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Classroom     Guide   Jewish Holidays

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Carol Starin Bonnie Morris Jane Golub & Joel Lurie Grishaver

The Classroom Guide to the Jewish Holidays Carol Starin, Bonnie Morris, Jane Golub & Joel Lurie Grishaver

Torah Aura Productions

ISBN 10: 1-934527-41-6 ISBN 13: 978-1-934527-41-2 Copyright © 2010 Torah Aura Productions. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means graphic, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Torah Aura Productions 4423 Fruitland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90058 (800) BE-Torah • (800) 238-6724 • (323) 585-7312 fax (323) 585-0327 • E-MAIL <> Visit the Torah Aura website at Manufactured in United states

Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Rosh ha-Shanah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Yom Kippur . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Sukkot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Simhat Torah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Shabbat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Hanukkah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Tu B’Shvat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Purim . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 Passover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Yom ha-Atzma’ut . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 Shavuot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90



Introduction A current buzz phrase is “repurposing content.” In this case we have “double-purposed” a teacher’s guide. When we created the teacher’s guide for I Can Celebrate the Jewish Holidays, the new first-grade textbook on the Jewish holidays, we wanted it to be an experiential resource. Once we had it in hand, we realized that it was a solid handbook not only for people teaching our book, but for anyone teaching the Jewish holidays in any way. The central idea of this teacher’s guide is that holidays are a lot more than names and descriptions. Holidays need to become memories. The right way to make that happen in a classroom is to balance the information with experiences. The Classroom Guide to the Jewish Holidays is a collection of experiences and resources. It is about what you do after you teach that seder means “order”. It is crafts projects and activities, recipes and songs. It is things to do at school and things for parents to do at home.

Backward Planning The way to use this guide is simple. First (using backward planning) decide what you are trying to accomplish in your lessons on a holiday. The teacher’s guide begins with Central Idea(s); these are the focus of the teaching you are going to do. Underneath these are “enabling ideas.” These are the insights that one needs to collect in order to add up to our central idea. It is always easier to hit a target once it is painted. Your job is to collect the enabling ideas you are committed to teaching. You next step is to shape your tools in order to hit these enabling understandings. Go ahead and check them off in this teacher’s guide. You then need to look at your textbook and decide how it can be used to actualize the enabling ideas that are now your goals. Pick the pages you want to read in class. Pick the activities that the book offers and decide which of them meets your goals. Remember, you are responsible for the way you use the book; the book does not run your class. Then begin flipping through the pages of this teacher’s guide. Pick activities that satisfy two conditions: (1) They have to help you hit your target; (2) they have to be events that you want to stage (and feel comfortable staging) in your classroom. Then you need to put all of this together. Write your enabling ideas at the top of a page. List pieces of your book and activities under each idea that they help you to convey. Then divide up these ideas and activities into the time you have available for this holiday. You should make this chart before you begin teaching anything about the holiday. It is your road map—your plan. I promise you that it will change. You will want to shift it to respond to student questions and activities that beg for extension. That is okay. You are the teacher. You are allowed to make changes. But then you should get back to your plan. The commitment is to actualize as experiences all of the enabling ideas you want to cover. There will always be stuff left over. You


will need to leave the things you don’t get to. Better that you plan and choose the events that will happen in your room.

Experiential Education Underneath this teacher’s guide is an assumption about good education. Aristotle, the famous Greek teacher and philosopher, taught that “The best way of learning how to do something is by doing it.” He says that doing is the best kind of learning. All the activities suggested in this book are opportunities to learn through doing. John Dewey, probably the most important experiential educator (he is literally the guy who wrote the book), says that for an experience to become learning, one needs to reflect on it. After each experience one needs to ask questions like “What lesson did we just learn?” “What feelings were created by the activity?” and “What is important about the _________ we just made/baked/sang/etc.?” My friend Harlene Appleman teaches that Jewish education is about making memories. It is hard to know what a student will remember, but I still remember the special way my first grade Hebrew school teacher cut an apple to show a star when we ate apples and honey. And I remember the model sukkah that I made out of strawberry containers (which used to be made of green plastic). Our job is to create positive events that are worth remembering. This teacher’s guide provides you with lots of options. You have to turn them from possibilities into moments. You are a teacher. This is your job.


  Rosh ha-Shanah Focus Rosh ha-Shanah teaches us that we can always start over again. We learn that we can always turn our life around and have a new beginning. This is a big lesson about the possible. Much of what we do on Rosh ha-Shanah is about the future. We greet each other with a wish for the future:   L’Shanah Tovah, for a good new year. We eat sweet foods, apples, honey, round  hallot, pomegranates  —  all wishes for a sweet new year. We listen to the shofar. Its sound is designed to announce, gather, and awaken the people. We are beginning the process of change that leads to a better future. That we can begin again is an important message. It is a message about growth as a person, it is about finding inner strength, and it is about learning from mistakes. Beginning again is a huge part of our belief system. We believe that things can change and people can evolve. It is a great gift, because it gives us permission to be wrong — if we use those mistakes as a foundation for growth.

