Tag Archive: Conversation

Oct 04

Interpretation in yetzirah (art/creativity)

Today, a child was feeling stuck. He wanted to show Adonai Elohim (God) removing the rib bone from the adam (human) and building ishah (woman) in Genesis 2, but he wasn’t sure how to draw it. I posed the question to his peers, “How might Child A show this part?” and immediately we had a …

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Sep 25

“How come this one is the same thing?”

We’re a few weeks into our Adam v’Adamah Torah theme, and Nitzanim first and second graders have been working hard on listening to their “inner voice” when we read and discuss text together at כיבוד (kibud–snack) Their inner voice is a reaction to the text that might come in the form of a question, feeling, …

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May 09

Searching for examples

This week, Nitzanim children are diving into the Book of Ruth to search for examples of נוֹשֵׂא בְעֹל עִם חֲבֵרוֹ(nosei v’ol im chaveiro–helping a friend carry a burden). After hearing the text read aloud, children created comics, buildings, and collages. This second pass at the text is an opportunity to extend their thinking, use their …

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Apr 15

Tough stuff

Over the last two weeks Nitzanim (“Buds” for 1st grade) children have been wrestling with some really tough stuff. They had to keep straight the Mishnah, which says to tell the story at the seder from the “hard stuff” to the “awesome stuff” (Mishnah Pesachim 10:4). Then they had to keep track of two different …

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Feb 25

Similar and different

We’re in week two of frenzied final project mode in Beit Nitzanim, but today we took a few moments to slow down and share. Children took turns telling their לְהִתְפַּלֵל (L’hitpalel) stories to a peer. They showed photos of their buildings, explained project planning pages, and some of our big first grade readers even read …

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Apr 19

Is it Ona’at Devarim (Hurting People With Words)?

A father and son are hunting together. The son accidentally left his safety off and the dad accidentally shot his own finger. Another time, the father and son are hunting again, and the boy says, “Oh, I need to put my safety on.” The dad replies, “Yeah, we don’t want a remake of last time.” …

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Apr 17

What if…?

We’ve been asking and answering a lot of “what if” questions recently. It helps us begin to put boundaries around our understanding of (Ona’at Devarim–hurting with words). It’s a little tricky, but children are eager to share their ideas and opinions about our new theme. This week, we’re wondering who bears the responsibility for the Ona’at Devarim. Is it Ona’at …

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Nov 09

What A Privilege To Study Torah With You

Oh, beautiful middle schoolers! For years, you’ve dedicated yourselves to grappling with Torah text, to listening deeply to yourself and to each other, and now…this week…what a privilege to introduce you to that moment when Abraham takes the fire, and the knife, and walks off with his son. And your reactions! “Maybe the test is that Avraham is supposed to say, …

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May 13

Snack Time Conversations Expand Our Viewpoints

At the Jewish Enrichment Center, children figure out their own thoughts and beliefs about Judaism. Even as we’re exploring specific content, like an early rabbinic text in which Rabban Gamliel talks with Ceasar, we make room for children to wrestle with their underlying assumptions about Torah and about religious life. This week, I captured two …

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Mar 30

Nitzanim Reflect on Haggadah Theme

This week we are celebrating all of Nitzanim’s accomplishments during our הגדה(Haggadah) theme with a סיום (siyyum—closing ceremony). Our סיום (siyyum–closing ceremony) is modeled after the structure of a Seder. In between opportunities to taste the items on the Seder plate and drink four cups of grape juice, are times to reflect in writing or …

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