Today in grade seven, the teens learned about the story of Moses at the burning bush and Moses' reluctance when he was called by G-d to lead the future Israelite people out of slavery in Egypt. Students shared stories of taking leadership, bravery and courage with one another in class. Some students created skits and others games about the story of Moses as a reluctant leader and about the theme of taking a leadership role. In Hebrew, students learned about three letter, Hebrew "root words", translated a phrase from the Avot V'Imahot based on their knowledge of two root words, and practiced reading words from the prayer.
A question you could ask your son/daughter is if they see themselves as quiet leaders, outspoken leaders, or perhaps someone who prefers to work from within a larger group. As you know, some teens may be just beginning to discover how they prefer to assert themselves and stand up for their beliefs and values at home, at school and in their larger communities.
Today in grade seven, students sang Mah Tovu, the Shema and Hinei Mah Tov in the auditorium with Michelle and Rachel. In class, the seventh graders discussed if and why it may be difficult to speak up for someone else. Students discussed the story of Shiprah and Puah, the midwives in the Book of Exodus who spoke up to the Pharoah and refused to kill the first born male children of the Israelites, and times they could speak up for others too. Emily, our high school teacher assistant, shared effective ways teens could react to teasing or bullying at school or online, with the seventh graders. Many students had great ideas to share. In Hebrew, the students learned to read the first phrases of the Avot V'Imahot and practiced reading to one another and with the class aloud. Everyone is making great progress in Hebrew this year! For fun and to continue to build class kehillah (community), the seventh graders played a ball game in the gym at recess time and during the last fifteen minutes of class. Have a nice school vacation!
Happy Chanukah. Today in grade seven, students made no - sew, fleece blankets for others in need, played brief games of dreidel and ate sufganiyot-donuts. Everyone was introduced to the song "Not by Might" and attended the whole school, Chanukah celebration.
Today in grade seven, students were asked, "Have you ever been jealous of or felt annoyed by a brother, sister or cousin?" They then learned about Joseph and the jealous feelings his 11 brothers felt when he was given a coat of many colors by their father, Jacob. Students saw a video and wrote and performed very funny skits and made board games about the story of Joseph, favoritism and jealousy. Everyone taped their weekly forms of expression pages into Torah scroll forms at the end of class. In Hebrew, students sang Mah Tovu, Hinei Mah Tov and the Sh'ma at the start of class and completed new Hebrew look alike letter and vowel pages to practice reading for ten minutes, three times a week at home. Students are also learning to read the names of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebrew.
A question you could ask your child at home is "Why did Jacob give Joseph a coat of many colors?" (Jacob favored Joseph, his 11th son, because he was born when Jacob was older and because Joseph was also the son of Rachel, the wife Jacob liked the most.)
Have a nice Thanksgiving!
Today in grade seven students learned about the meaning of the term, anti-Semitism, how hatred can build from words to deeds, and the students learned about the shooting at Congregation Tree of Life in Squirrel Hill, Pennsylvania. We used curriculum from the Anti Defamation League for middle school students to guide our work today. Students wrote notes to express sympathy to members of the Pennsylvania congregation and to thank the police department which responded to the shooting. The students notes will be sent with a cover letter from their teacher and principal to the congregation and the local police. The teens' notes were thoughtful and carefully written. The notes sent by seventh grade religious school students to members of the Tree of Life community are an action your sons and daughters could take to help those in need of healing. In Hebrew, students focused on the English words and phrases from the Avot V'Imahot that they each found most meaningful. In the coming weeks and months, students will learn to read key words from the prayer.
Today at the Sunday School for Jewish Studies, the seventh graders learned about three new Torah chapters, including the stories of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Esau. After recess, students chose to reflect on what they had learned through drawing, making puzzles or skits. In Hebrew, the class made more look alike Hebrew letters and vowels with playdough and created homework sheets for reading practice, to be completed three times at home in the next week. Next Sunday, students will be introduced to the prayer they are learning about this year, the Avot V'Imahot.
Have a nice week,
Today in grade seven, students explored their thoughts, beliefs and questions about G-d as a part of their Torah studies. Students shared their initial thoughts and questions about G-d, which included "G-d is oxygen", "G-d created mother nature, mother nature created nature and nature created us", and " G-d retired... G-d rested on the seventh day, but then kept resting and we (are in charge) of the good things and the bad things in the world". Students learned that you do not need to believe in G-d to be a Jew, that some Jews have many questions about G-d and they learned five ways of understanding G-d in Jewish thought across many centuries. At the end of class, the teens used drawing to express their feelings about, questions or beliefs or in abstract form their reactions to our discussion about G-d.
One question you could ask your child is what are your thoughts about G-d?
In Hebrew class, grade six and seven students sang the alef bet song and made syllables with the look alike letters bet and vet using playdough. Students created a simple homework page to practice reading at home three times in the week ahead.
Have a nice week!