use as Humanistic Jews. We practiced Hebrew phonics and decoded a secret spy message in Hebrew, before writing and illustrating our names in the style of Renaissance-era illuminated manuscripts. (Google “Mishneh Torah” to see our inspiration.) Most students took home a Hebrew alphabet packet with two sheets – consonants and vowels. Please encourage your child to review the letter sounds over the next month. Thank you! The Juniors group has 8 students.
Middles Group – 1st, 2nd and 3rd Grade Students, teacher Colline Roland
On our first day we discussed charitable giving, read a book, crafted, and finished with a video. Our lesson for day 1 revolved around ‘charitable giving’! Each student created their own Tzedekah box and came up with what they wanted to donate their money to to help save the world! Some things the students wanted to save included: Tigers, Mice, and Ocean Life. In the photo below you will also catch a glimpse of our ace teacher aide, Ian Zukor. The middles group has 5 students.
Littles Group, PreK and Kindergarten Students, teacher Josh Kaplan
(text coming soon)
The Littles group has 4 students.