The Kohelet Prize Database

Subject: Social Studies

Austin Jewish Academy (AJA) Fifth-Grade Sustainability Curriculum

As part of AJA's commitment to educating life-long environmental stewards, Ms. Hidalgo developed a reproducible model curriculum to teach sustainability through opportunities for real-world learning. Her program involves innovative classroom study and school-to-farm service learning and has an extraordinary impact on her students and AJA community.

By: Karen Hidalgo from Austin Jewish Academy

Grade(s): 4, 5, 6, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Economics/ Business, Engineering, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Halacha, History, Math, Mishnah, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Physical Education/Health, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Tanach, Technology, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Design-Thinking Model, Flipped Learning, Hevruta Learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, Soulful Education, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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Debating the Issues – in Hebrew!

At Oakland Hebrew Day School, the middle school Hebrew and Humanities teachers co-planned and co-taught a unit that combined constructing evidence-based arguments using current events, and crafting arguments, counterarguments, and rebuttals in Hebrew in preparation for a debate.

By: Joanne Davi, Efrat Simhi-Aloni from Oakland Hebrew Day School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: History, Ivrit, Social Studies

Pedagogy: Language Immersion, UBD - understanding by design

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Why do we research and look for alternatives?

Why should Kitah Dalet learn about alternative energy? What do our Jewish Texts teach us about G-d’s creation, Earth? How can children begin to research, build, and educate other students about alternative sources? The Alternative Energy Project is an interactive and engaging curriculum that focus on both responsibility and abstract thinking.

By: Renee Fine, Vanina Sandel from Yavneh Day School

Grade(s): 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Engineering, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Science, Social Studies, Tanach, Technology, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Design-Thinking Model, Hevruta Learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, Socratic Method, Soulful Education, 21st Century Skills

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Am I My Brother’s Keeper? From The Torah to S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders

You Be The Judge: What does Jewish Law say should happen to Ponyboy Curtis? An exploration and analysis of S.E. Hinton’s American Classic, The Outsiders

By: Jenessa Scwhartz, Jamie Zimmer from Yavneh Day School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Halacha, Mishnah, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Tanach, literature

Pedagogy: Constructivist, Hevruta Learning, Social and Emotional Learning, Wholebrain Teaching, 21st Century Skills

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A Children’s Guide to Statuary Hall

This Children’s Guide was written by the third graders of Milton as a gift for the Capitol Building to use with young visitors - written by children for children. Throughout this project, students developed research, questioning, critical thinking, analysis, and written communication skills, and they learned the importance of learning from experts.

By: Jessica Friedman, Mindy Hirsch, Melissa Rickabaugh from Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School of the Nation's Capital

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, History, Social Studies

Pedagogy: Design-Thinking Model, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning

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The Prepared Environment

Our innovative, Montessori inspired environment allows our children to work in a warm, exciting and stress-free atmosphere that promotes high motivation and a love for learning. This model creates the ability for each child to receive a customized curriculum according to what s/he needs which encourages emotional, social, and academic success.

By: Chayale Cohen from Arevim Schoolhouse

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, Elementary school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Halacha, Ivrit, Math, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Technology, Tefila

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Design-Thinking Model, Experiential Education, Hevruta Learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Language Immersion, Montessorri, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Bayit Rishon Museum

The Bayit Rishom Museum is a project that was developed to allow students to view Tanach as a historical vehicle and for Mesopotamian artifacts to be used to appreciate Jewish History. Using important historical artifacts, students created virtually museums to teach about the Bayit Rishon Era.

By: Jeremy Hellman from Yeshivat Noam

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, History, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Tanach, Technology

Pedagogy: Design-Thinking Model, Experiential Education, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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The Space We Create

The presentation that follows is based on years of perseverance and experimentation as to what makes for a meaningful and happy learning space for children. “The Space We Create" shows how this is cultivated by using everyday materials to create innovative and flexible classroom spaces. With dedication and care, children will thrive.

