Jewish Culture: Tarbut--תרבות: How do you define it? How do you teach it?
In February and March, we decided to concentrate on Passover as a theme for teaching the children about different aspects of Jewish culture. Since there is so much to show and learn and discuss and experience, we narrowed the scope of the project into three subjects:
1) Theatre--creating a Passover פםח play.
Debbie Broshi, a creative new teacher to our school, took on the formidable project of creating a short but meaningful play about the Exodus from Egypt. Many of the children in her group helped her in creatively presenting what was important to them from the Passover story, from suggestions to the script, to creating commercial breaks, to costuming and props. They all created an absolutely wonderful and often hilarious interpretation of the Pesach story.
2) Music, dance, and art--talking about our own heritage and learning songs and dances that related to it.
Ori Alon and I worked with this group. Each child asked her (only girls in this group) family about their origins, and returned with a whole list of different countries, which made for very interesting discussions. Besides discussing our family trees, we taught them the Dayyenu song and a dance that they can do while singing it and a Yemenite dance called Harishut. We played music from Turkey, Iraq, Ethiopia, and Bulgaria for them to listen to and improvise dance steps. For an art project, several of the children chose to illustrate the Passover story from a Jewish slave's perspective, imagining what they were saying to themselves as all of the events were happening. Another pair chose to write poetry about the story of the Exodus.