Central Idea Rosh ha-Shanah, the New Year, is a chance to learn from the past and plan for the future.

Enabling Ideas • Rosh ha-Shanah is a time of questions and hope. • The feeling of awe is central to the High Holidays. • Rosh ha-Shanah cards are one way of expressing our hopes and wishes. • Practicing the shofar, giving  tzedakah, studying the  Mahzor, sending Rosh haShanah cards, saying “I’m sorry,” and remembering family history are all ways of preparing for Rosh ha-Shanah. • A round  hallah and apples and honey are foods that convey the message of Rosh ha-Shanah. • The  shofar and its four calls are designed to awaken our hearts to reflect on our behavior. •  Tashlih is a ceremony in which we throw our past sins away. • The Mahzor is the special High Holiday prayerbook that helps us to do the work we need to do during this period.


Starters 1. How is the year a circle? Collect ideas from the students. Everything has a beginning. Rosh ha-Shanah is the beginning of the Jewish year. Not everything has an end. Some things go around and around. Rosh Ha-Shanah will come again next year. Your birthday will come again next year. We will read the Torah again next year. 2. Discuss: What is a holiday? Ask students to name some Jewish holidays. Holidays are special days set aside on which we remember something or celebrate something. Learning about Jewish holidays is learning about Jewish history and Jewish life — our people, our stories, and Jewish ways to live. 3. Set a table with: a shofar, a round hallah, a jar of honey, an apple, a   shanah tovah card and a calendar. Ask students: What do a shofar, honey, a greeting card, a Jewish calendar and a round hallah teach us about Rosh ha-Shanah? 4. Old and new. Bring a pile of old clothes mixed with new clothes. With your students, hold up, compare, and separate items into piles of old and new. Then list what’s new in student’s life. Students may mention shoes, clothes, classroom, teacher, friends, siblings, a bike. Next, introduce Rosh ha Shanah — a new Jewish year that we celebrate with a new hallah shape (round), a new sound (the shofar), and new behavior to replace old, worn-out behavior. 5. Last year, next year. Give each student a piece of construction paper folded in half to make two columns. One column is labeled “Last Year”. The other column is labeled “Next Year.” After discussion and sharing in class, invite students to write or draw in the first column five things that didn’t go so well last year and in the second column, five things they hope to do better next year. 6. A fresh start. Make a pile of small pieces of paper. In class, talk about some of the things students did last year that hurt or angered people. Write or draw each “misdeed” on a piece of paper. Fold papers, collect them all in a paper bag, take the bag outdoors, and burn it. 7. Wake up! The shofar tells us to wake up and reminds us to change our ways. Make a list of some of the things you want to change next year. Students put their lists in individually marked envelopes to be opened on the last day of school. 8. Rosh ha-Shanah memories: Ask the kids what they remember about Rosh ha-Shanah. Create a list of their answers using a blackboard or flip chart. Here are some questions you can use to open a discussion about Rosh ha-Shanah: Have you ever tried to blow a shofar? Have you ever baked hallah before? How about a round hallah? Have you ever made a New Year’s card? What did it look like? Next to each comment write the name of the child who made it. You can refer to “David teaching us about eating a round hallah” all though the lesson. David will feel great to have been recognized as a partner in teaching the class.

Developing the Ideas • Read Gershon’s Monster: A Story for the Jewish New Year by Eric A. Kimmel. During the book discussion ask: What is Gershon’s monster? What made the monster go away? When was a time you had a monster like Gershon’s monster? • When students least expect it, set off a loud alarm. Ask: What happened when you heard the alarm? How is a shofar like an alarm?


• Read “The Announcing Tool,” page 85 in Does God Have A Big Toe? by Rabbi Marc Gellman. • Who is a good person to blow the shofar? Read “Who Will Blow the Shofar” (Seven Delightful Stories for Every Day by Dov Peretz Elkins), a story about modesty and saying you’re sorry. • How is a greeting like a prayer? A prayer is a greeting to God. We know that most greetings are wishes, and prayers are special kinds of wishes. A greeting is when we see or start talking to somebody. Practice saying “L’Shana Tovah” to each other. • Teach the “Sing Along Song” (page 4) written by Steve Reuben (Especially Wonderful Days: Sing Along Jewish Holiday Songs for the Primary Grades, A.R.E. 1976). Sing it several times. Together, as a class, invent some new verses. The song has a verse about Rosh ha-Shanah. Students can learn the chorus and make up verses for each holiday they study. Chorus: Sing along song come sing along . Sing along song with me . It’ll make you smile . If you sing for a while . A sing along song with me.

