This week the students will dive into the first chapter of Pirkei Avot. As we begin our major unit of study, students spent time discussing the importance of perspective. We reviewed the benefits of annotating a text as we read. Additionally, students were encouraged to read and analyze both the Hebrew and English text. As we came across unfamiliar terms, students looked up words in an attempt to uncover their meaning and better understand each lesson. We discussed the value of developing our own interpretations of each text. Students are being asked to create connections between these texts and their own lives. Each student has received a source packet that contains the verses in both Hebrew and English. We have also been using The Illustrated Pirkei Avot as an additional resource. Our sessions thus far have led to fantastic questions and interpretations.
This week we will be discussing the horrific narrative of the MS St. Louis. We watched an incredible documentary that provided our class with testimonies from historians and survivors who experienced this infamous event firsthand. Students will read and analyze a document that discusses specific policies in Canada that were enacted to keep the Jewish people out.
Dr. Mitzmacher joined the Grade 6 class last week to discuss/show the students how to wrap tefillin. Students showcased their knowledge about the scrolls inside each box. We also discussed various symbolic actions associated with wrapping tefillin.
Students are being tasked with diving deeper into one of the mitzvot we have studied in class. This is a fantastic opportunity to head down to the Makerspace and use the green room for video recording.
Today the Grade 7 class visited Hillel Lodge to run a Shabbat Bingo Program. Students and residents alike enjoyed spending time together for a special Kabbalat Shabbat experience. Students engaged in conversation and helped facilitate an exciting game of bingo. We look forward to spending more time with the residents of Hillel Lodge. Next month Grade 8 will be planning a Shabbat activity!
Last Friday we commemorated International Holocaust Remembrance Day. January 27th was chosen to memorialize International Holocaust Remembrance Day because it was the day that Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated by the Soviet Forces. Students watched and discussed a videothat was created by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.
We focused on the following questions:
Why is it important for us to remember the Holocaust today?
How can we ensure that this history is not forgotten?
After our group discussion, students had the ability to dive further and examine various sources related to the Holocaust.
The Grade 6 class visited Hillel Lodge on Friday! The students led a Kabbalat Shabbat program which included prayers, a D’var Torah, and a discussion about our favorite Shabbat memories. The students were excited to engage with the residents and help them bring in Shabbat with some OJCS ruach. Each month a different Middle School class will lead a Kabbalat Shabbat Program as a part of our Yad B’Yad Mitzvah Initiative. Next month will be Grade 7!
Our Middle School students are quite excited to celebrate Chanukah! Throughout the week, students will be participating in a variety of Chanukah activities. Our class will also participate in a dreidel spinning competition! Who will be crowned dreidel champion in each class?
In Hebrew we are using new vocabulary by creating animated movies with Hebrew voice overs. It encourages students to develop their language proficiency. Here are some videos produced by my dear students: