After a lengthy hiatus we finally got back to business today. In moving forward with our Jewish history curriculum, students were asked to say what first comes to mind when they hear the words “Jewish History”. We recognized that there were some key patterns and themes that came up in students’ responses.
We then did a timeline sorting activity, and students found that there is a lot more to learn beyond Adam and Eve, Exodus, and the Holocaust! In the coming weeks we are going to continue our quest through Jewish history – up next we’ll be looking at cultural exchanges, how the Jews adapted and adopted different customs based on where they ended up following the destruction of the temple.
After many weeks without Hebrew, I was happy to be back with my Hebrew crew! We have some excellent readers in our class. I really appreciate everyone’s willingness to read aloud – it takes guts! This week we did a little bit of reading review to get our heads back into Hebrew mode. Then we reviewed Ashrei. I meant to send students home with an extra copy for practice – copies will go home next week with assigned lines to practice reading. In the mean time, if desired students are encouraged to find Ashrei in a siddur at home (if there is one available) and just practice reading the words aloud!
This week, our grade 6 classes started their study of Jewish history. We took 41 major events in Jewish history and figured out where they all belong on the Jewish timeline. We discovered where biblical time ends and postbiblical Jewish history begins. This will be the basis of our study for the remainder of the year, when will be looking at different times and events in Jewish history and how the outcomes of those events have shaped our Jewish lives today.
It’s been a long break and I think Hebrew was the last thing that the kids were thinking about. They had a hard time reading and I think they all realized that they must practice at home. They all have the “Ashrei” prayer words and tune from the beginning of the term an we will continue to work on it in class but practicing at home is essential in order to prepare them for their Bar /Bat mitzvah.