Jewish Studies Update (2nd-6th)

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Shalom families! This will be an update on the Jewish Studies learning for 2nd-6th grade. Each grade began the year by practicing the various routines and procedures for the Jewish Studies room, such as singing the blessing before learning Torah and making sure AJA PRIDE extends into this classroom. Check below for a learning update – I’m looking forward to meeting all of you at Back To School Night on Sept 8th or 15th!

Second Grade is learning about different types of communities found in Israel – specifically the kibbutz! This ties in nicely with Ms. Frazee’s Communities unit, and the students will be creating their own kibbutzim! We will be discussing how everyone is equal on a kibbutz, and everyone pitches in to help – those are great universal lessons! We read the book The Chicken Man which taught us about different jobs on a kibbutz, and what a difference a positive attitude will make. I look forward to learning more about the kibbutz with your students in the coming weeks, as well as beginning our study of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur!

Third Grade is beginning our year-long study of Avraham (Abraham) by examining their own character traits and what makes them a “blessing” to others. Next, we will study what qualities Avraham had, such as kindness and hospitality, which led to him being chosen by HaShem. This will lead into our year-long (and hopefully life-long) study of Chumash beginning with HaShem’s promise to Avraham that he will have many descendants who will inherit the land of Israel. I look forward to learning Chumash with your children, and soon we will begin our study of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur!

Fourth Grade is beginning two big units this week – the first is a unit on Havdalah which we will do each Monday during class. For more info on Havdalah, click here! We will be learning this tune, if you’d like to begin practicing at home each Saturday night – although we only know the “yai lai lai” part for now. We are also beginning a unit on Jewish History where students will be asked to make a personal connection to their own heritage – look for a fun homework interview to be coming home soon! We will specifically be looking at the differences between Ashkenazi and Sephardi roots and traditions, as our study of major holidays will be how Jews around the world celebrate holidays the same – and also different!

Fifth Grade is off to a great start – we have already done some problem solving on our friend Joe-Schmoe (aka Yosef/Joseph from the Torah) and how we can help him understand how his behavior impacts those around him. I look forward to beginning a year filled with rich Torah learning – we have already started preparing for our chevruta (paired) learning! We have also started learning an “AJA favorite” prayer – Ashrei! It is an acrostic Psalm which AJA students love signing, and while it is long and sometimes difficult to learn, I am so excited to see our 5th graders join in with the Middle Schoolers in this prayer during Tefillah.

Sixth Graders can hardly contain their excitement over beginning our JCAT (Jewish Court of All Time) program – they have carefully researched and ranked their character choices, and we will hear next week from the “JCAT Powers That Be” which characters they have been assigned! In the meantime, we will be doing work based around the trial topic of refugees in Israel and making sure we fully understand the vocabulary terms and complexities which will arise in the course of our trial. I can’t wait to interact with this year’s cast of characters!!!!