Kol Ami — The Northern Virginia Reconstructionist Community

Jewish Children’s Education Program

April 17, 2016, 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington
4444 Arlington Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22204

Morah Erin’s Hebrew Class: We continued working on decoding and understanding the Sh’ma and V’ahavta and discussed how central this prayer is to Judaism. Students studied the vocabulary on pages 71 and 74 and competed to see who could read and understand the most words. Then students volunteered to read a line from lines 1-11 on page 76 of S’fatai Tiftach alone. Then we worked on decoding the first 2 of the four questions and tried singing them.

Homework: Continue to work on reading page 60 of I Can Read Hebrew. Passover is coming up! Study the words on pages 71 and 74 and read lines 1-11 on page 76 of S’fatai Tiftach. Do pages 78-79 in S’fatai Tiftach if you haven’t already. Here is a link we used in class for the 4 questions:


Morah Jen’s Hebrew class:  We read and translated parts of the Amidah on page 22, then read most of it (lines 1-15 on page 20). Finally, we worked together to put lines each student received from the Sh’ma in the right order.

Homework: Please read/practice all of page 20 and do page 23-24 in S’fatai Tiftah.

Moreh Steve’s Hebrew class. We read and sang the Shema and V’ahavta, including the traditional German-Jewish “trope” in which the paragraph from Deuteronomy is so often sung. We talked about what’s inside a mezuzah—the Shema, of course, on a rolled-up piece of parchment—and looked at modern verb and noun forms corresponding to most of the words in the V’ahavta. We did a little writing, jokingly swapping alephs, hays and ayins to help us spell better (“Shema” ends in an ayin).

Homework: Study page 79 and be able to read it fluently and translate it word by word (with the English on page 78 as a guide). Note the powerful reference to the Exodus story.

Morah Jen’s Jewish studies class:  We talked about the great-grandchildren of Levi (one of Joseph’s brothers): Miriam, Aaron, and Moses.  We read the story “Miriam’s Cup” and talked about the Miriam’s, Aaron’s, and Moses’ roles in saving the Jewish people.  We also discussed the 10 plagues, and each student came up with a new plague or a way to stop Pharoah without plagues. Many of our plagues involved TNT, and some involved volcanoes. One non-violent solution involved unicorns…

Homework:  Think about non-violent ways Moses could have saved the Jewish people.

Morah Erin’s and Moreh Zach’s Jewish Studies class: Our bible story this week was of Moses leading the Hebrews out of Egypt and receiving the 10 commandments. We discussed why the story says that God hardened the Pharaoh’s heart and whether or not the Pharaoh had free will. We also looked at some of the 10 plagues and how they were culturally symbolic for the Egyptians. We considered how much the Hebrews had assimilated in the 430 years they spent in Egypt and how long we’ve been living in the US and how assimilated we are. We also talked about the miracles that occurred in these stories and how to think about them symbolically. Our Jewish American hero of the week was Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first Jewish woman to serve as a Supreme Court justice. We learned that her passion for the study of law and her concern for justice stem from her Jewish heritage, which taught her to revere learning.

Homework: Read pages 109-113 in The Bible from Alef to Tav and be prepared to discuss 2 points.

Moreh Steve’s Jewish studies. We went around the room accumulating details of the Passover story, from the kidnapping of Joseph to the parting of the Red Sea. We looked through a few Haggadot—our congregations families use quite a few different ones—and starting comparing them. We will finish this work this coming Sunday.

Homework: 1) Read the following passages from your family Haggadah: the ten plagues in Hebrew and English, the “Pesach, matzah and maror” “al shum ma” explanations, and the great Passover songs “Echad, Mi Yodea” and “Chad Gadya,” both of which we will sing in class. 2) Think of a “fifth question” you would like to ask at your family’s Passover. Be prepared with a reason for the question, try to come up with an answer, and be ready to explain why the answer doesn’t satisfy you or could be improved on.


Contact Kol Ami

P.O. Box 1801, Annandale, VA 22003
Phone: 571-336-5544
Rabbi's Study: 202-364-3006

Where We Meet

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington
4444 Arlington Blvd.
Arlington Blvd. (Route 50) & George Mason Dr.
Arlington, VA 22204
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