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SHABBAT ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENT

 

Students in grades Gimel (3rd) through Zayin (7th) receive  credit for attending Shabbat services throughout the school year.

 

Kitah Zayin (7th): 12 Shabbat services

February 11, 2024

Hi all,

This past week we experienced the World Wide Wrap once again where all students were able to pray wearing our ritual garb of tefillin. Once we arrived back to our class we discussed the Torah’s reference to wearing tallit and tefillin. Two students volunteered and were helped by their classmates to put the tefillin on and recite the blessings. Additionally, we shared how we came to acquire our own tallit from our family with those that had their B’nai Mitzvah. 

February 4, 2024

No updates provided.

January 28, 2024

No update was provided.

Students and their parents attended The Butterfly Garden for their family education program. The butterflies they created will be added to The Butterfly Garden mural on the 3rd floor of the school building.

January 7, 2024

No updates have been provided. 

December 3

No class for Kitah Zayin 

November 12

Judaic Studies - Contact Alan Johnathan for information.

 

Jewish Life and Culture - AJ

 

HI all,

 This past week it was so wonderful seeing so many students attend Shabbat services and even more for the Bat Mitzvah of Sofia Rosenberger. As always we reflected on the service and shared our collective thoughts. Afterwards, we looked into our homes for elements of Jewish Life and Culture. Students shared pictures they took in their house of objects that reflect their Judaism. Some items included kippot, mezuzahs,  a ketubah, and menorahs. It was interesting to learn about the many similarities we all share in how and where we present our Judaic relics. Although a few students were not sure where the ketubah was, if they even had one. We also discussed the challenges of clearly displaying our Jewish pride in tumultuous times and the chooses some people make. Each week I look forward to learning how your child makes a meaningful connection to their Jewish Life and Culture; encourage them to question items in and around their Jewish life. 

October 29

Judaic Studies - Contact Alan Johnathan for updates.

Jewish Life and Culture -

Hi all,

It was so nice being at Shabbat for the second B’nai Mitzvah of the class with so many classmates supporting their peers. I look forward to the next few weeks of several more. In our Jewish Life and Culture class we reflected on the significance of the Torahs guidance on our celebration of “traditional” pop culture holidays, such as Halloween. We discussed what Leviticus 18.3 “You shall not copy the practices of the land of Egypt where you dwelt, or the land of Canaan to which I am taking you; nor shall you follow their laws.” means for our participation. Many students reflected on their separation of religious expectations and participation from a cultural sense. Additionally, we played BINGO regarding our discussions and topics from prior weeks lessons. Please continue to encourage your child to celebrate their Judaism and identify artifacts that are in their home reflecting their Jewish history. We will be sharing out some images of these artifacts found around our homes and what they mean in our life, next class.

October 15, 2023

We had a great week in Kitah Zayin!

This week, we started to explore antisemitism.  We started class by discussing any other questions students had about the ongoing conflict in Israel. Afterward, students wrote in their journals about what they think antisemitism is, why they believe it exists, and whether have they ever had anything antisemitic happen to them. Students then watched a short video about antisemitism and discussed what they learned.

May 7, 2023

Hi all,

We began class this week with our essential question of “Who is proud of their Judaism?” This prompted a reflective conversation about our history and community while gently acknowledging antisemitism that exists in some of the students lives and school. We reflected on the importance of being a community and being mindful of our religious obligations in and out of temple. Personally, I felt it was important for us to have this conversation because of the recent behaviors observed by some Kitah Zayin students use of cell phones during Shabbat and more specifically, during their classmates b’mai mitzvah. Some felt it wasn’t important, while others acknowledged congregants may be mourning or deeply in spiritual connections and not wanting to see kids taking selfies simultaneously. I share these conversations with you as our class reflects on Jewish Life and Culture through discussion and interpretation of text. I strongly encourage you to ask our essential question to your child and hear how they feel about their commitment or obligation to Judaism. As a middle level educator for nearly 30 years, teenagers are at a point of extreme identification and boundary testing. Use these questions and discussions to guide, learn, and listen.

Thank you for the opportunity and year to learn with your child, AJ

May 7, 2023

We had another great week in Kitah Zayin!

Students learned and discussed post-Oslo Accord Israel this week, focusing on the First and Second Intifada. Students watched two short videos and discussed the complexity of the Arab/Israeli conflict, some of the issues Palestinians and Israelis faced due to Intifadas, and the direct impact that can be traced to today. Students also discussed ways to achieve peace between Israel, Palestinians, and its Arab neighbors.

April 30, 2023

This week we had a visit with Megan Harkavy, Director of Hebrew High. She did some ice breakers and then explained to the class about what Hebrew High is, talked about the classes and the frienshdips that are made at Hebrew High. For more information about Hebrew High please contact Megan. 

