Makom Community News & Blog

Makom Community News & Blog

Garinim: Budding CommunityGarinim: Budding Community

Welcome back to Jewish Enrichment! We’re so thrilled to be back learning and playing every afternoon with your wise and wonderful kiddos. These first two weeks of the year were chock full of ice breaker games, welcoming back old friends, forming new connections, and settling back into the routines of Jewish Enrichment. Here are some highlights from our youngest learners,…

Makom – A Great Place to BeMakom – A Great Place to Be

Mah tovu ohalekha Ya’akov, mishk’notekha Yisrael!  How great are your tents, Yaakov, the places where you live, Yisrael! We began our year exploring what makes Makom Community a great place to be! During our first week of Jewish Enrichment, we welcomed over 80 students from Pre K through 7th grade to Makom Community in both our Center City and South…

Jewish Placemaking Conference Reflection

What a joy to be back in the virtual room for our 3rd annual Jewish Placemaking Conference! We had 60 directors and educators from across the country register to join us for three packed afternoons of learning and reflecting together.  After brief introductions to Makom Community and the conference facilitation staff, Beverly, Gaby, Terri, and Sara, we jumped right into…

New Employee at Makom Community

From the first time I read about Makom Community in an email from my sister, I knew it was a special place. Never before have I seen so many pedagogical practices that I resonate with used in one place. As an educator, I have grown attached to this idea of global citizenship, and I’ve come to view it as the…

Top 10 Highlights from 2021-22Top 10 Highlights from 2021-22

We wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on some of our favorite moments from this year with all of you! Which one is your favorite? 10. Makom @ Home A 3rd grader in Makom @ Home who usually insists that she hates singing and turns her camera off during Tefilah (prayers), got very excited when we brought in some…

Empathizing with Yocheved and MosheEmpathizing with Yocheved and Moshe

Makom @ Home kiddos have been writing their own commentary on the Exodus story as we read about how Bnei Yisrael (the Jewish people, originally the children of Yaakov AKA Yisrael) were enslaved in Mitzrayim (Egypt). In the early weeks of the story, one of our learners requested artsploration in addition to textsploration, so we introduced many of our texts…

Walking With God and Finding SanctuaryWalking With God and Finding Sanctuary

Our learners have been busy exploring the story of Noach and playing with ideas of sanctuary, lawlessness, animal communication with God, and much more! Garinim (kindergarteners) wondered about the Noach story: Why does the text say that people are nothing but evil? I don’t think that’s the way people are now.  It’s really sad that Noach’s family is the only…

Communication for Success

Ever had a tough moment with a student and worried about whether or how to loop in their parents?  But now think about all the fabulous moments you’ve had with students. Have you told parents about those moments either? In March, the Jewish Placemaking Accelerator participants took a hard look at parent communication – why it’s important, how to do…

Earth Week School’s Out CampEarth Week School’s Out Camp

Makom Community’s Spring Break Campers had an energetic, creative, and collaborative week at Spring Break Camp: “Earth Week”! Our week was full of nature-inspired crafts, scavenger hunts, and building, all with a Jewish twist.                  We started the week with things that grow, like flowers, trees and other plants. We broke the ice…

The Process of Creating Culture

What do we want people to associate with when they think of our schools? How do we want them to feel when they leave the building? In February, the Jewish Placemaking Accelerator participants took the starting steps toward wrangling with the current culture at their respective institutions and imagining and planning for what it could be. What five words describe…

Plagues vs. The EnvironmentPlagues vs. The Environment

SO. MANY. PLAGUES. This week, our learners explored more plagues: frogs (tzefarde’a), lice (kinim), wild beasts (arov), cattle disease (dever), boils (shechin), and fiery hail (barad).  The Garinim (kindergartners) unpacked plagues 2-7 as we moved towards the climax of the Yetziat Mitzrayim (leaving Egypt) story. We’ve particularly enjoyed making a hands-on physical portrayal of the cumulative effects of each plague…

Uncovering Big Feelings in Megillat Esther & Yetziyat MitzrayimUncovering Big Feelings in Megillat Esther & Yetziyat Mitzrayim

