Hey 5 Hey – 7th grade

 

Morah Miranda Wilgus

 

Today in class we worked on:
3/11 –
1) Today we watched Devil’s Arithmetic, a movie based on a novel about a young woman who goes back in time to witness the experiences of her family during the Shoah. We were unable to finish the movie – it runs a bit longer than our class time. We stopped the movie at 1:15.
2) Following the movie, we had a brief discussion for students’ questions and observations and comments.
3) You can finish (or watch the whole movie) at this link: https://youtu.be/QhDhW2YPsrU
Homework to be completed by next class:
3/11 – 
1) Finish watching the movie.
2) Continue reading Hebrew aloud 15 minutes each day, focusing on the dialogue in chapter 5. Write 5 new sentences, without using “Ani rotzeh/rotzah.”

 
 

Today in class we worked on:
3/3 –
1) Today we discussed Auschwitz. We learned the difference between concentration camps and death camps, and went on to learn what the experiences of those sent to Auschwitz experienced, including selection, tattoos, forced labor, starvation, and more.
2) We also continued to work on the next chapter in our Hebrew book.
Homework to be completed by next class:
3/3 –
1) Continue to read Hebrew aloud 15 minutes a day, focusing on the dialogue and vocabulary in chapter 5. Write 5 more sentences, without using the word ‘rotzeh/rotzah’.

 
 

Today in class we worked on:
2/26 –
1) Today we discussed Kristallnacht – the Night of Broken Glass, which presaged future physical attacks on the Jewish communities of Germany. Kristallnacht was a government sanctioned pogrom against the Jews of Germany, targeting synagogues, homes, and business of Jews. The German people objected, not because they were upset at the attacks on their neighbors, but because it inconvenienced them and was unsightly. This caused the German government to move their overt actions out of sight of the majority of the German people.
2) We also discussed how the Nazi regime had planned to make Germany ‘judenrein’ or Jew Free and worked to rid the country of Jews. This was hampered by the decision of other countries to refuse to accept Jewish refugees, even unto rejecting a ship of refugees bound for Cuba, with permission, that was forced to return to Europe, where many of the passengers of the St. Louis ended up perishing in the Shoah.
3) We also worked on our Hebrew vocabulary and exercises to end Chapter 4, and began to learn the vocabulary for Chapter 5 in our Hebrew book.
Homework to be completed by next class:
2/26 –
1) Write 5 more sentences using the vocabulary of chapter 5 combined with vocabulary that we have learned so far. Practice reading Hebrew aloud for 15 minutes a day, focusing on the dialogue in chapter 5, working to understand what the text is saying.

 

Today in class we worked on:
2/19 –
1) Today we finished our lesson on how Hitler came to power through election and how he managed to gain absolute power after. Once he gained absolute power, he passed the Nuremburg Laws, which stripped citizenship and more from Jews. We discussed how students would feel if their citizenship was taken from them and ways that they would react.
2) We also continued in our Hebrew book, working on vocabulary and looking at opposites in what we had learned.
3) Rabbi Prass also joined us to answer questions.
Homework to be completed by next class:
2/19 –
1) Complete exercises in chapter 4 – pages 25 & 26. Continue to read Hebrew aloud at least 15 minutes a day and write 5 more unique sentences using vocabulary we have learned so far.

 
 

Today in class we worked on:
2/12 –
1) Today we watched the movie “The Wave.” This movie is loosely based on a true story of a high school class in the late 1960s who asked their teacher how the people of Germany could say they simply did not know what happened during the Shoah. It examines how quickly people can be caught up in something that purports to make them special, successful, and part of a movement, and how all-encompassing such a thing can be if in the wrong hands.
2) Following the movie, we had a really good discussion about it and what it taught.
3) The movie can be watched here: https://youtu.be/ICng-KRxXJ8
Homework to be completed by next class:
2/12 –
1) Continue to read Hebrew aloud at least 15 minutes a day, and if you have not completed them, finish the exercises in Chapter 4 of you Hebrew book and write 5 unique sentences using vocabulary we have learned.

