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The Hero in Me

A unique set of print and online materials help young people grades 4-5 explore character development in themselves through biographies of cultural, historical, and contemporary heroes. Created in conjunction with ANU - Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv (formerly Beit Hatfutsot).
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Printed Material
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Explore character-building through inspirational profiles developed in conjunction with ANU - Museum of the Jewish People (formerly Beit Hatfutsot).

Meet a diverse array of Jewish heroes--from the Prophets and modern Jewish history to social activism and Hollywood--including young contemporary heroes, each of whom can serve as a role model to inspire young people to be their best selves.

Explore how five key character strengths--Courage, Kindness, Creativity, Curiosity, and Fairness--develop in others and in ourselves, told in 8-page booklets, each focused on one of the specific character traits.For example, the booklet about Fairness spotlights U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Mississippi civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and MIchael Schwermer; the prophet Isaiah; and Jacob Revels, an 18 year-old community organizer.Each shrink-wrapped set of The Hero in Me includes five booklets, one for each of the character traits.


  • What Would You Do? Students consider how they would approach a situation similar to one that the hero encountered.
  • Work Your Muscles: Exercises for cultivating the trait within yourself.
  • In Their Words: Real quotes from the featured heroes.
  • From the Text:  Text from Jewish tradition that touches on the features trait.
  • Listen Up: Songs that focus on traits, with digital links to listen online.


  • Courage: Queen Esther, acitvist Natan Sharansky, middle-schooler Sam Verstandig
  • Kindness: Dona Gracia Nasi,medical organizer Henrietta Szold, factory owner Aaron Feuerstein, teenager Sara Blau
  • Creativity: King David, director Steven Spielberg, food historian and teacher Michael Twitty; medical clown Sela Boord
  • Curiosity: Maimonides, robotics engineer Amit Goffer, college student Tamar Beer
  • Fairness: Isaiah, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwermer, community organizer Jacob Revels

Considering how to use The Hero in Me in online spaces? Kindle and Apple Books versions are available. 


Emma Carlson Berne has authored and ghostwritten more than 120 books for young adult and middle-grade readers, including for American Girl Publishing, Disney Lucasfilm, Simon & Schuster, Scholastic, Lonely Planet Kids, and National Geographic Kids.


ANU - Museum of the Jewish People (formerly Beit Hatfutsot) tells the entire, unique, and ongoing story of the Jewish people past, present, and future. Multiple platforms and programs dedicated to reinforcing Jewish identity and passionate connection to the Jewish people highlight Jewish values, history, achievements, culture, folklore, and special capacity for celebration.

Teacher's Guide Available: includes scripted lessons of 35-50 minutes each together with advice on customizing them for your setting; extended biographies of the adult heroes featured in each booklet; do-at-home activities; and projects to extend learning, including online components. A variety of learning modalities are incorporated, including small group work, role-playing, art, and more.