שורשים – כיתה ז’
The roots of the family are the ones that support it and keep it strong, just like the roots of the tree support and keep the tree strong. Without the roots, the tree cannot grow, develop and thrive.
What exactly are roots? Why are the roots of the tree compared to the roots of the family?
Our 7th grade Hebrew students started working on a new and exciting project called “Roots” (Shorashim). In this work we will examine our roots and be able to understand the importance of the family and its contribution to Jewish culture, and to our continued existence.
This work is an independent study, during which students will get to know a part of their family’s history, they will have an opportunity to ask questions, to inquire, to dive into their past, and thus they will learn details that they did not know about their personal histories.
Some ideas that students will focus on during their project are:
- Their Family tree
- About myself – “I am a link in the family’s chain”
- About my family: “A link in the chain of our people”
- Create or locate an art piece or artifact that they can use to connect to their personal history, family history or their connection to the Jewish traditions.
They will all be asked to write a reflection about their journey with this Shorashim project.
I invite the families to be partners in preparing the project with your child and to join the journey towards discovering “My roots”.
This week the students will dive into the first chapter of Pirkei Avot. As we begin our major unit of study, students spent time discussing the importance of perspective. We reviewed the benefits of annotating a text as we read. Additionally, students were encouraged to read and analyze both the Hebrew and English text. As we came across unfamiliar terms, students looked up words in an attempt to uncover their meaning and better understand each lesson. We discussed the value of developing our own interpretations of each text. Students are being asked to create connections between these texts and their own lives. Each student has received a source packet that contains the verses in both Hebrew and English. We have also been using The Illustrated Pirkei Avot as an additional resource. Our sessions thus far have led to fantastic questions and interpretations.
Click here to access our classroom notes:
Pirkei Avot Google Slides
Pirkei Avot Ch. 1 (Hebrew and English)
The Illustrated Pirkei Avot Cartoons
This week we will be discussing the horrific narrative of the MS St. Louis. We watched an incredible documentary that provided our class with testimonies from historians and survivors who experienced this infamous event firsthand. Students will read and analyze a document that discusses specific policies in Canada that were enacted to keep the Jewish people out.
Passengers aboard the St. Louis, seeking refugee from Nazi-occupied Europe, wait to find out if they will be allowed entry into Cuba in June 1939.
Click the link below to access the assignment:
Canada’s Role in the M.S. St. Louis
The following slides are to help grade 8 Ivrit class with the end of year exam:
Dr. Mitzmacher joined the Grade 6 class last week to discuss/show the students how to wrap tefillin. Students showcased their knowledge about the scrolls inside each box. We also discussed various symbolic actions associated with wrapping tefillin.
Students are being tasked with diving deeper into one of the mitzvot we have studied in class. This is a fantastic opportunity to head down to the Makerspace and use the green room for video recording.
Interpersonal Mitzvot Project (instructions, organizer, rubric)
Peer and Self-Evaluation Form
Each group will create a video presentation that explains:
- Where are the mitzvah and the connection to Judaism explained? (Torah? Mishnah?)
- The meaning/significance of the mitzvah
- What does the mitzvah mean?
- Why is it important to Jewish life?
- Can this mitzvah be interpreted/performed in more than one way?
- What have Jewish commentators said about your mitzvah?
- Utilize Sefaria to find various commentaries on your mitzvah
- How does this mitzvah connect to your life and modern everyday situations?
- Why do you believe this mitzvah is essential?
- Research your mitzvah to uncover various interpretations and applications
- Answer all of the questions above
- Each person in your group must speak at least once in the video
- This video will also include a skit/visual representation of the lesson learned
- Minimum of three minutes long (maximum of eight minutes)
Monday (2/13)-Group graphic organizer complete (Group check-in #1)
Wednesday (2/15)- Script complete
Wednesday (2/28)-Group check-in #2
Friday (3/3)- Final project submitted to Mr. Washerstein
Today the Grade 7 class visited Hillel Lodge to run a Shabbat Bingo Program. Students and residents alike enjoyed spending time together for a special Kabbalat Shabbat experience. Students engaged in conversation and helped facilitate an exciting game of bingo. We look forward to spending more time with the residents of Hillel Lodge. Next month Grade 8 will be planning a Shabbat activity!
Last Friday we commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day. January 27th was chosen to memorialize International Holocaust Remembrance Day because it was the day that Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated by the Soviet Forces. Students watched and discussed a video that was created by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
We focused on the following questions:
- Why is it important for us to remember the Holocaust today?
- How can we ensure that this history is not forgotten?
After our group discussion, students had the ability to dive further and examine various sources related to the Holocaust.
Option 1: Podcast
Echoes and Reflections Holocaust Podcasts
Option 2: Personal Narratives
Identification Cards | Holocaust Encyclopedia
Option 3: Compare and Contrast
Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration and Complicity in the Holocaust
Who are the Righteous Among the Nations? | Animated Concepts | Yad Vashem
Righteous Among the Nations from Monastir
Students will be reflecting upon their learning experiences on their blogfolios. Be sure to check out their posts next week.
The Grade 6 class visited Hillel Lodge on Friday! The students led a Kabbalat Shabbat program which included prayers, a D’var Torah, and a discussion about our favorite Shabbat memories. The students were excited to engage with the residents and help them bring in Shabbat with some OJCS ruach. Each month a different Middle School class will lead a Kabbalat Shabbat Program as a part of our Yad B’Yad Mitzvah Initiative. Next month will be Grade 7!