IT’S PURIM – one of our (or at least Gaby’s) favorite times of the year at Makom Community!  The Garinim (kindergartners) spent the week leading up to our Purim spiel (play) and megillah reading celebration familiarizing ourselves with the story, making silly masks, illustrating the holidays four mitzvot (commandments), and generally having a giggly time.  We examined the whole story…

The First Plague and God’s PowerThe First Plague and God’s Power

This week, learners delved into text and examined Pharaoh’s reaction to Moshe and Aharon’s request for Bnei Yisrael to retreat to the wilderness to worship God. We also considered Bnei Yisrael’s resentment towards Moshe and Aharon for their attempts to free them. Learners also explored the demonstration of God’s power as the first plague turns the Nile into blood, causing…

COVID Policy Update March 2022

Dear Makom Community Families, First of all, thank you so much for all the ways you have supported each other and all our kids through the pandemic. I am thrilled to share that our educators are 100% vaccinated and boosted, and our learners are 100% vaccinated since early January.  In light of those incredible rates of vaccination, current COVID numbers,…

Jewish Placemaking in Every Class

Whether we like it or not, COVID has forced educators to think outside the traditional classroom to bring students together for community building and learning. And it’s been hard work! We opened our January Jewish Placemaking Accelerator Seminar by asking participants to brainstorm some of the challenges and opportunities presented by a variety of learning spaces: indoors, outdoors, shared, and…

South Philly’s Praiseworthy Photography ProjectSouth Philly’s Praiseworthy Photography Project

During our second unit, Holy Me, learners explored the light around us, and it can help us grow the light and holiness inside ourselves. We further investigated this concept with a photography project, learners were introduced to a disposable film camera and took portraits of subjects in our neighborhood they deemed praiseworthy. Many of the kiddos were unfamiliar with film….

Holy Listening and Loving

You may remember the whiteboard check-in that one of our kiddos invented a few weeks ago. It was not just a one-time thing! Other kids have brought it back and it’s now part of our regular pool of check-in options. Here is this week’s: I’m so glad we are building a community in Makom @ Home where we feel safe…

God Hears Bnei Yisrael’s CriesGod Hears Bnei Yisrael’s Cries

We have had ENOUGH! Last week, we read the bit of our story where Bnei Yisrael (the Jewish people) can’t handle the burden of slavery any more and cry out to God all at once. God hears them and decides to finally help (Exodus 2:23-25). Garinim (kindergarteners) had some thoughts…… What are some different ways people ask for help? Asking…

Along The Nile….Along The Nile….

This week, we continued the Exodus story and tried to empathize with our main characters, Moshe, Yocheved (Moshe’s birth mother), Miriam (Moshe’s biological sister), Batya (Pharaoh daughter and Moshe’s adoptive mother), and Pharaoh. Garinim (kindergartners) love this story. Everyday, when we pause the narrative, they shout and want to hear more! Here’s some of what we unpacked last week. There…

What Is A Leader? President’s Day CampWhat Is A Leader? President’s Day Camp

We had an energizing and imaginative day on Monday at President’s Day School’s Out Camp! Our focus was leadership and community care. Our creative crew of learners, new and familiar, had so much to say and think about as we learned, built, played, danced and rested together. We began by considering what a President should be like! Learners listed qualities…

Immersing In The Exodus StoryImmersing In The Exodus Story

This week we continued our unit three learning exploring the Exodus story!  All week I watched students absorb and embody this story through building, play, art, puppetry, dress-up, and more. It was such a joy to observe students immersing themselves in this essential story of the Jewish people, a story they know well already and are eager to expand upon….

How The Holiness Inside Ourselves Contribute To Our Communities ~ A Nitzanim ShowcaseHow The Holiness Inside Ourselves Contribute To Our Communities ~ A Nitzanim Showcase

Nitzanim worked so hard during our second unit to create an open gallery showcasing their exploration! Learners were particularly inspired by the text that says: Torah Temimah on Ecclesiastes 7:13  “When God created the first human, God took them and showed them all the trees of the Garden of Eden and said to them, ‘See my works, how beautiful and…

Wrapping Up “Holy Me” and The Nitzanim Showcase!Wrapping Up “Holy Me” and The Nitzanim Showcase!

