What a lovely sukkot! Not only did we have time to learn about the holiday but we also discussed sustainable building practices and did a building challenge out of tooth picks and gum drops. The students did so well their structures were able to hold up my financial accounting text book! The students seemed to really love Judaism and environmental ethics! Next week we start holocaust studies.
Yesterday was a wonderful class with lots of meaningful discussions. We discussed the poem Unetaneh Tokef and the meaning of the quote "On Rosh Hashana, it was written and on Yom Kippur, it was sealed". We then compared the idea "that every action that we do is written down" to our ecological footprint and calculated the class's footprint on this calculator. https://www.footprintcalculator.org/. Finally, we talked about the ten days or redemption between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and how it is important to change your ways and not just say "im sorry". We ended the class by talking about habit changes that could lead to a decrease in our environmental footprint.
For this week's class, we went over the Jewish naming tradition. Following the explanation, students took a few minutes to create a "name tag" that explained the meaning of their names and if they inherited any qualities from their name. We then talked about how Adam's (of Adam and Eve) name means "from the ground", and how God gave Adam the right to name the animals. This developed into a discussion about how this biblical story relates to Jewish environmental ethics. In Hebrew class we reviewed vowels.
The first lesson was a success. I started the class with introduction of Ryan and myself, followed by each of the student introducing themselves. I gave an overview of the year and then started the environmentalism and Jaudism intro lesson. How the lesson was organized was I read a text from the Torah and ask them to tell me how this invoked an environmental ethic. The students would talk with their groups. Following two minutes each group shared their answers. I was pleasantly surprised by how much they enjoyed the discussion and the accuracy and thoughtfulness of their answers. We did this about 4 times. We then created hydroponics systems.
Hebrew- We did an assessment of the students Hebrew followed by a jeopardy game.