Rosh ha-Shanah Activities Deepen the understanding of Rosh ha-Shanah by doing some of the following: 1. Make a collaborative class book. When I hear the shofar I ____________ . Cut the cover and pages in the shape of a shofar. 2. Rosh ha-Shanah cards: There are many ways of making Rosh ha-Shanah cards. This can be as simple as crayons and markers on manila paper. To make three-dimensional cards use pre-cut foam cut-outs. You can use glitter or glitter glue, stamps, and a lot more. We want these cards to emphasize the symbols of Rosh ha-Shanah: apple, honey, shofar, and the words L’Shanah Tovah. We also want these cards to invite students to make their wishes for the coming New Year. Using your hand, the hands of your madrikhim, and any adult volunteers you can muster, have the hopes and wishes of your students transcribed into the cards. Invite them to complete sentences like “Next year I hope that…” “In the coming year I want…” etc. Make two pop-up Rosh ha Shanah cards — one to send (or take) home and one to send to a resident at a Jewish senior center. Directions for making really fun pop-ups can be found at Martha Stewart also has great ideas for card-making: Make apple print Rosh ha-Shanah cards You will need an apple cut in halves for each student Forks Tray or plate for paint Washable paints (red, yellow and green are good colors to use) White construction paper Glitter (optional) Markers or crayons


Fold your construction paper into half or quarters, depending on what size cards you want. Squeeze some paint onto the plates. Make your fork into a handle for the apple (your stamper) by stabbing into the rounded side of the apple. Holding the handle (fork), dip the cut side of the apple into the color. The apple should be fully covered, but not dripping with paint. Stamp the shape of the apple onto your paper. While the paint is still wet, sprinkle some glitter onto your paper (optional). Once the paint has dried, inscribe a greeting ( L’Shanah Tovah or “Happy New Year”) on the inside of the card. 3. Shofar sounds. Bring a shofar (or several shofarot) to class. Invite students to feel, examine, and to try to blow them. Ask: What are your questions about the shofar? List the questions. Invite a shofar blower to class to blow the shofar, teach the four shofar calls, and answer students’ question about the shofar. Human shofar blasts. Teach students how to use their mouths to imitate the shofar calls. The teacher can be the ba’al kriyah, the one who calls out the blasts.  Teki'ah means “blast” — one long blast.  Shevarim means “broken” — three short calls.  Teru'ah means “alarm” (wailing) — nine short, rapid notes.   Teki'ah godolah — the great tekiyah — one long blast held as long as possible.

Make a shofar from a kazoo by wrapping a cone-shaped piece of tagboard around the kazoo. A kazoo makes it possible to actually imitate the shofar calls. Teach the four shofar calls. Name them, put them on a chart, using long and short dashes, and invite students to make the shofar calls with their kazoos. 4. Invite students to become shofrot, making long and short jumps in response to the shofar calls. Make a shofar mobile. Cut out pieces of colored construction paper in the shape of shofrot. Give three or four of the shapes to each student to decorate on both sides. Next, punch two holes on each side of the shape (students can tell you where to punch the holes). Through each hole thread a piece of wool, and attach the shapes to each other, making sure that the first string is free to use for hanging. Make L’Shanah Tovah cards in the shape of shofarot. Fold construction paper in half and cut the shape of a shofar, making sure to leave one side so that the card folds. Have students decorate the card. You might consider photocopying L’Shanah Tova” and having the students glue it to their card. You can also write it on the board for students to copy. 5. Cooking projects Make a round hallah (use commercially prepared frozen bread dough, if time is a factor) Round hallah: Hallah is the symbol of Jewish celebration. Hallah means that this is a special Jewish meal. A round hallah is even more special. It is a symbol of Rosh haShanah. The roundness suggests the Jewish year that goes round and round, always starting over again. Here are two recipes that make a round hallah.


