Tag: BMitzvah

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…

BMitzvah Wrestles With Racial JusticeBMitzvah Wrestles With Racial Justice

“What is a criminal?” I asked the class. “Someone who’s in prison,” Nathan said. “Who a lot of people agree has done something bad.” “I don’t know if I agree,” Zoey said. “There are a lot of people in prison who haven’t done anything wrong. I don’t think you can just say that because they’re in prison that makes them…

BMitzvah Builds for the Chaggim!BMitzvah Builds for the Chaggim!

“It takes a village!”  This was the refrain the day BMitzvah headed to Makom Community to build our sukkah.  “There’s a catch,” I told them. “There are no instructions.” Nathan and Leo were thrilled! Nathan reminded me that he’s been building from Legos without instructions for years and Leo said that building without instructions is his favorite way to build…

The BMitzvah cohort become Rodfei Tzedek!The BMitzvah cohort become Rodfei Tzedek!

What motivates you to pursue justice? “Anti-anti-semitism,” Zoey says. “I know Jewish people have experienced oppression in the past and that makes me want to fight oppression now.” “My friend who has a different identity than me,” Remi says. “She is amazing and has gone through so much.”   Our BMitzvah cohort are true rodfei tzedek, seekers of justice, and our…

BMitzvah Makes a PilgrimageBMitzvah Makes a Pilgrimage

In the days of the ancient temple in Jerusalem, Jews would travel to the temple for the three pilgrimage holidays, Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot. While today, we often think of pilgrimage as being more present in other religious traditions, the act of walking towards a holy place is a part of Jewish tradition. Whether knowing that makes it easier to…

Purim Shenanigans with Our Community!Purim Shenanigans with Our Community!

Chag Purim Sameach – Happy Purim, everyone! We’ve had an amazing and hilarious time celebrating with your kiddos over the last few weeks. Here’s a recap of all the Purim-related fun we’ve had: Hamantaschen baking These tasty treats are always a crowd pleaser. We enjoyed filling them with all kinds of jam, nutella, and chocolate chips. The traditional triangle shape…

Feedback for all, including GodFeedback for all, including God

“Is God good?”  “What does God want from humanity?” Not the simplest questions to ponder on a Tuesday night, but our BMitzvah cohort and their parents dove in with open hearts. Following the theme of our current Rosh Pinah project, we focused on our questions about God. Our first activity exposed some of our conflicting feelings.  We wrestled with those…

Learning to LeadLearning to Lead

“I never thought a third grader could change my perspective on Jonah…” One of the most powerful things we can learn is that we can learn from anyone! At the end of our study of the Book of Jonah, the BMitzvah cohort shared some of what we learned with the Nitzanim (2nd-4th grade) class. The BMitzvah students designed and taught…

Are you there God? It’s BMitzvah!Are you there God? It’s BMitzvah!

Sometimes we spend too much time thinking about something and not enough time experiencing it. In BMitzvah, we’ve been working on a new Rosh Pinah project about God: creating art pieces that express our personal theologies. We’ve been learning about how Jewish texts show different ideas of God: God as the authority, God as everything, God as all-good and all-powerful, God…

Our American Jewish StoriesOur American Jewish Stories

“Emma Lazarus! The New Colossus!” Drew pointed at the quote on the wall as we rounded the corner to the next gallery.  “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” read the famous quote. Drew told us about the quote’s position on the Statue of Liberty and Lazarus’ history as a writer, as Lazarous was…

Those Who Learn From History…Those Who Learn From History…

We all know that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. But what about those who do learn from history? My experience with our last Rosh Pinah unit on American Jewish History tells me that they are doomed to ask provocative questions.  How can we re-balance the record and put women’s voices to the front? Can I design an…

Cooking Up UnderstandingCooking Up Understanding

“This doesn’t look at all like what it’s supposed to look like!” “It’s too thick.” “It’s too thin.” “I don’t know what the batter is supposed to look like.” “Why don’t you try this?” Nothing is more stressful than things not going to plan in the kitchen. Our BMitzvah Rosh Pinah (cornerstone) projects test the limits of our ability to…

Learning to Become: The BMitzvah Cohort play UshpizinLearning to Become: The BMitzvah Cohort play Ushpizin

Sukkot at Makom Community this year spurred discussion about welcoming: How do we welcome guests and why? What does it feel like to welcome or be welcomed? Our BMitzvah students delved deeper into the history of the welcoming ushpizin by becoming ushpizin ourselves! Our initial research about the ushpizin brought up some challenging questions and feelings. Why, traditionally, do we…

Welcoming and Resilience: A Sukkot StoryWelcoming and Resilience: A Sukkot Story

This Sukkot has been an adventure! We were so excited to spend our afternoons in the fabulous Center City Kehilah community sukkah in Julian Abele park. And then Wednesday it rained. No worries, though; we regrouped and changed the plan. We met up at Makom Community and spent the afternoon practicing our welcoming skills for future days in the sukkah….