We had another full and fun session this past week! Given how far we've come in the study of Torah, we did some "overview" work, to get the whole story so far.
Two weeks ago, we worked on "researching" and representing the 12 Tribes - the sons of Jacob. That brought us to the end, more or less, of the Jewish early family in Genesis. So this week we first talked about how Jacob was renamed "Yisrael" which means "struggles with God" and how important that is in Jewish tradition. Our first review was to think about the "struggles" each of the "characters" we've met so far in the Torah might have had, from what we've learned. Then we played with the connections among the different people we've met in the Torah (couples, parents and kids, brothers, sisters, pre-Abraham group, etc.). Finally, we took a genealogy approach, to outline the generations from Adam and Eve all the way down to the 12 Tribes. In class, the students then had the chance to work on their own family's genealogy chart, with the option of creating a "sheild" or representation of the family's values and personalities. The kids really seemed to enjoy charting their families!
Finally, at the end of class, we turned for the first time to creating the personal Torah scrolls from all the work the students have done individually so far! It was exciting to begin to see how it's going to come together, and we'll keep adding to that.
In Hebrew, we reviewed reading letters and vowels more. Next time we'll turn to more work reading prayers in Hebrew, and begin learning the Amidah prayer. The more the students attend regularly, the more progress we can make individually and as a group!
You might ask your student about some of the struggles we have read about in the Torah so far - and some of the accomplishments of these "characters" as they persevered through the challenges.
As reminders, please do be sure your student brings their folder each time and let's start to bring in Tzedakah, too.
Also, please note that I will not be in class next time (December 2) because I will be at a Jewish event I've been actively involved in organizing: LimmudBoston. If you or your family has an interest in this event, I warmly invite you to attend that day! There is programming for kids in Camp Limmud, too. You can find out more at www.limmudboston.org. : )
I look forward to seeing the students at our shared community Chanukah celebration after that - and perhaps showing off some of their work to you!
Have a good week and Thanksgiving holiday!