By: Amy Sroka from Solomon Schechter School of Westchester

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Elementary school

Subject(s) of entry: English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Math, Music, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Physical Education/Health, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Constructivist, Experiential Education, Social and Emotional Learning, Wholebrain Teaching, 21st Century Skills

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School’s Cancelled: A Day of Non-Traditional Learning

How do you promote real world skills in a traditional school atmosphere? During Expo Days at YDLV, classes are cancelled and students embark on a themed journey of learning and inspiration, giving them the opportunity to practice non-traditional skills with a variety of exercises and challenges built for real world learning.

By: Brittney Friedman from Yeshiva Day School of Las Vegas

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Engineering, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, History, Math, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Technology, literature

Pedagogy: Design-Thinking Model, Experiential Education, Gamification, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Environment + Energy = Engaged, Motivated and Successful Students

A Montessori inspired environment for an elementary school child that is conducive to problem solving, independent learning, respect, positive time on task, with modeled expectations will create a caring and safe place for children to be successful, excited and engaged in learning.

By: Andria Drucker from Arevim Schoolhouse

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, Elementary school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Math, Physical Education/Health, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Experiential Education, IBL - inquiry based learning, Language Immersion, Montessorri, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, 21st Century Skills

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EVERlab 2.0: a next generation Beit Midrash

EVERlab is a learning environment dedicated to the integration of ideas and concepts from Jewish studies and “secular” academics. It combines elements of a conventional maker-space, including iteration, prototyping and design-thinking with the ethos of a Beit Midrash: the critical/open exchange of ideas and a collaborative search for deeper truth.

By: Robin Gluck, Evan Wolkenstein from Jewish Community High School of the Bay

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, History, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Tanach

Pedagogy: Constructivist, Design-Thinking Model, Hevruta Learning, Social and Emotional Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Building a Mathematical Menorah

The Menorah is one of the most prominent symbols of Hanukkah. Students collaborated to design and build a Menorah based on Mathematical principles. Students then incorporated the “Keshet of Kavod” (Rainbow of Respect) into the design, emphasizing Jewish values. The built Menorah was then used in the Maccabia games and was showcased at the JCC.

By: Danielle Sapiens from Yavneh Day School

Grade(s): 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Engineering, Math, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Social Studies

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Constructivist, Design-Thinking Model, Experiential Education, Hevruta Learning, PBL - project based learning, UBD - understanding by design

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Scheduling Circus

Creating a school schedule is difficult. Furthermore, creating a schedule that works for 14 multi-age, multi-level, individual students with very different academic and social-emotional needs, seems nearly impossible. It was through a journey of taking great risks and reflecting on failures that brought our classroom the schedule(s) we all needed.

By: Amy Morford from Arevim Schoolhouse

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Math, Mishnah, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Physical Education/Health, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Tefila, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Experiential Education, IBL - inquiry based learning, Montessorri, Social and Emotional Learning, Wholebrain Teaching, 21st Century Skills

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Living Israeli History: Underground Bullet Factory

Putting themselves in the shoes of teenagers building a new life in the land (and budding State) of Israel, students become historians. Partnership and perseverance are needed as students work together to overcome challenges of immigrants and pioneers in the most perilous of predicaments - living and working in an underground bullet factory!

By: Rabbi Emily Meyer from Seattle Jewish Community School

Grade(s): 4, 5, 6, 7, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, History, Social Studies

Pedagogy: Experiential Education, PBL - project based learning, 21st Century Skills

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From Me to We: Creating and Hosting an Empty Bowls event

We strive to perform Tikkun Olam and assist those in poverty. Through a series of scaffolded skill-building experiences, ranging from letter writing to pottery, we organized an Empty Bowls event; donating proceeds to local organizations dedicated to helping those less fortunate. We transformed our goal into our passion.

By: Noah Kaufman from Milwaukee Jewish Day School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Economics/ Business, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Social Studies

Pedagogy: Design-Thinking Model, 21st Century Skills

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Community Partnership All School Read Program

Two schools, 12 miles apart, but on different planets socially and culturally. Have all students read the same two books, write penpal letters, and visit each other’s schools. What happens?
You go from complete segregation to an explosion of creative and interpersonal energy radiating from the students, connecting their common sense of community.

