11 Unit(s), 59 Resource(s), 13 Teaching Tool(s)
In this unit, we will learn about the idea of Torah study, the general importance of Torah in our lives and how that is expressed through the study of Torah on Shavuot.
Purim: Customs and Values
Unit on values related to Purim and how they relate to the customs of this holiday
Purim: The Story of the Megillah
Unit on the story of Megillat Esther, the different subjects that appear in that story and the values we can learn from it: characters in the megillah and their development, features of the plot, etc.
What is Chanukah About?
What is the historical story of Chanukah? This unit addresses the different stories of Chanukah and how they have influenced the character of the holiday.
This unit is about Chanukah candles: how and why they are lit, the symbolic significance of lighting candles and the idea of spreading light and its cultural and personal significance.
The Book of Ruth
The Book of Ruth is read in the synagogue on the holiday of Shavuot. The story told in this book is linked to the holiday of Shavuot in terms of the time of year at which it takes place — the time of the wheat harvest. This is also the time of year at which we celebrate Shavuot. In addition to the timing, the content of this book is also related to the holiday of Shavuot.
Passover: Slavery and Freedom
This unit examines the theme of freedom on Passover and its implications for our lives even beyond the Passover seder.
The Exodus from Egypt as a Jewish Calling
This unit explores the centrality of the Exodus from Egypt in Jewish life. It suggests several reasons for its importance, and discusses the moral lessons from it that have guided human behavior throughout history.
Saying Sorry and Forgiving
A unit approaching Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur which focuses on saying sorry: the importance of saying sorry, the difficulty in saying sorry, and the command to forgive others.
Soul-Searching – Cheshbon Nefesh
A unit approaching Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur which focuses on the subject of cheshbon nefesh - examination of ourselves and, when necessary, our deeds and regret over them.
“Until One Cannot Distinguish”: The Limits of Joy and Celebration
Celebration has an honored place on Purim. We will learn about the reasons for this celebration, become familiar with different ways of encouraging joy and celebration on the holiday and examine the limits of celebration.
Characters in Megillat Esther
In Megillat Esther, the plot of the story and the processes that the different characters undergo over the course of the story are both important. We will study the story of Megillat Esther by examining the experiences and characteristics of its main characters.
Vashti and Esther: Women in Action
The actions of Vashti and Esther in Megillat Eshter teach us about feminine activism. We will study the story of these two women from a feminist perspective.
Leadership and Responsibility in Megillat Esther
In Megillat Esther, Esther exhibits strength and leadership, acting out of a sense of responsibility that leads her to act to save her people. In this resource, we’ll learn about leadership and responsibility, inspired by Megillat Esther and by a Jewish figure from the modern era — Hannah Senesh.
Self-Defense and Revenge
The saving of the Jews described in the megillah is described as an event that included the Jews killing those who hated them. We can see this as an example of self-defense or as an example of revenge. We will learn about the different aspects of this event and address situations in our own lives that involve elements of defense and revenge, as well as the relationship between personal ethics and social norms.
Power in Megillat Esther
The story of Megillat Esther (the Scroll of Esther) presents the various power relations that exist between the different characters. We will learn about the power that each character holds, and the importance of deciding how that power should be used.
Sitting in the sukkah (also referred to as “settling” or “dwelling” in the sukkah) is the main commandment on the holiday of Sukkot. In this resource, we will learn about the sukkah and will become familiar with its symbolism and the values learned from it.
Megillat Rut (The book of Ruth) – Being a Jew
Megillat Rut (The Book of Ruth) tells the story of Ruth’s choice to become part of the Jewish people. In this lesson, we will discuss the significance of Judaism for us and the choices we make surrounding this topic.
Kindness (Chessed) in the Book of Ruth
In the Book of Ruth (Megillat Rut), kindness (chessed) is expressed in several different ways. This unit discusses the meaning of kindness, how we can be kind, and the importance of kindness in society.
Tikkun Leil Shavuot – The Jewish Value of Learning
In this resource, we will learn about the Jewish value of study through familiarization with the custom of Tikkun Leil Shavuot (all-night Torah study on Shavuot).
Hidden and Revealed: Central Motifs of Purim
This resource deals with the motifs of things that are hidden and those that are visible in Megillat Esther (The Scroll of Esther) and how these motifs are expressed on Purim through costumes and masks.
The Sukkah – Permanence and Temporariness
On the holiday of Sukkot, we turn the sukkah, a temporary structure, into our permanent home for the duration of a week. This resource discusses the experience of permanence and ephemerality on the holiday of Sukkot and in our daily lives.
The Torah is Better than Any Merchandise
The Importance of the Torah for Us
The Torah is the foundation of Jewish culture and Jewish life. We read from it every week, there is a commandment to study it, and it forms the center of two holidays – Simchat Torah and Shavuot. In this unit we will discuss why the Torah has such an important status in Jewish tradition and what it means for us.
Loyalty to Our Principles
On Chanukah we celebrate the victory of the Maccabees over the Greeks, who tried to force the Jews to refrain from keeping Jewish practices and leave their religion. In the resource, we will learn about the decrees of Antiochus and the Jewish opposition to them, and we will consider what principles are sacred to us and how they can be maintained in the face of external pressure.
