Hello families! This Sunday we started off by making sukkah decorations. The students learned that this holiday is to celebrate the fall harvest and to remember when the Jewish people wandered the desert for 40 years. We also got a chance to visit the sukkah and we learned more about Miriam, Moses, and sang songs together. Each student was able to shake the lulav and etrog, and we got to share challah together under the roof of the sukkah. During Hebrew, the students in my group started to learn the Ein Keloheinu אֱין כֱּאלֹהֱינוּ. This is one of the prayers that 5th grade will learn this year.
During our Israel study, we learned about Eliezer Ben-Yehuda and his contribution to the creation of modern Hebrew. Lastly, we started our study of Jewish life cycles. The first topic we learned about is Jewish names, which include the naming ceremony, the decision of how names are chosen, and the concept of the "good name," a shem tov. We ended the morning discussing what really is a shem tov and how we can make our own names a shem tov.
The homework for next week is for the students to ask their families where their English first and middle names, and, if they have one, where their Jewish first and middle names come from. What is the story behind their English and Hebrew names? They also need to ask their parents for their Hebrew names, if they have one. All of this information will be used next Sunday to do an activity focusing on shem tov. Please have your child write down the names or send me an email of the names at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great week!