7th Grade Jewish Studies

November 15, 2018: Ask your child which country they will be representing at the 1st Zionist Congress. More info below!

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Theodore Herzl invites YOU to participate in the First Zionist Congress. They year is 1897.

“There has never before been a meeting like this – where Jews from around the world are coming together to discuss the future of the Jewish people.” – Jewish Times

First you have to understand the background….
The Jewish Question:

The “Jewish question was a debate in 19th- and 20th-century European society about the appropriate status and treatment of Jews in society. It dealt with the civil, legal, national and political status of Jews as a minority within society, particularly in Europe in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

The expression has been used by antisemitic movements from the 1880s onwards, culminating in the Nazi phrase “the Final Solution to the Jewish Question”. The expression was used by people who supported Zionism as well. We will try to use it in a POSITIVE WAY.

Goals of the Conference:

What should the future of Judaism look like and where? Should we stay scattered in a diaspora? Should we all come together to form our own country? Why? You must answer based on your understanding of the Jewish situation in your country at that time.

Who will participate?

There will be delegations from the United States, Russia, Austria, Syria, and Algeria.

October 19, 2018

Seventh graders are learning about the differences between Ashkenazi and Sephardi culture. They have been asked to identify if they are Sephardi or Ashkenazi. If you don’t know, don’t worry! This is meant to be a conversation starter at home…. thanks in advance for your help!

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January 11: Final Verdict

Check out student blogs to see how students are reflecting on this experience….

Students as Jury:

1.Do you think that King Shaul was fit to be King? Why or why not? (Please cite 3 reasons to support your claim)

2. Is your personal opinion the same as the side that you were assigned to be on in the trial? If not, how did that affect your approach to the trial?

3. Without mentioning specific names, please reflect upon how your group performed throughout this experience.

4. After reading this part of the Tanach, do you think that Shaul, as a person in power. brought tikkun to the world? Why or why not?

Once you are done reflecting on your own, please comment on all of the blogs with helpful feedback on two other student blogs.

December 14: Guilty or Innocent? Good King or Terrible King? 

In our study of Shmuel Aleph, seventh graders are learning about King Shaul or King Saul. Their driving question is:

What steps have people with power taken to bring Tikkun to the world? How can we learn from them and put them to action? 

In order to figure out if Shaul is a good King, we studied Chapter 10-15 in the text. Students have been assigned as judges, prosecutors, or defenders. Right now, we are preparing for the trial of the century. Stay tuned for the date of the trial. Also, if you are or know any trial lawyers, let me know. We might need some professional help building up our cases!

November 15:

Students are trying to decide on a driving question for Jewish Studies. Check out this padlet to see their ideas.

October 20: Repairing the Glass Update

Did you know that all 7th grade students participated in a Kristallnacht program with students from Bader Hillel in conjunction with the Coalition for Jewish Learning and the Holocaust Education Resource Center? Students learned more about Kristallnacht by studying pictures of Jews before the war, hearing a speaker who was a child survivor of Kristallnacht, and going on a tour of the Holocaust memorial at the JCC.

What’s next?

7th graders are now working on a Kristallnacht project. Using pictures of Jews from before Kristallnacht, they are creating a gallery that will be on display at the community Kristallnacht commemoration on Sunday, November 5 at 2pm at the Jewish Home and Care Center.

The exhibit is shaping up to be amazing. Please consider coming to this commemoration with your student. I am looking for some students to serve as docents for the gallery that we are creating. Let me know if you can make it!

Shabbat Shalom!


October 20 Update:

Thank you for coming to visit the sukkah last week! It was wonderful sharing breakfast with everyone! Looking forward, we will be doing a new unit on Sefer Shmuel (Samuel 1 and 2). We will learn about the Kings of Israel (Shmuel and David). Stay tuned for more info!

October 4 Update


September 15 Update

Last year’s sukkah built by the current 8th graders

Why are  we taking the time to build a sukkah in 7th grade?

After learning about Sukkot, this is the mission statement that the students came up with:

Sukkah Mission Statement:

By building the sukkah, we are keeping the Jewish tradition alive. If we don’t, Judaism won’t be as meaningful. We will welcome people into our sukkah who don’t have anyone to celebrate Sukkot with. Our sukkah will be very open and you will be able to see the stars in order to get closer to nature. We will connect with God by following God’s commandments, and we will connect with other Jews by inviting them into our sukkah. Our sukkah will demonstrate empathy by sheltering people and showing that not everyone has a home.


September 14:

Students are hard at work creating models of their sukkah design. See below for pictures!



7th grade students scouting out the best spot for a sukkah!

Come check back to see the progress on our sukkah!

So far… the 7th graders have picked a spot! They will be building their sukkah near the circle drive in the back of the building.

Stay tuned for more as students begin designing their sukkah using popsicle sticks and cardboard…