April 23, 2023

Jewish Life & Culture:

Hi all,

 

Social media is ubiquitous in the hands of many teenagers and adults. In our continued learning of contemporary Jewish life, we discussed how social media can serve as a wonderful communicator and sharing of views while equally perpetuating hate and antisemitism. Recently, a student around the Charlotte region made their graduation cap the shape of a KKK pointed hat and Nazi symbols were found scrolled yet again on a students' paper when they stepped out of class. We discussed the importance of using social media to empower positivity and celebrate our Judaism. Several students went online and shared how the platforms they use highlight Jewish memorabilia, food, and the beauty of synagogues. Last week we commemorated Yom HaShoah, and this week we commemorate Memorial Day in Israel and then celebrate Israel’s 75th Birthday, it is important that the students understand the powerful tool in their hand can also be a beckon of hope, acceptance, knowledge, and peace.

Thank you and we are all looking forward to the upcoming B’nai Mitzvot in the next few weeks!

March 26, 2023

Students spent the morning preparing for their Class Shabbat Celebration. They reviewed the tefillot with Rabbi Kornsgold and worked on their presentations.

March 19, 2023

Jewish Life & Culture:

Hi all,

This past week we reflected on our personal connection and history to being Jewish in preparation for the Class Shabbat Celebration scheduled for Saturday, April 1. I wanted students to realize how they exhibit their Judaism and explain some of the rituals or artifacts their family engages in to further define their religion. Some students shared their Hebrew name and who they are named after, including great/grandparents, and what that legacy means to them. Others expressed the reason for their favorite holiday, such as "Pesach because matzah, horseradish, and charoset sandwich.” Overall, most students felt strongly connected to their Judaism and learning with friends at Temple Israel Religious School. Although my favorite reflection was most students listing having a connection to their attendance at Shabbat. As a reminder, for those students in attendance April 1 at Shabbat morning services, they will be leading some tefillot from the bimah and share a very brief connection to their Judaism.

Update this content.

March 12, 2023

Jewish Life and Culture:

Hi all,

Despite a very low attendance this past weekend, students mixed with each other in an effort to better understand what a mitzvah truly represents. They debated if it is a commandment, or a good deed. They all were aware of the 613 mitzvahs, even though they acknowledged many of them would be nearly impossible to accomplish in modern times. Yet, they made justification for laws pertaining to marriage, punishment, prayer, and food; all of which could be carried out! Have you reflected on the mitzvoth recently, such as #584, respect your father or mother. 

 

 

Judaic Studies: We had another great week in Kitah Zayin!

This week we watched two videos and discussed how Israel had to make tough choices for defense and peace. Both would be a moral dilemma that not everyone agreed with.

The first video went into the time in the 1960s Egypt recruited Nazi scientists to create a missile that could be topped with nuclear material. The Mossad attempted multiple ways to hunt down the Nazis but were extremely unsuccessful. The Mossad found former SS Lieutenant Colonel Otto Skorzeny ,who could help them eliminate the scientists due to his connection with them during and after the war. Besides the obvious problem of him being a former SS Colonel and responsible for the murder of thousands of Jews, he was also Hitler’s favorite military officer due to his relentlessness, and was high up on Simon Wiesenthal’s Nazi war criminal list. The officer would agree to work for the Mossad, under the condition he would not be persecuted for his crimes. Ultimately, the Mossad made the agreement and all the Nazis helping Egypt were either killed or escaped back to Europe.

The second video was about exchanging the Jewish settlement of Yamit in the Sinai desert for peace with Egypt.  In 1982 Egypt offered Israel peace under the condition Israel withdrew from the Sinai desert that it had captured during the Six Day War in 1967. If Israel agreed, they would finally have peace with one of their neighbors, but at the cost of losing a large amount of land and existing Israelis who settled there after the war. In the end, Israel agreed but was forced to send the IDF to Yamit to forcibly remove the residents who settled there and ultimately bulldoze it to prevent them from returning.

Students discussed after each video if they felt the right decision was made by Israel, how they would feel if they were there to witness the events, and how these decisions shaped Israel today.

 

 

 

February 26, 2023

We had another great week in Kitah Zayin!

This week we had our family education program where families participated in the Butterfly project to commemorate the children lost in the Holocaust.

One of our congregants, Irving Bienstock, who is a survivor, joined us for part of program. We were all so grateful that he made the time to join us and answer our questions.

