Dear Zayin 1 (7th-grade) Parents,
In class, we have spoken about the mitzvot of Bal Tashchit (Do Not Destroy), Kibud Av VaEm (Honoring Parents), and Bikur Holim (Visiting the Sick).
Students shared their environmental concerns, weighed in on whether or not they believed Honoring Parents is the most difficult mitzvah (according to Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai), and why visiting the sick is so important.
In American Jewish History, we discussed the power of religion and the role religion plays in their own lives and the lives of their families.
We learned about the role that Jews played in the Revolutionary War and the Jewish personalities of this time. It was important for Jews to be part of this war effort. Ask your student why this was the case.
Students particularly enjoy working in Hevruta preparing presentations for the groups. They have prepared infomercials, news broadcasts, and newspaper headlines and articles.
It continues to be a pleasure to engage and learn with your children.
Enjoy the upcoming President’s Day weekend.
Dear Zayin (7th-grade) Parents,
We spent the first week of the New Year learning about protests, protestors, and direct action. We learned of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s words to “pray with your feet.” Meaning to take action to affect change in this world. We refreshed our knowledge on two specific holidays: Hanukkah and Purim, in which protests of various levels were a central theme. This provided some context to share some protests that we had joined: many students participated in walk-outs protesting gun violence and some had attended past Women’s Marches.
We’ve been lucky and grateful to have Madeline Thomas step in as our madricha while Leah is in Israel on the Alexander Muss High School in Israel trip. Even though we would have liked to have a video call with Leah during class (3:00 am Israel time), we begrudgingly decided to give her some privacy. Speaking of, privacy in our modern world was contrasted with the commandments in the Torah stating privacy as a right and to take extra care to provide privacy for others. We used an online quiz-style tool to help show where we fall on different questions of privacy for ourselves. Concluding the topic by weighing the worth of sacrificing privacy in order to attain some security. Students were conflicted on when or if it’s worth it.
February started with a lesson on Feminism in Judaism. We learned of the five daughters of Zelophehad from parshat Pinchas via a skit that some students performed. If you were unable to catch the great acting and also need a refresher: a census counts the Israelite men to determine how land will be distributed, Machlah, Noa, Choglah, Milkah, and Tirtzah (the daughters of a recently passed Zelophehad) petition Moses to allow them to have the land that would have been their father’s. Moses consults with God and God agrees with the five sisters and changes the laws of inheritance to include women (in rare cases). Students were able to connect this Torah story to our lesson on protesting.
In the coming weeks, we will discuss privilege, gun violence, and planning for the New York trip.
I’m thankful that we have such inquisitive and thoughtful students in this class. Please reach out if you have any questions.
Madricha: Madeline Thomas
Zoom teacher: Elana Warren