June 18

Mossad – Inside the Missions

Israel might be a tiny country, but its revered spy agency – the Mossad – is the stuff of legend. While there’s so much the Mossad has done that we don’t know about (and will probably never be revealed), the missions that have been made public are mind-blowing. From capturing Adolf Eichmann, to ending Syria’s nuclear program and helping smuggle Ethiopian Jews to Israel, there are countless reasons the Mossad is not your average intelligence agency. Find out how this Israel intelligence agency came into being, why it’s so feared and respected, and discover the role it plays in the overall security of the world’s only Jewish state. After watching the video, use the prompts below to learn more and get your students thinking.

 

Please watch the video and answer the following questions: (You can send the answers via google doc or email. Due Monday, June 22

1. Of the following objectives of the Mossad, which do you think is most important
and why?
a. Neutralize military threats to the state of Israel
b. Bring justice to those who have harmed the Jewish people
c. Gather intelligence
d. Retaliate against the perpetrators of terror
e. Help Jewish refugees reach the land of Israel

2. As the only Jewish state in the world, Israel has taken upon itself the role of
“defender of the Jewish people”. Do you think that Israel is responsible for the
security of Jews worldwide?
3. The Mossad’s first motto is “For by stratagems, you wage war” from Proverbs
24:6. What is the meaning of this motto and how does it relate to the Mossad?
4. “Meir Dagan, former head of the Mossad, argues that neutralizing a few major
figures is often the more ethical choice because it can prevent the loss of lives of
countless soldiers and civilians” (Rise and Kill First). What do you make of this
argument? Does it outweigh the potential risks of targeted killing? List three
reasons for, and three reasons against, targeted killing.

June 14

Grades 6-8: Why Not Incorporate Judaism Into Your Summer Reading Plans?

Are you unsure of your summer plans due to COVID-19?

Did your sibling change the password to your Netflix account?

Are your parents nagging you to pick up a book?

Never fear…summer reading is here!

Reading Dog - Meme on Imgur

Click the link below to check out a bunch of fantastic books that have a Jewish connection:

Jewish Novel Recommendations

June 13

Israeli Nobel Prize Winners

Israelis have won 12 Nobel Prizes – no small feat for such a small country. The
categories have ranged from literature to chemistry to peace. Who are these 12 prize
winners, and what were their world contributions? This video presents the winners and
their accomplishments. Watch the video and use the prompts below to learn about and
take pride in Israel’s impressive achievements.

After watching the video answer the following questions: Due Monday, June 22

1.Which of the personalities you learned about do you find most impressive? Why?
2. When learning about Israel, why might it be important to focus on aspects of
Israeli history and culture outside of war and the Arab-Israeli conflict?
3. Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Yassir Arafat won a Nobel Peace Prize for the
Oslo Accords, which has not resulted in the peace that Israel maintains with sovereign nations like Egypt and Jordan. Do you think the committee was right to award this prize, or was it premature? Do later events impact this prize, or is hindsight 20-20?

4.If you were to become an expert in any field, what would it be and why?
5. What does it really mean to win a Nobel Prize? Why is it such a source of pride
for the individual and his or her country?

 

 

 

 

 

June 11

Grades 6-8: Middle School Current Event Discussion Panel

As we continue our conversations on racial injustice and our responsibilities to aid change, our middle school students (and many parents) participated in a panel discussion on race and racism in Canada and the US.
Briellen Griffin, an American scholar on race and education, introduced our students to the concepts of systemic racism and the concepts of White Privilege. She also shared a bit of the privilege she receives as a black woman who can “pass” as white.
Kayne Alleyne-Adams, a former CJPAC fellow, discussed the history of racism and inequality in Canada, as well as his own experiences including seeing his mother falsely arrested three times, and being told that he could not wear his hair in a preferred style due to racist policies of his school.

Our middle school students were empowered to “pray with their legs” and speak out against injustices they encounter with Dr. Mitzmacher sharing the recent example of the young adult who, with the power of an email, was able to persuade the Merriam-Webster Dictionary to official update the definition of “racism”.

June 9

Grade 6: Jewish Studies Life Cycle Video Project (Due: Friday, June 19th, 2020)

Today we will be wrapping up our notes/discussion revolving around how to mourn the loss of a loved one, as a part of our Jewish life cycle. The students will spend the next week and half creating an educational video project.

