Today in class we worked on:
9/15 – It was a very busy day of learning for fourth graders. First at Shira we were introduced to our songbooks for the first time. This will help everyone to follow the various songs that Morah Ari will be sharing with us each week!
In class we first looked at different Jewish source texts, such as the Siddur and the Tanakh and saw how these books might help Early American Jews build their first faith-based communities in our country. Additionally, we discussed where early American Jews lived in the original thirteen colonies and the types of jobs, they landed to support themselves.
Our class was surprised to learn that were no ordained rabbis in the early American colonies but special teachers from the land of Israel, known as “Shadarim”, often visited these communities and helped them learn how to read Torah or prepare their children for Bnai Mitzvot. American Jews, in turn, would give them money to take home with them to assist their families in Israel.
We also saw how most American Jews supported the War for Independence; one Jewish person Haym Solomon gave away all of his money to support the patriot cause. With a few minutes left we worked on making Jewish New Year cards for college students in the CBA congregational family. Next week we’re going to make posters that New York Jews might have used to celebrate the adoption of the US Constitution in the famous parade in 1787.
Today in class we worked on: 9/8 – It was great to back in religious school and meet both the new fourth grade class and their parents as well! Later in class we started off by voting on our tzedaka for this year. Fourth graders will be supporting the Fill A Heart for Kids organization, which assists homeless children in the Chicago area with the money collected for tzedaka each week.
Afterwards we started our journey of discovery retracing the American Jewish experience. First, we talked about how the end of Jewish life in Spain, in the wake of the great expulsion of 1492, set the stage for Jews to come to America. We read a play in class looking at the different countries Jews lived in at the time they first came to what became the United States. We saw how life could be both enriching and challenging depending on where Jewish people lived.
Before the morning was out we broke into small groups and determined what things and services the first Jewish settlers in America would need to create a connection with Judaism in their new surroundings.
Our first day of school ended with Shira with our new song leader. We enjoyed meeting the 5th and 6th graders who came to Shira as well.
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Congregation Beth Am
1370 Abbott Court
Buffalo Grove, IL 60089