Can you believe we’re halfway through the school year? This week, students reviewed and wrapped up our second unit, Holy Me.  The Garinim (kindergartners) looked back at the highlights on our journey of exploring the holiness in ourselves and how it interacts with the holiness in the world around us. We played games to revisit this unit’s texts and stories,…

Relationships and Praiseworthy Action Relationships and Praiseworthy Action 

This week we reviewed our learning from unit two where we explored our inherent holiness. We revisited some of our favorite projects and conversations and continued work on some long-term projects including a community weaving, a lego wall, and personalized supports to live in the Pinat Shalom (peace corner.)   Kiddos reiterated ways in which we can nurture other people. We…

Rosh Pinah Presentations!Rosh Pinah Presentations!

Mazel tov (congratulations) to our whole class on their fantastic Rosh Pinah (capstone) project presentations last week! Not only am I extremely proud of how well they did, they are very proud of themselves! I am proud of myself for singing in front of people. Inside I was so nervous! I am proud of how well the coffin came out….

“I Feel God When I Wear A Tallit…”“I Feel God When I Wear A Tallit…”

What are tzitzit (fringes)? Why does God think we need reminders about commandments? How can the clothes we wear help us connect to our own personal holiness? Do you tie any strings around your fingers to make sure you remember that big, important thing? Jewish tradition doesn’t have us tie strings on our fingers, but God does instruct Bnei Yisrael…

Remembering to Make Good Choices in the Pinat Shalom Remembering to Make Good Choices in the Pinat Shalom 

This week we explored how tallitot, tzitzit, and other ritual objects empower us and act as a reminder to make good choices. Throughout the week we wrapped ourselves in tallitot, tied knots, and wove together ideas about connection. As we dove into the topic of making good choices, we looked to our own space and considered what supports we rely…

BMitzvah: How the Torah Does ItBMitzvah: How the Torah Does It

  Our learners have been hard at work finishing their Rosh Pinah projects. Today we did a run-through of their presentations for each other, giving feedback and sharing things we liked. Wow, it’s amazing how much you learned, and you sounded really confident talking about it. I really do feel proud of myself after saying all of that. What you…

Holy Makom @ Home!

Makom @ Home started off our new unit, Holy Me!, with a holiness scavenger hunt, finding objects in each of our homes that are holy to us. We found so many different colors of objects that we made a holiness rainbow! Our first text says that because God is holy, each of us is too. Knowing this, we thought about…

Ritual and ConnectionRitual and Connection

This week we studied the Shema. We considered what it means to be charged with the mitzvot (opportunity to connect) of Shema. We thought all about rituals and mantras that support us in our everyday lives and worked together to come up with ways to enhance our experience doing repetitive rituals.  After coming up with a definition of mantra “something…

A Two Way PromiseA Two Way Promise

It has been so exciting to watch our Makom South Philly kiddos paint our Brit Mural. A brit is a two-way promise between learners and instructors as well as between the learners and each other. Learners have taken ownership of this project coming up with a list of expectations that are as unique and caring as the kiddos themselves.  In…

Our Relationship With NatureOur Relationship With Nature

This week, learners reflected on our environment, continued our appreciation for trees, and brainstormed what it would look like if the world around us was nurtured and cared for. Following the celebration of Tu Bishvat (the Jewish new year of trees) last Monday, the Garinim (kindergarteners) delved into an exploration of people’s relationship with trees and other parts of creation….

Our Responsibility To The EarthOur Responsibility To The Earth

Tu Bishvat higiya – the 15th of Shvat is coming Sunday night to Monday, January 16th-17th! It is time to celebrate the second of four Jewish New Year holidays, the birthday of the trees.  The Garinim (kindergartners) started off our week scavenger hunting around the classroom for Tu Bishvat facts. We read books about trees, created tree sculptures out of…

Summer 2022 School’s Out CampSummer 2022 School’s Out Camp

This Summer, not only will campers get a taste of the art, cuisine, and traditions of Jews around the world but we will deep dive into the food, sounds, images, and Jewish history of the City of Brotherly Love. Join us from 8:30am-4pm on one or more of these weeks: June 15th – 17th, $225 3-day week (Center City Location) June 20th –…

BMitzvah Update: Rosh Pinah Projects & Continuing VaykhelBMitzvah Update: Rosh Pinah Projects & Continuing Vaykhel

It has been a delight to watch each learners’ interests take off in their independent Rosh Pinah projects! These projects are building on what we previously learned about tefilah (prayer).  We looked at the history of when Jews started praying in addition to, and eventually instead of sacrifices and temple based worship. We learned about the role of early rabbis…

