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 (https://youtu.be/FbevCoM9_2U).
  • The artwork can be of the Negev, Ben Gurion, or a tree in the desert.
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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.


January 31

Grades 6-7: International Holocaust Remembrance Day

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.

January 24

Grade 6: Yad B’Yad Mitzvah Initiative Update (Grade 6 Visits Hillel Lodge)

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!

December 7

Grades 6-8: Yad B’Yad Initiative Update (Zoom with Michael Levin Base)

Today our middle school students had a Zoom session with lone soldiers and banot sheiruts in Israel. We spoke to both a soldier and a bat sheirut in order better understand how the Michael Levin Base  supports them while they are defending/volunteering for the Jewish people. This was a wonderful chance for our students to ask questions and get to know these important heroes. These individuals shared their stories, answered questions, and shared their love for Israel. We hope to partner with the Michael Levin Base in future mitzvah endeavors. 

A “lone soldier” is a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) with no family in Israel to support him or her – a new immigrant, a volunteer from abroad, an orphan, or an individual from a broken home. Today there are over 7,000 lone soldiers serving in the IDF, many of whom struggle to fulfill their most basic needs.
A “lone bat sherut” is a young woman with no family in Israel to support her, who has chosen to provide national service in Israel rather than join the army. This type of service can include volunteering in the areas of special education, hospitals, geriatric and nursing homes, health clinics, teens at risk, environmentalism, and other related non-profit organizations. There are currently hundreds of lone b’not sheirut volunteering in Israel.
November 28

Grade 6: Brit Milah Text Analysis (Due: Thursday 12/1)

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 keywords/phrases
  • Looking up unfamiliar vocabulary terms
  • Taking notes/jotting down ideas while reading (annotation)
  • Answering questions in complete sentences (referencing the text)

Click the link below to access the reading/questions:

Brit Milah Textual Analysis Assignment

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November 28

Grade 6: D’var Torah Update

Each week students prepare a D’var Torah for their peers. Students are asked to read, analyze, and think critically about their assigned parsha. They also plan an activity that relates to their parsha. Students have created Blookets, Kahoots, Jeopardy games, and many other activities. Others have led meaningful discussions with their cohort. Check out some of their Divrei Torah below!