 

Today in class we worked on:
2/5 –
1) We started by reviewing our shopping trip and day at the food pantry, discussing what students found difficult and what they took away from the experience.
2) Today we finished up our lesson on modern antisemitism and began to learn and discuss how Hitler came to power in Germany. We discussed the origins of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and the odd theory that a secret group of rabbis meet once every 100 years to plot the take over of the world. We discussed how most odd conspiracy theories and prejudice really at heart are preposterous, but are framed in a way to make them seem remotely possible, especially when repeated often enough.
3) We also discussed what happened in Germany following World War I, which set the stage for a reactionary firebrand like Hitler to rise up and offer a message that said it wasn’t the Germans’ fault.
4) We also joined Rabbi Prass and the rest of the school for tefilot, where we also talked about what we can say to make people feel good, and looking at watching what we say so we do make people feel good throughout the day.
Homework to be completed by next class:
2/5 –
1) Read Hebrew aloud at least 15 minutes a day. Complete your 5 sentences using vocabulary from the first 5 chapters of your Hebrew book.
2) This Sunday, there will be a special event about confronting hate from a former white supremacist. Students are welcome and urged to come. There will be a student-specific event at 1:00 pm and a community event at 2:00 pm. Hope to see you there.
 
 
 
Today in class we worked on:
1/29 –
1) We had a wonderful conversation about God.  It was wonderful because of the high level of comments and questions by the students.
2) Rabbi Prass came in for a ‘stump the rabbi’ session.
3) We talked about the historical sources/causes of anti-Semitism
4) We joined the rest of the Hebrew school for pizza dinner, because we earned another one due to our attendance.  
Homework to be completed by next class:
1/29 –
1) Read Hebrew aloud 15 minutes a day. Focus on the opening dialogue in chapter 5 of your Hebrew book. Complete the exercises in chapter 4, and complete 5 new sentences using different words.

 
 

 

Today in class we worked on:
1/22 –
1) Today we reviewed the sentences that students wrote in Hebrew using the vocabulary we have learned so far this year. Great job! We also continued in Chapter 4 completing and reviewed exercises in the chapter together.
2) We then continued our discussion on antisemitism and its history.
3) We also joined the rest of the school for tefilot with Rabbi Prass
Homework to be completed by next class:
1/22 –
1) Read Hebrew aloud 15 minutes a day. Focus on the opening dialogue in chapter 5 of your Hebrew book. Complete the exercises in chapter 4, and complete 5 new sentences using different words.
2) Looking forward to seeing students on Sunday at our field trip to the Beth Am food pantry.

 

Today in class we worked on:
1/15 –
1) Today we reviewed last week’s lesson on leadership and the reason for starting the semester with that lesson. Then Rabbi Prass joined us for a discussion on current events and how or why they would be important to us as Jews. We also discussed recent antisemitic attacks and actions, and how students feel about them.
2) We continued with beginning our lesson on the history of antisemitism – what it is, where the term came from, and began looking at the long, long history of antisemitism. We will continue discussing this big lesson next week.
3) There is a community discussion on antisemitism that students are welcome to attend with their families. The event is called Erase the Hate and will be held on Sunday, Feb 9 at Kingwood United Methodist Church. Hope to see you there.
Homework to be completed by next class:
1/15 –
1) If you have not completed your Hebrew sentences, please be sure they are done for next week. We will be starting class with Hebrew and your sentences will be due then. 5 Hebrew sentences using vocabulary we have learned in the first 4 chapters of our text book. Also continue to read Hebrew aloud each day for 15 minutes.

 

Today in class we worked on:
1/8 –
Today we began our semester on the Shoah. We started with some ground rules – there are some questions students may have over the semester that I will not answer – not to be mean, but because I don’t think they are ready to hear the answers. We have worked to make this a program that is age appropriate, and if parents wish to provide more information, or answer questions that won’t be answered in class, that is up to them.
We began our semester with a look at benevolent and despotic leaders over 2000 years of history and how they treated the people in their countries or the surrounding areas. We discussed about 35 leaders from Ramses II and Caligula to Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Ghandi. We discussed what leaders are and why we have them, and the ultimate responsibility of the people to ensure their leaders are working in the best interest of the people they are leading.
Homework to be completed by next class:
1/8 –
Complete 10 Hebrew sentences if you did not complete them over break. They must be unique (not repeating the same thing with one word changed), written in Hebrew, and use the vocabulary we have been learning in the first 4 chapters of our Hebrew book. Continue to read Hebrew aloud for 15 minutes each day.
Remember to note Jan 26 on your calendar for our class field trip to the Beth Am food pantry.

