December 9

Grade 8: Celebrating Chanukah with Prime Minister Trudeau and Other Political Leaders

Earlier this evening, the students in Grade 8 had the opportunity to celebrate Chanukah with Prime Minster Justin Trudeau and other political party leaders. The students gathered with Members of Parliament and community leaders to light the menorah and take part in an early Chanukah celebration. Although we did not sing the blessings (due to Chanukah officially starting in two weeks), the menorah was symbolically lit. The political leaders spoke out against antisemitic events that have taken place throughout various university campuses nationwide. Students were able to engage with government officials, enjoy sufganiyot, and commemorate Chanukah with their peers.


Check out these pictures below:


December 9


  3. RESPOND TO THE FOLLOWING:  שו”ת רדב”ז חלק ד’ סימן יג אלף פז
  4. Reuven was imprisoned in jail and was unable to get
    out in order to daven in a minyan or perform mitzvot. He pleaded
    before the officer … who was unwilling to make any allowances
    other than to allow him one day of the year of his choice to be
    able to get a furlough from the prison. May the guide please
    teach me which day of all the days of the year should Reuven
    choose in order to be able to leave jail to go to the synagogue?
  5. Essentially, as the Radvaz explained, the Torah goes out of its way to show that all mitzvot are significant. We cannot treat one mitzva as being more important than another. We shouldn’t choose favorites, as they are all favorites.   Explain your answer to question 4.
  6. Using Sefaria explain the following 2 Mitzvot and if you feel it contradicts question 4  דברים פרק ה פסוק טז     and דברים פרק כב פסוק ז    Use commentary like Rashi to explain the 2 Mitzvot
  7.  Define מצווה  please explain the שורש
  8. Why do you think we are told to perform Mitzvot?
  9. Just as looking at each mitzvah independently shows us how important each one is, the same idea emerges when we look at all the mitzvot together. Hashem commanded us to do many mitzvot. What do you think that means about each one? Think about the following examples and decide if you think all mitzvot play a unique role within the whole large system of Torah.    The Torah makes it clear that the system of mitzvot is perfect and that we shouldn’t add or subtract from it.
  10. Is the number of mitzvot in the Torah random?  Use Sefaria to help with your answer. תלמוד בבלי מסכת מכות דף כג עמוד ב- כד עמוד א


11. In order to fulfill the entire Torah from A-Z we need the entire Jewish people. Each Jew has his or her own unique role to play in the fulfillment of the Torah. To keep all the mitzvot means to have the entire Jewish people observing Hashem’s Torah and mitzvot. In a way, each Jew is like another mitzva. Just like each mitzva represents another part of the body, so too each Jew represents another limb. Together, a full body is formed.  The mitzvot were given to the Jewish people as a whole. The more unified we are, the more our individual fulfillment of mitzvot can be viewed as one big body, our whole people, keeping all the mitzvot together.
What do you think is the message that Hashem is sending us about the Torah?

December 6

A Mitzvah

Each student had to write why or why not they thought Mitzvot were important and if any Mitzvah is greater than any other Mitzvah.  Their responses were as good as if I was visiting a Rabbinical School in Israel. Almost every student expressed that Mitzvot create a personal relationship and should be relevant to the person performing Mitzvot. Recognizing there are Mitzvot we understand and don’t understand, the students were able to comprehend Miztvot is a mechanism to become closer to God.

December 6

Living Torah

The students continue to work on their Talmud (law) assignment. With great enthusiasm, they wrote to local Rabbis to discuss their personal case studies. All the Rabbis of the community welcomed the student’s questions.  Grade 8 students are now starting to understand Jewish law continues to evolve.

December 6

Raising the Bar

Starting the second term with enthusiasm, the students are ready to be challenged. With the success of group projects, many students have decided to elevate their learning. Students who are working on the Parshat Hashavua are including Hebrew and Torah Text and some are even connecting the Haftarah.