The Makom EcosystemThe Makom Ecosystem

This week we studied Gan Eden, (the garden of Eden) and considered the Olam (world) as a creation. Kiddos discussed our roles as partners in creation and considered what it means to be part of an ecosystem. As we looked at the parallels between Gan Eden and our world. We explored what it means to nurture the light around us…

Being the Change We Want to See in Our Schools

What do you think of when you imagine change? Chaos? Growth? Improvement? Discomfort? Stress? Resistance? Excitement? Change is personal and always accompanied by some amount of loss, which can make it really tough! In our January Jewish Placemaking Accelerator seminar, we explored how to effectively come at change to make it a little easier to manage. We started with a…

January & February Extended Enrichment DetailsJanuary & February Extended Enrichment Details

Find community amid the chilly weather at Makom’s Extended Enrichment Days!   Extended Enrichment will be held on: Friday, January 21st Tuesday, February 2nd Wednesday, February 3rd Thursday, February 4th Friday, February 18th Cost is $60 from 12pm-5:30pm. If your child normally attends Jewish Enrichment on the day of the Extended Enrichment, you can enroll them for the discounted rate…

January & February School’s Out Camp DetailsJanuary & February School’s Out Camp Details

On Tuesday, February 1st and Monday, February 21st, we will have a 1-Day School’s Out Camp held at both South Philly and Center City locations from 8:30am-4pm, $75 for the day. February 1st Camp: Our day will be full of crafting, baking, reading, critical thinking, outdoor time, and lots of fun! We will draw connections between East Asian Lunar New…

Music Making At GreenfieldMusic Making At Greenfield

In order to keep all kiddos and staff safe, we held Jewish Enrichment outside at the Greenfield playground. At first, some kids were disappointed that we couldn’t be inside, which was totally understandable. But with a few layers and the excitement of the impending snow storm at the end of the week, kids were soon excited to sing Tefilah: prayer,…

Different Is GoodDifferent Is Good

This week we had the pleasure of being joined by Center City Makom educator Gaby Marantz. Upon meeting Gaby, one of our learners remarked, “Does everyone who works at Makom have dyed hair?” While brightly colored hair is certainly not a requirement for employment, we love that our team brings their full self to Makom with diverse backgrounds and perspectives….

Awe & Wonder In Nature: Spring Break School’s Out CampAwe & Wonder In Nature: Spring Break School’s Out Camp

What in nature makes you feel awe and wonder? Join us at our Center City location on Monday, April 11th through Thursday, April 14th, from 8:30am-4pm for $300 for the week. Kids will explore the world around them! From itty-bitty insects to gigantic redwood trees, learners will uncover the interconnection of our ecosystem and reflect on Jewish perspectives relating to…

Magical Book Week: Oh the faces we show!Magical Book Week: Oh the faces we show!

What a magical week it has been! When kiddos arrived at Makom on Monday some were feeling unsure about the unknown of a new environment and new people. Throughout the week I saw campers emerging from their shells. By the end of the week there was laughter, friendship, and so many beautiful memories.  On our very first morning some friends…

Omicron Safety Plan 2022

Makom Community January 2022 COVID-19 Safety Plan, Updated January 11th Update January 11, 2022 We are continually checking in with our advisory team from CHOP, and we are learning more and continuing to do better. We want to be transparent that our standards for COVID safety are high out of a strong desire not to have COVID from Makom keep…

Torah through the Generations

Makom @ Home wrapped up our first unit with a text from Pirkei Avot about the transmission of Torah through the generations. We talked about things that get passed down in our families: Speaking Russian Shabbat Jewish religion! On my dad’s side, my grandmother passed down jewelry. My dad’s grandma gave it to my mom. Some of us illustrated how…

Reflection On Nitzanim Unit 1 ShowcaseReflection On Nitzanim Unit 1 Showcase

For our first unit, “Love Your Neighbor,” Nitzanim (3rd, 4th and 5th graders) worked collaboratively for weeks to answer the question: “How might we practice loving our neighbors to cultivate a welcoming environment at Makom Community?”   Using the project based learning model, we started this process by brainstorming things that make us feel welcome like warm/bright colors, fun images and…

