March 29

Grade 8: Let My Students Go…To Class!

As we approach Pesach, we will spend the week in Jewish Studies focusing on the modern meaning of the Haggadah. Students have been put into groups and asked to create new lyrics to three classic Passover songs. You will have the opportunity to work on this assignment Dr. Marcovitz and Mr. Washerstein’s Jewish Studies classes. 

Click here to find out more about this assignment: Modernize that Passover Tune Assignment Details



Step 1: Read the English translation of your song

Step 2: Think about how you can change the words/add content that relates to 2020

Step 3: Rewrite your song 



  • Max, Ari, Lior (Dayenu)
  • Jessie, Zoe, Aidan (Echad Mi Yodea)
  • Talia, Jayson, Kiera (Chad Gad Yah)

Due date: Each song must be submitted by the end of class on Friday, April 3rd. Please share your lyrics with Dr. Marcovitz and Mr. Washerstein via Google Doc. 


Check out the videos below to get in the musical spirit!



March 25

Grade 8: Escape from Sobibor (Questions Due: 4/25)

This week we are shifting our focus in Jewish Studies to various resistance attempts that were made by both Jews and gentiles during the Holocaust. Students will be watching, analyzing, and discussing the film, Escape from Sobibor. This film depicts the largest escape from an extermination camp during the Holocaust.

Please read the corresponding questions prior to watching the film. Students will be asked to jot down notes as they watch. By taking notes, students will be able to more accurately recall details as they answer the critical analysis questions.

We will set a due date for these questions upon completing the movie.

Please click the link below to access the Escape from Sobibor Questions:

Escape from Sobibor Critical Thinking Questions

These questions must be submitted by Friday, April 24th, 2020.


Please skip the scene at 45:40. This scene contains graphic content and will be skipped in class as well.

The movie can be watched via Youtube on the link below or on Amazon Prime (for those who have access). If you decide to watch on Prime, please make sure you choose the Escape from Sobibor 1987 film.

March 18

Grade 8: Holocaust Survivor Interview (Due: Monday 3/23)

We will continue to learn about the Holocaust in our Jewish Studies course. We are currently learning about the various camps (labour, concentration, transit, extermination) that were set up by the Nazis. You will be be watching and learning about Lydia’s story by accessing an online interview. We will discuss her story and your reactions during our next live session together.

Please click the link below to access the Google Doc that contains the response questions:

Lydia’s Story: Reflect and Respond



March 3

Grade 8: Reflect Upon a Survivor’s Story (Due: Friday 3/13)

Today students will read and reflect upon the story of a Holocaust Survivor. The website  Holocaust Survivor Stories provides students with various personal narratives of survivors.

Directions: Students will choose a survivor’s narrative to read. After reading their story, students will answer the following reflection questions. Answer the questions in complete sentences.

  1. What feelings did this narrative elicit? (Explain the thoughts or emotions you felt while reading this story)
  2. Could you connect any of the experiences you read about to your own life? Did you feel any connection to the narrator?
  3. What lessons can you learn from this narrative?
  4. How could you use this story to educate others?
  5. What part of the story did you find most intriguing? Why?

*Students are encouraged to read multiple stories in order to determine which narrative speaks to them personally*

February 25

Grade 8: Current Event (Due: Friday 2/28)

Directions: Find an article either in the newspaper or online from a newspaper source. Examples include: CBC News, USA Today,  CTV News, Associated Press, The New York Times, Ynetnews Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Times of Israel,  etc., or any other reputable national or local source. Read the article and fill out the statements or answer the questions below.

 Please find and read about important issues that you will be able to relate to our course regarding Anti-Semitism

 Because this is a current events assignment you are to choose an article that is no more than two weeks old from when the assignment is given.

Be prepared to discuss your article in class on the due date!

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  :

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 11

Grade 8: WWI/Treaty of Versailles Graphic Organizer + Various Perspective Assignment

The Grade 8 class been studying and analyzing the effects of WWI and The Treaty Versailles in order to build a stronger historical knowledge base. The purpose of this activity is to synthesize their comprehension and analyze various perspectives regarding the Treaty of Versailles. Throughout these discussions and activities, the students will begin to understand the desperation that was felt in Germany following WWI. By the end of the week, students will begin to learn about the rise of dictators and how Adolf Hitler came to power.

December 9

Grade 8: Celebrating Chanukah with Prime Minister Trudeau and Other Political Leaders

Earlier this evening, the students in Grade 8 had the opportunity to celebrate Chanukah with Prime Minster Justin Trudeau and other political party leaders. The students gathered with Members of Parliament and community leaders to light the menorah and take part in an early Chanukah celebration. Although we did not sing the blessings (due to Chanukah officially starting in two weeks), the menorah was symbolically lit. The political leaders spoke out against antisemitic events that have taken place throughout various university campuses nationwide. Students were able to engage with government officials, enjoy sufganiyot, and commemorate Chanukah with their peers.


Check out these pictures below: