January 14

Grade 6: Are You Obligated to Wear Tzitzit While Playing Basketball?

This week we have been uncovering the meaning behind the tallit and tzitzit. We discussed the difference between the tallit gadol and the tallit katan. We also learned about the tekhelet (blue thread) that is to be attached when available to the fringes of a four cornered garment. The students were excited to research and learn about the mysterious “chilazon”.

If you want to learn more about the chilazon and tekhelet click here: https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/530127/jewish/Tekhelet-The-Mystery-of-the-Long-Lost-Biblical-Blue-Thread.htm

Today students will be looking at various texts and verses that discuss the mitzvah of tzitzit. Students will also learn about the blessing that is said prior to putting on a tallit.

January 8

Grades 6-8: Israeli Inventions with Shai

Today the middle school students learned about Israeli inventions with our shinshin Shai! They discussed the various narratives behind some of the most important Israeli inventions. The students learned about Waze, Pillcams, USB,  the Iron Dome, and Krembo Wings.

Students used this interactive website to record their responses  : https://www.mentimeter.com/features

Shai emphasized the idea that inventors and innovators are each unique in their own way. Each class participated in an activity that focused on utilizing their creativity and resourcefulness. Students were tasked with taking an everyday object and thinking about how they could repurpose those objects. Maybe the next greatest invention will be created in our very own OJCS Makerspace!

December 2

Grade 6: Responsibilities of a Bar/Bat Mitzvah Song Creation (Extended Due Date: Tuesday 12/10)

This week students will be tasked with creating a music video for their original song that highlights the various responsibilities of a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Students will be working in groups to create a product that demonstrates their knowledge and understanding.  Students should look back at their Bar/Bat Mitzvah Unit Prep. Assignment to re-read key words they might want to include. Additionally, students can always re-read the notes we use in class. 


The purpose of this activity is to allow students to discover how their lives changes within a Jewish context once reaching the age of Bar/Bat Mitzvah.


  • Video must focus on the traditions/responsibilities associated with becoming a Bar Mitzvah (remember that you should be able to clearly hear and understand the words in your song)
  • Min. of two minutes long
  • Five vocabulary terms must be included from the Bar/Bat Mitzvah Unit Prep.
  • Video must be edited

Sources that can help you create your song:





Read this rubric to uncover how you will be graded:

November 6

Grade 6: Bar/Bat Mitzvah Unit Prep Assignment

Please click the link below to access your next Jewish Studies assignment:

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Unit Prep Assignment

This assignment asks students to research the various terms associated with Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Additionally, students will reflect upon what becoming a Bar/Bat Mitzvah means to them. The purpose of this activity is generate discussion points revolving around important milestones within the Jewish life cycle.

November 6

Grade 6: Watch and Respond

Last we began discussing the meaning behind reaching the milestone of Bar/Bat Mitzvah. We will be focusing on the responsibilities that one has once reaching the age of Bar/Bat Mitzvah. In class, we often emphasize that everyone practices Judaism in their own unique way. When discussing traditions and practices within our class, we celebrate the idea that Judaism may look and feel differently in every household.


Take a look at the video below and comment your thoughts:

How does your Jewish community embrace the needs of others? In what way could it improve?

October 25

Grade 6: JS Quiz #1 Preparation (Quiz will take place on Friday 11/1)

The Grade 6 students will be taking their first Jewish Studies Quiz on Friday, November 1st, 2019. The quiz will consist of multiple choice questions, matching questions, and short answer questions.

Study Tips:


Please click the link below to view the study guide:

Jewish Life Cycle Quiz 1 Study Guide

October 11

Grades 6-8: The Fun Has Just Begun With Our Shinshinim

Last week, the middle school students had the opportunity to participate in creative activities revolving around the chagim with our shinshinim. They used their directional skills to help guide their partner to the sweetness of Rosh Hashanah. The students also played a “headbands” activity that related to the customs and traditions of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. We can’t wait to see what other activities the shinshinim have in store for us!




October 11

Grades 6-8: Sukkot Decorations

I hope everyone had a meaningful and easy fast. With Sukkot right around the corner, we will spend some time in class today creating decorations for our OJCS sukkah.

We will be competing amongst the middle school grades today to come up with the most creative decoration along with the longest paper chain!

Although we might not have all of the materials used in the activities below, feel free to choose an idea and adapt it. Check out these links for inspiration: