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  1. Teens Want to Make a Difference: Here's a Tool to Guide Them

    Teens Want to Make a Difference: Here's a Tool to Guide Them

    For all of us, the past few pandemic years have been scary and disorienting. For teens in a hunkered-down society, it’s also meant losing opportunities to develop independence.  

    “What our teens need in this moment is support for finding their voice and finding their autonomy. Then we’ll slowly see the pain and fear untangle,” says Michelle Shapiro-Abraham, an award-winning teen educator and director of strategic innovation and youth programs at the Union for Reform Judaism. "We need to showing them that they can claim their power.”

    Dreaming Bigger: Jewish Leadership for Teens by

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  2. Teaching Bible? Resources to Engage New Perspectives

    Teaching Bible? Resources to Engage New Perspectives

    Why do we keep telling the story of our people from one generation to the next?

    Each time we retell stories from the Bible, we learn something about ourselves and our relationships. These stories also encourage critical thinking skills in our students and help them understand important Jewish values that continue to guide us today.

    There are many Bible resources that help children explore the deeper meaning and shape how they live that learning in the world.

    For example, if the curriculum is focused on early Torah stories, you can use a core text such as The Explorer’s Bible or Teach Me Torah. Then engage new perspectives by layering in other elements, like a storybook

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  3. A New Way to Teach Bible Stories

    A New Way to Teach Bible Stories

    Think you know the stories of Abraham and Sarah and Eve and Moses?

    The Bible only tells us part of their stories.

    Imagine seeing the full picture. Maybe we’d discover that Adam and Eve were challenging the rules, growing up, or that Noah felt fearful and angry, desperate for any kind of hope. 

    Or maybe we’d find out that Moses felt dread at being asked to lead the Israelites

    Maybe these iconic figures of the Bible were people just like us, filled with fear and joy, jealousy and passion, mischief and love. 

    Maybe It Happened this Way, by Rabbi Leah Berkowitz and Erica Wovsaniker, is a modern take on Bible stories, with relatable characters; not earnest and reverent, but not transgressive either.

    It also helps students understand the difference between the biblical text and the Jewish concept of midrash - stories created to add new layers to our understanding of the Bible.

    “With this book,

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  4. Welcome Students Back to School with Icebreakers

    Welcome Students Back to School with Icebreakers
    Successful education starts with relationships - among students, and between children and teachers. These sample icebreakers can help get you started.
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  5. Salt and Honey: Can You See God in a Grapefruit?

    Salt and Honey: Can You See God in a Grapefruit?

    Can You See God in a Grapefruit?

    by Aliza Abusch-Magder

    from Salt & Honey: Jewish Teens on Feminism, Creativity, and Tradition


    Thousands of juice packets. Sweet, tangy, sour. Packed so closely together in communities commonly called "pieces," and when you hand me a piece of your grapefruit, you hand me a little collection of individuals held together by a thin, opaque, fibrous skin.

    When I passed the grapefruit tree on the way to the bank, I effortlessly plucked the ripe, perfumed, leathered teardrop slowly falling from its tired branch.

    I casually held a world in my hand, a real-life Horton Hears a Who! 

    Don't you see God in Dr. Seuss? Wasn't it divine?

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  6. Behrman House’s Commitment to Diversity in Learning Materials Has Never Been Stronger

    We recently received a letter from “Concerned Citizen,” an anonymous 8th grader from Boston, who noticed that in the Hebrew series Z’Man L’Tefilah (Time for Prayer) “every single illustration in the book depicts white people,” and urged us to do better than to present “a singular image of Jews.”

    The student is right. This series, developed in the 1980s by the publishing company A.R.E., is illustrated with small line drawings that present what could be called an Ashkenazic world view, a view that North American Jews are exclusively descended from the Eastern European Jews who immigrated during the late 1800s and early 1900s as they fled pogroms and other atrocities.

    Behrman House took over distribution of this series in the early 2000s, and while we regularly review already published titles, as a small independent publisher we do not often have the budget to go back and

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  7. Salt and Honey: The Menu is Overwhelming

    Salt and Honey: The Menu is Overwhelming

    The Menu is Overwhelming

    by Emanuelle Sippy

    from Salt & Honey: Jewish Teens on Feminism, Creativity, and Tradition


    Sometimes age is as muddled as life's unanswerable questions.


    Arbitrary, in our cravings for adulthood and infancy. 


    Forget deciding--knowing alone is a task so cumbersome

    that control is not envied but rather exiled.


    When worry overpowers, I order life without



    and choice.


    Read more »
  8. Awakenings: American Jewish Transformations in Identity, Leadership, and Belonging

    "Strong debut . . . this nuanced portrait of the state of American Judaism proffers a cogent vision of how to revitalize the faith." --Publishers Weekly

    By Rabbi Joshua Stanton and Rabbi Benjamin Spratt

    Foreword by the Rev. Kaji Dousa. Afterword by Dr. Eboo Patel

    Find out more, read reviews, see the table of contents here.



    Read more »
  9. What Will Religious School Look Like This Fall? SURVEY SAYS . . .

    What Will Religious School Look Like This Fall? SURVEY SAYS . . .

    It’s mid-August. For many students and teachers—particularly in the South and West—back to school is here while others will be back in session in mid-to-late September. We wanted to find out what back to school looks like in this awkward fall when things seem better even as we all remain cautious about what the Delta variant of COVID might mean in the coming weeks and months.

    So we asked, “What will religious school look like for Fall 2021”?
    47 schools from across the country responded in detail. And while uncertainty remains, and no one can yet retire the word ‘pivot’ (sorry!), educators have been finding ways to take the best from a stunningly challenging 2020 and move forward. Here are the results of the survey.

    How will your school be meeting this year?

    In contrast to last fall, when schools were zooming exclusively, most educators responding indicated that going into this school year t

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  10. Tools to Build Resilience and Kindness in an Uncertain World

    As we enter a second school year of pandemic-induced uncertainty, children have shown their resilience time and again.

    We can all learn and practice such skills. Character traits such as resilience, kindness, and courage lie at the core of Jewish values, requiring us to make conscious choices about our actions. Here are some ways to teach and develop character traits and values.

    Grades 3-5

    This is an age when children are thinking critically about right and wrong and the importance of the choices they make. Here is an activity from A Kids Mensch Handbook about the value of sh'lom bayit, peace in the home. 

    Start by asking children to complete the following sentence in their heads or on paper: "My favorite family memories are_____" Allow

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