Our Holy NamesOur Holy Names

This week we considered a bit of text from the Amidah (a section of daily prayer.)  “You are holy, Your Name is holy, and holy ones praise Your name every day…”  When conceptualizing her connection to this text, one learner shared: “The earth is God’s museum.” Kiddos reflected on what these words mean through discussion, movement, and making. Together, we…

The Holiness of Names and Exploring PraiseThe Holiness of Names and Exploring Praise

When have you received praise? What was that like? How is that experience connected to holiness? Our text last week came from a tefilah (prayer) that said, “You [God] are holy, your name is holy, and holy ones praise your name every day” (Siddur Ashkenaz, Amidah). Here’s how the Garinim (kindergartners) unpacked it. What’s it like to experience praise, either…

(Re)Dedication: Chanukah and Our Online Classroom

Makom @ Home celebrated Chanukah together in many creative ways! We learned that Chanukah means (re)dedication. We shared our families’ traditions about ways to celebrate: Dreidel, presents, gelt, sufganiyot Cooking and spending time with each other And playing Latkes We fry different foods Yes, we light candles Eight lights eight nights I light candles, today they’re all burned down. We…

The Holiness in OthersThe Holiness in Others

This week, our learners reflected on the ways our souls are absolute and part of people as a unique creation. We discussed what responsibilities come with being holy and having a soul, and empathized with the difficulties Moshe faced while communicating with Pharaoh and all of Bnei Yisrael (the Jewish people) while having a speech disability. In Garinim (kindergarteners) our…

PJDS Camp Explores Music and EmotionPJDS Camp Explores Music and Emotion

It was another fun-filled action-packed day of PJDS Camp here at Makom! We considered emotions as they relate to the month of Tevet. Students were eager to share their emotions as we brainstormed when and why certain emotions might come up. We sat around the rainbow rug and thought about a range of emotions. I watched as our youngest and…

Holy Souls In Dialogue Holy Souls In Dialogue 

This week we dug deep as we discussed what holiness means and how we can tap into it. We also began considering the concept of a soul which sparked a lot of amazing learning.  During Schulchanot Avodah kiddos were playing, talking, creating, and problem-solving. Two students worked together in a conversational exchange to learn about how they each thought about…

Setting Goals for Successful LearningSetting Goals for Successful Learning

What makes Jewish text compelling and relevant to learners of all ages? How do we as educators know what to focus on when there’s SO MUCH content and SO LITTLE time?! Our November seminar on Lesson Planning and Goal Setting provided our Jewish Placemaking Accelerator cohort with some guidance on these questions and more. Our Accomplishments We started off the…

Exploring HolinessExploring Holiness

What is holiness? Where can we notice it in the world around us? Last week the Garinim (kindergartners) jumped into an exploration of holiness with a walk to find things that made us say “wow,” a handful of activities and experiments with light, and an artistic analysis of music. Kiddos LOVED getting to play with light on Tuesday. We made…

Special Talents and Holiness! Special Talents and Holiness! 

This week we embarked upon a discussion of what holiness means.  Learners shared their ideas as we unpacked this big concept: Holiness is something special. It reminds me of when we say Holy Moly Guacamole! It’s something crazy or big. It has to do with God. I think of Jewish things, like holidays. Objects can be holy. It’s holy to…

Welcoming PJDS to Makom South Philly! Welcoming PJDS to Makom South Philly! 

What a wonderful way to kick off the month of Tevet! Seeing some familiar faces and some new faces in our brand new space at Makom South Philly was such a joy. Kiddos joined us in the morning with such ruach.  We took a moment to get to know each other, sharing our names and interests before settling into snack….

The Holiness of ChanukahThe Holiness of Chanukah

Happy Chanukah! This week has been so joyous as we have gathered to light Chanukah candles as a community everyday. This week, each kevutzah reviewed the elements of the Chaunkah story and Chanukah traditions. The Garinim (kindergarten) started off last week with a brief overview of the Chanukah story, and then took a deep dive into the brachot (blessings) that…

Chanukah on S. Juniper St.Chanukah on S. Juniper St.

