This past Sunday we started off class by looking at a news article about a current event happening in Israel. I told the students that I think it’s great we’re spending time learning about the country’s history, cities, and culture, but it’s important for us to connect what we’re learning to current events in Israel. The news article was about immigration and the topic of refugees from African countries coming into Israel. With the knowledge of February being Black History month in the back our minds, the students shared their reactions to this article and this segued us into our topic of the day which was the power of human agency. After Hebrew, music and snack, we talked about the festival of Purim and how this story demonstrates the power of human agency. We reviewed the story of Purim and how Jews celebrate it with hamentashens and groggers. Then we read excerpts from the Book of Esther about Esther's decision to talk to King Ahasuerus to save the Jewish people from Haman. The students had a marker talk about how Esther and Mordecai demonstrated the power of human agency. Lastly, we watched the Maccabeats perform their rendition of “Raise Your Glass” Purims style. Fee free to watch it at home: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgJInVvJSZg
Afterwards, we started to talk about the Jewish concept of gemilut chasadim. The students will do a big end of the year project focused on this concept, so I introduced it today. We had three questions we were investigation: (1) What is it? (2) Why is it important? (3) How will it make the world a holier place? Looking ahead, the students are going to work on this project both in class and outside of class. My wish is that they chose something that they feel passionate about because that will be how they get the most out of this project.
We also finalized our rap that we will be performing at the Shabbat dinner and service on Friday, March 9th. We’re all very excited to share it with you at this service. If you haven’t done so yet, please fill out this Google form about whether you’ll be able to attend. Thank you to the families who have done so already. Here is the link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdZktbs80VWY87tuRqgYNo11l7GWjPRHp0IpDVGAYKQRc7b5w/viewform?usp=sf_link
Our class will also be in charge of leading the Ein Keloheinu אֱין כֱּאלֹהֱינוּ, prayer. Please practice singing this prayer at home so that your child feels comfortable with it. Here is a link that you can use to help get the tune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-V0LVzea11E If you have any further questions about the dinner and service, please don’t hesitate to reach out to myself or Dori.
Finally, the Sunday (March 4th) we come back from February vacation I will not be at school that day, but Mr. Y will be substituting for me. That is also the day of the Purim costume contest and festival. Please feel free to dress up! It’ll be a fun day of festivities!