Rosh ha-Shanah Round Hallah 1 makes 1–2 large or 6–8 small round hallot This hallah recipe was adapted for students working in groups. Given time contsraints, you may want to consider preparing the hallah through step 5, and let students form the dough and watch it bake. Ingredients 2 tablespoons dry yeast 1¾ cups warm water ½ cup sugar ⅓ cup honey 3½ teaspoons salt ½ cup oil 3 eggs plus 2 egg yolks 7 cups bread flour 1½ cups raisins (optional) Egg wash 2 tablespoons water 2 teaspoons sugar 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk Directions 1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the yeast, water, and a pinch of the sugar. Let the mixture stand for five minutes. 2. Stir in the remaining sugar, the honey and the salt. Add the oil, eggs, yolks, about six cups of flour, and the raisins (if you are using raisins). Let the dough stand for 10 minutes. 3. Knead for 10 minutes, adding the remaining flour as required to make a soft and elastic dough. If the dough is still sticky, add small amounts of flour until it is soft but not sticky. 4. Let the dough rest another 10 minutes. 5. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for one hour. 6. Divide the dough into 6–8 equal pieces. With each piece, form a length of dough about 3 inches wide, thicker at one end. Place the thicker end on a cornmealsprinkled (or greased) baking sheet. Coil the dough around the thicker end in a spiral, tucking the end into the center or under the bottom of the hallah. 7. In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients that make up the egg wash. Brush the bread with the egg wash. Let the dough rise another 20–30 minutes. 8. Preheat the oven to 400°. Bake the bread for 12 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350º and bake another 25 minutes.


Rosh ha-Shanah Round Hallah 2 — Hallah in a Hurry This hallah is made with quick-rise yeast. It is a sweeter, richer hallah and takes far less time. Yield 1–2 large or 6 small loaves Ingredients 1½ cups warm water 1 cup melted margarine ¾ cup sugar 3 eggs, beaten 4½ teaspoons quick-rise yeast 1 teaspoon salt 7½ cups bread flour 1½ cups raisins or chocolate chips (optional) Egg wash 1 egg, beaten 2 tablespoons poppy seeds (optional) 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional) Directions 1. In a bowl, blend together warm water, margarine, sugar, and 3 eggs. 2. In a second bowl, mix together yeast, salt, and 7 cups of the flour. 3. Gradually stir in liquid ingredients and raisins or chocolate chips, and mix until dough holds together. 3. Knead dough on a floured surface with remaining flour until smooth. 4. Split the dough into six pieces. Roll each piece into a rope ¾ inch thick. Coil the dough around the thicker end in a spiral, tucking the end into the center or under the bottom of the hallah. 5. Place shaped dough on greased cookie sheets. Brush dough with remaining beaten egg. Add poppy or sesame seeds, if desired. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. 5. Bake in a preheated 325° oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

Once you’ve baked the round hallot, it is Jewish to say a  brakhah (or two) before eating them. Some Jews wash their hands with a blessing before bread. The blessing is: .            

Barukh Attah Adonai Eloheinu Melekh ha-Olam, asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al netilat yadaim. Praised are You Adonai our God Ruler of the Cosmos, Who makes us holy with the commandments and commands us to wash our hands. Usually we dip bread in salt to remind us that our table has replaced the Altar in the Temple. On Rosh ha-Shanah we replace the salt with honey to emphasize our wishes for a sweet New Year. When we eat hallah we say the brakhah before eating bread.


.         

Barukh Attah Adonai Eloheinu Melekh ha-Olam ha-Motzi lehem min ha-aretz. Praised are You Adonai our God Ruler of the Cosmos Who bring forth bread from the ground. Make a round hallah out of pantyhose: If you can’t have a real round hallah in your classroom and you are not ready to bake one (yet), you can (or you can have your class) create a model by using three or four legs of panty hose. Stuff the panty hose with foam, cloth, or paper, tie the ends, and braid the legs. If you leave it like that, you will have a regular hallah. If you then pull the ends together and make a circle out of the braids, you can create a round hallah. Make a honey cake to take home or to take to a senior center.

Honey Cake

4 eggs . 1 cup sugar . 2½ cups all-purpose flour . ½ teaspoon baking soda . 3 teaspoons baking powder . 1 teaspoon cinnamon . ½ teaspoon allspice . ½ teaspoon ginger . ½ teaspoon ground cloves . ½ cup oil . 1 cup honey . 1 cup orange juice Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch bundt pan. 2. Combine dry ingredients. 3. Beat eggs and sugar together. Stir together oil, honey, and orange juice. 4. Add dry ingredients and oil mixture to eggs alternately, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Pour into prepared pan. 5. Bake for 50 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes and remove. From Spike and Jamie’s website:

6. Apples and honey: Apples are a fall fruit (so are pomegranates). The custom of eating apples and honey (or pomegranates) started with the idea that we are eating a fruit for the first time in a long time. We are having a new experience to begin a new year. Given modern agriculture and distribution, apples are a year-round thing, but they still convey the idea of newness on Rosh ha-Shanah. The dipping in honey is again a wish for the New Year to be sweet. The simplest thing to do with apples and honey is to eat them. Slice the apple into small sections. Put the honey in a bowl so that dipping is possible. Then bless, dip, and eat.


The Classroom Guide to the Jewish HOlidays  

The central idea of this teacher’s guide is that holidays are a lot more than names and descriptions. Holidays need to become memories. The...

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