By: Elizabeth Birckhead, Toni Brownell, Suzan Capozzoli, Judy Diekmeyer, Amber Feldman, Madeline Gillotte, Kevin Guess, Rita House, Elaine Kaplan, Carrie Konerman, Cindy Kravitz, Danielle Levine, Rachael Mendelson, Idit Moss, Amit Netanel, Deborah Netanel, Yael Newman, Marcie Oliff, Susan Ouziel, Mary Paden, Jennifer Rubin, Etti Scheier, Sara Selig, Lisa Shapiro, Patty Smith, Gail Sperling, Ariella Toder, Julia Weinstein, Ophra Weisberg, Suzanne Wick, Diane Woloshin, Shawn Wyatt, Tamar Ziv from Rockwern Academy

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Music, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Physical Education/Health, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Design-Thinking Model, Experiential Education, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning

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Beth Tfiloh’s Lower School Israel Fair: A Student-led Interdisciplinary Experience

Beth Tfiloh Lower School students participated in a multi-week and school-wide interdisciplinary learning experience about various landmarks in Israel. Students (K-4th grade) conceived of, developed, and created fifteen hands-on exhibits to share their learning with the broader student and family community.

By: Elana Weissman, Elissa Hozore from Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Elementary school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Engineering, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, History, Ivrit, Math, Music, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Tanach, Technology

Pedagogy: Constructivist, Experiential Education, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, 21st Century Skills

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An Interdisciplinary Study of the Lenape People

SW’s aim is for students to cultivate their identity as global citizens who recognize and respect cultural similarities and differences among kol yoshvei tevel (all who dwell on Earth). Our third-grade study of the Lenape tribe showcases that effort through an integrated curriculum incorporating hands-on, project-based learning and exploration.

By: Elise Goldman, Alyssa Gioio, Sara Herbrand, Denise McGinnity, Glenn Simonelli from Schechter Westchester

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Elementary school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Engineering, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, History, Math, Science, Social Studies, Technology, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Experiential Education, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, Wholebrain Teaching, 21st Century Skills

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Students Making Connections: Oral Histories

We believe outreach to the community makes us stronger; thus, we create projects in which students move outside the classroom to interview community members and write reflections detailing how this experience affected them.

By: Dr. Whitney Kennon, Mrs. Rhonda Martin, Mrs. Ashley Brown from Margolin Hebrew Academy

Grade(s): 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: English/ Writing/ Language Arts, History, Social Studies

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Olam Chesed Yibaneh – Building a World of Kindness

Our school embarked on a year-long, cross-grade chesed project that encouraged students to think critically about problems in our community, city, and country, and to begin to solve those problems. This project stems from the psalm that states: "The world was built on loving kindness."

By: Julia Friedman Rubin, Ayala Raice from SAR Academy

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Tanach, Technology

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Experiential Education, Hevruta Learning, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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New Directions in Jewish Community: The Jewish Emergent Network (JEN)

This unit explored the innovative and exciting new spiritual communities of the Jewish Emergent Network. It expanded their sense of what is happening in today's Jewish world; allowed them to engage directly with the communities they were studying; and pushed them to think seriously about what they want for their own ongoing communal involvement.

By: Rabbi Joshua Cahan from Solomon Schechter School of Westchester

Grade(s): 10, 11, 12, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Social Studies, Tefila

Pedagogy: Constructivist, Experiential Education, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, 21st Century Skills

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Finding Meaning: Prayer Through Reflection and Integration

We launched an initiative in our Lower School where the General Studies teachers collaborated with their Judaic Studies counterparts to help students make meaningful connections between themes that were being studied across both disciplines in the second and fourth grades and themes that emerge throughout their daily Tefilla.

By: Tali Seinfeld, Tami Teller from Ramaz School

Grade(s): 1, 2, 3, 4, Elementary school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Ivrit, Music, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Tanach, Technology, Tefila, literature

Pedagogy: Language Immersion, Social and Emotional Learning

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Price of Life

The low amount of organ donors worldwide creates a lack of supply of organs for transplant. Students write a personal essay on whether or not they will sign an organ donor card, as well as produce an event with the goal of educating the community about the the problem of organ trafficking and its relationship with the signing of an organ donor card.

