Hanukkah begins Sunday, November 28.
We've rounded up some ready-to-go lessons and downloadable resources for Hanukkah to make it easy for you to provide meaningful learning experiences with your students.
Find meaning in Jewish holidays
Students will learn about spinning
Here are some new story books - and some other favorites - to entertain and inspire young children this holiday.
As a preschool and kindergarten teacher, Hannah Bloom-Hirschberg spent many years nurturing small souls and soothing worries.
As a provider of professional development to Jewish early childhood educators, she teaches others how to find Jewish values in everyday life.
And as a parent, she uses those proficiencies daily, along with everything else that parenting young children entails.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the recently approved vaccine for children have tested those skills as well as opened up opportunities for many conversations with children.
When Bloom-Hirschberg’s 6-year-old son expressed some anxiety about his impending vaccine appointment, the Chicago mom and educator turned to story books as a way to explain complicated ideas.
“Judah Maccabee Goes to the Doctor is literally the most perfect, timely, resonant book for right now,” she says.
Over a long and distinguished career, Eric Kimmel has written all kinds of books for children. His latest, Shield of the Maccabees, marks a new first for him - a graphic novel.
The new story, illustrated by Dov Smiley, is set in ancient Judea just before the very first Hanukkah and follows two friends - one Jewish and one Greek - as war comes to their land.
In an interview, Eric Kimmel tells us more.
Why make a graphic novel now?
Comic books were not considered literature when I was a kid. I hadn’t read any comics since junior high. My agent suggested I learn more about this format since it's now so popular. My friend Michelle McCann took me to Powell’s Bookstore in Portland and loaded me up
By Rabbi Abraham Skorka
Excerpted from Returning to Life After the Storm: Hope and Wisdom from Jewish Sources, Behrman House, 2021
As you read this, the pandemic began about two years ago. Vaccines have since been created and have been found mostly effective, but too many people have also refused to take them, and too many people in the world have not had easy access to them.
Posted: November 01, 2021||
Sigd is a unique holiday of the Ethiopian Jewish community, celebrated exactly 50 days Yom Kippur. This year it falls on November 3-4.
Sigd is recognized as a state holiday in Israel. Yet very few American Jews know about it.
The holiday is celebrated on the date thought to be when God was first revealed to Moses. Traditionally on Sigd, members of the Ethiopian Jewish community would fast and walk together to a mountain top. Members of the community would recite Psalms and remember the Torah and their desire to return to Jerusalem. In the afternoon they would descend the mountain and end their fast with a feast and dancing.
In recent decades, the Ethiopian community in
Candy and costumes are fun for children this time of year, and you too can tap into this energy as an opportunity to learn about Judaism's rich history of mysticism and folklore. Think golems, dybbuks, angels, and the like.
Here are a few of our favorite storybooks for ages 5-8 that feature (non-scary) spirits and creatures:
By Zoë Klein
Long ago, in the town of Knottingham, there were three little goblins.
Knotty was naughty, Knotsalot was no good, and Notnow was no good, no how, not then and not how!
More than anything else, these mischievous goblins liked to tangle children's hair! Find out how the children fought
Just before the very first Hanukkah, Greeks and Jews were living in an uneasy peace in ancient Judea.
Jonathan, a Jewish boy, sees a Greek boy being attacked by bullies and stands up to defend him. They become best friends.
But when war comes to their land, Jonathan joins the Maccabees while his friend Jason joins the Greek army. They seem destined to fight one another. How will their friendship survive?
Shield of the Maccabees is a new story by award-winning author Eric Kimmel and illustrated by Dov Smiley.
The graphic novel format focuses on the history of Hanukkah, and the context of the times.
"A fun and clever twist on the story of the Maccabees."- Steve Sheinkin, author and illustrator of The Adventures of
Posted: October 20, 2021|Categories: Teacher Resources|
Inspired by a groundbreaking exhibition at ANU - Museum of the Jewish People (formerly Beit Hatfutsot) in Tel Aviv and published by Behrman House, The Hero in Me is a series of short biographies to help students learn about themselves an their global Jewish community through five traits:
Storytelling is perhaps the most effective way to convey meaning to children,” said David Behrman, publisher. “These biographies offer bite-size insights into what makes a hero, and how our young readers can build those qualities into their own
Posted: October 13, 2021|Categories: Teacher Resources|
The pandemic has been challenging for all of us, and even as we remain creative and resilient and dedicated, these uncertain times can make us - and our students - feel mentally and physically worn out.
Learning to practice self-care as a habit can help improve coping skills and mental health.
Here are a few techniques to try as we settle into another atypical school year.
Practice being present
Mindfulness is a catch word these days, and with good reason. It’s a way of being in the world, the ability to pay attention to the present moment, the here and now. There’s a growing body of research pointing to the effectiveness of mindful practices on our ability— both adults and children—to pay better attention, make thoughtful decisions and calm ourselves down. Our ability to be in the moment requires opportunities to pause and slow down together and individually.