Monday, October 31, 2011

Definition of the word DISDAIN

I had a chat with my religious school kiddos today (conservative synagogue,six conservative girls and two orthodox girls) about the difference between Jewish holidays, secular holidays, and holidays from other religions.  And now I know the definition of "disdain".


 noun \dis-ˈdān\   The tone of voice with which a Jewish 3rd grader explains to other Jewish kids how Christian kids get presents on Christmas, and they think they come from some fat guy named Santa Claus!
Who even knew that an eight-year-old could roll her eyes!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Simchat Torah Handouts

Lots of handouts and activities here.  Hope everyone has a WONDERFUL Simchat Torah!

Getting ready for Simchat Torah!

They were too busy drawing and writing about their favorite Torah stories to pause long enough to spell the word תּוֹרָה‎‎, but they did manage to come up with the correct spelling and hold it up almost long enough for me to get a photo. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sukkah is Ready!

After work today, I went over to the shul to hang the sukkah decorations. One of the moms took our Ushpizin welcome signs and the lulav/etrog poster to the local teacher store and got them laminated, and then I hung everything today.

This is the first time in 12 yrs that I am physically able to get up on a stool and hang things, which is wonderful and amazing.

One of these years, maybe I will again live somewhere that I can put up a sukkah at home.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sukkot Preparations 2011

Click to see my students creating edible sukkot, inviting the ushpizim to join us in our sukkah, and learning all about Sukkot.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Preparing for Sukkot

There are tons of sukkot books out there for early elementary school kids, but I am having trouble finding materials to use with the 9 yr old plus crowd.  Trying this one out.  Also making sukkot decorations, learning about lulav and etrog, etc.  The holiday parade continues.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Jonah Lessons!

Powerpoint presentation is here:

And then our crafts project is here:

For the craft project:
What's Jonah doing in there?  Draw a picture to put inside.  
On the back of the whale, have Jonah explain what happened in his life this week.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

How to have an Aliyah to the Torah

This particular video on how to have an aliyah is special for two reasons:
1) The hazzan in the film is a good friend and former colleague of mine.
2) The Bar Mitzvah boy is a puppet.  If I had to guess, I might suspect that he is even a distant cousin of one of my purim puppet play characters.

On a more serious note, I prefer the screen text to be more Hebrew for students to use, and less puppet-centered for adults, but it's still one of my new favorite teaching tools.  Thanks Harold!

A Jewish Girl reflects on her Adoption and on the children of Torah

This D’Var Torah was written by a 14 yr old Jewish girl, adopted into a Jewish family after three years in foster care.  The adoption was finalized last week, the morning before Rosh Hashanah.  The newly adopted girl went to mikvah, changed her Hebrew name to match her new mother’s and gave this D’Var Torah to her Jewish Community.
For purposes of publication, the location has been removed, the names have been changed, but the love remains intact from the first draft to the final..
My First Dvar Torah of My New Life

Tonight and tomorrow we will read prayers that talk about God as our Father.  Avinu Malkeinu.  God is my king and my father, but today I have a new mother and a new brother.  Becca is too old to be adopted in a courtroom, but she and I both consider Deborah our mom.  We even invented a new word.  Imanu Debreinu.  Our ima, our Debbie.  A real parent right here on Earth.

The Torah readings for Rosh Hashanah are all about parents and kids. Even the haftarah talks about a mom who wants a child, and about how someone else makes fun of her because she doesn’t have one yet. Her name is Hannah, and she eventually gets a son, but she can only raise him the first few years.   God doesn’t zap the woman who was teasing her about being childless, and maybe that is OK. 

Having kids is important, but so is treating them right.  In Torah, people are always wanting sons, but Debbie is happy to have us as daughters, and that may be even better.  

        Back to Torah.  Sarah wants a son, but she doesn’t think she will have one.  Abraham has to choose between his first family (Hagar and Ishmael) and his second family (Sarah and Isaac), and ends up making his first family leave with only a bottle of water and some food. In my opinion this is not good parenting. I think that God told Abraham to listen to Sarah and send Hagar and Ishmael away, but God should have also made him send them with enough food and water for a whole journey.  Abraham is always sending his servents and camels to do errands and keep people company. He had extra people to help with the akeida story. With Ishmael, should have sent someone to see that his oldest son got safely somewhere else.  Maybe he should have even gone himself, get them settled, and then go back to Sarah and Isaac.  He should have been a dad to both of them.