May 28

Grade 8: Yad B’Yad Initiative (Thank-A-Thon)

The Grade 8 class recently spent a Friday afternoon at the JCC in order to participate in a Thank-A-Thon. Each student was provided with a list of donors that contributed to the 2022 Jewish Federations Annual Campaign. As our students benefit firsthand from these donations, we were excited to participate in an opportunity to thank donors for their generosity and kindness. Working with the Jewish Federation was a treat. Our class had the opportunity to go behind the scenes and see all of the work that goes into creating such a wonderful Jewish community.


May 28

Grade 7: Yad B’Yad Mitzvah Initiative Update

The Grade 7 class has been busy creating fun and joy for some incredible members of our community. Students created a variety of engaging stations relating to Yom Ha’atzmaut last month. We then invited some participants from Tamir to come to OJCS and celebrate Israel’s independence in our Makerspace. Students developed a Wordle activity, Israeli trivia, along with a variety of arts and crafts activities. The following week our class ventured over to Hillel Lodge to lead a Kabbalat Shabbat Program. The students led a short service followed by a Shabbat candle decorating activity. These mitzvah experiences allow our students to make a difference in the lives of others while continuing to foster their love for Judaism.  


May 9

Grade 7: Pirkei Avot Playlist Project (Due: Monday, June 5th)

We have spent the last few weeks analyzing the second chapter of Pirkei Avot. As we study these texts, it is important to think about personal connections that you can create. Additionally, I encourage you to take notes, look up unfamiliar terms, and experiment with decoding the Hebrew text prior to jumping into the English translation.

Think about the following:

  • What lesson does this Mishnah teach me?
  • What personal connection can I relate to this text?
  • How can I use this information to make me a better person?

Pirkei Avot Playlist Assignment

This assignment asks students to read and analyze the verses in the second chapter of Pirkei Avot. After you have read and analyzed the text, students are asked to create a playlist of five songs. I have provided additional sources along with a link to the Illustrated Pirkei Avot (Cartoon) text in the links below.

Important Dates:

  • Read and select five verses by  May 15th (let Mr. Wash know which verses you have selected)
  • Check-in #1 with Mr. Wash on Wednesday, May 17th
  • Check-in #2 with Mr. Wash on Monday, May 22nd
  • Assignment due (posted on the blog) by June 5th


Please click the links below to access the Google Docs for this assignment:

Pirkei Avot Playlist Instructions

Pirkei Avot Playlist Graphic Organizer

Pirkei Avot Playlist Rubric

Illustrated Pirkei Avot Ch. 2 (Cartoon Interpretation)

  • Create a playlist of 5 songs that are each related to a specific Pirkei Avot Chapter 2 verse
    1. You must choose 5 different verses; one for each song on your playlist. (There are 16 verses in Ch. 2)
    2. Decide how you will connect each verse to your song 
      1. Here are a few different ways you could create a connection:
          • The lesson/meaning
          • The way the song makes you feel 
          • The lyrics themselves
      2. You do not have to create your connection to the entire verse…your song may only connect to one part of that verse (which is okay!)
    3. Write 5-10 sentences explaining the connection between your song and the verse you choose
      1. Use these questions to guide your writing:
        1. What does the verse mean? What is the verse about?
        2. What is the song about?
        3. How does this song connect to the verse?
          • Remember that the connection does not mean the words are the same 


Day 1
  1. Read the instructions. If you have any questions, write them down and email Mr. Wash
  2. Spend 30 minutes reading and interpreting Verses 1-5
    1. Jot down any ideas, lessons, meanings that you could connect to in your Pirkei Avot Playlist Planner Doc next to each verse 
  3. Take a 10-minute break and listen to some of your favourite songs for inspiration
Day 2
  1. Spend 30 minutes reading and interpreting Verses 6-10
    1. Jot down any ideas, lessons, meanings that you could connect to in your Pirkei Avot Playlist Planner Doc next to each verse 
  2. Take a 10-minute break and listen to some of your favourite songs for inspiration
  3. Begin writing your explanations as you match a song to a particular verse
Day 3
  1. Spend 30 minutes reading and interpreting Verses 11-16
    1. Jot down any ideas, lessons, meanings that you could connect to in your Pirkei Avot Playlist Planner Doc next to each verse 
  2. Take a 10-minute break and listen to some of your favourite songs for inspiration
  3. Continue writing your explanations as you match a song to a particular verse
Day 4
  1. Spend 20 minutes reviewing your notes
  2. Focus your time and energy on creating your connections and developing your playlist


