Resources

Educator's Resources for Passover

 

Dear Educators,
From the vault of discarded-but-not-forgotten resources, another installment of holiday ideas. It is quite amazing to me that in all my many years as a Jewish educator the issue of freedom is only becoming more and more relevant. It is enough to follow recent election campaign rhetoric to understand that even the most basic freedoms we assume are granted in a democratic society are at risk. On this holiday, as we celebrate and enjoy unprecedented freedoms, let us not forget that we cannot take them for granted and let us remember those who are still enslaved in one way or another.

We hope the resources we put together here are thought provoking and inspirational for you and your students.

Chag Cherut Same'ach
Happy Freedom Holiday

Vavi Toran

Every Person Needs to Have a Certain Egypt
Poem by: Amnon Ribak
The poem in Hebrew

to redeem themselves from it, from the house of slavery,

to go out in the middle of the night to the desert of fears,
to march straight into the waters,
to see them open before them to both sides.

Every person needs a shoulder,
on which to carry the bones of Joseph,
Every person needs to straighten their backs.

Every person needs to have a
certain Egypt,
and a Jerusalem,
and one long journey,
that they will forever remember
in their feet.

Every person needs to have a
certain Egypt,
To deliver themselves from it
with a strong arm,
or with grinding teeth.

Every person needs terror and great darkness,
and comfort and promise and redemption,
that they would know to look up at the sky.
Every person needs one
prayer,

that would always be on their lips.
A person needs to bend one time –
Every person needs a shoulder.

Every person needs to have a
certain Egypt,


The Haggadah, which we read on Erev Peasach, is the reenactment of our master story. The text tells us that "In each generation, each person is obligated to see himself or herself as though he or she personally came forth from Egypt." It is not enough to remember or retell the story, but rather to experience the move from slavery to freedom on an intimate personal level. We, who are blessed with freedoms and liberties, are also obligated to look beyond our opulence and help others who are not yet liberated to come forth from their Egypt. 

These Israeli songs, hinting at the Passover story, deal with personal liberation and modern day exodus.

Out of Egypt - Alma Zohar (with subtitles)

From Slavery to Freedom
Lyrics: Yanlele Rotblit
Music: Yitzhak Klepter and Guy Bokatto
Sunger: Arik Einstein
Hebrew Lyrics

And there's something in me, like a full moon of Nisan
That calls me to rise, and calls yet again all the time                 
To embark on a journey full of perils
For a hint of a chance of an envisioned happy and unimaginative future

There is probably a chance, that from the top of some mountain
I will see far away a promise for tomorrow
That might not arrive, but even if I'll die on the road
Tonight I will go forth, from slavery to freedom

My ability to suffer failed, I could bear no more
Enough is enough, I said, I have to go
The slave in me, I left behind
In a place to where I shall never return.                        

I have nothing more to say, there are no words
I have nothing more to lose, except for these shackles

They have cut me to a pulp, I am still scratched
Tonight I will go forth, from slavery to freedom

 

 


Freedom Haggadot

A couple of years ago, we were fortunate to have a remarkable opportunity to closely examine the Arthur Szyk's Haggadah at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. Szyk (pronounced "Shick") created his magnificent Haggadah in Lodz, on the eve of the Nazi occupation of his native Poland. The Haggadah is filled with sumptuous paintings of Jewish heroes, tyrannical foes and stunning calligraphy. Behind the beautiful design and masterful illustrations Szyk carefully interjects his criticism of Nazism in Europe. Szyk, who immigrated to the US in 1940, was throughout his life a staunch visual commentator on social and political issues. He was known for standing up to tyranny and was dubbed "A Soldier in Art" by his peers. 

Unfortunately, tyranny and enslavement have not been eradicated yet. On Passover night we ought to be mindful of people in the US, in Israel and around the world who are not free. We bring you several samples of "Freedom Haggadot" and other resources with the hope that you will find a way to incorporate them into your Seders. 