Chanukah – The Story of the Holiday
We will become familiar with the Chanukah story and the customs associated with the holiday. We will discuss what we can learn from the story and how it can serve as a source of inspiration in our lives today.
From Generation to Generation
In this resource, we will learn about the lineage of Torah transmission and how we can take part in this chain of transmission and innovate in it.
The Ten Commandments
This resource explores the Ten Commandments, which constitute a moral foundation for the Jewish people and have inspired other nations, as well. It also deals with the importance of rules for society and the individual.
At Mount Sinai
Receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai is a formative event in Jewish tradition and
culture. This resource discusses this event and considers in what ways its memory
has been meaningful for Jews throughout the generations and down to our own
The Giving of the Torah
The experience at Mount Sinai is a formative event in Jewish tradition and culture. In this resource, we will explore the description of that event and what that description can teach us about the Torah.
Light in Art: Monet – The Painter of Light
Light influences and determines the way we see the world, particularly in terms of colors. This is evident in the art of the Impressionist school, including the works of the painter Claude Monet. We will examine how this perspective is connected to various ideas in Jewish tradition.
The Maccabees’ heroism brought an end to the religious decrees enacted against Jews in the Land of Israel and to the victory that we celebrate on Chanukah. In this resource, we will discuss the question of what is heroism and who is a hero.
On Chanukah, we celebrate the victory of the Maccabees and the miracle of the small jug of oil. In this resource, we’ll discuss what a miracle is and the tension between human actions and relying on miracles from heaven.
The Different Faces of Chanukah
In this resource, we will draw a parallel between two descriptions of the Chanukah story: The historical description found in the Book of Maccabees versus the Talmudic account describing the miracle of the oil jug. We will deal with the question of how each narrative contributes to our understanding of the story as a whole, as well as our own personal connection to the holiday.
Symbols – The Menorah as a Jewish Symbol
The menorah (candelabra) from the Temple serves as a Jewish symbol. The chanukiya, which symbolizes the menorah and the Chanukah miracle, has itself acquired the status of a Jewish symbol. We will study the menorah and the subject of symbols: we will consider what a symbol is, become familiar with some Jewish symbols, and study their meaning.
Chanukah is a story of an encounter between Hellenist culture and Jewish culture. It represents the traditional worldview of preserving Jewish identity in the face of foreign cultural influences. In this resource, we will address the tension between Jewish culture and local and global culture.
In this resource, we’ll learn about this song and take a closer look at its lyrics. We’ll address the struggles of the Jewish people against enemies over the course of history.
The Enlightening Dispute Between Hillel and Shamai
This resource deals with the dispute between Beit Hillel (the school of Hillel the Elder) and Beit Shamai (the school of Shamai the Elder) over whether we should add or detract from the number of Chanukah candles that we light each night of the holiday. We will use their dispute to discuss the value of debate in Jewish tradition and the concept of “machloket l’shem shamayim” -“a dispute for the sake of heaven”.
Light – A Symbol of Good
This unit discusses light as a symbol of good in the context of the Chanukah story.
Light and Darkness
This resource discusses the importance of light in our lives and in the world and the use of light as a metaphor for good versus darkness as a metaphor for evil, examining these assumptions.
This resource deals with the mitzvah of lighting candles on Chanukah and its symbolic significance.
Avadim Hayinu – We Were Slaves
Avadim Hayinu – we were slaves. Based on this passage in the Haggadah, we will discuss the story of slavery in Egypt and the experience of freedom, noting the relevance of slavery throughout human history.
Rejoice in Your Festivals
On Sukkot, it is a mitzvah to be happy. In this resource, we will learn about reasons to be happy on Sukkot and Simchat Torah, and about happiness as a Jewish value.
Sukkah and Memory
In this unit, we’ll learn about the roles and importance of holiday symbols, including their significance on the personal and family level and their significance for the collective memory of the Jewish people, with an emphasis on the sukkah.
Sukkot / Eliahou Eric Bokobza
Eliahou Eric Bokobza’s piece entitled “Sukkot” evokes thoughts about the nature of permanence and ephemerality in Jewish life.
The ushpizin are special guests we invite into our sukkah. In this resource, we will learn about the custom of ushpizin, as well as the value of welcoming guests into our home and how it’s connected to the holiday of Sukkot.
The Four Species
On the holiday of Sukkot, holding the four species together teaches us about the Jewish People’s desire for unity, alongside the differences between its individuals.
Vehi She’amda – God’s promise to Abraham
This resource discusses God’s promise to Abraham to redeem the Jewish people and to help Jews throughout the generations to cope with difficulties and to maintain their hope and faith.
In Every Generation
In this resource, we’ll explore our obligation — as the descendants of those who were redeemed from slavery — toward those who are oppressed and weak within our own society and around the world.
The Ten Plagues
We will learn about a symbolic action performed on Seder night as we recite the list of the Ten Plagues – the spotting of our plates with drops of wine and suggest the meaning that can be attributed to this custom.
