"The Hero in Me": New Multi-Access Jewish Values Course Explores Character Traits

Story-based character development and building resilience in children is the focus of a new print and online series of biographies.

Inspired by a groundbreaking exhibition at the Tel Aviv-based ANU - Museum of the Jewish People (formerly Beit Hatfutsot) and published by Behrman House,  “The Hero in Me”  tells the stories of such well-known figures as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, legendary Hollywood filmmaker Steven Spielberg, prominent human and Jewish rights activist Natan Sharansky, biblical figures King David and the prophet Isaiah, and 16th century philanthropist Dona Gracia Nasi, to help readers explore what makes a hero, and how each of us can be a hero in our lives.

“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 lives.”

Written by Emma Carlson Berne, “The Hero in Me” consists of a set of five booklets for students and a guide for teachers and parents that focus on the character traits of courage, kindness, creativity, curiosity and fairness. The materials are available in print and e-book formats. 

Geared toward Jewish children in grades 4-5, students connect with their heritage on a deeper level by studying Jewish heroes from biblical to modern times, from young to old, and famous to lesser known, who embody these traits. The students are then asked to consider how they too, can incorporate these qualities into their daily lives.

Each booklet focuses on a character trait, with biographical sketches of two Jewish heroes (one historical, the other modern) whose lives exemplify that attribute and whose stories are presented interactively. Featured as well are profiles of heroic young people who embody the character trait today.

The Museum of the Jewish People’s exhibition “Heroes - Trailblazers of the Jewish People” encourages children and their families to discover and redefine those qualities that make a hero. The exhibition features profiles and accomplishments of Jewish historical and contemporary figures including scientists, philosophers, cultural icons, inventors, athletes, designers and more.

Visit the Heroes and Trailblazers exhibition at ANU - Museum of the Jewish People: Heroes and Trailblazers.

Student and teacher material for “The Hero in Me” is available through Behrman House and is also available on Amazon.  E-book versions are also available for Kindle and Apple.

Read press coverage in the Jewish Journal.



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