February 12, 2023

Jewish Life & Culture

Hi all,

I am compelled to highlight every year that the World Wide Wrap conducted at hundreds of synagogues globally, originated here at Temple Israel, nearly 30 years ago. Who knew after years of participating in the World Wide Wrap while living with my family in NY, we would relocate, join, and even work at Temple Israel. This past Super Bowl Sunday, all our students who attended class had the opportunity to participate in the World Wide Wrap and wear tefillin; with guidance of clergy and Men’s club volunteers they put it on and said the prayer. Following morning minyan, we had a short class focusing on student selected questions from the Jewish Book of Why. We briefly discussed the significance of names for spouses and family members. It further supports the notion why Jews are traditionally not named juniors or seconds. Does you child know why they were given the name they so proudly identify as? Ask them.

Thank you, AJ

February 5, 2023

Hi all,

Who knew when I moved from NY over three years, I would join the temple that originated the World Wide Wrap. My family had been participating in the WWW since our children began their Jewish learning. Now it is an annual tradition. During class we discussed the significance of ritual garb; including how tefillin is wrapped and the associated prayers. Students will have the opportunity to do it again this Super Bowl Sunday during morning minyan. Hope to see them be a part of the home of the World Wide Wrap!  Please arrive at 9am to learn to wrap tefillin before the service. Afterwards, breakfast will be served.

January 29, 2023

Jewish Life and Culture

Hi all,

Do you have a garden in your backyard? Do you grow fruit trees around your home? Have you set aside a portion of your produce for the Kohanim? With Tu B’shvat next weekend we discussed the significance of our modern Earth Day and the role Kohanim, Levites, and Israelites play in our prayer, rituals, and honors. Students developed a better understanding how the 12 tribes of Israel resulted in the formation of two primary regions, Israel and Judah; and how Judah is the ancestral root too much of our history. We also discussed who receives the first aliyah during Shabbat and Torah reading. Consider discussing if you know your own family history as Kohanim, Levite, or Israelite…it may determine your next aliyah order.

Thank you, AJ

 

Judaic Studies

 

We had another great week in Kitah Zayin!

This week we started a new unit in that students will look at different aspects of Judaism through their own lives. Students will have different prompts that they will write and draw that we will compare to Judaism. This week we started with students writing their names, heroes in their lives, villains, and their favorite song, lyrics, poem, etc. that guide them through life.

January 22, 2023

Jewish Life and Culture

Hi all,

Our lesson followed developing a deeper understanding of Martin Luther King Jr. and the values he shared through a genuine friendship with Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. Heschel stated, "There is an evil which most of us condone and are even guilty of: indifference to evil. We remain neutral, impartial, and not easily moved by the wrongs done unto other people.” Students wrote about a connection they had to Heschel's emphasis on indifference and what it means to be sorry. We challenged our own thinking and value of an apology, considering a core value of Judaism is “All Jews are responsible for one another.” Our need to support and lift our community and others is more important that simply being a bystander. Students expressed how they do or have done something that truly reflects their values, such as: being nice to others, eating healthy, working hard in sports, or studying in school. Overall, we walked away knowing our actions should mirror our values and it is important to be aware, conscientious, and purposeful. 

January 8, 2023

Judaic Studies

We had another great week in Kitah Zayin!

This week we started to learn about some of the ghettos that Jews were forced to live in during the Shoah (Holocaust). We started class with students having 5 minutes to write down what they would bring with them if they had to leave home to go to an undisclosed location. Students learned that most Jews would only have a short amount of time to pack everything of importance to them before going to a ghetto. Next, we watched a short video that was an overview of what life was like during this time. We discussed how even in some of the worst situations, we found three different ways to rebel. One is to continue living as Jewishly as possible by attending underground schools, having youth organizations, continuing to have services, etc. Another way to go around laws by smuggling in food and medicine, setting up makeshift hospitals, and getting valuable information from the outside. The last is physical rebellion such as the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising which was the first large-scale resistance against the Nazis.

 

Jewish Life and Culture 

HI all,

Kitah Zayin shared how Jewish Life and culture was a part of their lives the last three weeks. Many students shared their better understanding of how to place the candles and light the chanukiyah, while others highlighted making latkes with family or attending Shabbat services. Two students who visited Israel told their classmates about praying at the Western Wall and being with family in their homeland. During class we focused on Shabbat and how we recognize it each week by resting. Resting was the key word students analyzed and what is truly considered work according to conservative Judaism. We discussed how gentiles have historically played an important role in Jews celebration of Shabbat, including organ playing in medieval synagogues and is one persons work, another persons rest. Can you draw on Shabbat if that is pleasure for you while for artists it is work. Many more questions were asked than answered, our commitment to learning is always ongoing.

 

 

December 11, 2022

Judaic Studies:  This week we focused on Jewish history in America. We started by discussing how life in America differs from Jews living in other parts of the world. Students discussed how we can, for the most part, not worry as much for our safety, have positions in our government and have equal rights with our neighbors. The first video we watched and discussed was about the first US Supreme Court Justice and President of the American Zionist Movement, Louis Brandeis. Students learned and discussed how Brandeis' argument that Jews wanting a homeland for the safety of Jews in unsafe lands would make us better Americans. The second video we watched was about the history of Jews in America, from the first Jews arriving in New Amsterdam in 1654 from Brazil to the current times. We ended class discussing how even in the darker moments in American history, we still help fast to our faith and the promise America has for us as a people.

