March 4

Pay it Forward

As we continue delving into the movie, we started highlighting, what pay it forward means and how it connects to Gemilut Chasadim.  The students should be taking notes during the film which will help write their personal paper about Paying it Forward and how it relates to their own lives.

March 2

PAY IT FORWARD גמילות חסדים

This lesson has two service components. Students identify an issue they care about and design and implement a campaign to take action as advocates for change. They also design and create a Pledge Banner that raises awareness of the issue. They choose an appropriate place in which to display the Pledge Banner.

Paying It Forward.Paying it forward, also known as serial reciprocity, refers to when people repay the service they receive bypassing it on to someone else. It is repaying good deeds done to us by doing good deeds for others–paying it forward rather than paying it back.

The student will:

  • define serial reciprocity (paying it forward).
  • view a movie or movie clips and discuss characters and concepts related to the impact of paying it forward.
  • brainstorm and investigate social issues that they can address in their communities and world.
  • take action through service and social activism.
  • design and implement a campaign to raise awareness of a chosen issue of importance.
  • how this relates to the concept of  גמילות חסדים


service: to provide a community or organization with something that it needs

donate: to give or present something, especially to a charitable organization or other good cause

paying it forward: the concept of asking that a good turn be repaid by having it done to others

social activism: an intentional action to bring about social, political, economic, or environmental change. It can take a wide range of forms from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing businesses, rallies, street marches, strikes, sit-ins and hunger strikes.



What are some of the examples “importance of helping others and the effects of encouraging others to serve.”

Are there any examples that can be found in the Torah?

  • Who are the main characters in the movie? Discuss their traits.
  • Conduct a character analysis of Trevor McKinney, discussing the external influences that motivate his decision-making.
  • Sequence the events of Pay it Forward.
  • What was the assignment Mr. Simonet gave to the class? Discuss his main purpose for giving it.
  • What was Trevor’s project idea? How did he expect it to work on a grand scale? What was his expected impact?
  • Can one person make a difference in the world? How was Trevor trying to prove that concept?
  • How are “pay it forward” and a character from the Torah alike, (Holocaust rescuer) and how do they encourage others to serve?
  • What message do you think Jewish Ancestor would convey to youth today to encourage them to practice service and social activism?
  • What will you do to continue his message of service and social activism?


  1. You  will decide together on an issue to address in the community and then promote action on this issue for positive change in the community. To begin the project, have students identify a list of social issues that they feel passionate about and wish to address in their community. Such examples may include smoking, drinking, drugs, violence, bullying, racism, discrimination, injustice, dropouts, global issues, illiteracy, and animal extinction.
  2. Once the list has been generated, please brainstorm various actions or projects that could be conducted to address these issues. Such examples may include the following:
    • Smoking — Write a letter to policy makers, requesting a ban on smoking in various venues.
    • Violence— Generate a survey to students about violence awareness or hold an anti-violence rally.
    • Racism — Design a forum for the student body that addresses issues of racism.
  3. Please use team problem-solving to select one issue and project that they would like to address together. Once the issue has been selected, invite students to investigate the issue further to learn more about its origins, causes, and impact on the community. Students may be able to research these topics through the following sites:
  4. Please think of a slogan or motto that they can give their campaign that will engage interests and deliver the message that they are trying to convey to their peers and the community. Once the slogan is chosen, please write a simple individual pledge of service related to the chosen issue/slogan.
  5. Please describe your canvas “banner.”Please write the chosen slogan in large letters in the center of the banner, and then transfer your individual pledge statement to an online banner.u
  6. After you have completed their pledge banner, decide as a group on an appropriate place in which to display it. Be sure to take pictures (if appropriate) for lasting memories.
  7. Reflection is a key component of service-learning that adds meaning to the experience. Ask students how they felt about their advocacy campaign and promoting the messages of their campaign. How do you hink others will feel about their act of service. Why doing this project was important.
  8. Please s complete the following statement. I expected community members to be______.
February 28

Grade 8 Roundup

What a great week.

The 8th grade students presented their case studies in front of the Rabbis and students. The Rabbis were impressed with all of the students.

We are hoping to invite the Rabbis to return to expand on some of the topics.

Shabbat shalom

January 24

Announcing Grade 8 Yom Iyun

We are so excited to announce our first Yom Iyun in Memory of former teacher Rabbis Simes Z’L.

On Feb. 24 the 8th graders will present their case studies. Rabbi Scher, Rabbi Mickelberg, Rabbi Blum, Rabbi Kenter, and Rabbi Finkelstein will all be in attendance participating and teaching.

We hope you can all come.

More information to follow

January 10

Great 8 Weekly Round-up

A great week with the 8th grade. We continued with our Talmudic Case study presentations.  The students presented case studies that focused on the moral dilemma of working for a cigarette company and if the Orthodox Yeshiva should ordain a homosexual student.


I want to thank all the Rabbis in the community for working with our students.

December 15

Grade 8 – Shavua (weekly) Round-up

After a semester of learning about the oral law. The students will celebrate this coming week, presenting their personal case studies. All of the students reached out to our community Rabbis and requested guidance and their personal view on their specific topic.


I can’t wait to share with the community Part II of the assignment!

Coming soon after Channukah Vacation.

December 6

Living Torah

The students continue to work on their Talmud (law) assignment. With great enthusiasm, they wrote to local Rabbis to discuss their personal case studies. All the Rabbis of the community welcomed the student’s questions.  Grade 8 students are now starting to understand Jewish law continues to evolve.

December 2

Grade 8 – Debate Presentation – Jewish Halacha – Moot Beit Din

What can rabbinic arguments teach us about complicated contemporary issues like War or Gender issues? By applying these established arguments to a modern scenario, you will gain a deeper understanding of the issue at hand as well as the applicable rabbinic arguments.


Once you have gathered all the information you must present on Dec. 16 and 18 your findings.

Presentation Options: Slides, Video, Lecture, Paper:


Content: 40 Points (Include minimally the examples we went through one on one)

Organization: 20 Points (Students present information in a logical fashion)

Delivery: 10 Points (Students used clear voice and appropriate pronunciation)

Visuals: 10 Points (Students used visuals as a reinforcement)


Include the following:

Please use the guidelines in your content folder.  On the day of the presentation, you will pose your questions, explain where in the Torah it is mentioned, interpret the Taanim (Talmud), Rishonim (Maimonadies) and Achronim (Contemporary Rabbis) responsa.

You must also present the other side of the argument if you agree, share the argument of individuals who disagree.

Examples of Presentations:

After all the presentations we will vote which 1 or 2 we will have the local Rabbis Debate.