Fifth Grade Jewish Studies Blog Post

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Fifth Grade is having a great year in Jewish Studies so far! We have been focusing on being familiar with the themes and major prayers of the High Holidays. We learned about the important Musaf, or additional, section of Rosh Hashanah which is where we reaffirm the sovereignty and power of God, remember past communal events and personal mistakes, and sound the Shofar, calling us to awaken and arise for the new year. We also listened to prayers such as Avinu Malkeinu, sung by Barbara Streisand, and processed emotions we feel as we listen to these important prayers. Some students even informed me that they recognized the prayers during Rosh HaShanah services, so I’m glad they were able to make some real-world connections to our learning!

We will soon begin our study of Yosef – Joseph – and focus on the themes of his life. One of these themes is homelessness, as he is eventually sold into slavery, never to return to his home in Canaan. We will also be introduced to Rashi, an ancient Rabbi who wrote a commentary on the Torah, and become accustomed to using Rashi to help us interpret a deeper meaning behind the verses of the Torah.

Fifth Grade is also having a blast learning with “Prof” Risa Ferdman to learn Torah Trope, which is entertaining and engaging for everyone. It’s amazing to think that by the end of the year, your Fifth Graders will be ready to read from the Torah!! We will also soon begin learning the “Ashrei” prayer – it is intensive as the prayer is long and the words are often unfamiliar, but it will be so rewarding to be able to follow along during Middle School Tefillah. I am really looking forward to continuing to learn with the Fifth Graders for the rest of the year!!