Link to Social Justice Haggadot

Freedom and Justice seder

Pesach Seder Supplements on Economic Justice, Slavery, and other issues of Tzedek

A Human Rights Haggadah

 

Current human rights issues in Israel

Strangers No More -  Oscar Winning Movie Trailer  

Strangers No More - Oscar Winning Movie Trailer  


 

Two Historic Haggadot and their Influence on Contemporary Israeli artists

There are several Haggadot dating back to the Middle Ages that we are familiar with. These illuminated manuscripts tell historic tales of Jewish life and creativity. They are also fine examples of ancient Jewish art and are therefore being addressed visually in contemporary Israeli art. Two of the most widespread examples are the Birds' Head Haggadah and the Sarajevo Haggadah.

 

Birds' Head Haggadah

The Birds' Head Haggadah, the oldest surviving Ashkenazi illuminated manuscript (S. German, c. 1300), derives its name from the birdlike human figures illustrated in the manuscript's margins. This motif is believed to be related to the biblical (Second Commandment) prohibition against creating graven images. The Birds' Head Haggadah, discovered by Israeli art historian Bezalel Narkiss in 1946, the realistic human figure is avoided by providing it with the head and beak of a bird. Some of the figures wear helmet-like hats reminiscent of the conic hats Jews were obliged to wear in Ashkenaz (Germany) during the Middle Ages. From time to time new theories claim that the codex was illuminated by Christian artists who interjected anti-semitic elements by depicting Jews as ravens.

Michael Sgan-Cohen 
The Wandering Jew

Sgan-Cohen used the hybrid figure as a symbol of the wandering Jew and by association as his self-portrait. In his painting The Wandering Jew Sgan-Cohen used the motif of the Hand of God, pointing (in the picture) to the image of a man (the artist's self-image) with a bird's head wearing a Judenhut, a pointed Jewish hat that was forced upon Jews in the Middle Ages. The chair, a symbol of settling down, remains in the foreground empty for now.

 

 

Zoya Cherkassky
The Aachen Hagaddah

Cherkassky created the illustrated "Aachen Passover Haggadah" (named after the German city of Aachen where the artist did a residency). The Haggadah portrays graphic designs in red, black and gold - inspired by Jewish images, the Russian Avant-garde and anti-Semitic images. Throughout the Haggadah there are images of birds; their head is a Jewish head wearing a Streimel. These illustrations resemble the ones appearing in the Birds' Head Haggadah.The red, swollen feet symbolize the wandering Jew and the journey from Egypt to the Holy Land. 

Radical Storytelling: Samuel Klein explores a challenging new Haggadah by artist Zoya Cherkassky

 

 

The Sarajevo Haggadah - Creation

The Sarajevo Haggadah is an illuminated manuscript one of the oldest Sephardic Haggadahs in the world. Originating in Barcelona around 1350, the Haggadah has survived many close calls with destruction, including World War II and the Bosnian War. Historians believe that it was taken out of Spain by Spanish Jews who were expelled by the Alhambra Decree in 1492. Notes in the margins of the Haggadah indicate that it surfaced in Italy in the 16th century. It was sold to the National Museum in Sarajevo in 1894 by a man named Joseph Kohen.  The novel People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks (2008), crafts a fictionalized history of the Haggadah from its origins in Spain to the museum in Sarajevo. The fascinating history of Dervis Korkut, who saved the book from the Nazis, was told inan article by Geraldine Brooks in The New Yorker magazine. The article also sets out the story of the young Jewish girl, Mira Papo, whom Korkut and his wife hid from the Nazis as they were acting to save the Haggadah. In a twist of fate, as an elderly woman in Israel, Mira Papo secured the safety of Korkut's daughter during the Bosnian war in the 1990s.

Moses receiving the Torah

Moses receiving the Torah

Moses of Sarajevo"

Moses of Sarajevo"

The dramatic history of this Haggadah and its beauty fired the imagination of several Israeli artists, most notably the painter Arie Aroch. Aroch was familiar with the Sarajevo Haggadah and its illustrations, which interested him both thematically and composition-wise. 

Several pieces of his artwork are either directly related to the Haggadah or offer further developments on the themes and composition. These include: Moses from Sarajevo, The Creation, and The Figure 2 (based on a page where the number 2 was scribbles on the margins).

