On April 10, our Jewish Cultural Sunday School met, with a warm and sunny day allowing our groups to have some break time outdoors.  Indoors, each class had a busy morning.  We had two marvelous guest teachers this month – Sam Wegner and Molly Phipps.

With just two more JCSS sessions this year, be sure to let neighbors, friends, co-workers and family members who may have an interest in our program know about us, to plan for fall registration.  Feel free have them contact me at arty.oremet.org, or send me their contact info and I will reach out if they are interested in visiting before our year ends.

The Littles Group, PreK – Kindergarten,  guest teacher Sam Wegner

With Passover almost upon us, the Littles class spent Sunday learning all about the holiday! We began by reading Sammy Spider’s First Passover. Then, we made our very own decoupage Seder plates to take home!
After snack, we read Afikomen Mambo and went on a scavenger hunt to find the letters of the word a-f-i-k-o-m-e-n. With everybody’s help, we found the afikomen, and learned how to spell a long word in the process!
We also made time to enjoy a sunny spring morning, learned how to sing the first of the four questions in Hebrew during song time with Sarah, and wrapped up our class by reading Max’s Four Questions. We each left JCS with a lot to look forward to for this upcoming Passover!”

The Middles Group, Grades 1 – 2, guest teacher Molly Phipps.

In the Middles, we had a Passover-filled morning with books, podcasts, crafts, and singing! We practiced the beginning of the Four Questions in Hebrew with Sarah and listened to them along with other Passover music as we made seder plates and foods out of paper. We also read books, serious and silly, about Passover and shared our families’ Passover traditions. 






The Juniors Group, Grades 3-5, teacher Renee Dorman

In April, the Juniors class learned about the symbolism of the Seder plate. Then we read the story try of Passover and asked the question “Is violence ever the answer?” Teacher Sarah taught us the four questions in Hebrew. We finished by making a dove to hang in the window as a symbol of peace. 

The B’Mitzvah Prep Group, Grades 6-7, teacher Eva Cohen

Our April class was a critical exploration of the laws, legends, and leadership of ancient Israel and Judah. After our usual icebreakers and Hebrew warm-up, students read and discussed a mix of laws from Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy. They evaluated whether or not each law was ethical from a Humanistic Jewish perspective, and considered how laws reflect the culture and value system of the society that produces them.

Then we stepped back to verbally and visually review the Torah’s narrative arc. After this review, students learned how the story of the Israelites continues in Nevi’im (the Book of Prophets)–from the conquest of Canaan to the period of judges to rule under the kings Saul, David, and Solomon to the period of divided monarchies (Israel in the north and Judah in the south) to Israel’s destruction by the Assyrians and Judah’s conquest by Babylonia. We discussed the relationship between this narrative and real history, including how the archaeological evidence suggests that the Israelites developed as an ethnic group inside Canaan instead of coming from outside and conquering it.

The Tel Dan Steele “

We also talked about how the evidence suggests that David was a real king or chief who ruled over a much smaller area than the legends describe. This segued to our final activity–looking at the Tel Dan inscription, a real piece of Canaanite archaeological evidence. Students used Paleo-Hebrew guides to decode part of the ancient (~800 BCE) inscription, discovering that it describes a victory over a king from “beit David”–“the house of David.” Inspired by this ancient inscription, students formed their own clay tablets and inscribed them in Paleo-Hebrew. It was a messy but fun finish to our lesson!

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