Emily Branton

Author's details

Name: Emily Branton
Date registered: August 19, 2016

Latest posts

  1. Recipe for an Anafim sukkah — October 10, 2017
  2. In the beginning… — September 28, 2017
  3. Our own sounds — September 14, 2017
  4. Quick, quick. — May 25, 2017
  5. Collaboration — May 19, 2017

Author's posts listings

Oct 10

Recipe for an Anafim sukkah

One quick review of what the Early Rabbis thought a סוכה (sukkah) needed to include, drawing on several years of research and experience, Lots of long, straight sticks for the structure (expertly scavenged and stripped), and leafy branches to go on top,      A ball of twine, good lashing skills, and a few extra pairs of hands …

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Sep 28

In the beginning…

Well, we’re not going all the way back to the very beginning. But in ענפים (Anafim- branches, for 3rd-4th grade), our first text of the year takes us back to Genesis 18, to the story of אברהם (Avraham) and שרה (Sarah), being visited by three mysterious strangers. Later in the chapter, God tells Avraham, “The cry of …

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Sep 14

Our own sounds

  “Imagine the sound of a great שופר (shofar),” I said, “calling out with a message for the whole world. What do you think it would say?” “It’s saying, why are we here on earth?” said a third grader. “Warmth and love” said a fourth grader. “If ten people blow a שופר (shofar),” said another third grader, …

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May 25

Quick, quick.

There’s not a moment to lose! We only have a few real workdays left, and it turns out that this project we’ve undertaken is actually our biggest and most collaborative project yet. It’s just right for the end of the year, though: Look at how many skills and habits are going into it! Familiarity and …

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May 19

Collaboration

“Wait, the chalk slipped. Hold it still while I do it again.” “Can you pull that side so it stays tight?” “But look. If we make the swirls thinner, there’s more room for the scenes.” “Is that the earth and the sea?” “No, I think it’s Noah’s Ark. See the flood and the mountain sticking out?” …

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May 11

Something in the works

They’re at it again! ענפים (Anafim, “Branches” for 3rd-4th grade children) are working on a new project; this time, it’s a collaboration as well as a chance for each child to express their own creativity and ownership of Torah texts. So far they’ve reviewed texts… drafted designs… Workshopped their ideas with peers… …and, finally, started crafting their visions …

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May 04

Piecing together Shavuot

What is שבועות (Shavuot; the festival of ‘weeks’) all about? ענפים (Anafim; ‘branches’ for 3rd-4th grade children) know three major things the תורה (Torah) says about שבועות (Shavuot): It celebrates the wheat harvest; it comes after counting the עומר (Omer), which takes place over a period of 7 weeks; and the Ancient Israelites should celebrate it by bringing ביכורים (bikkurim; “first …

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Apr 27

Back in the Midbar (Wilderness)

ענפים (Anafim, “Branches” for 3rd-4th grade) are just beginning their last theme for this school year: שבועות (Shavuot, “weeks”). One of the sources that ענפים (Anafim) are exploring is a short text from ספר דברים (Sefer Devarim, the book of Deuteronomy) 16, which gives instructions about celebrating the summer harvest festival. But as Anafim know, ספר דברים (Sefer …

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Apr 07

Anafim taking the wheel

“Ok, we know all the other parts of the סדר (Seder, the ritual Passover meal). But what is נרצה (Nirtzah)? Our chart just has a picture of moon and stars.” “Let’s go downstairs and look at the הגדות (Haggadot, guidebooks for the Seder) set out at the book fair to see what they say.” “Okay, but we …

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Mar 30

Pesach is in the air

Can you hear it?     Audio: Groups of ענפים (Anafim, “branches” for 3rd-4th grade) children practicing different songs from the סדר (Seder; “order;” the ritual Passover meal). Pictured: A child reading from ספר שמות (Sefer Shemot, the book of Exodus) as she reviews the story of the Israelites’ escape from Egypt.  

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