January 10

Great 8 Weekly Round-up

A great week with the 8th grade. We continued with our Talmudic Case study presentations.  The students presented case studies that focused on the moral dilemma of working for a cigarette company and if the Orthodox Yeshiva should ordain a homosexual student.


I want to thank all the Rabbis in the community for working with our students.

December 15

Grade 8 – Shavua (weekly) Round-up

After a semester of learning about the oral law. The students will celebrate this coming week, presenting their personal case studies. All of the students reached out to our community Rabbis and requested guidance and their personal view on their specific topic.


I can’t wait to share with the community Part II of the assignment!

Coming soon after Channukah Vacation.

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 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:  https://prizmah.org/2018-moot-beit-din-digital-presentations-and-results

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

December 1

Grade 8 Week in Review

This week we started to work on our independent responsa projects. Each student chose a topic which they feel is important to them. Some focused on health, body issues, social justice, ethics and the military. The goal of this long-term project is for the students to be able to understand how law which was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai by God can be relevant in the 21st Century. The students started the process of extrapolating verses from the Torah and how it connects to their topic.

November 27

During Mr. Washerstein’s Class

Grade 8:  Due by the end of class today (after you meet with Dr. Marcovitz)

  1. Summarize your case study
  2. State your question/s
  3. State the Torah Law
  4. Summarize your Talmud comments
  5. Summarize your contemporary comments
  6. Summarize articles
  7. Which modern day Rabbi from Ottawa will you be in touch with to get his/her perspective
November 21

The Chayei Sarah Internet Scavenger Hunt Challenge

Today during  Tfilah, we demonstrated another style of how to learn the Parshat Hashavua. The students learned Parshat Chayei Sarah using the internet as the resource to answer the following questions:

Are you up for the challenge?

1.The Torah tells us that Rivkah offered to give water, not only to Eliezer, but also to his camels. What does this teach us about Rivkah? How does it make her a suitable match for Yitchak?

2.Rivkah chose to give water to Eliezer and his camels as a random act of kindness. • What random acts of kindness have you done this past week? • What kindness have you received from somebody else?

3.How many times is the camel mentioned in this week’s Parsha?

4.But what is it about camels that makes them so well suited for desert life? (List 6 things)

5.How many words are there for camel in Arabic (please give one example)

6. What do you call: • A camel with one hump? • A camel with two humps? • A camel with three humps?

7.The average amount of water a camel drinks in one sitting (in liters please)

8. How many liters did Rivakah have to provide for all the camels?

9.Bonus: How many times did Rivka have to fetch water?

10. How many jugs did Rivkah have to fill for all the camels?

November 9

November – A month to be thankful

November, Mar-Cheshvan – A month of Remembrance and the American Thanksgiving

The month of Cheshvan is known as Mar-Cheshvan (translates as either bitter or rainy ) which falls this year mostly in November. For much of Canada and the USA,  many schools, Governments, and organizations have a service to honor our veterans; a day of remembrance. In Israel, the month of November has 2  different days of remembrance. November 4 was the day our former Prime-Minister Yitzchak Rabin was murdered.  On November 9-10  we remember Kristallnacht -Night of the Broken Glass. This past week in class we discussed Kristallnacht.  Kristallnacht was just not another pogram attacking Jews. It was a period when the world became bystanders. 81 years later we still have antisemitism, and feelings of xenophobia throughout the world. What are we doing to combat this? How are we protecting our children today?

At the end of the month of November, Americans will be celebrating Thanksgiving  Families will sit around the table eating turkey, watching football, and taking a moment to discuss what they are thankful for.  Being thankful is my response to how we are protecting our Jewish future.

I am thankful that all of you – Parents, and Students attend Ottawa JEWISH Community Day School.