 

Today in class we worked on:
12/18 –
1) Today we looked at the vocabulary we have learned through chapter 3 of our text book, and began some of the vocabulary for chapter 4. Students were required to have 5 sentences of our vocabulary ready at the beginning of class and were asked to write the sentences if they did not have then completed.
2) We also discussed the concept of taking action for making the world a better place. We discussed how the Israelites only were able to cross the Sea of Reeds when the Israelites actually took the first step in the belief that the sea would split for them. Prayer is not the only way to achieve something – we must be part of the mechanism to achieve it. It is up to each of us to begin the process to change.
3) We joined the rest of the Hebrew school for pizza dinner as part of a ‘chanukah present’ for our class.
Homework to be completed by next class:
12/18 –
1) For break, students are required to read the dialogue in chapter 4 at least 5-10 minutes a day to become familiar with the words, and write 10 sentences using the dialogue we have learned over the last 3 chapters.
2) It is essential that students bring their books and writing utensils to each class.

 

Today in class we worked on:
12/11 –
Today we had a discussion on how to fix broken relationships that ended up ranging over 2000 years of Jewish history and comparative religion, based on students’ questions. We discussed how Jacob & Esau managed to repair their relationship and become friends again.
We also reviewed our vocabulary in Chapter 3 of our Hebrew book.
Homework to be completed by next class:
12/3 – Complete the exercises in Chapter 3 of your Hebrew book. If you have not been bringing your book, you need to bring it next week.
Practice reading Hebrew aloud at least 15 minutes a day, and work with online resources at least 45 minutes before our next class.
All students are required to have completed 5 unique sentences in Hebrew using the vocabulary we have learned in the first 3 chapters of our book to be turned in at the beginning of our next class. This is a requirement.

 

Today in class we worked on:
12/4 – Today we discussed rules – some common rules we live by, where we learn them, who imposes them. Then we looked at some texts from our history from the Talmud and Torah that deal with rules and interpreted how they could be phrased today and how they can be implemented. There was a great discussion and students had wonderful interpretations on the text we looked at.
We then joined the rest of the school for tefillah with Rabbi Prass.
Homework to be completed by next class:
12/4 – If you have not already, please complete the first two pages of exercises in chapter 3 of your Hebrew book, practice reading the dialogue in Chapter 3 and practice reading Hebrew aloud at least 15 minutes each day. Also complete 5 sentences using vocabulary we have learned in the first 3 chapters.

 

Today in class we worked on:
11/20 – Today we did a special lesson called the Budget Game. Students had to find a family’s living needs within a budget of $1525, including housing, food, health care, transportation and more on just the amount that they could make on minimum wage. Students discussed that they were only able to choose the least desirable options in order to make their budget last the month.
We also joined the rest of the school for pizza dinner.
Homework to be completed by next class:
11/20 – Continue to read Hebrew aloud for 15 minutes each day, and complete exercises in Chapter 3. Complete 5 sentences using the vocabulary we have learned in the first 3 chapters in Hebrew.
Go only and play spentgame.org for further tries to stay within a fixed budget.

 

Today in class we worked on:
11/6 – Today we discussed the idea of identifying with the suffering of others. We talked about what it means, why it is important, and how we can be sure we do it. Students had wonderful ideas and comments, including discussing empathy, sympathy, putting yourself in others’ shoes. We also looked at how the evolution of Moses showed how even he had to learn to identify suffering and how to react in the most beneficial way.
We also continued in Chapter 2 of our Hebrew books, and joined the rest of the school for Tefilah with Rabbi Prass.
Homework to be completed by next class:
11/6 – Read Hebrew aloud 15 minutes every day, and practice with online resources for 45 minutes each week. Complete the exercises in chapter 2 of your Hebrew book.

 
 

Today in class we worked on:
10/30 –
1) Today was a busy day.
2) We worked on chapter 2 of our Hebrew book, learning new vocabulary.
3) Then Rabbi Prass joined us for a session of Stump the Rabbi.
4) And after that, we discussed the concept of personal responsibility, and that as we make choices, we become responsible for the implications of those decisions.
Homework to be completed by next class:
10/30 – Continue to read Hebrew aloud at least 15 minutes a day, and work with online resources that were provided last week at least 45 minutes a week. Complete the exercises in Chapter 2 for us to review next week.