May 3

Grade 8: Escape from Sobibor (Due: Wednesday, May 17th)

This week we are shifting our focus in Jewish Studies to various resistance attempts that were made by both Jews and gentiles during the Holocaust. Students will be watching, analyzing, and discussing the film, Escape from Sobibor. This film depicts the largest escape from an extermination camp during the Holocaust.

Please read the corresponding questions prior to watching the film. Students will be asked to jot down notes as they watch. By taking notes, students will be able to more accurately recall details as they answer the critical analysis questions.

Please click the link below to access the Escape from Sobibor Questions:

Escape from Sobibor Critical Thinking Questions

Please skip the scene at 45:40. This scene contains graphic content and will be skipped in class as well.

The movie can be watched via Youtube on the link below or on Amazon Prime (for those who have access). If you decide to watch it on Prime, please make sure you choose the Escape from Sobibor 1987 film.


April 28

Grades 6-8: JNF Contest

We had a great time celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut at OJCS. The Jewish National Fund has created an art contest that students and families may participate in. Check out the pamphlet below to learn more about it!


  • Draw or paint a picture (8-1/2” X 11” and suitable for framing) following the story A Tree in the Desert by Avirama Golan.
  • Watch the story on YouTube (
  • The artwork can be of the Negev, Ben Gurion, or a tree in the desert.
Loader Loading...
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab


April 25

Grade 6: Jewish Wedding Webquest (Due: Tuesday, May 9th)

As we dive back into the Jewish life cycle students will be working on a Jewish Wedding Webquest! Over the course of the last two weeks, we have begun to analyze the various traditions and practices associated with the Jewish wedding.

Jewish Wedding Webquest Assignment

This assignment provides students with 11 response questions. Students will need to click and read the link above the question in order to find the answer. Please do not simply search for these answers on random internet sites. I will be looking for specific information from the articles/videos associated with each question. Your responses should be written in complete sentences. Be sure to read over the instructions prior to starting the assignment.

Due: Tuesday, May 9th 

April 25

Grades 6-8: Yad B’Yad Mitzvah Initiative Update

The Grade 6 students planned an amazing Pesach program for the residents at Hillel Lodge. Students sang Pesach songs, created an engaging trivia quiz, and worked with residents to complete a Passover word search. Click here to listen to their rendition of Echad Mi Yodea.

Last month the Grade 8 students also visited Hillel Lodge to spend some time with the residents. They planned an engaging Shabbat program for the residents! Students helped the residents create a Shabbat-themed picture frame. We love spending time with our community and continuing to strengthen these important relationships.


April 24

Grade 7: Pirkei Avot Ch.1 Analysis (Due: Tuesday, May 2nd)

We have begun discussing and analyzing Ch.1 of Pirkei Avot. We will continue to break down this text as our cohort works on developing coherent interpretations and supporting their ideas. Students are being asked to review the 18 verses and select the two verses that they feel are most important. This activity requires students to synthesize information and create personal connections with historic Jewish texts.

Pirkei Avot - Kolot Mayim Reform Temple

Task Breakdown:

Step 1: Each student will read Pirkei Avot Chapter 1 individually

Step 2: Decide which two verses (lessons) you believe are most important

Step 3: Write two paragraphs (one per verse) explaining their importance and the lesson that you learned from contemplating these texts

  • What does the text say?
  • Why is this text important?
  • What lesson can we learn from this text?

Step 4: Share your Google Doc with Mr. Wash


Due: Tuesday, May 2nd

March 1

Grade 7: Introduction to Pirkei Avot

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

February 14

Grade 8: None is Too Many Policy (Due: Wednesday, March 1st)

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