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.

November 7

Do you believe in and or agree we all have the right – “freedom of expression”?

Make sure you start with step 1. (Please do not go to step 3 until you finish step 1 and 2.

1.Please take 5 minutes and write your opinion based on the header of this blog. (Title your google doc, Freedom of Expression)

2. Ask someone in class their perspective and try to argue the other side.  (Add his/her argument and your counter-argument to the doc)



November 4

Jewish Choices – Jewish Voices

At the beginning of the year, we started to discuss the concept of how Jewish Law evolves. Recently, we learned how we can trace Jewish Law from the time of Moses to modern-day.

Each one of you will now explore a topic that interests you.

Power: Solicit Donations, Personal Relationships, Ethics in business

Money: Morally troubling jobs, Credit Card Debt, Child-care

Social Justice: Environment, Criminal Justice, Poverty/healthcare, Discrimination/preferential treatment

Body: Bodyweight/diet, Tattoos, High-Risk behavior

National Security: Justification of War, Conduct of war, Policies of War


Each one of you will present your findings to the class. You can create a video, slide presentation, and or paper. The framework is as follows:

  1. Present Case Study
  2. Questions
  3. Traditional Sources
  4. Contemporary Sources ( you must include a source from a Rabbi/Decision Maker from Ottawa
  5. Personal Perspective and Why
  6. The Halacha

You will have 4 class periods to work on this project.  The only homework is practicing how you plan to present your 10-minute presentation in class.

We will begin this Friday

If you have any concerns or questions, please email me. It will be my pleasure to work with any of you during recess, lunch or via skype.



October 31

Do Jewish Values Exist?

During the next few weeks, we will be focusing on Tikun Olam. Tikun Olam is one of the values Jews and global citizens can relate too.

1.We will watch clips from the movie, Pay It Forward
2. We will critically look at Parsaht Vayishlach
3. Discuss our personal views regarding the question posed in the header, “do Jewish values exist?” and look at different denominational perspectives.
Project: I hope as a class we will be able to come up with monthly projects where we can model “paying it forward”.
October 29

Grade 8 Update

Yesterday for me was the true essence why I love working in a Jewish Day School. In the morning Dr. Mitzmacher had a meeting with the community Rabbis. After the meeting was over, Rabbi Finkelstein, entered both Grade 8 and Grade 7 classes to say hello and more importantly teach Torah.  The opportunity for the students to hear, “Living Torah” is what makes OJCS Great!

October 25

Grade 8 Weekly Round-UP

The 8th graders are learning about the Torah She’bal Peh.  For future assignments, the students will have the ability and skills to understand how Jewish law evolved and continues to evolve.   The first project we will be focusing on are the laws of Channukah: what miracle do we commemorate, why light 8 candles and why do we light in a certain direction.