Assignment: Students are being tasked with diving deeper into a specific portion of the Jewish Life Cycle. The majority of these topics were studied/discussed in class at great length. The goal of this project is to demonstrate understanding, conduct further research, and exhibit creativity by creating an informational video that relates to a topic within the Jewish life cycle.    

Content: What information do I need to include?

  1.   The major concepts behind their Jewish life cycle topic (explain key information)
  2.   How this life cycle event connects to your life (family)/modern every-day life situations
  3.   Could be interesting to ask your parents about any personal traditions/experiences that might relate
  4. You could also reach out to a rabbi/other members of the Jewish community to learn more about traditions, customs, and information pertaining to your life cycle event in Ottawa 
  5.   Your own interpretation on the value of this moment/event within the Jewish life cycle (Why do you believe this is important?)

 

Video Requirements:

  • This video will also include a skit that relates to the life cycle event
  • You can also include pictures and provide explanations of these images
  • Minimum of two minutes long (maximum ten minutes)
  • Be sure to cite your sources if you use web documents

 

Jewish Life Cycle Topics (Choose One):

  1. Baby Naming
  2. Brit Milah 
  3. Pidyon Ha-Ben
  4. Shalom Zachar
  5. Bar Mitzvah
  6. Bat Mitzvah
  7. Marriage
  8. Divorce
  9. Death (Funeral)
  10. Stages of Mourning (Shiva/Shloshim)
  11. Kashrut

 

Due: Friday, June 19th, 2020

Click here to access: Jewish Life Cycle Project Instructions

Click here to access: My Jewish Life Cycle Planner (Graphic Organizer)

June 8

Mossad – Inside the Missions

Israel might be a tiny country, but its revered spy agency – the Mossad – is the stuff of legend. While there’s so much the Mossad has done that we don’t know about (and will probably never be revealed), the missions that have been made public are mind-blowing. From capturing Adolf Eichmann, to ending Syria’s nuclear program and helping smuggle Ethiopian Jews to Israel, there are countless reasons the Mossad is not your average intelligence agency. Find out how this Israel intelligence agency came into being, why it’s so feared and respected, and discover the role it plays in the overall security of the world’s only Jewish state. After watching the video, use the prompts below to learn more and get your students thinking.

 

Please watch the video and answer the following questions: (You can send the answers via google doc or email. Due Friday, June 12

1. Of the following objectives of the Mossad, which do you think is most important
and why?
a. Neutralize military threats to the state of Israel
b. Bring justice to those who have harmed the Jewish people
c. Gather intelligence
d. Retaliate against the perpetrators of terror
e. Help Jewish refugees reach the land of Israe

2. As the only Jewish state in the world, Israel has taken upon itself the role of
“defender of the Jewish people”. Do you think that Israel is responsible for the
security of Jews worldwide?
3. The Mossad’s first motto is “For by stratagems, you wage war” from Proverbs
24:6. What is the meaning of this motto and how does it relate to the Mossad?
4. “Meir Dagan, former head of the Mossad, argues that neutralizing a few major
figures is often the more ethical choice because it can prevent the loss of lives of
countless soldiers and civilians” (Rise and Kill First). What do you make of this
argument? Does it outweigh the potential risks of targeted killing? List three
reasons for, and three reasons against, targeted killing.

June 4

Grade 7: Pirkei Avot “Your Vision” Video Project

Today students will begin an exploratory project as we analyze and create our own interpretations of the final three chapters of Pirkei Avot. Over the last four months, we have spent time reading, analyzing, creating connections, and developing personal interpretations connected to different verses of Pirkei Avot. This final project incorporates all of those components along with a chance to show off your creative abilities and media literacy skills.

Assignment: Students are being tasked with diving deeper into one specific mishnah from the final three chapters of Pirkei Avot. Each student will create their own video that demonstrates their mastery of our interpretive skill sets. 

