January 4

Grades 6-8: Current Event Update (Israel Leads the Way in COVID-19 Vaccinations)

Israel is leading the way in COVID-19 vaccination distribution. We often discuss the fact that despite being a smaller country, Israel is one of the most advanced nations in the entire world. Here is another example of incredible Israeli ingenuity!

Click the links below to learn more about the success of Israel’s vaccination rollout:

Here’s How Israel Prepared for COVID-19 Vaccinations

Israel Distributes Vaccine at a Rapid Rate

December 14

Grades 6-8: Chanukah Celebrations Continue!

The students are quite excited to celebrate Chanukah! Throughout the duration of this week, students will be participating in a variety of Chanukah activities. We will analyze the Chanukah story from a historical perspective and examine the story of Yehudit. Our class will also participate in a dreidel spinning competition! Who will be crowned dreidel champion in each class?

Click the link below to access our slideshow of activities:

Chanukah Activities Slideshow


Happy Hanukkah Gold Menorah, Baked Donuts With Blueberry And Confetti  Chocolate Glaze, Wood Dreidel Stock Vector - Illustration of bokeh,  background: 131658614

December 3

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

Our class has been studying and analyzing the effects of WWI and The Treaty of 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. Next week, students will begin to learn about the rise of dictators and how Adolf Hitler came to power.


November 25

Grade 8: Treaty of Versailles Guided Notes

How could the Holocaust happen?

As we continue to study and analyze the various components of the Grade 8 Jewish Studies curriculum, this week we are beginning to set up the Holocaust. Rather than diving directly into the start of the Holocaust, the Grade 8 class is learning about WWI. This foundation will play a very important role in understanding the historical context in which the Holocaust begins.

Attached you will find the WWI/Treaty of Versailles Presentation and Guided Notes Packet. This will be useful for any students that missed any of the notes during class. Students should be reviewing their notes throughout the week.

November 23

Grade 8: Virtual Discussion with Tibor Egervari

Last week the students had the opportunity to engage in a discussion with a Holocaust survivor on Zoom. Our guest speaker, Tibor Egervari, shared his story and explain how he ended up in Canada. Tibor answered a variety of questions and provided the students with his unique insight. Tibor shared his own life lessons and encouraged our students to take a stand when they witness injustice occurring in our world. We are incredibly grateful that Tibor was able to share his perspective with us.

November 7

Grade 8: Antisemitism Reflection (Due: Thursday 11/19)

The past few weeks in Jewish Studies, we have been analyzing and discussing various accounts of antisemitism throughout history. Although we have only begun our journey, you are being tasked with writing a reflection piece to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the concepts we have discussed in class.

Click the link below to access the assignment instructions:

Antisemitism Reflection Assignment Instructions

Click the link below to access the corresponding graphic organizer:

 Antisemitism Reflection Graphic Organizer 

Click the link below to access the reflective writing slideshow:

Reflective Writing Google Slides

Your reflection should answer the following questions:

  1. What is antisemitism? 
  2. How has antisemitism impacted Jews in the past (prior to the Holocaust)? 
  3. How does antisemitism continue to impact Jews around the world?
  4. What are the consequences when a “single story” or rumour is used to exclude a group of people from a society? 
  5. What lessons can be learned from examining accounts of antisemitism?


Due Dates:

Assigned- Monday (11/9)

Check-In #1 Graphic Organizer Due-Thursday(11/12)

Check-In #2 Rough Draft Due- Monday (11/16)

Final Copy Due- Wednesday (11/18)

October 19

Grade 8: Current Event (Due: Monday 10/26)

This year students will be responsible for researching, analyzing, and presenting a current event in our Jewish Studies course.

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 relate/connect to antisemitism.

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!


Please click the link below to access the current event template: 

Current Events Write Up Assignment Instructions


October 5

Grades 6-8: Shake Your Lulav (Sukkot 2020)

This week our students will be participating in variety of Sukkot activities!

Today in Grade 6 we started to watch and analyze a video created by Rabbi David Fohrman about Sukkot. The video asks students to dive deeper and examine various elements of Sukkot.

Why We Celebrate Sukkot (Aleph Beta)

Our classes will also examine and discuss the sources that were provided by Kehillat Beth Israel. These resources provide food for thought along with a detailed explanation of “how to” shake the lulav and etrog.

Tomorrow Dr. Mitzmacher will be shaking the lulav and etrog with the Grade 8 and Grade 7 cohorts. Never fear, the Grade 6 cohort will be shaking the lulav and etrog on Wednesday.

Lulav & Etrog Purchase - Columbia Barnard Hillel : Columbia Barnard Hillel


Last but certainly not least, Morah Ruthie prepared an incredible Google Slides Presentation that contains exciting games and trivia related to Sukkot.


September 30

Grade 8: Defamation Questions (Due: 10/23)

As we continue our discussion of antisemitism, students will spend time analyzing the documentary Defamation. This documentary examines various perceptions of antisemitism around the world (Israeli, American, Polish, etc.) Through their analysis, students will be able to quickly determine that not everyone shares the same viewpoints in regard to antisemitism.

Defamation Documentary Link

Students will be asked to take notes and respond to four analysis questions as they watch.

Click the link below to access the questions:

Defamation Assignment

September 21

Grade 8: Antisemitism/Holocaust Notes

The link below can be used to access the Google Slides Presentation that we will be using in class to take notes/participate in activities. Students should feel free to bookmark this page on their device. Please note that this document is a living tool, which will be changed and updated regularly.

Grade 8 JS Antisemitism/Holocaust Presentation

This week we will dive into the origins of antisemitism. We will discuss prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination.


Check out this article from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance that discusses various spellings of the term antisemitism. The article discusses the implications of the term anti-semitism vs. antisemitism and the origins of its meaning.