ChaiLights – Feivel Rubinstein

Feivel Rubinstein: 4th/5th and 6th/7th Grade Judaica

SEPTEMBER 2017

What an amazing start to our school year!

4th/5th Grade: We began our first day by getting to know one another and making a game out of navigating the Jewish calendar.  Since our goal this year is to create a full year Jewish calendar for our kids to take home, it’s important that they first recognize the Hebrew that is on a Jewish calendar.  Our kids picked up on this very quickly as they raced to circle “Rosh Hashanah” or “the 10th of Tishrei”!  These new skills came in handy as the very next class everyone received the very first page of their calendar.  They were each given a blank month calendar, and every class has begun adding more information to it.  For now, we have begun with Tishrei and their calendars contain Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur.  Soon they will add Sukkot to the mix.

This was perfect timing, as another main focus of our class is the holidays themselves.  We learned about Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur over the last two classes as we played bingo with the Jewish values and prayers within the High Holiday service.  We even navigated through the Tanakhim to try to find where the laws of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur come from.  The kids split into four teams, each filling in a Venn diagram of what they found for both holidays.

As our 4th/5th graders move through the holiday season, our students will continue to fill in their own Jewish calendars, unpack the depth of what these holidays have to offer, and hopefully come home ready to share all that they discover with all of you!

6th/7th Grade: We began our first day by getting to know one another and making a game out of looking through the Tanakh.  Since one of our goals this year is to learn all about ancient to modern Israel, it’s important that they are able to open a TaNaKh and find what they are looking for.  Our kids picked up on this very quickly as they raced to turn to “Leviticus Chapter 10” or “Bamidbar Chapter 2 Verse 5”!  However, these new skills were put on a hold for a couple classes as we had an amazing opportunity on our second day to go on a little field trip.  We crossed the street and entered Crossroads High School to experience and amazing art installation donated by a survivor of the Holocaust.  Our tour guide took us back through the incredible life of this survivor and his amazing influence in the musical world after his escape.

Naturally, the very next class we had a small intro into our Holocaust unit which will actually take place in full later in the year.  For now, we listened to some Holocaust music, explored the emotions that it invokes, and played some games reviewing what we had learned on our trip to the high school.  We talked about topics such as cultural diversity, prejudice, and stereotypes as the kids filled in their own definitions on poster boards.  We ended our intro by discussing how Yom Kippur is a time to reflect on how we can prevent such hatred in our own hearts.

As our 6th/7th graders move through the holiday season, our students will revisit their TaNaKh navigation skills as we learn about the biblical beginnings of the Jewish people, unpack the depth of what it means to be a community, and hopefully come home ready to share all that they discover with all of you!

So much excitement packed into just a few days… it’s hard to tell which is more exciting: Hebrew school or the Holidays!

I look forward to seeing what the rest of this year brings, and I hope our students do too.

Shanah Tova and G’mar Chatimah Tovah!

—Feivel Rubinstein