By: Racheli Shandrovsky from Kehillah Jewish High School

Grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12, High school

Subject(s) of entry: English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Halacha, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Science, Social Studies

Pedagogy: Design-Thinking Model, Flipped Learning, Hevruta Learning, PBL - project based learning, Socratic Method, 21st Century Skills

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Abstract, Bridge, Create- Using the ABC’s of literature and language to manifest concrete connections in learning

Literature and language are difficult ideas for students to grasp. My students translate these ambiguous concepts into tangible projects requiring them to explore abstract ideas, bridge their connections, and create symbolic representations with technologies and strategies that commit their analyses to long-term memory and store them as knowledge.

By: Bethany Webb from Margolin Hebrew Academy Feinstone Yeshiva of the South

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Social Studies, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Design-Thinking Model, PBL - project based learning, 21st Century Skills

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The Innovation Lab – The Space where Maker Ed and Jewish Ed Inspire

We’ve built a culture designed around an open space where students actualize content learned in their Jewish day school & apply it in ways that are most meaningful to them. Students collaborate & think creatively, using 3D printers, woodworking, coding, graphic design, and a host of other tools to create tangible outcomes of their education.

By: Tzvi Hametz from Gindi Maimonides Academy

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Economics/ Business, Engineering, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Foreign Language, Gemara, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Math, Mishnah, Music, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Physical Education/Health, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Tanach, Technology, Tefila, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Constructivist, Design-Thinking Model, Experiential Education, Flipped Learning, Gamification, Hevruta Learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, Wholebrain Teaching, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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“Change the world. It just takes cents”TM

"Change the world. It just takes cents"TM is a student-led, teacher-mentored, PBL, service-learning, experiential education, Tikkun Olam, multidisciplinary process, where lessons evolve organically, and students are the creators of their learning blueprint, rather than being enslaved to textbooks. Students emerge empowered advocates and leaders.

By: Sara Caine Kornfeld from Denver Jewish Day School (Herzl/RMHA)

Grade(s): 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, History, Ivrit, Math, Mishnah, Music, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Technology, Tefila, literature

Pedagogy: Constructivist, Experiential Education, Hevruta Learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, 21st Century Skills

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STEM Education and Crosscutting Concepts

The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School has developed a model of STEM integration with general and Judaic studies using the Next Generation Science Standard's Crosscutting Concepts (CCC). This model of integration is the only one in the nation and is the subject of research and collaboration with The George Washington University.

By: Alexis Soffler, Jennifer Rittberg, Eve Margol, Michal Friedman, MollyBeth Rushfield, Nanci Henoch, Hillary Gruber, Andrea Washington, Sharon Barad, Erin Magee, Jessie Nathans from The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Elementary school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Engineering, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Math, Mishnah, Music, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Tanach, Technology, Tefila, literature

Pedagogy: Constructivist, Experiential Education, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, 21st Century Skills

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Teva Tuesday

Each week our students in our 4-5th grades spend an afternoon outdoors to learn, become aware of and appreciate the vital role the earth plays in our existence. Students are encouraged to gain a deep, profound respect for the environment, to become Shomer Adamah (Guardians of the Land) through study of Jewish texts that promote these ideas.

By: Marcy Thomaswick, Gail Raucher, Rebecca Tishkoff, Melanie Waynik from Ezra Academy

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Engineering, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Mishnah, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Tanach, Tefila, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Constructivist, Design-Thinking Model, Experiential Education, Hevruta Learning, Montessorri, Social and Emotional Learning, Soulful Education, Wholebrain Teaching, 21st Century Skills

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Modular Educational Games

A kit to produce educational games in any language, in any subject, and at any level of difficulty. The process of creating these games develops the student’s learning abilities (focus on detail, categorization, collaboration,self-direction) and social skills.
These games can be used as a part of teaching, reinforcement, review, and assessment.

By: Lior Kakon, Yigal Kakon from Hillel Torah

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Computer Science, Engineering, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Foreign Language, Gemara, Halacha, History, Ivrit, Math, Mishnah, Music, Physical Education/Health, Science, Social Studies, Tanach, Technology, literature

Pedagogy: Design-Thinking Model, Gamification, PBL - project based learning, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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The Modern Jewish Woman

Students study texts as they learn about the shifts in the cultural and religious roles of women. This is taught concurrently in both Judaic studies (Rabbinic Literature) and Modern Jewish History classes. Course culminates with students choosing elderly women of the community to interview and then represent in a community-wide celebratory exhibit.