 

Today in class we worked on:
10/23 – Today we reviewed the concept of tzedakah and how the root of the word is justice. We discussed why justice is at the heart of tzedakah and our task of making the world a better place. We then discussed change and whether it is something to be dreaded or welcomed. We went on to see how the Torah tells us Moses handled changed when tapped to lead the Israelites from Egypt.
We also joined the rest of the school for tefilah with Rabbi Prass.
Homework to be completed by next class:
10/23 – Continue reading Hebrew aloud for 15 minutes each day. Practice reading the dialogue for chapter 2, and work on the first 2 pages of exercises in chapter 2 of your Hebrew book.
Here are some online resources:
The J Site: http://j.co.il/
My Jewish Games: http://www.my-jewish-games.com/
Hebrew Verbs: https://www.hebrew-verbs.co.il/
Aleph Bet on the Net: https://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~ylcflx/Aleph-Bet/index.html
Hebrew Hot Sites: https://jr.co.il/hotsites/hebrew.htm

 

Today in class we worked on:
10/16 –
Today we discuss the concept of Tikun Olam – repairing the world. How our job as Jews and humans is to make the world a better place than when we got here. We learned about the teachings of Rabbi Rashi and Rabbi Tarfon that said although the work is large, together, we can do it.
We also continued with Chapter 2 of our Hebrew book.
Homework to be completed by next class:
10/16 – Continue reading the dialogue of Chapter 2 in our Hebrew book at least 15 minutes every day and complete the first 2 pages of exercises in chapter 2 of the Hebrew book.

 

Today in class we worked on:
10/2 –
1. Reviewed the Hebrew letters.
2. Went over the Barachu. We completed p 11 in our textbook.
3. Bet and Gimel students practiced the beginning words of a blessing. We practiced saying the Blessing over the wine and the Challah.
4. We played games to practice our Hebrew letters and vowels.
Homework to be completed by next class:
10/2 – Daled students continue to work on the Barachu. Bet students had no homework. Gimel students were Remember to bring supplies and your book to class.

 

Today in class we worked on:
10/2 – Today was a fun and packed day. We chose our tzedakah project for the year – 4 Ocean (https://4ocean.com/). Then Rabbi Prass came in for a session of Stump the Rabbi, where students are encouraged to ask questions about a variety of things regarding Judaism. There were some great questions and a wonderful discussion. Following that, we worked on our Hebrew, working on basic vocabulary and completing exercises in Chapter 1.
Homework to be completed by next class:
10/2 – Complete the exercises in Chapter 1 in your Hebrew Book. Continue reading Hebrew aloud for at least 15 minutes each day, and work on the dialogue at the beginning of Chapter 2.

 

Today in class we worked on:
9/25 – Today we discussed the concept of Tikun Olam – Repairing the World, and how that is one of the responsibilities of the Jewish people. We discussed how as Jews, it is incumbent upon us to help fix the world and to create relationships to invite others to join us to make the world a better place than when we found it.
We also worked on our first lesson in our Hebrew Book, then joined the rest of the school for tefilah with Rabbi Prass.
Homework to be completed by next class:
9/25 – Practice reading the dialogue in Chapter 1 of your Hebrew book and do the first 2 pages of exercises in the 1st chapter. Continue to practice reading Hebrew outloud at least 15 minutes each day. Bring in ideas for our tzedakah project for the year.

 

Today in class we worked on:
9/18 – Today we looked at the ‘Ladder of Tzedakah’ and discussed the different levels of giving as described by Rabbi Maimonides. Students had an opportunity to place the different levels of tzedakah into the Rambam’s categories, and discussed why those were the levels he determined.
We also spent some time defining and translating Hebrew terms.
Homework to be completed by next class:
9/18 – Practice reading the first dialogue section of Chapter one in our Hebrew book and work on exercises on page 6.

 

Today in class we worked on:
9/11 – Today was a great first class. We discussed the concept of Tzedakah-the root of which it tzedek – Justice. We discussed the concept of charity as justice, and the idea of making the world a just and righteous place.
We also played a review game of Hebrew letters and words prior to jumping into our new Hebrew book.
Homework to be completed by next class:
9/11 – Read Hebrew aloud at least 15 minutes a day and practice the first dialogue of Chapter 1 in our Hebrew book.
Also think if ideas for our tzedaka project for this year.