Hello families! This week we finished up our study of shem tov, a “good name." Each student brought in the story behind their English and, if applicable, their Hebrew name. It was really exciting to see many students take interest in discovering the significance behind their names. During Hebrew, the students in my group continued to learn the Ein Keloheinu אֱין כֱּאלֹהֱינוּ. We practiced reading it and then listened to how it is sung. We will continue to review more of the aleph-bet and read more of the Ein Keloheinu. If your student would like to practice the Hebrew aleph-bet, here is the video link we listen to every week at the start of the Hebrew block. The students are very familiar with this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiCzoTs1AdE
After the students came back from music, we dove into learning about immigration and the different cultures that make up the Jewish population in Israel. We also read about how Israel is a Jewish state and what that means, and our readings lead us to two debates that focused on these two questions: (1) Do you think it should be permitted to schedule fights on Shabbat and other holy days? Yes or no? (2) Do you think restaurants in Israel should serve only kosher foods? Why or why not? We broke into two groups, one group lead by me and the second lead by Lea and Naomi, and each group was able to argue for either side. These debates were a great opportunity for the students to articulate their thoughts and think about modern day issues in Israel from both sides. I tried to stress that our perspectives are very much Americanized and even though we all generally thought the same on both issues, it is important to recognize the other side and realize the depth these questions hold for Israel and its people.
Last thing, I got some feedback from the students who requested that each week I put a reminder in the weekly update to bring tzedakah to class. So for next week (and every week), please bring tzedakah to school if you are able. Toda raba תודה רבה!