/Tag:Parent-Child Learning

Torah Talk for Parashat Vayakhel-Pekudei

In these parshiyot the Bnei Yisrael bring so many materials for the construction of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) that Moshe tells them to stop; Betzalel and Oholiav, gifted craftspeople, construct the elements of the Mishkan. The work of constructing the Mishkan is completed; Moshe receives the command to anoint its vessels and to anoint Aharon and the cohanim (priests). There is a classic debate between Rashi (11th century Franco-Germany) and Ramban (13th century Spain/Palestine) about the …

March 21, 2017 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashat Ki Tisa

In this parasha, Hashem continues describing the Mishkan (Tabernacle) to Moshe; the people worship the Aygel Hazahav (Golden Calf), Moshe pleads on their behalf, and Hashem forgives them. This parasha contains one of the famous passages about the Shabbat, one which we recite in the Shabbat morning kiddush (31:12-17). The commentators ask why this section is here in the middle of particulars related to building the Mishkan. Further, the words come across as harsh: anyone …

March 15, 2017 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashat Tetzaveh

In this parasha, Hashem describes to Moshe the clothing and the process of anointing the cohanim (priests). Almost an entire Torah portion is dedicated to how people – in this case Aharon and his descendants – should dress. At first glance, it seems like too trivial and materialistic an issue for the Torah to address. However, when we stop to consider the issue of clothing, we realize that what we wear speaks volumes about who …

March 7, 2017 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashat Terumah

In this parasha, Hashem instructs Moshe to collect gifts from Bnei Yisrael in order to build a Mishkan (Tabernacle) so that Hashem can dwell among the people; Hashem describes to Moshe the vessels and structures that comprise the Mishkan. An oft-quoted verse appears in Chapter 25:8: “They will make for Me a sanctuary, and I will dwell in [among] them.” One would expect the grammar in this verse to be “… and I will dwell …

February 28, 2017 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashat Mishpatim

In this week’s parasha, Moshe informs the people of numerous ethical and ritual laws and seals the brit (covenant) between the Bnei Yisrael and Hashem. One of the numerous laws in the parasha states (22:20): “Do not wrong a stranger nor oppress him for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” Hermann Cohen (1842-1919), a German Jewish thinker and spokesperson for the Reform movement, wrote that “this law of shielding the alien from all …

February 21, 2017 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashat Yitro

Yitro, Moshe’s father-in-law, suggests a system for establishing lower courts to settle disputes; Hashem articulates the Aseret HaDibrot (Ten Commandments) to the Bnei Yisrael amidst fire, smoke, and sounds of the shofar. We often translate Aseret HaDibrot, as I did above, as “The Ten Commandments.” However, they are not really Ten Commandments, because Dibrot means “sayings.” They are the Ten Sayings. Why are there specifically ten? Let us think of other things that appear in …

February 16, 2017 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashat Beshalach

After the Bnei Yisrael cross the Reed sea in safety while Paro’s army drowns, they sing praises to Hashem; in response to their complaints about a lack of food and water, Hashem gives them manna; they are then attacked by Amalek. The TaNaKH contains ten songs. When we look at each song, without even reading the words, we can know whether it presents positive or negative content and themes. Positive songs, such as the Song …

February 7, 2017 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashat Bo

This week’s parasha tells the story of the last three plagues, the preparations that the Bnei Yisrael needed to make in order to leave Mitzrayim, and the actual exodus itself. The first mitzvah mentioned in Sefer Shmot, and in fact, the first mitzvah given to the nation, appears in this parasha [12:2]: “This month shall be to you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.” The p’shat, …

February 1, 2017 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Torah Talk for Parashat Vaera

In this parasha, God brings the first seven plagues upon the Egyptians through Moshe and Aharon, but Pharaoh repeatedly refuses to allow the Bnei Yisrael to leave. Twice in this parasha (6:12 and 30) Moshe says, “I am of uncircumcised lips.” In last week’s parasha, Moshe declared (4:10), “…for I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue.” Hashem doesn’t argue with this statement, but responds simply that “I will be with your mouth.” …

January 25, 2017 |By |Author Type: Faculty and Staff |Topics: Torah Talks|Tags: Parent-Child Learning|

Pre-K Students Explore Identity

Students in Pre-Kindergarten explored the concept of Identity over the course of the first semester. They began by defining identity as “who you really are.” While acknowledging that we are all constantly changing and growing, our study began by having the children look at the things that currently identify or represent them. We augmented our project work with an author’s study, using Jamie Lee Curtis’ books as a vehicle to explore our theme more deeply …