By: Elie Ganz, Yehudis Benhamou from Scheck Hillel Community School, YULA Girls

Grade(s): 10, 11, 12, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Gemara, Halacha, History, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Experiential Education, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning

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Learning for a Cause

Learning for a Cause is an ongoing project and the brainchild of educator Michael Ernest Sweet. The project seeks to engage students in learning and writing about real-world issues beyond the classroom walls, and then publish that writing in real books alongside celebrity guest writers. Students make REAL books about REAL issues.

By: Michael Sweet from Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: English/ Writing/ Language Arts, History, Social Studies, literature

Pedagogy: Constructivist, IBL - inquiry based learning, Socratic Method

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Canada 150 School-Wide Inquiry Project

The Hamilton Hebrew Academy set out to provide our students with an outstanding learning experience in celebration of Canada 150. Every student conducted an inquiry project, which facilitated the development of their critical and creative thinking skills. The event culminated in a community wide learning showcase at a Canadian historical site.

By: Goldie Weiser, Rebecca Shapiro, Ali Ostrowski, Bob Childs, Ryan Kraftcheck, James Potter, Gila Mesusany, Heather Wilson from Hamilton Hebrew Academy

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, History, Social Studies

Pedagogy: Experiential Education, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, 21st Century Skills

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Integrated English 11/Media Arts: A Failed Attempt to Institute a Progressive Educational Program into a College Preparatory High School

There is hubris in imagining that just because we developed a program that would lead to enhanced student learning that it should happen. But we did do our best to identify a problem, recruit faculty and students, present funding opportunities, and further the school mission in the areas of Judaic integration, integrity, and personalized learning.

By: Roger Blonder, Tony Soltis from de Toledo High School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Technology

Pedagogy: Constructivist, Design-Thinking Model, Experiential Education, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, Soulful Education, 21st Century Skills

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Rainforest and Tu Be’shvat

Why are trees important in our world and what is our role in taking care of trees? Our kindergarten students learned about the importance of trees in our world while studying about the the rain forest and the holiday of Tu Beshvat. Our learning concluding with performance of the Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry.

By: Amy Musler, Rufina Feld, Tilly Pelz, Cherry Kruse, Ravit Eldar from Denver Jewish Day School

Grade(s): K, Elementary school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Music, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Science, Social Studies, literature

Pedagogy: Experiential Education, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning

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Inspiring All Learners through Multi-Age Classrooms

Through our new multi-age format, the Schechter faculty differentiates and optimizes student learning. This progressive model reaches diverse learners within a single classroom environment and is transforming student engagement, individualized instruction, social outlets, improved self-esteem, and richly integrated curriculum.

By: Merissa Spector, Limor Shefer, Kate Poltorak, Ziva Kovner, Susan Kurtis, Gavi Lehrer, Anita Cohen from Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, History, Ivrit, Math, Music, Physical Education/Health, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Tanach, Technology, Tefila, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Constructivist, Hevruta Learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Language Immersion, Social and Emotional Learning, Soulful Education, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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4th Grade Business Plan

We introduce students to Tikkun Olam through development of nonprofit business plans. Students work collaboratively to create plans and make presentations. Once presentations are completed, students present plans to judges who help students think critically about plans. Then classes run businesses and help charitable organizations.

By: Rachel Korman, Stephanie Hosansky from Perelman Jewish Day School - Stern Center

Grade(s): 4, 5, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Economics/ Business, Math, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Technology

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Are You ‘Board’ with Traditional Lesson Plans? GAME ON!

GameOn! provides students with innovative skills they use to create board games based on their mastery of a particular topic. Students transform their knowledge of any subject into a tool used by other students. Creating a website, we connected classrooms across the globe through educational game play and development.

By: Stephanie Teitelbaum and Lauren Resnick from Martin J. Gottlieb Day School

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Engineering, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Math, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Technology, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Constructivist, Design-Thinking Model, Experiential Education, Gamification, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, Wholebrain Teaching, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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The Flexible Mindset

The Flexible Mindset, used in a kindergarten classroom, is a combination of growth mindset, flexible seating, and integrated projects. This combination makes for a learning environment that is ever changing to meet the needs of each student in the classroom community and bring learning to life.

