Dear Hey 1 and 2 Families,
Thank you for joining us at the Grand Opening of our Living Museum and our reception which followed. We heard so many wonderful comments from all the parents, grandparents and guests who attended.
Our students made us so proud throughout this project. They chose their artifacts thoughtfully, were most respectful of each other when they presented their artifact to the class and did a beautiful job as the docents for our museum. We were told that many of our students learned things about their family history which they did not know prior to our Living Museum.
Kol hakavod to all the Hey students for a job well done!
Here is what we are now working on:
Much of Jewish history is that of immigrations, some forced and some by choice. We have begun discussing the question: “How did we get where we are today?” Students are acquainting themselves with the timeline of Jewish history. They are now familiar with BCE and CE. I always ask them: “So, how many years ago was that?”
Additionally, we spoke about what immigration means and what does the word Diaspora mean. We looked at the map of the Middle East to determine where Babylonia and Persia were and what they are now called.
One whirlwind lesson covered 1800 BCE (Avraham) until 70 CE (destruction of the 2nd Temple by the Romans). They were very interested and engaged.
Our big topic of discussion will be: “What was needed over all the years and various immigrations to preserve Judaism?”
We have begun a new unit where we will continue to work on suffixes and where I will introduce past tense.
Ashrei is the t’fillah on which we will focus our reading practice. It is long and has difficult words. As we keep practicing, students are becoming more and more confident in their reading abilities.
We have been following Abraham and his life. There has been a lot of discussion about Abraham’s worthiness to be chosen by God as His partner in the Brit (Covenant) . This led us to lively discussions about what character traits we admire in others (friends family, personalities) and that we want to cultivate in ourselves. After much discussion, we reached the following list:
Honesty - they never try to deceive you. You always can trust that what they say is true.
Generous - they think of others and not always of themselves first (unselfish) and they give what they can for friends and to help people.
Peace Maker - they help people who’re fighting talk to each other and cooperate.
Loyal - no matter how people act around you, this friend sticks by you and believes you.
Truthful - they tell you the truth even when it isn’t easy
Loves family - They will always choose her/his family to help first, is a good brother, son, father, mother.
Humility - Is not show-off and acknowledges that other people helped them achieve what they have achieved. “No man is an island”.
Contentment - is happy with what s/he has and isn’t greedy.
Dependability - does what s/he says s/he is going to do. You can depend on them, they are reliable.
I would love you to use this as a trigger for deep conversations when you see an opportunity. We always want the Torah and all our Jewish texts to be relevant to our lives and this is a chance to hone our children’s perspective and judgment about friends and other people they encounter in their lives.
One of the fun ways we review the text is by having skits that the students make up based on the current text being covered. If any of you have white/brown/beige flat sheets, or other materials that can be used as biblical costumes, scarfs for head dresses (like what traditional Arabs use today) and walking sticks or staffs (it’s amazing how many of them want to portray old people with canes!), we would love to have anything you can give us. It would greatly enhance the fun of our plays!
Next month we will start a unit on Israel that will cover some geography, some current history (from 1948 onward) and important personalities.
Thank you for the privilege of working with your children.
Mary and Susie