October 11

Grades 6-8: The Fun Has Just Begun With Our Shinshinim

Last week, the middle school students had the opportunity to participate in creative activities revolving around the chagim with our shinshinim. They used their directional skills to help guide their partner to the sweetness of Rosh Hashanah. The students also played a “headbands” activity that related to the customs and traditions of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. We can’t wait to see what other activities the shinshinim have in store for us!




October 11

Grades 6-8: Sukkot Decorations

I hope everyone had a meaningful and easy fast. With Sukkot right around the corner, we will spend some time in class today creating decorations for our OJCS sukkah.

We will be competing amongst the middle school grades today to come up with the most creative decoration along with the longest paper chain!

Although we might not have all of the materials used in the activities below, feel free to choose an idea and adapt it. Check out these links for inspiration:






September 25

Grade 6: Brit Milah Source Study

Today we will be looking diving deeper into the covenant between G-d and Abraham as we discuss the brit milah. Students will be asked to read, highlight, annotate, and analyze verses from the Torah in order to comprehend the significance of the covenant.

We will read the text (Genesis 17: 1-27) together as a class and practice the following skills:

  • Previewing questions prior to reading
  • Highlighting key words/phrases
  • Looking up unfamiliar vocabulary terms
  • Taking notes/jotting down ideas while reading (annotation)
  • Answering questions in complete sentences (referencing the text)


September 23

Grade 6: Mishpacha Project Due: October 10th, 2019

Your family history is important! Every family is filled with stories that you should learn about and record. In our Jewish Studies course, we are beginning the Jewish life cycle. We are currently discussing the process and traditions associated with naming a Jewish child. You are being tasked with conducting an interview of your parents/family members. The purpose of this activity is for you to explore your family history. As we begin our journey through the Jewish life cycle, students are being asked to engage their families in discussion.

Due Dates

Part 1-Interview due September 27th (Check-in)

Part 2- Hebrew Name Research due October 3rd (Check-in)

Part 3- Presentation due October 8th (Check-in)


Final presentations begin October 10th, 2019

  • Final copies of videos, posters, presentations need to be shared with Mr. Washerstein by this date



Mr. Washerstein’s Example:

September 18

Grade 6: Jewish Life Cycle Notes

This week we have begun to launch into our Jewish Life Cycle! Students spent time brainstorming various events, moments, and holidays that could be incorporated into the Jewish Life Cycle.

The link below can be used to access the Google Slides Presentation that we will be using in class to take notes/participate in activities. Students should feel free to bookmark this page on their device. Please note that this document is a living tool, which will be changed and updated regularly.

Grade 6 Jewish Studies Notes


September 5

Welcome Back OJCS Middle School!

I hope everyone had a fantastic summer! I am looking forward to teaching, challenging, and encouraging our middle school students this year in Jewish Studies. Yesterday we reviewed the Seven Habits, North Stars, behavior expectations, homework policy, and uniform policy. Our goal is for each student and parent to clearly understand these policies. There are a lot of exciting upcoming events in the middle school!

If you have not turned in the retreat and JCC permission slips, please do so ASAP!

Please bring in your shofar if you have one! The shofar patrol will be visiting various classes throughout the school. 

Please feel free to check out and review the presentation that we shared with the students yesterday. Additionally, you will find a link to my own classroom policies for the year.

Mr. Washerstein’s Classroom Policies