By: Emily Hayes, Hinda Lind, Chelsea Avchen from The Sandra E. Lerner Jewish Community Day School

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Engineering, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Foreign Language, History, Ivrit, Music, Physical Education/Health, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Technology, Tefila

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Design-Thinking Model, Social and Emotional Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Talking Trees in Kitah Alef-Impact of Trees in our Environment -An interdisciplinary Unit

1st graders learned about trees through literacy, science, math, Ivrit, art, movement and by working in cooperative groups. The unit included studying the parts of trees in Hebrew and English, the impact of trees on the environment and its natural resources. We emphasized the mitzvah of tzedakah and of planting trees in Israel for Tu B'Shvat.

By: Shira Stein, Linda Sipzner, Rebecca Feldman from Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Elementary school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Halacha, Ivrit, Math, Music, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Physical Education/Health, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Tanach, Technology, Tefila, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Experiential Education, Hevruta Learning, Language Immersion, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning

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DASH Weeks

DASH is a comprehensive school wide study of a topic that is carried out in every classroom, Judaic and secular, as well as in the arts. It is cross grade, cross curricular and integrated. The school has now done two DASH units, one last spring and one in November 2017. This fall's topic, "Water: Source of Life" was engaging and exciting.

By: Gerri Chizeck, Debbie Kanter, Sarah Greenberg, Sam Spinrad, Kim Berry from Levey Day School

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Foreign Language, History, Ivrit, Math, Music, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Science, Social Studies, literature

Pedagogy: Constructivist, Experiential Education, IBL - inquiry based learning, 21st Century Skills

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ART LAB

Today art rooms have become hubs that dynamically enrich students’ lives in multiple ways. The art room at MJGDS uses traditional materials in addition to modern technologies and the infusion of Judaism, Math, Science, Engineering, Language Arts, and Social Studies make it a high tech space for student creativity and innovation.

By: Shana Gutterman from Martin J. Gottlieb Day School

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Engineering, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Foreign Language, History, Math, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Tanach, Technology, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Design-Thinking Model, Gamification, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, Wholebrain Teaching, 21st Century Skills

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Understanding Media Bias

Students will learn how to navigate the news to discern the credibility of a source by investigating what media bias is with their peers, “acting as the journalist” within the classroom, and reflecting on their experiences. Their conclusions will then be applied to their understanding of how to interpret the news in the real-world.

By: Holly Seidenfeld from Katz Yeshiva High School of South Florida

Grade(s): High school

Subject(s) of entry: History, Social Studies

Pedagogy: Constructivist, Experiential Education, UBD - understanding by design, 21st Century Skills

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Student Feedback

Students reflected on their past year of study in the Advanced Placement Human Geography course. The Student Feedback assignment was simple enough, but the results surpassed my expectations. The insight & the comprehensive explanation of experiences, successes, and failures that the students shared will prepare incoming freshman for years to come.

By: David Ohring from Katz Yeshiva High School

Grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12, High school

Subject(s) of entry: History, Social Studies, Technology

Pedagogy: Experiential Education

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Kol Isha: Giving Voice to Jewish American Women

Kol Isha: Giving Voice to Jewish American Women is a primary document based inquiry project for advanced level American history students that encourages analytical interpretation of historical documents in tandem with creative writing and personal reflection.

By: Ariel Levenson from Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: English/ Writing/ Language Arts, History, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies

Pedagogy: Constructivist, Design-Thinking Model, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, UBD - understanding by design

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Lower Elementary Country Project

Our Lower Elementary Country Project was the culminating project at the end of our spring semester of the 2015-16 school year. First, second and third graders completed this project in mixed-age groups, at the research and writing level that was developmentally appropriate for them. The students learned about the Fundamental Needs of Humans and how those needs differ depending in which country a person lives in. Each student completed a written report on one of five countries, prepared a creative visual aid on a Fundamental Need of his or her choice and participated in a group presentation to their classmates and parents on everything they had learned about the country they had studied.