This term part of our focus is learning the skills of how to learn Torah.

Shabbat Shalom

December 2

Grade 6: Responsibilities of a Bar/Bat Mitzvah Song Creation (Extended Due Date: Tuesday 12/10)

This week students will be tasked with creating a music video for their original song that highlights the various responsibilities of a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Students will be working in groups to create a product that demonstrates their knowledge and understanding.  Students should look back at their Bar/Bat Mitzvah Unit Prep. Assignment to re-read key words they might want to include. Additionally, students can always re-read the notes we use in class.

The purpose of this activity is to allow students to discover how their lives changes within a Jewish context once reaching the age of Bar/Bat Mitzvah.


  • Video must focus on the traditions/responsibilities associated with becoming a Bar Mitzvah (remember that you should be able to clearly hear and understand the words in your song)
  • Min. of two minutes long
  • Five vocabulary terms must be included from the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Unit Prep.
  • Video must be edited

Sources that can help you create your song:


Read this rubric to uncover how you will be graded:

December 2

Grade 8: Understanding the Historical Context (WWI/Treaty of Versailles)

How could the Holocaust happen?

As we continue to study and analyze the various components of the Grade 8 Jewish Studies curriculum, this week we are beginning to set up the Holocaust. Rather than diving directly into the start of the Holocaust, the Grade 8 class is learning about WWI. This foundation will play a very important role in understanding the historical context in which the Holocaust begins.

Attached you will find the WWI/Treaty of Versailles Presentation and Guided Notes Packet. This will be useful for any students that missed any of the notes during class. Students should be reviewing their notes throughout the week.

December 2

Grade 8 – Debate Presentation – Jewish Halacha – Moot Beit Din

What can rabbinic arguments teach us about complicated contemporary issues like War or Gender issues? By applying these established arguments to a modern scenario, you will gain a deeper understanding of the issue at hand as well as the applicable rabbinic arguments.


Once you have gathered all the information you must present on Dec. 16 and 18 your findings.

Presentation Options: Slides, Video, Lecture, Paper:


Content: 40 Points (Include minimally the examples we went through one on one)

Organization: 20 Points (Students present information in a logical fashion)

Delivery: 10 Points (Students used clear voice and appropriate pronunciation)

Visuals: 10 Points (Students used visuals as a reinforcement)


Include the following:

Please use the guidelines in your content folder.  On the day of the presentation, you will pose your questions, explain where in the Torah it is mentioned, interpret the Taanim (Talmud), Rishonim (Maimonadies) and Achronim (Contemporary Rabbis) responsa.

You must also present the other side of the argument if you agree, share the argument of individuals who disagree.

Examples of Presentations:

After all the presentations we will vote which 1 or 2 we will have the local Rabbis Debate.

December 1

Grade 6 Dvar Torah – Toldot


This week’s parashah is Toldot. In this parashah, Isaac, and Rebbeca express their frustration as they have been trying to have children for twenty years. Finally, G-d answers Isaac and Rebecca’s prayers by enabling Rebecca to be pregnant. As Rebbeca suffers through a difficult pregnancy, G-d tells her that, “There are two nations in your whom, and the younger one will look up to the older one.” The firstborn son was named Esau and the second son was named Jacob.

Esau was a hunter and Jacob had a love for learning and was a shepherd. One day when Esau comes home from hunting Jacob was making a batch of Esau’s favourite lentil soup. Jacob proposes a trade one bowl of soup for Esau’s blessing of the firstborn. Due to Esau’s hunger, he accepted the deal not thinking what would happen next. Isaac was blind therefore; he wouldn’t be able to tell that it wasn’t the right son. Esau had much more hair so Jacob added hair to his body and wore Esau’s clothes prior to receiving the blessing. Immediately after Jacob gets the blessing Rebecca tells Jacob to flee the town and to create a family before Esau realizes what he did.

Presented by Ava G and Maytal M