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Feb 09

Did you know you know…

“Did you know that you have a whole bunch of תפילות (tefillot; prayers) from the סידור (siddur, prayerbook) already memorized? Word for word?”

“What? No I don’t! I’ve never memorized one.”

Here, try one and see.

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Over the past couple of weeks, as our קדושה (kedusha, holiness) theme has been gaining momentum, we’ve taken a step back from our reading practice and into a different kind of challenge during זמן עברית (z’man ivrit; Hebrew time).

These challenges take תפילות (tefillot, prayers) from שירה/תפילה (Shirah/tefillah, singing/prayer; the last part of every session at the Jewish Enrichment Center) and ברכות (berakhot, blessings) that are part of our daily כיבוד (kibud, snack) routine, and turn them into matching, sorting, and sight-reading challenges. After several months of working on recognizing עברית (ivrit, Hebrew) letters and vowels and speeding up decoding skills, it’s amazing how quickly never-before-seen printed words connect with familiar-sounding phrases. FullSizeRender 67

Children in ענפים (Anafim, “branches” for 3rd/4th grade) have been discovering that, for all these months or years, while they thought they were just singing along at שירה/ תפילה shirah/tefillah, they’ve actually been learning the words to a lot of תפילות (tefillot, prayers)! And the nice thing is, if you get stuck and forget a word, you can always ask a classmate to sing it to you to help you remember. Our classroom has been full of the sounds of children singing the שמע (Shema), ברכו (Barechu), and other prayers to each other as they discover how much they’ve known without even knowing it.

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