Other Resources for Passover

About Passover - Goisrael

Jewish Virtual Library

The iCenter: The Four Sons of the Haggadah - Creative Midrashim

The iCenter: Passover: Bringing Israel into your Seder

Neot Kedumim - Once we were Slaves

Shitim - Machon Ha'Chagim (in Hebrew)

Good News from Israel blog

Lookstein Resources for Passover

Hazon: Educational Resources for Passover

Hazon: Healthy sustainable passover resources

PJ Library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoga Postures and Themes for Passover

Explore freedom from an embodied perspective with these Passover-theme related yoga postures offered by Julie Emden, Director of our Embodied Jewish Learning Initiative.  Julie offers workshops, classes, and a Yoga and Jewish Wisdom Teacher Training. She can be reached at: jemden@jewishlearningworks.org. 

These postures and themes were created for At the Well, a project supporting Jewish women to celebrate Rosh Hodesh all over the world.  See more resources from At the Well for the month of Nissan here.

Materials : yoga mat and blanket
Opening Kavanah - You are the Authority

The foremost theme for this month and gift of Passover is that we move from slavery to freedom, from constriction to expansion, from responding and reacting to other’s demands of us to acting from a place of true sovereignty and authority from within.  Please take on these suggested practices (and those from any body-based practice) with this in mind, and consider your own body’s unique needs when practicing yoga.  At Sinai upon receiving Torah, at the same time that we camp at the base of the mountain as one soul, we each also hear our own unique message, and we each receive our own unique place or letter in the Torah.  And when we receive manna in the desert, the amount we each receive is according to our individual needs - no more, no less.  Do not do anything that is not right for your body, in this moment, in this time.  You are the authority and you are sovereign over the gorgeous domain that is your body-soul-heart-spirit being, for this practice and always.

Theme 1:  Moving from Constriction to Expansion - Mitzrayim

When we look at the Hebrew word ‘Mitzrayim’, we see the word ‘Tzar’, which means constriction, surrounded by the word ‘Mayim’, which means water.  All of the joints in the body are surrounded by water in the form of synovial fluid.  As you practice these poses, bring awareness to the fact that the joints (tzar) in our bodies - our wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles - which enable us to move and create change  in the world!- need mayim, softness, and  fluidity in order to be healthy and strong.

Hip Openers - Lying on the floor
Lying Two-Knee-Spinal-Twist 

Eye of the Needle 

Happy Baby

Theme 2:  Softening the heart - Exodus 8:28 - “And Pharaoh hardened his heart…”

As Pharaoh witnesses and experiences the ten plagues, we hear over and over that his “heart is hardened”, and the language in the text indicates that his obstinacy becomes habitual.  Releasing habits that no longer serve us to live in integrity with our deepest potential and desire is another theme for the month of Nissan. In fact, Moses is told at the burning bush to ‘take off his shoes’ (Exodus 3:5),  but the Hebrew can also be translated as ‘unlock your habits!’  Day to day, as we sit and move with postures of leaning over computers and steering wheels, we can create a habitual shape in the body of shoulders rolling forward, chest collapsing and a ‘closing of the heart’.  These poses support us in opening our hearts and shoulders, and also bringing awareness to the spaces behind our hearts.  They provide a countering to the habitual way we often move through the world.

Heart Openers

Supported Backbend Lying back over a rolled blanket or Bolster

Cow-Face Pose arms    

Eagle Pose Arms 

Theme 3: Stepping into the Sea on Dry Land - Exodus 14:22 - “And the Israelites entered the sea on dry land”

You may have seen the movie, or considered the scientific research about the parting of the sea in the Exodus story.  What is possibly as fascinating as the notion that the sea parted for the Israelites, is that the text says that the Israelites stepped onto dry land ‘b’toch’, inside of, the sea.  What?!  How could the land be dry, even if the sea had parted? And have you ever tried to walk on wet soaky sand just after the waves recede on a walk at the beach? It’s not easy.  This is our task in Nissan, and in our lives.  How can we maintain stability, stay grounded and connected to our foundation, in times of turbulence, change and upheaval? How can we stay upright and connected to what is solid, perhaps relying merely on our bones, our etzem, our essence, during times of intense change and transformation. These standing poses can help us feel our feet, solidly rooted and firmly planted and the limbs of our legs rising up from that foundation, as a resource, a source of strength and support for us as we move through the world and reach for our dreams.

