The holidays are behind us, fall is in the air, and the 5th-7th grade JLC students have been exploring a variety of different subjects. From acting out scenes from the weekly Torah portion, to making Israeli salad and hummus, to painting Kiddush cups, to helping each other learn the prayers from Shabbat morning services, it has been so exciting to see their creativity and learning.
While the students do participate in different activities on a weekly basis, there are some overall themes that connect the curriculum. This year, we have been highlighting Jews of different backgrounds, emphasizing that not all Jews are white, Eastern European, and of Ashkenazi descent. We have learned about Mexican crypto-Jews, the Jews of Beta Israel from Ethiopia, and started an exploration of the waves of aliyah, in which Jews from different parts of the world have moved to Israel. This past week, we attended @Nourish, to hear Shomrei’s own Sarvenaz Singh speak about her family’s immigration experience from Iran. The students were engaged and asked really thoughtful questions.
In addition to the learning that takes place within the classroom, we also work to integrate our work within the larger Shomrei community. On Shabbat morning, our class loves to prepare the challah, grape juice, and handwashing station for a joint Kiddush with the younger classes. The students also recently assisted with the bake sale that took place during the intermission of the Montclair Orchestra concert. They baked brownies, made fliers highlighting the organizations benefitting from the bake sale, and several students volunteered to sell baked goods at the sale.
And of course, we work with Morah Lily to prepare for Hinei Ma Tov services, where the students have the opportunity to share their knowledge of tefillah with all our families. I hope to see you soon for our Hanukkah candle lighting on Wed, Dec 14th from 6-6:15pm!