Kol Ami — The Northern Virginia Reconstructionist Community

Jewish Children’s Education Program

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

Morah Erin’s Hebrew Class: We again focused on reading the V’ahavta fluently. Students studied it one line at a time, and then read it aloud as fast as possible. We also looked at what writing from the Torah looks like and looked at Nathan’s (my son that is) Torah portion to see what is involved in preparing for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.Homework: Looking forward to hopefully continuing with some Hebrew learning during the summer, check out this website and report back to the class on what you played, what you learned, and if you would recommend the game.

http://www.behrmanhouse.com/learn/hebrew

Morah Jen’s Hebrew class:  We selected lines to read from the Avot v’Imahot and V’ahavta, and correct reading of pairs of words earned a target toss.  Correct answers to a grammar or vocabulary question earned an extra toss.  Scores ranged into the thousands again!

HomeworkPractice the V’ahavta (p. 76 in the old textbook) and the Avot v’Imahot (p. 20 in the new textbook) for this Friday’s service and competitions in class again.  Please also review the meanings of ha/the, shel/of, -nu/our, l’/to, -cha/your, v’ or oo/and, b’/in or with, and roots baruch (bless), zochar (remember), sh’ma (listen), melech (king), b’rei (create), kadosh (holy), or (light), ahav (love), tzivah (command), and chai (life).

Moreh Steve’s Hebrew class. We read through, translated, discussed and sang Vayechulu, with a prayer melody and with the Torah cantillations. Then we re-learned Adon Olam, with a French Sephardic melody thanks to Nathan. With that, we are at the end of our semester.

Homework: review at least three major prayers we have studied this term from the Friday evening service.  Be ready to name them, and you’ll be called on to read one aloud to us, by yourself–and you won’t know ahead of time which one! See how much mastery you can show.

Morah Jen’s Jewish studies class:  We discussed Shavuot as a pilgrimage holiday that falls exactly seven weeks after the first day of Passover.  We discussed the fact that God required good behavior from the Jewish people before allowing them to receive the gift of the Torah, and that the Jewish people agreed to accept it before even knowing what it was.  We discussed how the T’s we’ve been learning (Tikkun Olam, tshuvah, tzedakah and tzedek) reflect good behavior, and we aligned the Ten Commandments with these T’s.  We also remembered that the Torah contains 613 commandments, not just the big 10, and that 365 of these — the same number as days of the year — are “dont’s,” and 248 of them — the same number as bones in the body — are “do’s.”  We discussed the fact that the lightning and thunder that rattled the journey stopped when Moses reached Mt. Sinai, and everything became completely silent.  We also talked about the fact that the Jews did not have time to make their meat pots kosher, so we eat dairy treats on Shavuot.  We all traveled to and ascended Mt. Sinai (a.k.a. the second floor of the UU) to receive the Torah.  Since God appeared as fire at night to guide the Jewish people to Mt. Sinai, we searched for the fire (courtesy of Blake’s mom’s cell phone).  After we descended, we shared a dairy snack of yogurt shortcake and read A Mountain of Blintes, a Shavuot story.  We ended by offering a new commandment we would add to the class commandments based on the T’s.

Homework:  Think about something you have done or could do that would promote each of these T’s:  Tikkun Olam, tzedakah, and tzedek.  It can be one thing that accomplishes all three T’s, or one thing for each T.

Morah Erin’s and Moreh Zach’s Jewish Studies class: This week Nathan told us about Stan Lee, creator of Spider Man, the Hulk, the fantastic four, and many other famous comics. We learned that he was born in New York City to Romanian Jewish immigrants. Leonard told us about Bugsy Siegel, a Jewish American gangster and all around bad guy. He was involved in murder, bootlegging, and helped develop the first casinos in Las Vegas. Mia told us about Moe Berg, a Jewish American baseball player, who played in catcher in the major leagues. He also served as a spy during WWII. We followed this with a conversation about about the story of Daniel in the lion’s den. We discussed how rule of law is evident in the story and we talked about why so many miracles happen in the story.

Homework: Sarah will do her presentation for class. No other homework:)
Moreh Steve’s Jewish studies. We started with a discussion of Chapter 7 of the children’s encyclopedia, bringing us through the Roman period, the Second Temple’s destruction and the start of the Babylonian exile. And then, fittingly for our last substantive class, our conversation broadened to the present-day legacy of this ancient history: two peoples, making the same land their home for millennia in turn, now finding themselves together there and unable to share it. Your ever-deepening children asked powerful questions about disharmony and discord, about rights to land, and about national and religious identity.

Homework: for whatever time we have together at the last class, choose a Jewish value we’ve discussed and be prepared to elaborate on it, share thoughts about its significance and about why you hold it important in your own life. Think of a real-life example–that might help you get started.

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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