June 14

Grades 6-8: Why Not Incorporate Judaism Into Your Summer Reading Plans?

Are you unsure of your summer plans due to COVID-19?

Did your sibling change the password to your Netflix account?

Are your parents nagging you to pick up a book?

Never fear…summer reading is here!

Reading Dog - Meme on Imgur

Click the link below to check out a bunch of fantastic books that have a Jewish connection:

Jewish Novel Recommendations

June 11

Grades 6-8: Middle School Current Event Discussion Panel

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”.

May 5

Grade 8: Holocaust Test (Monday, May 25nd, 2020)

This week we wrapped up our Holocaust unit. As a class, we decided that we will be taking an online assessment using Google Forms on Monday, May 25th. This assessment will be a mixture of multiple choice questions, matching, definitions, and short answers. Students should begin to review their notes daily.

If anyone is missing notes, our entire Google Slides notes presentation can be found here: Holocaust Notes Presentation


Students can begin to prepare for their assessment by making a copy and completing the study guide below:

Holocaust Test Study Guide


Click the link below to access a review Kahoot:

Holocaust Review Kahoot

April 21

Grades 6-8: Virtual Conversation with Holocaust Survivor Irene Zisblatt

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:



7 Ideas for Observing Yom HaShoah from Home | ReformJudaism.org

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!