Standing Poses

Mountain/Mt Sinai Pose

Warrior 2

Side Angle

 

To experience these and more, join Julie for one of her Passover workshops:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Educational Resources for Purim

Shalom all and Happy Adar!

I am doing some Spring cleaning ahead of Passover. This is not your usual inspection for the evasive chametz nor is it just to get rid of tchotchkes and other accumulating junk. It is a web-based Spring cleaning. Jewish LearningWorks is retiring its old web pages and I was told that if I want to capture anything I have done for the past few years that lives on the web, I better take a look right away or else it will be gone forever. Oy!…  Unlike the junk in my house, I have a real relationship with some of the stuff I have written, plagiarized or curated. So, I went straight to work and salvaged the Israel Education Initiative Newsletters from the past 3 years. And just in time for Purim, what follows below is a compilation of resources for the holiday. It was in a virtual attic, but dusted off it will shine like new.

Enjoy and Happy Purim!

Vavi Toran

 

Purim Resources
A Collection from Past IEI Newsletters
By Vavi Toran

Let's start with some fun stuff!

The story of Purim has been told throughout the centuries in many ways. From Purim Spiels to a variety of visual versions of the Megillah, writers and artists utilized their creativity to interpret the story according to their imagination and the zeitgeist of their era.  

Comix

A delightful comic book version of the Scroll of Esther was published a few years ago by the CET (The Center for Educational Technology) in Israel. The booklet is easy to follow and, besides the story itself, includes background and ideas for activities and discussion. It is in Hebrew. But hey, it's Purim and you know the story. Improvise!

Download Megillat Esther Comic Book (Available for sale from CET) 

 
 

Artistic Playing Cards

Jacob's Bible Playing Cards designed by Ze'ev Raban, a leading artist of the Bazalel Academy founded in 1906, featuring King Ahasuerus and Queen Esther among many other biblical royals. In this deck, the jack of club is Harbona, one of the seven eunuchs who served Ahasuerus and to whom the order was given to bring Queen Vashti before the king.  Now let's play! 

To See the Rest of the Deck: click here. and here.
 

Music and Videos

For young viewers, The Purim Story from Shalom Sesame.

From G-dcast, The Purim Story for Kids and Other Double Dutch Jumping Hipsters.

Purim songs with Uzi Hitman and Hani Nahmias.

Hebrew lyrics to the songs on Chagim website.

Some of the songs in English transliteration.

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   An artist stands amid effigies of Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel

An artist stands amid effigies of Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel

 "When Adar enters, we increase joyfulness." Babylonian Talmud Ta'anit 29a

We are doubly joyful this year since we are celebrating two months of Adar, Adar Alef (First Adar) and Adar Bet (Second Adar). Why is this?

The year in the Jewish calendar consists of twelve lunar months, but the festivals follow the solar year, since several of them (Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot) must take place in certain seasons, and the seasons are determined by the earth annual revolution around the sun. The lunar calendar is regularly adjusted to keep it in conformity with the solar year. This is done by periodically adding a second month of Adar. Since the discrepancy between the solar and lunar years amounts to 207 days every 19 years, the extra Adar is added seven times in a 19-year lunar cycle. During these leap years, most observances normally held in Adar are moved to Adar Bet, including Purim.

Masquerading and Mask Making

One of the most joyful of the holiday's customs is Masquerading and Mask Making.

