Southern Jewish Communities Embrace Art as Jewish Holiday Learning Tool

Third graders in more than 70 congregations across the southern U.S. are adopting the new Make, Create, Celebrate! Jewish Holidays through Art into their curriculum this fall.

Make, Create, Celebrate helps students explore the meanings and big ideas of holidays through the lens of art. Not though arts and crafts, but rather by responding to a piece of art and  inspiring students' to generate their own creatve interpretations of each holiday. In a workshop titled "Teaching With Art in Your Jewish Classroom" last week at the Institute of Southern Jewish Life's annual education conference, educators examined a self-portrait by Marc Chagall, then made their own self-portraits, as a way of understanding the idea behind self-reflection and teshuvah, key themes of Rosh Hashsanah and Yom Kippur. 

The ISJL, based in Jackson, Mississippi, develops curriculum for communities across 13 states, and has incorporated the portfolio-style resource into its curriculum. "We love Make, Create, Celebrate," says Rachel Stern, director of education at the ISJL. "It's beautifully done and is filled with so many great activities!"