November 18, 2021
The challenge: you are leaving Egypt and you need to cross the desert to the "land that I will show you." You can leave no one behind. You are given the steps (in this case cut up linoleum squares) but if there is a step with no foot on it, the buzzard (Phoebe) swoops in and takes it for lunch. You can't touch the ground, because it is burning hot sand. How do you cross safely? These Tuesday Talmidim figured out how to step on the steps, pass them along, and keep an eye not just on where they were going, but who was coming up behind them. We learned this kehilla strengthening game from The Food Project

SAVE THE DATE: TAA LOBSTER TRAP HANNUKIAH LIGHTING AND COMMUNITY LATKE EATING on TUESDAY NOVEMBER 30 at 5:30PM. Song, lights, latkes, and a shower of chocolate gelt. Outside at TAA.
5782 THEME: "Mah la'asot?" What to do?
As we move through our theme this year as a school we all took time to think about this question at Closing Circle: "How did we "do" Jewish today?"
Above: K-2 work on their Hebrew letters in preparation for their own 10 commandments. Below: Hadassa and Hazel think about what words stand out for them in the 10 commandments.
Moreh Matt, Morah Elizabeth, Maya and the K-2:

We thought about reading and writing in relation to the story of Moses coming down the mountain with the tablets. During our moment of prayer/meditation, we thought about where we want to direct our prayers and what intentions we want to set with our hearts. Many of our students expressed a wish to send their prayers to departed loved ones, whether they be beloved grandparents of dearly missed pets. We also practiced writing Hebrew letters with markers and stamps.

Our thoughts about G-d and the 10 commandments, and why Moshe reads the rules in all languages:
Rose: G-d is everywhere around us
Rose: "so they can listen to them"
Tova: "people can't read on their own and might break the rules."
Evan V "I think they were written in Hebrew."

When Moreh Matt held up the Hebrew letters,
Rose recognized gimmel, Hazel recognized alef, and Flora recognized bet.

Next up: more story, more discussion, more alef bet practice
From Morah Alex and the 4-6th:
Today, we dove deeper into the "We Will Do, We Will Hear" text about Moshe. First, we studied four Hebrew words from the text:

Kol = voice
Moshe = Moses
Na'Aseh = to do
Neeshmah = to hear
We also reviewed the Hebrew word cavod.
The students practiced saying and writing these words in Hebrew.

After that, each student was given a page with the 10 Commandments. The students were handed a marker, and was asked to "mark up" their pages with their thoughts, questions, and reactions as we read them together (in English).

After they "marked up" their texts, each students worked in Hevruta pairs to share their thinking.

Here is some of the wonderful thinking that took place:
Aviva shared the words "idols," "honor," and "covet."
Soli circled the words "shalt" 8 times, and asked "what does it mean?"
Julia shared the words "gods," "idols," and "steal" as the words that stood out for her.
Lemi shared the words "vain" and "Sabbath day" as words that sparked his interest.

Next week, the students will be invited to create their own 10 Commandments for 2021. It will be interesting to see what they choose to include in their top 10!

From Phoebe and the 3rd graders:
How many ways can you read a text? Anyone who has ever texted someone understands how nuanced they can be- and how misinterpreted. Studying text, again and again, and looking for those nuances, is one of the many ways we DO Jewish.

To play around with this idea, we all took turns saying "I'm sorry" in as many ways as we could think of. There was the frail sorry, the sincere, sorry, the not really sorry at all sorry, the little old lady sorry, the big angry person sorry.

Then, we took turns reading the text of Shammai/Hillel and acted out their reactions to the man on one leg. What was the difference between how Hillel reacted to how Shammai reacted? What was happening there? In hevruta pairs we wrote down our notes, and then compared them with a friend.

We noticed that Hillel spoke, Shammai didn't. Hillel stayed calm, Shammai got mad. Hillel offered a way to understand, Shammai was impatient. Or that was our reading of what happened.

Next up: CAN WE NOT DO WHAT WE DON'T LIKE? Our pledge to each other, and maybe the whole world.
Music above and below! Cantor Bruce led the younger learners in The 8 Days of Hannukah, Abigale got us moving, dancing and practicing our Hannukah songs in Ladino and Hebrew for Tuesday, November 30 and the Hanukiah lighting!

IVRIT CHAVERIM & Tuesday Midrash Makers

Once again we met on Tuesday in the sunshine. The days are getting colder, but we are also getting vaccinated! We signed in and thought about what we wanted to get done on our alef bet projects. Then we did the hard work of playing the cross the desert game (see above).

In Ivrit Chaverim we practiced asking each other "manishmah?" before we went into breakout rooms. With Debbie we spent time on our letters and vowel sounds as well as blessings before eating. In hevruta prayers we also practiced blessings and forged ahead with our reading. Gabe got to read the Shabbat blessings, and connect the words he knows by heart with the words on the page.
It finally happened! The Bnei Mitzvah class took their minyan expertise to Bnei Yisrael this Sunday. Miriam, Alex and Noah led Mah Tovu and then went to their batim (houses) to help each of them learn a piece of the service for next week. It was messy, uneven, challenging-- just like it was for the Israelites.

The Bnei Mitzvah group met with seasoned Batim Mitzvahs Maya Smith and Hadassa Goldberg after to talk about the experience trying to lead/trying to organize a group. They saw that their students learned, they want more support from teachers, they want to make it fun for the students. This can all happen- and we will support them in their process!


The Bnei Mitzvah class met with Rabbi Lewis after their minyan de-brief. They learned that “angels are a thing."
There are angels all over the Hebrew Bible, and us imitating the angels is the central moment of the Amidah (Think "kadosh
kadosh kadosh" when we rise on our toes, one legged-- this is imitating an angel).

Jewish thought and texts have these angels as part of the divine entourage. We also sang. Well, we were asked if we wanted to sing and we said "no no no" and then Noah asked Alex, "aren't you in chorus?"

So we sang the song from the bedtime shma "be sheim ha shem” the angel song.

Next up: what's in a name? Jacob's name change, and our own Hebrew names
The Sylvia Cohen Family Learning Project
of Temple Ahavat Achim
Director: Phoebe Potts