BIG IDEAS

Welcome to our Big Ideas page, where you’ll find fresh and thought-provoking perspectives on Jewish children’s learning. Listen to children’s honest efforts to be compassionate, connected, courageous Jewish humans. Peer over educators’ shoulders as they partner with children in their efforts. Dive deep into Rabbi Rebecca’s writings for a profound, inspiring look into the complex, multifaceted world of Jewish children’s learning.

  • Children in Shorashim v'Shteelim ("Roots" for nursery and "Saplings" for kindergarten) have been busy getting ready for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot! They've been stringing beads for decorations and making paper chains; designing model sukkot with blocks; baking sweet treats for Sukkot; and building and decorating our play sukkah. We can't wait to celebrate Sukkot next week by visiting the sukkah and shaking the lulav (palm) and etrog (citron)! Chag Sukkot Sameach! Happy Sukkot Holiday!

  • In שׁוֹרָשִׁים (Shorashim– ‘roots’ for nursery) and שְׁתִּילִים (Shteelim– ‘saplings’ for kindergarten), we have been learning so many new things and routines. One area where things feel new and special is in our Yetzirah (arts/creativity) studio, where we had an introductory session about what materials we can find in the studio. We worked in pairs to find all of the items on a bingo board. In each pair, children took turns holding the clipboard and marking that spots on the boards with  [ MORE ]

  • What a lovely start we've had to our second week of August Camp! Children in the 1st-5th grade group jumped right into being kind, caring and curious with each other as we opened up our theme for the week: the story of David and Yonaton (Jonathon) from the book of Shmuel (Samuel). They worked in teams to draw each of the characters from our story to help us keep track of who is who. In the afternoons, we've had a  [ MORE ]

  • By Nursery and Kindergarten Children Once Upon a Time... the princesses were getting their fancy dresses for Shabbat.  They decided to go camping for Shabbat.  They drove to their campsite in a fancy carriage called a Ferrari. They started unpacking their campsite and realized that they didn't have challah.  They had challah dough at their campsite, so they decided to make challah and let it rise over the campfire. They ate dinner.  Then they went to the aquarium and fed  [ MORE ]

  • Oh how wonderful to be back together for a full week of August Camp! Last week, children in 1st-5th grade explored mezuzah ("doorpost"). They hunted around the building for mezuzot, learned new techniques for clay, went on two AWESOME walking field trips to nearby playgrounds, and designed their own unique mezuzot. Children in nursery and kindergarten read favorite Shabbat stories to inspire their very own Shabbat production. They painted their own backdrops, designed costumes, and were delighted to perform for  [ MORE ]

  • In שׁוֹרָשִׁים (Shorashim– ‘roots’ for nursery) and שְׁתִּילִים (Shteelim– ‘saplings’ for kindergarten) we have been preparing for the holiday of Shavuot (Weeks), which begins at sundown tonight! We made no-bake cheese cake! Crushing Graham Crackers for Crust Mixing cream cheese, sugar and vanilla We prepared blintzes for Shavuot meals: We played gleaning, based on what we read about Rut (Ruth) in Megillat Rut (The Story of Ruth, read on Shavuot):

  • It's been a tremendous year in Shalom Chaverim ("Welcome, Friends!") for infants/toddlers and their grown-ups. What fun we've had celebrating an entire year of Jewish holidays by baking, painting, building, playing, singing, dancing, and SO MUCH MORE! When I went to choose my favorite photos to post in today's blog post, I was drawn to these: Wow. Thank you. Thank you for sharing your amazing children with me this year, but also thank you for sharing yourselves. What beautiful relationships  [ MORE ]

  • In שׁוֹרָשִׁים (Shorashim– ‘roots’ for nursery) and שְׁתִּילִים (Shteelim– ‘saplings’ for kindergarten) we are putting together our design for the curtain for our community's אָרוֹן (aron- ark)! The children looked at composite drawings of  עצים (etzim- trees), so we could finalize the design and start laying out the fabrics in the spot that they will be glued. Here are some of the things that children said as they were telling us about what they wanted to create on the curtain: I like  [ MORE ]

  • In שׁוֹרָשִׁים (Shorashim– ‘roots’ for nursery) and שְׁתִּילִים (Shteelim– ‘saplings’ for kindergarten) we have started to work on our design for the curtain for our community's אָרוֹן (aron- ark)! In preparation for starting our work, we went outside to do color and texture matching in nature. We brought fabric swatches with us and when we found a match we took photos, this way we could keep track of the natural materials that matched the swatches. Starting to look for matches. I found  [ MORE ]

  • We continued our exploration of Shavuot ("Weeks") this week in Shalom Chaverim ("Welcome, Friends" for infants/toddlers and a grown-up). We made flower crowns, built aronot (plural: aron, ark) for the Torah, and even tasted a dairy treat! What a sweet way to end our Shavuot exploration together!

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