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Jewish Values in Genesis Journal

Through the dramatic stories of the Book of Genesis, students explore Jewish values that can guide us in our lives today.
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Through the dramatic stories of the Book of Genesis, students explore Jewish values that can guide us in our lives today. From Abraham and Sarah’s faith and trust in journeying to a new land, to Rebecca’s kindness at the well, to the jealousy and betrayal of Joseph by his brothers, we learn something new about ourselves and our relationships from the ups and downs of our biblical ancestors. 



1 Who Am I? Creation

B’tzelem Elohim: In the Image of God

2 What Do I Stand For? Noah and the Flood

Ometz Leiv: Strength of Heart

3 Where Do I Find Faith and Hope? Abraham and Sarah

Bitachon: Trust

How Can I Pay It Forward? Rebecca at the Well

Chesed: Kindness

Should I Always Tell the Truth? Jacob and Esau

Emet: Truth

What Can I Do about Feeling Jealous? Joseph and His Brothers

Kinah: Jealousy

 7 How Can I Take Responsibility? Judah and Benjamin

Acharayut: Responsibility


Rachael Gelfman Schultz is a writer, teacher, and the co-author of Jewish Holidays, Jewish Values. She holds a B.A. in religion from Harvard University, and an M.A. in Jewish Civilization from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Also available: Jewish Values in the Exodus explores values that guide us in our communities and the world.


  • Journal format: Like Jewish Holidays, Jewish Values, this student journal features writing prompts, hands-on activities, discussion questions, and a light, accessible design.
  • Bible story retellings: Creative, varied retellings of biblical stories encourage students to connect through art, drama, journaling, games, midrash, and more
  • Active questioning: Students are actively encouraged to ask their own questions throughout.
  • Internal and relationship focus: The first half of the book focuses on values relating to the self (who am I and what is important to me) and the second half on values that are expressed in our close relationships
  • PBL project: students will choose one person from the Bible or Jewish history, come up with a Big Question relating this person to a Jewish value, and craft a project to learn and present their answers to the question.

For more resources visit

Further Resources

Chapter 1

Video about values from the Bible 

Chapter 2

More information about the people in “Values in Action”:

Information on Midrash 

Babel story and its connection to totalitarianism

Chapter 3

Map of modern day Israel

Haran/ modern day Turkey

Abraham's travels                                                                                                      

Debbie Friedman’s song, “L’chi Lach,” video and lyrics

More information about the people in "Values in Action":

The binding of Isaac 

Chapter 4

Pay it forward resources:

Chapter 5

The mistakes of biblical characters

Chapter 6

Joseph: King of Dreams

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat 

Chapter 7

More information about the people in "Values in Action":