This week has been full of light and joy. We feel so blessed to have this beautiful space on S. Juniper St. to joyfully learn in, while we grow.  As we gathered outside for snacktime learning this week, the excited energy was palpable. We noshed on graham crackers and apples while kiddos shared what they know about Chanukah. We use…

Ourselves and Each Other

We returned to learning from Rabbi Hillel this week with a 3-part text from Pirkei Avot that we explored both in writing and by listening to and singing two different musical settings of the text. We thought about how we are for ourselves, for each other, and the importance of timing. The first line of the text, “If I am…

Brit Brainstorm!Brit Brainstorm!

It’s review week at Makom Community! We can hardly believe that we’re already a quarter of the way through our school year together.  The Garinim (kindergartners) spent last week revisiting the text from our first unit and brainstorming ideas for our classroom brit (two-way promise) from those texts. Here’s some of our ideas. From Leviticus 19:17-18, “You will not hate…

Lehitraot 13th St.Lehitraot 13th St.

We had an unexpected but welcomed day of Jewish Enrichment at our new location on S. Juniper Street this week. As we finish upon 13th street, we are saying lehitraot (goodbye for now) and gearing up for an exciting adventure at our new location.  On Monday, learners were excited to spend the afternoon exploring the new space. After getting our…

November 11th School’s Out Camp Recap!November 11th School’s Out Camp Recap!

Our November 11th School’s Out Camp Day was full of fun and thoughtful learning. In Center City, shaving cream art with marbled watercolor was named across the board as a highlight. The day also included making impressive clay statues, singing “Boom Chicka Boom” and “Herman the Worm” with verses created by the kids, and lots of playground time. Amidst all…

BMitzvah Update!BMitzvah Update!

Everyone is doing an awesome job learning to read trope and using what they already know to practice chanting their aliyot. I am really looking forward to our Torah Service next week! Continuing our exploration of tefilah in Rosh Pinah, we followed a 4 minute guided meditation by Alison Laichter, an innovator and leader in the world of Jewish meditation….

A Reflection On Different Kinds Of LoveA Reflection On Different Kinds Of Love

This week, our learners dug deeper into different kinds of love. We started with this bit of text: “All love that depends on something, [when the] thing stops, [the] love stops; and [all love] that does not depend on anything, will never stop” (Pirkei Avot 5:16).  In Garinim (kindergarteners), kiddos answered a few questions: What are some people or things…

(Un)conditional Love.(Un)conditional Love.

What a beautiful week, I am continuously amazed by your children’s thoughtful insights. This week we learned about conditional and unconditional love. Learners reflected on different kinds of love, what change means for love, and what unconditional love looks and feels like.  We sat down in the yard for snack at the beginning of the week and read Pirkei Avot…

Election Day School’s Out Camp RecapElection Day School’s Out Camp Recap

On Tuesday, kiddos joined up for a delightful and energetic day of camp at both Center City and South Philly Locations.  Kiddos in Center City started with some games, sang the “Moose Song,” and took advantage of the dry morning weather to gather leaves from Rittenhouse Square for a leaf rubbing activity. Kids then chose between a yarn craft and…

December’s Magical Book Week Schools Out Camp Details!December’s Magical Book Week Schools Out Camp Details!

Enchantment Ahead with School’s Out Camp “Magical Book Week” this Winter Break… What’s more engaging than a good book? How about a whole week of Makom School’s Out Camp with dozens of activities, taking inspiration from our learners’ favorite books, authors, and series!   We will offer a full week of camp December 27-31. In addition, we will be offering…

BMitzvah Update!BMitzvah Update!

This was an exciting week- we finished reading all of Vayishlach, keep growing our Hebrew Word Wall, and have begun preparing for our Torah service on 11/18. Also, so many students have mastered the first tefilah they chose to work on this year! In the last section of Vayishlach, learners reflected on some important ideas and questions: Yaakov got the…

Al Shlosha Devarim & Fun With Murals!Al Shlosha Devarim & Fun With Murals!

