Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Amitim Update - Jan 23, 2013

Interconnectedness: How we assemble our books and ourselves

Dear Parents:

So what are we up to in Amitim?

For the next few weeks, we will continue learning the origins, natures, and context of the different types of skills we'll be working on for the remainder of the year.  These include: Tanakh/Text study, Shabbat morning service, and Trope. 

Last week, we focused on the structure of Tanakh, and this week we studied

Yesterday we had a great session of learning at Amitim. 
Students learned about the Shabbat morning service and also learned, in chevruta (partnership), a story from the Talmud (Tractate Yoma 35b) about Hillel the Elder, Torah study, and how he ended up  on a roof and covered in a pile of snow.

Check it out!--->Tractate Yoma 35b

These activities drew on our broader discussion about the interconnectedness of text study and community building as an integral part of Jewish identity. 
The conscious arrangement of the Jewish textual canon by the sages empowers us to arrange and conduct ourselves just as thoughtfully. 

Members of Amitim 5774 explored this concept further by coming up with a list of aspirations and expectations about how they want their community to be. 

Here is that list:

  1. We want our teachers to be patient, respectful, and to pay attention to what helps us learn.
  2. Mutual respect among students and teachers.
  3. Respect personal space/personal bubble.
  4. Respect our time together because we don't get much of it.
  5. Kindness.
  6. Do what makes you comfortable as long as you don't disturb or distract other people.
  7. FUN!, Fun stuff.
  8. Rewards for positive achievement and behavior.
  9. We should play Freeze and Beckon

Looking forward to the next Amitim session.

Coming up: Kippah discussion and exploration
                   Siddur cover decorating
                   Intense game of Beckon

Eliana Kissner

Thursday, January 10, 2013

From Eliana - what we did last week in Amitim 5774! (our first session!)

The Frame: Find your voice
                   Friendship, Learning, and Challenge

4:30-4:45: Snack 

4:45-5:05: "The List" Icebreaker.  They start out with one partner and have to make a list of 5 things they have in common.  After they come up with 5 things, they each go and look for a new person with whom they have 1 thing in common on the first list.  Then that new pair comes up with a new list of 5 things

5:05-5:20: Double circles discussions
Here are the questions for that (might have to cut down depending on time):
1. Which mitzvot match your personality?
2. What is a good Jewish memory you have?
3. What is something that makes you proud to be Jewish? Ashamed?
4. Name some things that you want to get out of your bar/bat mitzvah experience.
5. What are some of your talents and skills?

5:20-5:45: Distribution and explanation of binders, explain how class will work on a weekly basis, the schedule components
  • Skill building
  • Community Building
  • Special projects
5:45-6:00: They write a letter to themselves about their expectations/feelings about Amitim, close it up in an envelope, and will open it next year at the end of Amitim.

6:00-6:25: Torah in the real world activity (Worksheet with situations and excerpts from Torah.  They must choose texts that apply best to the situations described.

6:25-6:30: Learning survey

See you soon!  So excited!!