"Masquerading on Purim originated about the end of the fifteenth century among the Jews of Italy, who observed and imitated the carnival practice of the Lenten season, which occurs about the time of Purim. From there it spread to all countries where Jews lived. The first known reference to the wearing of masks on Purim is found in 1508. In masquerading, people did not always wear mask. The mask was probably a much later invention, as people became more sophisticated and felt ashamed of their burlesque dress and childish tricks their "characters" were supposed to perform. Thus, to avoid recognition by their neighbors and friends and to achieve greater freedom of joyful expression, they covered their faces with masks." (from The Purim Anthology by Philip Goodman,1973)

Israeli artist, Hanoch Piven depicts the Iranian (Persian) politician known for his anti-Israel propaganda and Holocaust denial, as a modern-day Haman. The connection to Purim is achieved by using Hamantachens, a dagger, a gragger and a whip. 

Purim is a perfect opportunity to incorporate his teaching and technique to create portraits and masks for the holiday.

We hope these images, Piven's website, his TedX Jerusalem talk, and this app for face making will inspire fun Purim activities.

 

 

 

The Somber Side of the Holiday February 2015

We don't mean to spoil you rambunctious Purim spirit, but this year we cannot ignore the somber side of the holiday. Anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide and acts of terror, violence and desecration are on the news daily. A few years ago, we commented that there are no Jewish communities in peril.  Now, thousands of European Jews are feeling vulnerable enough to seriously consider Aliyah. 

Anti-Semitism, bigotry and hate are difficult issues to discuss with students. We want to foster pride. The story of Purim as told in the Scroll of Esther offers an opportunity to examine these issues.  

 To support your effort to introduce these topics, we offer resources:
Confronting Anti-Semitism - ADL
The Scroll of Esther and Anti-Semitism - by Prof. H. Gavriyahu, JAFI
Purim and the Persian Period - JewishHistory.org
Purim: Strangest of Holidays - By Steve Israel & Noam Zion, Shalom Hartman Institute
Purim: Joy in the Midst of Uncertainty - By Rabbi Prof. David Hartman, Shalom Hartman Institute
Purim Resources for Children with Special Needs - Gateways, Access to Jewish Education

Articles

Anti-Semitism on rise across Europe 'in worst times since the Nazis' - The Guardian
Jewish leaders call for Europe-wide legislation outlawing anti-Semitism - The Guardian

Purim and Art

Arthur Szyk -   Haman hanging on the gallows, 1950

Arthur Szyk - Haman hanging on the gallows, 1950

An Artist's View

In this version of the Esther story, Arthur Szyk portrayed himself as the interpreter of Jewish history. The artist gazes at the swastika-bedecked figure of Haman, hanging on the gallows that Haman had built to kill Mordechai. Szyk holds a hamentasch, the pastry traditionally eaten during the Jewish holiday of Purim, while writing "the people of Israel will be liberated from their persecutors."

 

Identity in the Story of Purim - An Art Project

Earlier this month we offered a workshop in collaboration with CJM, Havruta in Art and Beyond: Collaboration and Creativity in the Classroom. As an exercise of collaboration across disciplines in preparation of the upcoming holiday, we chose two verses from the book of Esther as text for Havruta study. Participants engaged in text study, identified a "big idea" for Purim and translated it into a collaborative artwork. It was a small example of how to approach any Jewish theme that we revisit year after year, and how to interpret big (and sometime old) ideas in a new creative way. The resulting list of big ideas and art ideas suggested that this year several schools will be engaged in an art activity that is very different than past years.

We are happy to share with you the lesson outlinetext study,  guidelines for Havruta study, and a few examples of the artwork done as tunnel books

 

9Adar Project, a Jewish Week of Constructive Conflict

Compiled by Vavi Toran

 

Machloket (“Dispute for the Sake of Heaven” or Constructive Conflict) is among the great Jewish ideas.  Jews have been doing it for thousands of years.  We are grateful to our friends at the Pardes Center for Judaism and Conflict Resolution for creating the 9Adar Project, a Jewish Week of Constructive Conflict.  We are partnering with them to promote the study of Constructive Conflict here in Northern California, from February 12-20, 2016, culminating in the Feast of Jewish Learning on February 20th.

We have created this page to support you, our local educators as you find creative ideas and new pathways to bring the theme of constructive conflict to your classroom, through the lens of Israel. In addition to our resources below, you can find more resources and curricula about constructive conflict generally from the 9Adar Project in Jerusalem here.