This research project, including the activities that my students completed, is an example of a unit of study that could be applied to any elementary classroom, traditional or Montessori. Being mindful of your students’ strengths and weaknesses and selecting appropriate materials for their use will help them succeed and to take pride in their work. At the end of the day, that is the goal of the teacher; encourage the child to feel proud of the accomplishments that he or she makes during the time they are in your classroom.

The beauty of teaching in a mixed aged Montessori classroom comes with being able to simultaneously teach a group of students across three grade levels, but at a curriculum level that is age and developmentally appropriate for the students. In our classroom, we have first graders who read at a second or third grade level and it is wonderful to be able to offer them the writing assignments that are being offered to their older classmates. Additionally, we also have weaker second and third grade students, who feel very comfortable being paired with a first grade classmate to work on an assignment that might be the appropriate level for them, despite being something that was assigned to someone a full grade lower than they are. In order to best need the needs of all of my students, and to set them up for success, I am always differentiating our general studies curriculum and adapting our assignments appropriately.

By: Mrs. Alexandra Cooper from Netivot The Montessori Yeshiva

Grade(s): 1, 2, 3, Elementary school

Subject(s) of entry: History, Literature, Geography, Social Studies

Pedagogy: Montessorri

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Moot Beit Din

As a summative capstone to my student’s learning of the Jewish applied science of Torah, I decided to create a Moot Beit Din project in the eighth grade, in which student would learn about current controversial issues and make a judgement based on sources. They would research halachah, science and other relevant information, then debate their topic and the other students would form the court, passing judgement and justifying their decision based on the information presented.

By: Rabbi Ben Shlimovitz from Gross Schechter Day School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Halacha, Mishnah, Science, social studies

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, UBD - understanding by design

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Tu’Beshvat School wide Real World Unit

For Tu’Beshvat 2016 the Hamilton Hebrew Academy decided to create a school wide initiative that integrated science, biology, the arts, Ivrit and Judaic Studies. Our vision was to create a real world, interdisciplinary experience that would engage all learners.

By: Mrs. Goldie Weiser, Mrs. Rebecca Shapiro from Hamilton Hebrew Academy

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Gemara, Halacha, Ivrit, Literature, Science, Tanach, Social Studies

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning

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The Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital’s (JPDS-NC) Election Project 2016: Kid’s Voices Count

The Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital’s (JPDS-NC) Election Project 2016: Kid’s Voices Count was an interdisciplinary, school-wide project that required the participation of every student and teacher at JPDS-NC. Students from Pre-Kindergarten through Sixth Grade delved into a variety of election issues, met with experts to deepen their understanding, met with and listened to other students in area schools to broaden their perspectives, and reflected on Jewish teachings that relate to the issues in the election. Each grade focused on a different election-related issue connected to their core curriculum, culminating in a Voter’s Guide distributed throughout our community and beyond.

By: Ms. Mindy Hirsch, Ms. Melissa Rickabaugh, Ms. Devora Yeganeh, Ms. Kelly McAllister, Ms. Vanessa Prell, Ms. Hanina Goldstein from Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation's Capital

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Subject(s) of entry: Art, History, Literature, Tanach, Current Events, Social Studies, Jewish Text

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

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Project Based Learning: How to Build a Functioning Society

“We shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all the people are upon us." Using this quote by John Winthrop, the founder of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, as inspiration, my 5th grade students at Yeshivat Noam research and discover, through project based learning, what it takes to create a successful colony during early Colonial Times. Students are split into groups of Pilgrims and Puritans. Each group member is responsible for researching an important role : Leadership/Government, Trade, Food Provider, Shelter Provider, or Family Roles. Throughout the process students research a guiding question, make classroom presentations and together plan a Pilgrims and Puritans Fair teaching people that creating a successful colony is not so different from keeping a society successful today!"

By: Mrs. Heather Brukner from Yeshivat Noam

Grade(s): 5, Elementary school

Subject(s) of entry: Social Studies

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning

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OROT Teacher

OROT provides a Jewish day school education to the diverse learner in many of Philadelphia's area Jewish day schools.

