Kol Ami — The Northern Virginia Reconstructionist Community

Jewish Children’s Education Program

May 1, 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 our work on decoding and understanding the Shema and V’ahavta. We started off talking about why many Jewish communities, including Kol Ami, whisper or don’t say the second line of the shema. Then, in S’fatai Tiftach we read through line 15 together. We looked back at page 66 to try reading some lines as they appear in the Torah. Students were surprised at how different the print looked! Then we studied the vocabulary on page 80 and looked back at the words on pages 74 and 71. We checked our memory with a game of “your pile, my pile.” We ended by timing our reading on page 28 of I Can Read Hebrew.

Homework: Work on decoding and understanding lines 1-15 on page in S’fatai Tiftach and page 83. Do pages 30-32 in I Can Read Hebrew.

Morah Jen’s Hebrew class:  Once again, we took advantage of the lovely weather by holding class outside.  Again, the kids took turns reading lines from the Amidah and Avot v’Imahot (p. 20 of the textbook).  If they read a line correctly, they ran or walked a lap around the playground while the rest of us counted in Hebrew.  We continued counting where we left off each time, and we got up to 130!  We briefly discussed the importance of numbers in the counting of the omer at this time in the Jewish calendar.  We also discussed the root chesed (kindness) and its appearance in the Avot v’Imahot. 

Homework:  Please read/do pages 30-32 in the textbook.  Continue practicing reading the Amidah (top of page 6) and Avot v’Imahot (p. 20).

Moreh Steve’s Hebrew class. We read and built vocabulary around the Hashkivenu, with special attention to the poetry and the mythology of this captivating prayer about sleep as a blessing of peace, and waking up as a blessing of rebirth.

Homework: Study “V’shamru” on page 85, and the first page of the Amidah on page 90. Answer these questions by looking them up anywhere you like: 1–Find out why we stand for the “standing prayer” and what its significance is in the service—remember there’s an Amidah in virtually every Jewish prayer service, daily, Shabbat and holidays. What is it? 2—how did the names of the matriarchs finally make it in, and what does that mean for the Jewish tradition?

Morah Jen’s Jewish Studies Class: To continue the story of the Jewish people after the story of Passover, we read the Green Bible Stories story on Joseph’s quest for water in the desert after fleeing Egypt.  We talked about ways to clean water and offered our own ideas.  We noted that the Jews in the desert and people today need both water and food, and we read the story on Joseph’s plans to save the Egyptians from famine.  We also discussed the period of counting the omer on the Jewish calendar, which started today, the second day of Passover. We learned or reviewed the numbers one through ten in Hebrew.  We learned that the 33rd day of counting the omer is called Lag B’Omer, and that the counting ends at Shavuot, the celebration of the day that God gave Moses the Torah on Mount Sinai.  We noted that, using gematria, “Lag” is comprised of lamed — number 30 — and gimel — number 3 — which equal 33.

Homework:  Think about Tikkun Olam you can do today to protect our water sources.  If you do the experiment on desalinating water in Green Bible Stories (optional), please share your experience with the class!

Morah Erin’s and Moreh Zach’s Jewish Studies: This week we talked about the building of the tabernacle in the dessert. We noted that the instructions were very precise, called for many unusual and exotic materials such as dolphin skins, and required 13 pages of fine print, as compared to only 2 pages for the creation of the universe. We also considered why it was important to the Jewish people to have a physical manifestation of God, in the form of pillars of fire and smoke, and thought a little about why the Jews made the golden calf. Our Jewish American hero of the week was Steven Spielberg, a name that wasn’t immediately recognized by all the students, but almost everyone had seen at least one of his movies. We watched clips from an interview he did that included moments from many of his movies. Spielberg talked about feeling like an outsider as a child, partially because he’s Jewish, and how being an outsider is a theme in many of his movies. We ended with a short clip from the very beginning of Schindler’s List, in which we hear a cantor chant the Kiddish the way it would have been chanted in pre WWII Poland. Students were able to recognize some of the differences between how it was chanted then and now.

Homework: Please read pages 115-121 in The Bible from Alef to Tav.

Moreh Steve’s Jewish studies class. We tried to discuss the earliest chapters in the Jewish story as described in the encyclopedia. Not entirely successful—almost no one had done they reading—but once we got them to crack the book, there were many interested pairs of eyes perusing it. We will zip through to more recent times.
Homework.  Encyclopedia chapter 5 and 6. Roman, Byzantine and Arab rule, to the Crusades. C’mon, you wonderful children, it’s only a few pages.

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
View Map & Directions

Join Our Mailing List

Sign up for a monthly newsletter about upcoming Kol Ami events and programs. Subscribe.