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”.
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?
The major concepts behind their Jewish life cycle topic (explain key information)
How this life cycle event connects to your life (family)/modern every-day life situations
Could be interesting to ask your parents about any personal traditions/experiences that might relate
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
Your own interpretation on the value of this moment/event within the Jewish life cycle (Why do you believe this is important?)
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
Over the last two weeks we had the opportunity to participate in a variety of unique online experiences as we commemorated Yom HaShoah, Yom Hazikaron, and Yom Haatzmaut. Today we will dive back into the Jewish life cycle. Students will be working on a Jewish wedding webquest!
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.
This assignment will be due on Tuesday, May 12th, 2020.
Yesterday we watched a live stream of the Yom HaShoah ceremony that took place in Israel. Today the middle school students had a unique opportunity to chat with Holocaust survivor Irene Zisblatt via Google Meet. She shared her unimaginable story and distinctive perspective about hatred, faith, and the Holocaust. We are incredibly appreciative that Irene was able to take the time to spend a few hours with our students. I shared with the students that we are all truly lucky to be able to interact with a Holocaust survivor, as this opportunity will not be afforded to the next generation of individuals. We have the responsibility to never forget these atrocities and to retell their stories.
Click here to watch the our Google Meet conversation with Irene:
As Passover approaches, we will spend the week in Jewish Studies focusing on the modern meaning of the Haggadah. Students will be creating their own 2020 Virtual Haggadah. Students will work in groups to design their own Haggadah. Additionally, students will be choosing one Passover song to rewrite with a modern twist. You will have the opportunity to work on this assignment Dr. Marcovitz and Mr. Washerstein’s Jewish Studies classes.
This week we continued discussing the various traditions associated with the Jewish wedding. Yesterday we reviewed the text of the ketubah. If possible, students are being asked to post a picture of their parents ketubah. As discussed in class yesterday if this is not applicable for every family or someone does not feel comfortable, feel free to disregard this task.
The purpose of this task is to allow the students to see how each ketubah is unique. The text and visuals can be adapted to meet specific requirements or choices that the couple has made.
Post a picture of your parents’ ketubah in the comments! If this post does not allow you to comment a picture…post the ketubah picture on your personal blog and comment the link to that blog post in the comment section below.
Today we talked about a few different marital traditions within Judaism. We discussed the following:
The chatan and kallah not seeing each other week before the wedding
Fasting on the wedding day
Separation of men and women prior to the wedding ceremony
As we discussed, couples often choose to incorporate all, some, or a mix of these traditions into their own Jewish wedding. Every wedding is unique! The students were asking a variety of great questions.
Homework-Prepare for our class discussion tomorrow
Ask your parents the following questions:
What traditions did they incorporate into their wedding?
Did they have a chatan’s tish or kabbalat panim ceremony?
What was unique about their wedding?
Jot down a few notes as they speak and be ready to share!
This week in Jewish Studies our class is discussing dating, marriage, and the concept of Shalom Bayit. Students have been learning about the shidduch process. We have watched videos and discussed the importance of recognizing, understanding, and appreciating the values of peers and potential life partners. Over the next few days, we will be focusing on the importance of “peace within the home”. Students will read and analyze the following text in an attempt to draw their own conclusions and connections.
Yesterday our class decided that our next Jewish studies assessment will take place on Wednesday, January 29th, 2020. The review sheet below provides students with key terms to define along with short answer practice questions. Students should review their notes in order to prepare for the quiz.