We hope you find these resources useful and inspirational.

Four talked about the pine tree. 
One defined it by genus, species, and variety. 
One assessed its disadvantages for the lumber industry. 
One quoted poems about pine trees in many languages. 
One took root, stretched out branches, and rustled.
— Conversation (Sicha), a poem by Dan Pagis | Israeli Poet (1930-1986) | Translated by Rabbi Steven Sager

Machloket (Constructive Conflict) 

ARTS & CULTURE

The word Machloket in Hebrew shares its root chet-lamed-kuf with words that include: division, discord, partial, share, plot of land, smooth, slippery and flattery.

The road to constructive conflict, especially in Israel, has to be paved with honesty and respect for passionate people who don’t share the same opinions – in some cases about a plot of land.

Let’s make it a smooth rather than slippery process.

Here are a few examples how Israeli artists, poets, musicians and writers deal with machloket:

Two Elements a poem by Zelda
The poem represents a dialogue between the vocal and passionate flame and the silent and proud pine. How are these two elements alike and how are they different? Do we contain both the flame and the pine? Is this an inner conflict? What is the conflict about? Is this machloket solvable? How? How could a real dialogue between the two elements sound?
More about Zelda
 


There’s No Machloket
A song by Shalom Hanoch
(Hebrew lyrics)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Analysis
Is this machloket really just a small misunderstanding? Perhaps if the two sides really listen to one another they will find they have a lot in common. With a biblical reference for a pastoral and peaceful future together, Shalom Hanoch moves from a misunderstanding between Ami and Tami to the more acute machloket between Ami and Sami, Sami and Zami.

A few things that might get lost in translation: Ami and Tami are the Hebrew equivalent of Hansel and Gretel, or two typical Israeli names. Ami can also be interpreted as “my people” or “my nation,” Mami is a common endearment, Sami might be a sephardic name, and Zami is an Arabic name.

There is no Machloket between Ami and Tami
It’s just a small misunderstanding
Get wet from the same rain
Live in the same country
Hate each other’s guts a bit
Cause each other a bit of trouble
Be a bit mean to each other, ‘cause basically
There is no Machloket
There is no Machloket
There is no Machloket between Ami and Tami
It’s just a small misunderstanding
There is no Machloket between Ami and Tami
It’s just a small misunderstanding
Drink the same water
Take shelter under the same Schina (Divine Presence) 
Hurt each other a bit on the way
Attack only as a defense
And maybe it’s because that really
There is no Machloket
It’s just a small misunderstanding
There is no Machloket between Ami and Tami
It’s just a small misunderstanding
When we find King David
The picture will certainly change
We shall sit comfortably at home
Under a vine and the shade of a fig tree
We shall live in peace ‘cause basically
There is no Machloket
It’s just a small misunderstanding
A small misunderstanding
No Machloket
Between Ami and Tami
Between Tami and Ami
Between Ami and Mami
Between Mami and Sami
Between Sami and Zami
Between Ami and Sami
And Rami
And Ami
Between Ami and Tami
Between Tami and Ami
— Lyrics and Music: Shalom Hanoch

VISUAL ARTS

Visual artists express their opinions on canvas, walls or other media. Occasionally they have visual conversations and even banter in galleries or on city walls. We bring you a variety of art samples to explore and interpret.

David Reeb and Avner Bar Hama are artists who use the map of Israel in their artwork and present opposing political views. The questions they raise represent a central machloket in Israeli society – the issue is the Green Line and its inclusion or omission from official maps.

Green line by David Reeb
In the mid-1980s, the Green Line (which marks the pre-1967 borders of the State of Israel) became a dominant component of David Reeb’s paintings. His representation of this charged political frontier makes a statement about the permanent status the occupation acquired in Israeli consciousness.
Read More

 

Orange Map: Today Gush Katif – tomorrow Jaffa by Avner Bar Hama

Representing the opposing political view, Bar Hama presented a conceptual piece at (L)Attitudes in Washington DC portraying the map of Israel made entirely out of oranges.
Read More

 

Both Sides of Peace - Israeli and Palestinian Political Posters
Book Cover by Yossi Lemel

"Both sides try to get closer but hurt each other. The strings are in the colors of Palestinian and Israeli flags." -Yossi Lemel

Ironically, the metaphor for Israeli born Jews, the Sabra (cactus pear in Arabic)—prickly on the outside, sweet on the inside—is also an Arab symbol of resilience and tenacity, and is a natural fence that keeps in livestock and marks the boundaries of family lands.