“Shimon Hatzadik (the righteous) said, ‘The world depends on three things to stand: Torah, connecting with something bigger than ourselves, and acts of lovingkindness’” (Pirkei Avot 1:1-2). Our Learners spent a day unpacking each of these elements, how the world depends on them, and how we can do them. The Garinim (kindergartners) explored acts of lovingkindness with a favorite book…

Gemilut Chasadim & Alef-Bet ExplorationsGemilut Chasadim & Alef-Bet Explorations

Another magical week at Makom has come and gone. We settled into this week with a spirited interest in Hebrew reading and finished it with passionate conversations about our Gemilut Chasadim (acts of loving kindness) box.  Throughout the week we explored a text from Pirkei Avot 1:1-2.  “Moshe received the Torah at Har Sinai (Mount Sinai) and transmitted it to…

Community, Judgement, and CommunicationCommunity, Judgement, and Communication

What might happen to both ourselves and our communities if we separate ourselves from them? This week, we explored text from Sanhedrin 37a:15  saying, “If a person makes many coins from one stamp, they are all exactly alike. But even though God created every person using the stamp of the first human, not a single one of them is exactly…

When Are We Truly Connected?When Are We Truly Connected?

As we gathered outside for snack time learning this week, there was a sense of familiarity. The kiddos are getting comfortable with our routines and each other. This week students led each other through the expectations that we have collectively built. I asked: “during snack time learning, how many voices should we hear at a time?” The kiddos all held…

BMitzvah October Update!BMitzvah October Update!

  We are two weeks into our first Rosh Pinah project about all things tefilah (prayer). After our exploration of tefillah gear, we have been learning about the various opinions about when communal prayer began, diving into ancient and rabbinic Jewish history. We talked about what Jewish communal worship looked like during the time of the Temples about the early…

Community and Holiness

Makom @ Home started off our Fall session exploring what community means and what is holiness. We read a text from Leviticus about Bnei Yisrael (the Jewish People) being a community and being holy because God is holy. We started off our questions thinking about who is part of the Bnei Yisrael community while they were wandering in the desert…

Is Two Truly Better Than One?Is Two Truly Better Than One?

This week, we looked at the Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 text, “Two are better than one… for should they fall, one can raise the other; but oh no! for the one who is alone and falls with no companion to raise them!”  Garinim started off our learning on Tuesday with a trust fall activity. Kiddos had the opportunity to fall with a…

Welcoming Warm and Fuzzy Feelings!Welcoming Warm and Fuzzy Feelings!

Another beautiful week at Makom has come and gone. As we worked through themes of companionship, helping, and the mitzvah (commandment) of the essential Jewish prayer, Shema. I observed so many moments of growth and learning this week.  During snack time learning, we tested out our peace walk. Learners have been creating this resource to support problem-solving with agency when…

November 2nd School’s Out Camp DetailsNovember 2nd School’s Out Camp Details

Just coming off of our first “School’s Out” camp day last Monday, October 11th, which was full of learning, creating, and lots of fun, we are already turning attention to our next camp days! On Tuesday, November 2, when district-run schools are closed for Election Day, we will again have camp from 8:30am-4:00pm. We are excited for another day of…

Design Thinking: Education from a Place of EmpathyDesign Thinking: Education from a Place of Empathy

We kicked off our first Jewish Placemaking Accelerator seminar exploring how to bring empathy into our classrooms and schools. In keeping with the Makom Community’s pedagogy, we ended up applying the principles of Design Thinking to our learning spaces, and we got there through Jewish text. What is Empathy? Participants started out with brief introductions and a small get-to-know-you prompt,…

Reflections On Back-To-School NightReflections On Back-To-School Night

Getting used to kids back in school and parents working from home or the office is a huge adjustment for all our families right now! Makom Community is so glad to be a part of the support system holding your family through this transition. This week, Center City and South Philly families met with Beverly, Amanda, and Leah to hear…

Upcoming PJDS Camp DaysUpcoming PJDS Camp Days

Join us for PJDS Camp! Camp will run from 8:30am-4:00pm at our South Philadelphia location and include many opportunities for hands-on learning, making, and exploring! Click here to enroll. Friday, December 3rd: We will be learning about the Hebrew month of Tevet with winter walks and intuitive art projects. Wednesday December 8th: We will continue exploring Tevet with collaborative making…

If I Am Not For Myself, Then Who Is For Me?If I Am Not For Myself, Then Who Is For Me?

This week, our learners looked at the Pirkei Avot 1:14 text: “Rabbi Hillel used to say, If I am not for myself, who is for me?” As well as the story from Shabbat 31a:6, “Another time a non-Jew came before Shammai and said,  ‘I will convert if you can teach me the entire Torah while I stand on one foot.’…