August 14, 2020 |

Grade 7/GESHER IS AMAZING!

Posted on November 19, 2017

Most of our morning was a Service Sunday activity coordinated by Katie Hamelburg.  Kelsey Hampton from the Natick Service Council (“neighbors helping neighbors”) taught Temple Israel 6th and 7th grade students and 7th grade students from Temple Beth Am about the amazing work of the NSC.  It provides a food pantry, after school enrichment, and case management for 700 families in Natick. The students then created posters illustrating needs in our community and what they could do to help. They learned that NSC will be providing Thanksgiving meals for 220 families and the students made Thanksgiving greeting cards to enhance the gifts of food. For more information about the very good work of the Natick Service Council and to learn about how you can get involved, please go to https://natickservicecouncil.org/.
After our hands-on activities, we were reminded that Jews welcome new babies into the Covenant with blessings and by giving them names.  Students were invited to think about the origin of their names; for whom were you named?  What do you know about that person?  What attributes do your parents hope that you will share with your namesake?
We learned a new mishna from Pirkei Avot (4:13). 
Rabbi Shimon says, there are three crowns:
the crown of the Torah,
the crown of the priesthood
 and the crown of royalty,
and the crown of a good name rises above all the others.
We learned that keter is the Hebrew word for crown and the Hebrew expression shem tov means good name.
We also considered another text from the midrash:
In life you discover that people are called by three names:
One is the name the person is called by his or her father and mother;
One is then name people call him or her; and
One is the name one acquires for one-self.
The best is the name one acquires for one’s self. (Kohelet Rabbah 7)
We thought about what attributes and behaviors people would associate with our names and how we will achieve our own keter shem tov, a crown of a good name.