 

Jewish Life & Culture:

- Hi all,
It is such a joy witnessing yet another classmates' bat mitzvah during Shabbat service and the support they give to each other. During class time we reflected on the significance of Hanukkah, Channukkah, Chanukah, even Xanuka according to some google searches. We delve deeper into the true significance of celebrating the rededication during Kislev, far away from the traditional harvest and festival holidays. Students shared their personal family customs and traditions used to celebrate the miracle. Some shared making latke parties for their gentile neighbors, while others loved how the family played endless games of dreidel. We also challenged our thinking regarding the increased commercialization and mirroring of Christianity during our celebrations, from gift giving to "Hanukkah bushes.” The most important conversations though were about tolerance and appreciating the various approaches we all exercise during our celebrations. Happy Chanukah!


 

 

December 4, 2022

Jewish Life and Culture:

Hi all,

After a fun weekend celebrating another classmates Bar Mitzvah, we reflected on our peer support of each other. Students expressed their desire to attend their classmates service and/or celebration afterwards. It was wonderful to hear how some friendships have been established for ten years, while others have embraced their recent encounters. Afterwards, we headed downstairs to the Chanukah boutique and purchased gifts for family and friends. This weekend really highlighted the kinship that Kitah Zayin has developed over their studies. Next week we will delve deeper into the meaning of many Chanukah customs developed over the last millennia.

Judaic Studies:

This week looked at examples of propaganda and how to recognize it. Students answered questions about different propaganda posters and also discussed their findings with their peers.

November 20, 2022

Jewish Life and Culture:

What does it mean to be considered the chosen people? Does being seen as "the chosen people” mean we have certain responsibilities? This was a part of our rich and opinionated conversation in class this weekend. Students shared their interpretation and what our role is conveyed in Deuteronomy 14:2, which states "For you are a people consecrated to your God יהוה: your God יהוה chose you from among all other peoples on earth to be a treasured people.” Students expressed how they agreed or disagreed with various statements by standing in different areas of the room. Additionally, we discussed the purpose of attending Hebrew school after their Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Lastly, we shared our understanding of Havdalah service and how it connects to our identification as the chosen people. I encourage you to further the conversation at home asking what did it mean to you and what obligation do we have to treat all people equally. 

Update this content.

 

Due to some of the recent antisemitic incidents, we had a class focused on different forms of antisemitism and opened up for discussion. Students talked about different experiences they have faced, how to report them, and how if they ever have an instance they do not feel safe talking to a teacher or school admin, we are here to help them.

The second half of the day was much lighter. Students played a kahoot which consisted of 70 questions about various topics in Judaism. They did a great job and learned some new things. 

 

October 30, 2022

JL&C - Although we had a light attendance to continue our conversation this week on Jewish Life and Culture, those students present, truly shared some strong view points and perspectives about how a mezuzah can be kosher among vegetarians. Some students felt the sacred ritual offering of using animal skin for parchment did not conflict with the significant slaughter of billions of animals for human consumption; while others felt it might just be best to use a non-kosher scroll in the receptacle. We connected our conversation of mezuzah to our own holy vessel, our body. We developed a deeper understanding of our commandment to guard our body (Deuteronomy 4:9), sh’mirat ha-guf. This led to a reflective conversation about how we treat our bodies, from brushing our teeth, breaking bones, maintaining a proper diet, and even if tattoos are allowed. I am hopeful next week we have more students present to reflect on our culture and continued deeper understanding of what it means to be Jewish.

 

Judaic Studies

We had a great week in Kitah Zayin,

This week our class Madricha, Eliana, led the class as a certified instructor for the Anne Frank Exhibit from the University of South Carolina. Students learned about Anne Frank’s diary and followed her life side-by-side with events happening in Europe. During class, students discussed with Eliana different historical events, dispelling incorrect rumors such as Hitler having a Jewish relative, and learned more background about how the Nazi party was able to take over Germany. At the end of class, students asked Eliana questions about the presentation, other rumors they heard about the Holocaust, and how we know so much information about what went on during this time period.  

October 23, 2022

We had another great week in Kitah Zayin,

We started class reviewing the information from last week and asking how the perpetrators of genocide should be punished. Students learned about the Nuremberg Trials, and different International Criminal Tribunals in Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.  Students then looked at countries in the world that have ongoing genocides or are at risk of having one along with the response from different countries. At the end of class, students shared how they feel we can help raise awareness and stop genocides before they happen.

 

Tue, February 20 2024 11 Adar I 5784