 

The Face 2 Face Project
For this project, portraits of Israelis and Palestinians are pasted face to face, in monumental formats on both sides of the separation wall and in several Palestinian and Israeli cities.

More:
4 efforts to diffuse conflict in Israel with art
Peace and Conflict Through Graffiti

Other Resources:

New from the iCenter

APPROACHING CONFLICTS
Contexts, Perspectives, and Values in Israel Education

Approaching Conflicts is designed to help educators and learners engage sensitive material with more confidence, ask more questions, and challenge assumptions for the purpose of a strong and meaningful relationship with Israel.

STORIES WITH HAPPY ENDINGS
A Conversation Between Etgar Keret and Sayed Kashua

In the summer of 2014 – after a conflict that caused many Israelis, Jews and Arabs, to feel a growing despair for the possibilities of peace – prominent Israeli Palestinian writer Sayed Kashua announced his plans to immigrate to America. Afterwards, in a public exchange of letters, Kashua wrote to Etgar Keret, a popular Israeli Jewish author, to further discuss his decision. The two, longtime friends, discuss their lives and families among lingering possibilities of peace and coexistence while expressing exhaustion with continuing violence and conflict.

MORE RESOURCES

Encounter’s Communication Guidelines
Transforming conflict through face-to-face understanding

The guidelines serve as the blueprint for our common values.  They help to create a framework in which people of diverse ideological view­points can explore deeply contentious and charged topics respectfully. These guidelines enable questions to be framed in ways that speakers are able to hear, without feeling attacked, and reframing comments and statements into genuine questions.

Art Bridge

Creativity for Peace

image002.jpg

More 9Adar Resources can be found here.

To share additional resources, please comment below.


 

 

December News and Events Plus Special Hanukkah Resources

Sukkot 5776

Sukkot 5776

Sukkot celebrates the harvest in Israel and is called Z’man Simchataynu, Season of our Joy. A sukkah (a booth or temporary structure) is a symbol of joy because it reminds us of our freedom. The Israelites lived in booths while wandering from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land. On Sukkot we greet each other with “Chag Sameach” – “Happy Holiday”. 

Book Clubs from the Jewish Community Library

We invite you to "Think Inside the Box" with our Book Club in a Box program!  Whether you are thinking of starting a group or are already in one, we can help every step of the way—including providing the books free of charge. Call 415-567-3327 x706 or email bookgroups@jewishlearningworks.org to learn how we can serve you.

Havruta in Art and Beyond - Collaboration and Creativity in the Classroom

This past week, Vavi Toran, our Arts and Culture Specialist hosted an Integration of the Arts in Jewish Education program in collaboration with CJM and an exhibiting artist at the museum.

When she introduced herself, the program and Jewish LearningWorks, she mentioned that last year we started the Integration of the Arts Initiative the room broke into spontaneous applause!

This day of learning had three parts that interconnected and intersected seamlessly, thanks to an excellent collaboration in envisioning and implementing between the CJM educational staff, the artist and myself.

The first part, led by CJM educators Fraidy Aber and Janine Okmim, drew upon an exhibit that sparked the idea for this workshop. Educators engaged in Havruta text study from books' passages used by the collaborating artists and visual text study of the resulting exhibition. 

The second part, led by artist Ascha Drake, introduced participants to her installation "In The Studio" (an inspiration for a "Maker's lab") and several of her integration projects with other disciplines in a school environment. She is also an art teacher at Bay School, and author of several books.

