These are the JEWL class offerings for the winter term of 2019. Sign up opens at 9am on Monday, 12/24. There will be a live link from the Talmud Torah home page at that time. Class sign up is first come, first serve, as long as students are in the right age range and haven’t taken the class before. All students in grades 2-7 are encouraged to take at least one JEWL class each term. All the JEWL class topics are intended to offer important elements of Jewish education, so even if you don’t get into your first choice, stretch your comfort zone and learn something new.
Art: Block Prints
w/ Ari Rosenfeld
Students will learn about Jewish art history with a focus on print makers, using the themes and imagery of historic Jewish art to inform original projects of our own. The class will cover basic relief printing techniques using everything from potatoes to pizza boxes!
Jewish MVPs: Tanakh 2k19
w/ Ezra Samuels
Students will explore many different characters from Tanakh (The Jewish Bible), learning about their stories, extrapolating what we can imagine about their personalities, and how they do or don’t reflect Jewish values. Students will create multimedia projects about the characters, reflecting our ancient teachings through a modern lens, and will leave this class with improved Biblical literacy, an understanding of midrash, and hopefully a spark of curiosity to keep exploring.
(Note: This class will gently touch on some controversial elements of our stories in Tanakh. Parents can decide what is appropriate for their own children’s ages and maturity. Nothing will be any more shocking that what is already part of today’s general pop culture that most kids are exposed to. Questions? Ask Gretchen for details.)
A Century of Kibbutzim
w/ Sheri Konowitz
From the first kibbutz formed in 1909 to their decline in recent decades, kibbutzim had an impact on the land and country of Israel, the Jewish people, and even the rest of the world. Bernie Sanders once volunteered on a kibbutz! What was life like on kibbutzim, how did they become so popular and what made them disappear? Students will explore whether or not they would have wanted to be kibbutznikim, living, working, and sharing on a kibbutz. With most kibbutzim gone today, students will learn about how some Israelis are bringing many of the same values to Israeli culture today.
Two Jews, Three Opinions: The Long-Standing Jewish Tradition of Debate
w/ Milo Abbruzzese
While studies show that most Americans are more scared of public speaking than death, our Jewish tradition sets us apart. Rhetoric, argument and public speaking have been woven into Judaism since the beginning. From Abraham’s arguments with God to the ancient Talmud debates, to our contemporary divrei Torah. In this class, we will be debating topics relevant to our Jewish lives and learning how speak eloquently about various Jewish topics. We will learn public speaking techniques and rhetorical strategies by debating religious, social and human questions relevant to our Jewish lives such as “is it okay for Jews to celebrate secular holidays?”, “what does it mean to be raised Jewish?”, “how does our creation story handle equality?” and many more.
Let There Be Light!
w/ Aliza Olson
8 Sundays, 12:30-1:30
“Let there be light!” God’s first words in the Torah bring light into our universe. And, the light is the first thing to be called “good.” What is this light? What makes it good? What are all of the ways light shows up in our Jewish tradition and in our own lives? Why do so many Jewish holidays involve lighting candles? What does it mean to be “a light unto the nations?” What lights us up? How can we be a light in our communities? Students will explore these questions and many more through story, discussion, and art.