5th grade Jewish Studies Update

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Fifth grade is learning so much, both with me and with “Prof” Risa Ferdman!! I love listening to them sing “My name is Inigro Montoya you killed my father prepare to die” backwards and using trope marks – who knew Princess Bride could be so educational?!? They are learning a tremendous amount with her, and if you hear them singing strange words and phrases around the house (sometimes accompanied by hand motions!!) don’t be alarmed – they are just practicing their Trope.

We have also been talking about the connections between water, Sukkot, Israel, the Bible, and prayer. We got sidetracked by an important conversation about the mechitza (gender separation) at the Western Wall, but I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation next week during Sukkot! We did talk a lot about how important it is to conserve water, especially in Israel, and how crucial it is for the rain to fall at the right time of the year – especially during Biblical times. Moses definitely could not go buy his crops at H.E.B.!

I’m also so excited to be able to integrate with a few units that Ms. Hidalgo is doing; we will hopefully be talking about Fair Trade and Kashrut and where they connect and/or conflict. We will look at the requirements that are needed for food to earn “Heksher Tzedek” – an ethical kashrut stamp – and talk about ways in which ethics are already built in to some systems of Kashrut. In addition, we will be looking at “Jewish” slam poetry/spoken word pieces and discussing what makes them inherently Jewish (if at all), and possibly Skyping with a friend of mine who has written and performed some of the Jewish Slam Poems.

Last but certainly not least, we will be placing an emphasis on learning the “Ashrei” prayer – it is included at almost every prayer service and is the same no matter what synagogue you may walk into anywhere in the world.

Wishing everyone a happy and fulfilling Sukkot – Chag Sameach!!