HOLIDAYS

Celebrate!
MIDDLE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Unlike other curricula that quickly cover holidays a week before they occur, Celebrate! groups the holidays into three big themes: cycles, responsibility, and freedom. To help students gain understanding, four holidays are studied at length in each grade (generally 4-6 sessions). Short “bridges” to the other holidays (one to two sessions) are also included. This three year curriculum, originally developed for grades three, four and five of a Conservative supplementary school, can be shifted into other grade levels, or taught as stand-alone units within another curriculum. Other liberal schools, including day schools, can also use this curriculum successfully.
The Cycles of Jewish Life
This curriculum focuses on the cycles of our Jewish lives: the ways they anchor us as a people and how they connect us to one another. Major emphasis is on the holiday cycle, with very little on the life cycle. This is the first year in the thre year curriculum and covers the following holidays in-depth: Simhat Torah- the cycle of reading the Torah, Shabbat- the weekly cycle of rest occuring every 7 days, Rosh Hodesh- the cycle that begins a new month in our lunar calendar, and Shavuot- the cycle that represents the passing of the Torah from generation to generation.
HO.1a - The Cycles of Jewish Life part 1.pdf
HO.1b - The Cycles of Jewish Life part 2.pdf
We Will Do and We Will Listen!
This year of study emphasizes five holidays that focus on the mitzvot that guide our lives: Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (our responsibility to think about ways we can be better people guided by the mitzvot), Sukkot (our responsibility not to let others endure the homelessness we encountered in the post-Exodus desert, setting the context for the responsibilities of hospitality, feeding the hungry and providing shelter), Tu Bishvat, (our responsibility to the environment) and Purim, (our responsibility to our People, in celebration of those who stepped forward to fight for what is right).
HO.2a - We Will Do And We Will Listen part 1.pdfHO.2b - We Will Do and We Will Listen part 2.pdf
Proclaim Freedom throughout the Land!
Many holiday stories we retell and rituals we perform, remind us of our obligation to continue the fight for freedom. The holidays studied in this curriculum emphasize the concept of freedom: Hanukkah (the Jews fought for the right to practice their religion as free people), Pesah, (the master Jewish story, in which Jews were brought out of slavery to become a nation at Mt. Sinai), Yom Ha’atzmaut (the celebration of Israel’s independence), and Lag Ba’Omer (a respite in the counting of the Omer between Pesah and Shavuot because of victories against the Romans in the middle of the second century, CE.).
HO.3a - Proclaim Freedom throughout the Land part 1.pdf
HO.3b - Proclaim Freedom throughout the Land part 2.pdf

Fingerprints: Discovering Jewish Life- A JECC “Best Seller”
EARLY CHILDHOOD
This engaging and useful curriculum merges principles of early childhood education with principles of quality Jewish education. Fingerprints focuses on Jewish holidays, from Rosh Hashanah to Shavuot. Each holiday section contains background information (including rituals, customs and related Jewish values) and a myriad of age-appropriate well-organized activity suggestions that bring to life core holiday concepts. Additionally, three themes are offered (food, birthdays and structures) that provide young children with concrete experiences that will leave fingerprints-of-connections to upcoming Jewish holidays (for example, exploring building structures prior to Sukkot or focusing on bread prior to Pesah). Originally designed for a community preschool, this curriculum is adaptable to other settings; it is best used with children ages 3 and older.
Cost: $40 (special cost for 4 or more copies: $30 each)