7th/8th grade 9/21/14

Dear PASJE Parents,

I look forward to teaching the 7th and 8th grade class. My two year course includes Jewish history, holidays, ethics and law. We will use five different sources this year.

1. I have made brief historical outlines, based on the two-volume text My People (Abba Eban, Behrman House, 1978.) The students will receive ten outlines during the year. This will cover Jewish history from Abraham to the creation of modern Israel.

2. To gain familiarity with the Hebrew Bible, we will look at Chaya M. Burstein’s The Kid’s Cartoon Bible.

3. For general knowledge about Judaism, each student will be given their own copy of Essential Judaism in a Nutshell.

4. We will also use the Pulitzer Prize winning graphic history, Maus, for a part of our Holocaust studies.

5. To gain insight into the Talmud we will be using a number of Torah Aura Instant Lessons on Jewish ethics, laws and traditions.

We began our lesson today using the writing prompt “What does it mean to be a Jew?” Each student contributed at least one idea and we concluded that there were many ways to define Jewish identity. I will use this prompt again during the year and know my students will expand and refine their answers.

We then discussed two of the four fall holidays –Rosh Hashonah and Yom Kippur. We enjoyed round challah, apples and honey as we began our study of Jewish history.

The members of this class are enthusiastic about contributing their knowledge and thoughts. I know it will be an interesting and lively year.

Best wishes,

Terry Fayer

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