The third part led by me brought us back to Havruta text study. Taking into account that the next Jewish holiday on the calendar is Purim, I chose 2 verses from the book of Esther. Participants engaged in text study, identified a "big idea" for Purim and translated it into a collaborative art work. It was, in a way, a small example of how to approach anew any Jewish theme that we revisit year after year, and how to interpret big ideas in a creative way. 

Participants were very engaged, sharing insights and ideas, collaborating with either their colleagues or someone we matched them up with. Many beautiful and thoughtful art works were produced based on the learning of the day.

This is one example of the way we work behind the scenes to support our community of educators.

For more information on our Integration of the Arts Initiative, please email VToran@JewishLearningWorks.org


Resources To Address Race and Social Justice

By Rabbi Yoshi Fenton

These have been trying times for our community, our country, and our world.  The lights of the hannukiot in our homes, the blasts of the fireworks at new year's celebrations, and the expressions of hope for a better year, have all been muted by the violence of recent weeks.

In this post you’ll find resources on teaching about protest, bigotry, terrorism, violence, the unrest in Ferguson, and our responsibilities to further civil rights.  We hope they are a help to you in your classes, with your students, and in your personal and professional lives as we all grapple to make sense of the brokenness of our world. 

With Tu b’Shevat and springtime around the corner, I am reminded of the light which always follows the darkness of winter and so I’d like to share two additional teaching with you, as a blessing for us all. The first from the sage of the Mishna, Rabbi Tarfon, and the second from the Seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Shneerson. 

Rabbi Tarfon teaches, "It is not our job to complete the task, but neither are we free to desist from it." The Lubavitcher Rebbe would often conclude a letter or article with the blessing “Immediately to Teshuva (repentance), Immediately to Redemption.” 

It is our prayer for this New Year that we commit ourselves to creating a better, kinder and more loving place for our students and the world around us.  We offer this guide of educational resources as a support to you, Jewish educators, in your work to make our prayer a reality. 

Websites for Resources on Teaching about Social Justice
 

On1Foot is a project of AJWS and a wonderful website and resource for sources and texts on a variety of social justice topics.  You can both use already created materials or make your own. 

Justaction.org is a project of Panim, The Institute of Jewish Leadership and Values, and is another wonderful website that offers a variety of resources relating to teaching about and for social justice and change. 

Uri l’Tzedek is another organization committed to both working for and teaching about social justice and responsibility, and is the first Orthodox organization committed to social justice work.  The website is a great resource.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is a wonderful resource to learn about what’s happening around the country regarding race and class.  Lots of articles and thought pieces. 

In Response to Ferguson

Channukahaction.org was created to help support those who celebrate Hanukah, connect the holiday and its observances to the events in Ferguson and conversations related to race, justice, violence, and social responsibility.  The resources and tools section is a wonderful collection of materials from a variety of sources. 

The following Jweekly article highlights many of the ways in which the Bay Area Jewish community has come together to support calls for an end to police brutality and demand a new perspective on equality and justice for all. 

This Kveller article exploring what if anything to say to our children about race in our country is an interesting and thought provoking read. 

A rabbi's response

Articles and Resources on Teaching about Race and Violence

Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton is an associate professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of Are We Born Racist?: New Insights from Neuroscience and Positive Psychology. 

The Atlantic Monthly asked teachers, academics, community leaders, and parents to recommend resources they’ve used and/or would recommend to support adults as they teach children about race. 

The PBS program The Teachers’ Lounge gathered a number of teaching strategies for how to talk about Ferguson in school.  Here’s a link to the google doc

Also check out this blog from The Teachers’ Lounge on grade specific strategies. 

Reuven Firestone wrote a wonderful article examining the major Jewish sources which speak to violence and reconciliation.  For those of you interested in diving into the sources, this should be just what you’re looking for

Text Studies, Lesson Plans, and Curricular Resources

Ask Big Questions, a project of Hillel International, has put together some wonderful collections of texts and study guides geared towards young adults and teens. 

When Do You Take a Stand?

For Whom are We Responsible?

What Advantages Do You Have?

The Rabbinical Assembly has also made available a few really great source sheets below.

On Gun Violence

On Our Obligation to Remember We Were Once Slaves

Embracing the Stranger