This past Sunday the students answered two "Do Now" questions on the white board when walked in. The first being "What is tzedakah? What does it mean to you?" The second question was "Rosh Hashanah just happened. What is your new year's resolution?" After we read the messaged and shared our answers, we started off the morning with an icebreaker question “What is your favorite kitchen appliance or kitchen utensil?” It was a fun way to greet everyone and reconnect after a week apart.
Afterwards, the class broke off into different Hebrew groups and everyone performed this transition with maturity and responsibility. When we came back together as a class we went outside and had snack together.
After snack, we discussed the two High Holy Days in Judaism: Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. For Rosh Hashanah, we reviewed details about the holiday and the ceremony Taslich. For Yom Kippur we discussed three big questions to learn about more the holiday: (1) Why do we fast? (2) What is Kol Nidre? (3) What are the three levels of forgiveness? To answer the last question we broke up into three groups led by myself, Lea, and Naomi and each group learned about one level of forgiveness and created a poster to teach the whole class about it. Ask your student what level of forgiveness they taught the class about! Lastly, we did our own version of Taslich through this activity called Toss-lich. We went outside, braced the colder weather, and the students got to kick off their shoes and share with the class something they wanted to toss away for the new year. These varied for every student but some common examples were arguing with siblings or getting frustrated with themselves. Ask your child what they tossed away for the new year! The students left this week with the mindset of forgiveness and starting the new year with a clean slate by leaving all the hate and negativity behind them.
Wow! What a great first day of Hebrew School! It was lovely to meet so many of you this morning and meet your students! Every week I will be sending out a weekly class newsletter which will contain a summary of what we learned this past week. If you have any questions or concerns you'd like to share with me, please feel free to email me at email@example.com
This past week:
On our first day of Hebrew school we took the time to get to know each other and talk about what the year will look like. We started off by going around and introducing ourselves. We said our names and one thing we did this past summer. Afterwards, the class broke off into three groups, and each group came up with some class guidelines for the whole class to follow. This year will focus on a lot of group discussions, partner work, and projects, so having a strong classroom culture developed by the students will help everyone be successful this year.
For Hebrew, we stayed in these three groups and each group reviewed the Hebrew alphabet and the vowels. Myself, Naomi, and Lea were all very impressed by how much the students know already!
Then we took the time to go outside for a snack and listen to a couple of Hebrew pop songs. I love music and I think listening to songs sung in another language is a great way to connect to a different culture and learn more about it.
After the students came back from music, we wrapped up the morning by starting our study of Israel. We previewed our “Welcome to Israel!” book and briefly talked about why we think studying Israel is important. We also discussed the idea of Israel being a "land of opposites." This will form the basis of our study of Israel for the year.
As an exit ticket, I had each of them fill out a questionnaire about themselves to help me get to know them more. When your student left today, they each had a folder with their name on it and inside was a copy of my welcome letter, the Hebrew alphabet, and the vowels. Please send this folder back and forth every Sunday morning. I will be handing out SSJS draw string backpacks next week for them to bring back and forth as well.
In our class there won't be any strict homework. I will occasionally assign some work to be done at home, but it will all be intentional work. For next week, as optional work, your student can review the alphabet and the vowels some more.
Last thing, please remember to bring in tzedakah if you are willing and able to! B'vakasha!