By: Mrs. Susie Wohlgelernter from OROT/Politz

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Literature, Math, Science, Tanach, Chumash, Language Arts, Social Studies

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, UBD - understanding by design, Blended Learning

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Tu’Beshvat School wide Interdisciplinary Unit

For Tu’Beshvat 2016 the Hamilton Hebrew Academy decided to create a school wide initiative that integrated science, biology, the arts, Ivrit and Judaic Studies. Our vision was to create a real world, interdisciplinary experience that would engage all learners.

By: Mrs. Goldie Weiser, Mrs. Rebecca Shapiro from Hamilton Hebrew Academy

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Gemara, Halacha, Ivrit, Literature, Music, Science, Tanach, Social Studies

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning

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Dreaming with Yaakov to Search for Meaning

Dreaming with Yaakov takes learners on a journey through bibliodrama, geography, social studies, journal writing, archaeology, and art history, visual art, Tanach and Rabbinics, in order to explore what the story of Yaakov has meant to readers over the ages. The ultimate goal of which is to prepare students to see themselves as participants in the Jewish tradition of meaning making.

By: Mr. Eran Rosenberg, Ms. Susan Couden from Columbus Jewish Day School

Grade(s): 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, History, Ivrit, Literature, Tanach, Midrash, Social Studies

Pedagogy: IBL - inquiry based learning, UBD - understanding by design, Constructivist, 21st Century Skills

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Carmel Academy Mitzvah Math

Imagine you’re an 8 year old student at Carmel Academy. You, along with your third grade classmates, are in a toy store, each with $50 in your pocket, money you worked so heard to earn through a class-wide reading challenge. You can spend the money on anything you like, but you cannot spend one penny more than you have. You use your best judgement to choose wisely, you use your estimating skills to make sure you will have enough money when you go to pay, and you carefully count your change from the cashier to make sure it is correct. You board the bus back to school with bags and bags of toys. What happens next exemplifies the true meaning of tzedakah...

By: Mrs. Hilary Machlis, Mrs. Robin Shainberg from Carmel Academy

Grade(s): 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Subject(s) of entry: Literature, Math, Tanach, Social Studies

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning

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Israeli Knesset Simulation

The Israeli Knesset Simulation is a combination of live role-playing and online virtual world interaction in which high school seniors immerse themselves in Israeli politics by becoming members of Knesset. By playing a specific character, learning the party platform, and drafting legislation through committee work, the seniors engage in Israel from the inside-out, breaking down the barriers between their education and the real world.

By: Rabbi Natan Kapustin from Abraham Joshua Heschel High School

Grade(s): 11, 12

Subject(s) of entry: History, Social Studies

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, Constructivist, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Government Comes to Us, We Come to Government

Students served as honorary pages in the Maine Senate, lunched and engaged with our senator, and had the mayor of Portland in to class for an intimate session. This led to great desires to be involved in the political process.

By: Mrs. Kimberley Berry from Levey Day School

Grade(s): 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: History, Social Studies, Judaic Values

Pedagogy: IBL - inquiry based learning, 21st Century Skills

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Ancient Egypt

When beginning the study of parshat Shmot, students recall that by the end of sefer Breisheet the Hebrews dwelled in Egypt. We are reminded in the first few verses of Shmot that Jacob and his family made their way to Egypt and that Joseph already resided there. As the story unfolds, a rich understanding text can be gained from learning about ancient Egypt and seeing how its culture and environment impacted the Hebrews.

By: Ms. Lisa Richman from Perelman Jewish Day School - Stern Center

Grade(s): 5, 6, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, History, Ivrit, Tanach, Social Studies/History - Ancient Civilization

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, UBD - understanding by design, Constructivist, Blended Learning, 21st Century Skills

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Criminal Justice: An 8th Grade Talmud Unit, Bavli Sanhedrin 6

The primary goal of this unit is for students to use the Talmud as a tool for exploring real world problems. Contrary to the expectation that Talmudic discussions of capital punishment are arcane and grim, students learn that the Talmud’s dissection of this matter can be fruitfully applied to America’s criminal justice system. Stepping far outside of the American cultural context is sometimes the best preparation for engaging with it. Using the Talmud in this way encourages students not only to become more involved American citizens, but to experience Judaism as a guiding and thought-provoking force in their citizenship.

By: Dr. Jenny Labendz from Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County

Grade(s): 8, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, History, Mishnah, Social Studies

Pedagogy:

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