The Four Sons
The four sons represent four ways of thinking and the importance of education that is tailored to the personality of the learner. This resource will address the importance of being inclusive of different types of people, as well as the different parts of ourselves, and the importance of communicating with individuals in a manner that acknowledges and takes into consideration ‘where they are at’.
Ha Lachma Anya – The Bread of Affliction/Poverty
“This is the bread of affliction/poverty.” It is with these words that the Haggadah begins the main part of Seder night – the telling of the exodus story. What does matzah symbolize and why does the Haggadah begin specifically with a discussion of it?
Ma Nishtana – the Four Questions
In this resource, we will learn about the Four Questions section of the Haggadah. We will become familiar with the examples that appear in the text and explore the significance of asking questions on Seder night.
From Slavery to Freedom – for younger students
The song Avadim hayinu, ata bnei chorin – “We were slaves, now we’re free humans” is based on a passage in the Haggadah that describes the dramatic change the Children of Israel underwent from slavery to freedom. This resource discusses these themes and connects both conditions to experiences in our own lives.
Telling the Story
One of the main goals of Seder night is to tell the story of the exodus from Egypt. This is done not only by reading the Haggadah, but rather through a variety of methods – which we will learn about here.
The Seder Plate
In this resource we will get to know the Seder plate and the role it plays in telling the story of Passover on Seder Night.
The Seder Simanim
The Haggadah is divided into a fixed series of distinct sections. To help those holding the Seder to remember the order, “simanim” – signs or mnemonics – were devised to indicate the order of proceedings.
The Holiday of Passover
A basic first lesson about the holiday. We will familiarize ourselves with the various aspects of the holiday by becoming acquainted with its story and diverse names: Passover, Springtime Festival, Feast of Matzah and Holiday of Freedom.
How Do We Say Sorry?
The poem describes a situation in which it is hard to say “I’m sorry”, and raises the question whether one needs to be explicit in saying sorry.
It’s Hard to Forgive
A selection from Chaim Potok’s “The Chosen”, which deals with the difficulty that forgiving sometimes poses for us.
Maimonides’ words deal with the command to forgive a person who has asked for forgiveness.
We will learn the Viduy prayer, in which we confess to our sins using the plural – together with Am Yisrael.
Asking for Forgiveness
A selection from the Mishnah which teaches the importance of asking forgiveness before Yom Kippur
The Thinker/ Rodin
Rodin’s famous sculpture depicts a person deep in thought. We connect between the sculpture and the process of cheshbon nefesh.
I Walk Down the Street
Portia Nelson’s poem encourages us to think about the things we do automatically, and which we should change and improve, in order to prevent repeating mistakes.
A Happy and Sweet Year – The Signs for Rosh Hashanah
We will learn the blessings said for the special foods (the simanim, or signs) eaten on Rosh Hashanah, and their meanings.
Can A Thief Change His Ways?
O. Henry’s story teaches that having undergone a process of cheshbon nefesh (soul-searching), regret and teshuva (repentance), even a criminal can become a good person.
Tashlich – An External Act Symbolizing an Internal Process
On the custom of Tashlich carried out on Rosh Hashana, in which we symbolically cast off our negative behaviors and actions.
The Shofar – An Alarm Clock
Following Maimonides’ words, we learn how the shofar awakens us to do cheshbon nefesh (soul-searching) and teshuva (repentance).
Blowing the Shofar
On the origins and meanings of the mitzva of hearing the shofar on Rosh Hashanah.
Identity Card – Characters from the Megillah
Template for the resource “Characters from the Megillah” which focuses on the characteristics of the characters in the Megillah and their roles in the story.
Objects That Help Us Remember
Learning template for “The Sukkah” resource. Make a list of items and the memories they evoke.
Personal Identity Card
A template for the "Megillat Rut: Being Jewish" resource, which focuses on the various characteristics of our identity – external, internal, individual and group.
Pay it Forward
Cards that accompany the resource “Kindness in the Book of Ruth”, to be used to create a chain of acts of kindness.
From Generation to Generation
A template for the “From Generation to Generation” resource which presents the different stages in the development of the Jewish tradition (Torah, Midrash, Rabbinic Commentary). The students are invited to add their own ideas as the next link in the train of tradition.
Chanukah Diary – The Chanukah Story
The story of Chanukah in the form of a fictional diary of a girl who experienced the events. To be translated by the teacher.
Different Faces to the Holiday
Different sources tell the Chanukah story in different ways, each with its
own respective emphases and messages. List the main components of
the Chanukah story according to the two primary sources.
Symbols of the Hebrew Calendar
This worksheet will help students to learn about different symbolic actions that are part of Jewish customs associated with special days of the year.
The Seder Plate-Template
Activity template for learning about the Seder plate.
Telling the Story
Activity template for the unit for telling the story of leaving Egypt. The students will write about their family story.
Teaching aid- playing cards with drawings for learning about the symbols of the Seder.
Seder Simanim- Placemat
Teaching aid- placemat to print out for the Seder table, to accompany learning about the different symbols of the Seder and their meanings.