Updated: Mar 25, 2021
Zayin 1 Update
Dear Zayin 1 (7th-grade) Parents,
It continues to be a joy for me to work with your children!
In our study of mitzvot we have learned about “Shmirat Habriut,” taking care of oneself, and ”Kibud Av Vaem,” honoring one’s parents. We also spoke about why taking care of one’s health is a mitzvah, as well as the ways in which each of us can take care of our bodies as well as our souls. Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai stated that the mitzvah of honoring one’s parents is the hardest one of all the mitzvot. I asked the group if they agreed or disagreed with this. A very interesting discussion ensued as thoughtful and insightful points were raised.
Our study of American Jewish History brought us to the Revolutionary War and to the role of the Jews in this war. We spoke about the Bill of Rights and how the Jewish community benefited from gaining new rights. Prior to Purim students researched courageous individuals who either saved lives or changed the world. They then shared what they learned from others. We are now learning about changes in Jews and Judaism between 1780-1820. Some Jews became less observant and less connected to Judaism, while others worked hard to maintain their Judaism.
I asked the students whether someone could be a good Jew and a good American. What do you think?
Chag HaPesach Kasher V’sameach,
Zayin 2 (7th-grade) Update
בְּכָל־דּוֹר וָדוֹר חַיָּב אָדָם לִרְאוֹת אֶת־עַצְמוֹ כְּאִלּוּ הוּא יָצָא מִמִּצְרַיִם
In each and every generation it is one’s responsibility to imagine as if they themselves went out of Egypt
Kitah Zayin (7th-grade) has been preparing for Passover by talking about the Immigrant experience in New York. How are those related you might ask? Well just as the Jews were looking to leave Egypt for a better life, Jewish people that immigrated to the United States were also looking for a better life.
The American Jewish Historical Society (based in New York) has a wonderful program that we benefited from as a class a couple weeks ago. With the help of AJHS, Emma Lazarus was able to be a guest speaker in Kitah Zayin! Students and parents together learned about her life, including how Judaism was an influence for her and about her career as a writer.
Using this as inspiration for our own class writing project, each Kitah Zayin student has written a poem reflective of their families immigration story and history and the future in store for the students themselves. It is my hope that these poems will be shared at Passover tables for years to come, bringing the Exodus story to a place where our students can really see themselves as if they left Mitzrayim.
Check out Emma Lazarus’s story at here.
Hag Kasher v’Samech -- A Happy and Kosher Passover!