Important note: You are only choosing ONE mishnah to focus on for this entire project

Process

Step 1: Read/skim through the Ch. 4, Ch. 5, Ch. 6 of Pirkei Avot

Step 2: Select one mishnah (verse) that interests you 

Step 3: Plan your video

  • Analyze the text and develop your interpretation
  • Write about how this lesson connects to your life
  • Think about how this lesson connects modern every-day life situations
  • Plan your skit
  • Find visuals that you can connect to your mishnah

Step 4: Film your video

Step 5: Submit to Mr. Washerstein by Friday, June 19th, 2020

 

Due Dates:

By June 9th- Choose mishnah and get it approved by Mr. Washerstein 

By June 12th- Check in with Mr. Washerstein and share your plan

By June 19th- Submit video to Mr. Washerstein

 

 

Click here to access: Pirkei Avot Your Vision Project Instructions/Rubric

Click here to access:Pirkei Avot Your Vision Graphic Organizer

June 4

Mah Chadash? מה חדש

Shalom Grade 6!

Our final project will be, “In the News.”

Either by yourself or with a partner you will create a video broadcast of what you feel is newsworthy.  A normal broadcast consists of 1. Local (Ottawa),2. National (Canada),3. Global News, 4.Politics, 5.Israel (Middle East), 6.Trump, 7.COVID 19, 8.Sports (if any), 9.Style, 10. Entertainment, 11.Travel, 12.Health, and 13.Opinion

Project:

Create a 3-7 minute News Video Broadcast. You must have a minimum of  8 different categories. Three of the categories must include North Stars, Israel and Judaism.

Either you can come up with your own stories or discuss real stories from the different News outlets.

Example News Websites: Cbc.ca, cnn.com, foxnews.com, timesofisrael.com, jpost.com

Presentations will begin Monday, June 15, 2020.

If you need more time or have any questions, please be in touch.

I look forward to all of your presentations.

 

May 12

Final Project

Each student will choose one of the following topics:

  1. Story of Israeli Ethiopian Soldier
  2. Women of Israel
  3. The secret religion of the Druze  (Israel)
  4. Technology – Startup Israel
  5. The Kibbutz
  6. Military – Unconventional War Strategies of Israel and Special Ops
  7. Food and Israel  (you can incorporate the Hummus Movie)
  8. Music and Israel (Techno, etc.)
  9. Russian and Ethiopian Jewry – coming to Israel
  10. The Hatikvah
  11. Sustainable Nation –  How Israel is dealing with the environmental crisis

Presentation/Report Options:

  1. 3 page report including examples, and sources
  2. 5 minute oral or recorded presentation
  3. Open to other options

Due Sunday, May 24, 2020, Presentations begin Tuesday, May 26

RUBRIC

 

May 12

When you think of Israel…Hummus The Movie

Hummus! The Movie
Secret recipes, a Guinness World Record and the power of Hummus to bring Muslims, Christians and Jews together… in the Middle East, America and around the world.
Beyond the mystique and competition, beyond arguments over who makes the best Hummus and even beyond religious and political divides, Hummus! The Movie showcases the personal stories of the colorful men and women who simply live their lives and love their Hummus.

Background and Goals
Hummus! The Movie features three Israeli characters: an ever-smiling Jew, a hard-working Muslim woman, and a young Christian Arab on a restless quest for meaning. Despite their historical and cultural differences, they all have one thing in common: a passionate love of hummus (don’t we all?!). Through viewing this film we will create a profound moment of understanding of this element of Israeli culture, which transcends the food itself, among Jewish students across the diaspora.

● Deepen students’ connection to Israel through film and activities
● Pique students’ curiosity about Israeli culture
● Educate students about Israel’s culture, society and demography through a mature, nuanced
lens
● Provoke student inquiry and dialogue about topics surrounding Israel
● Show the power of food – hummus in particular – and how it can be used to either unite or
divide people
● Build Jewish unity by connecting students to peers across the world

DURING THE FILM, PLEASE FILL OUT THE FORM.
https://forms.gle/5C8wffcuVxqaBLWg8
DUE: Tuesday, May 12, before class

(If you do not think you will be able to finish watching the movie by May 11, please let me know so we can make other arrangements.)

The movie is in Hebrew with modern English Subtitles.  If reading subtitles is challenging, please let me know and we will figure out a better option for you.  Make sure you let me know by the end of class, Tuesday, May 5

May 5 Watch the first 30 Minutes

May 6 Watch the next 40 Minutes

May 7 Watch the final 40 Minutes