October 19, 2020 |

Grade 7-GESHER is Amazing!

Posted on January 21, 2018

Katie Hamelburg’s Service Sunday project was amazing!  Students from both Temple Israel and Beth Am surveyed their synagogues and found accommodations in place to make their synagogues accessible to everybody.  They also discovered opportunities for greater accessibility.  Then they developed proposals for new accommodations to increase accessibility at their synagogues.  This morning, students presented their proposals to a panel of leaders representing each synagogue.  The proposals were impressive and the presentations well described.  Watching our 6th and 7th grade students hold the microphone and describe the meaning and purpose of their proposals was an honor and a blessing.  They are the leaders of the future and are building on solid foundations!
After the program, the Gesher class learned about the Talmud through a rendition of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech presented like a page of Talmud (http://www.hillel.org/docs/default-source/default-document-library/-i-have-a-dream-text-study.pdf?sfvrsn=0).  Then we looked at texts about parents teaching their children focusing on Kiddushin 29a:
A parent is obligated to teach his or her child three things:
Torah, a trade or profession and how to swim.

Students grappled with this text in an effort to understand what each of these things represent?  Do they represent larger categories?  And if so, what are those larger categories? Students were thoughtful deep thinkers taking on the roles of rabbis examining the text, suggesting how the text translates into actions, and wondering about how they can make personal meaning from this text and integrate it within their own value systems.