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7th-Grade (Kitah Zayin) Class Update

Zayin 1 Update

Dear Zayin 1 (7th-grade) Parents,

While we were not able to meet together as a class during some of the Mondays this past month, we did had a nice visit to Sholom Home and Roitenberg prior to Purim. We divided into 2 groups this time and played Purim Bingo with the residents.

We also spent time at the Hey Living Museum by doing an artifact scavenger hunt.

Please stay healthy and safe!



Zayin 2 Update

Dear Kitah Zayin 2 (7th-grade) Families:

Did you know that Purim could happen more often than its scheduled day on the Jewish calendar (the 14th day of Adar)? This past month the Zayin class explored the tradition of Special Purims or "Second Purims". In these stories, Jewish communities (faced with perilous situations reminiscent of the Jews of Persia in the Esther story) celebrated their resilience after avoiding catastrophe. When a clever ruse, or turn of luck, or divine intervention saved the Jews from a sorry fate, a special Purim was declared, and often a Megillah was prepared to recount the story of that community and their rescue.

We try to recognize that what challenges the Jewish community can be apathy or stinginess as well as external threat and imagined ways to respond to those challenges. We also continued our major theme of technology and Judaism, and the value of hakarat ha-tov, recognizing the good uses of technology. We did this by imagining that a piece of technology played a major role in the salvation of the Jews in a given situation.

Finally, for our Wednesday-only students, we have been working on a musical song, "East Side Story" (technically "Lower East Side Story"). We studied the lyrics from the song “America” (from the musical West Side Story), where the Puerto Rican community played out its ambivalence about life in the new world of America. Similarly, we have studied newspaper articles from The Forward and watched movie clips from Hester Street and Crossing Delancey Street to see the ups and downs for Jews living on the Lower East Side of New York City at the turn of the 20th century. We plan to create a short musical sketch about "East Side Story'' to which parents will be invited sometime before the Zayin class begins its own journey to the Lower East Side in the 21st century.


Rabbi Jeff


Dear Kitah Zayin 2 (7th-grade) Parents,

Our “Hot Topics” over the past weeks have been Consumerism and Judaism, and the Coronavirus. We spoke about the pros and cons of consumerism as well as what Judaism has to say about this topic. We touched on a variety of mitzvot that could be connected to consumerism: Do Not Destroy, Do Not Covet, Be Happy with What You Have, and Modesty. As you can imagine, the students had much to say regarding this topic.

We also discussed and considered what Judaism would say about Coronavirus. Our conversation revolved around four quotes from different Jewish sources, one of which was: “He who saves a single life it is as though he has saved the entire world” (Talmud). How fitting that quote is as we hunker down and do our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19 as much as we can.

Stay healthy and safe!



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