Thursday, 12 October 2017

Simchat Torah-Beresheit

Beresheit usually gets the short stick in our projects. There is so much potential in the Creation Story, but never enough time with Sukkah/Simchat Torah/Beresheit. A few years ago we painted our nails, here but generally, it gets lost.

This year, the big girls, IYH, will be giving D'var Torahs to the whole congregation on Simchat Torah.  They worked really hard writing them. Cohava's is about the candy and the joy of Simchat Torah. Gabi's is about Adam & Chava, self-control, and candy.  Notice the reoccurring theme?

On Simchat Torah, our Beit Kenesset is taken over by the youth. All parts of tefilah are led by the boys, who have been practicing for months for this honor and as the boys become young men, they vy for the most honorable positions of Rabbi and Gabbai. A few girls (including my dynamic duo) will be giving speeches.

Working with the girls was really enjoyable. I look forward to doing it regularly. It is the logical growth from the projects we do. But we won't stop doing projects.

Inspired by last week's festival inspired place-settings
Gabi wanted to try something.
She saw origami Torah's in a book and tried to replicate them. It was too challenging.
So we devised our own method.
Unfold white napkin.
 Roll both sides to the center.
Wrap them together with a cocktail napkin.
Teach a sister.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Sukkot 5778

Happy Sukkot!
The girls always ask why I never blog anyone. They miss it and so do I. It seems we are always ready to revisit the blog around Beresheit.
Trader Joe's sells a kosher haunted house chocolate gingerbread house thingy. I bought it and instructed the girls to figure out how to turn it into a sukkah.
 They debated.
 And contemplated.
And created!
The 'ghost' has a beard and is Avraham and the subsequent Ushpezin.

These are our cool Sukkot napkin rings!

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Beshalach, so many miracles to celebrate!

Again, we did numerous parasha projects. I recommend replicating some more than others. I'll start with the craft and move to the food.

The sea splits and the Jewish people walk through on dry land! What could be more exciting?!? I have acted this out in many ways, with many groups, like this  or this or this.  Usually I think 'go big or go home' but this time, I decided to go small. 

I found these cute templates at to make everyone involved in the story. 

The girls got to work coloring and cutting. 

 And assembling
We mixed flour, water, and blue food coloring, and loaded them into a large ziplock bag.

Then they out on a show. Cohava filmed and did two takes. Which do you prefer?

On Monday we had a huge snowstorm! It was very exciting for everyone. 

"You know the maan [manna] was like snow," Cohava remarked.
"How so?"
"Well, it was white and fell from the ground and was edible," she reasoned.
We decided to take snow and add the flavors of maan,

31The house of Israel named it manna, and it was like coriander seed, [it was] white, and it tasted like a wafer with honey.לאוַיִּקְרְאוּ בֵית יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת שְׁמוֹ מָן וְהוּא כְּזֶרַע גַּד לָבָן וְטַעְמוֹ כְּצַפִּיחִת בִּדְבָשׁ:
 And honey

 and waffles

Met with mixed reviews

Before Cohava recommended snow maan, it was my plan to make Rice Krispy treats. The cereal looks remotely like coriander seeds.

Cohava excitedly started cooking.
But someone knocked the cereal box on the floor. I felt this was delightfully authentic to the collecting from the ground and recommended they do it.
I was only joking!
 Thankfully, we had another box, albeit patriotic, of cereal.

At school I made 'maan' cookies. The lesson was meant to be, "Wow manna was such a miracle from Hashem!" "Wait all food is a great miracle from Hashem!" Not sure how well they got it. But they ALL remembered that 1) we made maan cookies last year 2) I accidentally put in a tablespoon of salt, instead of a teaspoon. The moral for me is that experiential learning (especially edible) really sticks with a person!

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Bo- 3 plagues 3 projects!

Since we have been in the swing of perasha projects, my girls are very enthusiastic. From the time we finish Shabbat lunch, they start asking if they can learn next week's portion. It is heartwarming and a little frustrating because it is hard to stay two steps ahead. Now we do a small project on Motzei Shabbat and a larger one on Sunday, when I have had time to think of a project.

Motzei Shabbat: Paroh hardened his heart. We compared this phrase to the euphemism 'changed his mind'.  "It is because your heart is like, all of you. Because it is for love, so if it hardens, love cannot come out!" Ruti explained.
Shrinky-dink hearts!



Project 2: Cohava did color mixing with the girls, in an attempt to show darkness (the plague) and the power of black (color). I don't think her plan worked the way she wanted.

Project 3- The Real One! Matza: food of slavery or freedom
Discussions on whether Matza is a sign of Jewish slavery or freedom can be seen on most Torah websites near Pesach. Simply, it is both. It was the food of our slavery, which we took proud ownership of in our freedom.
Does Matza taste of freedom? Tova thinks so. Matza pizza (without sauce) is her daily lunch request. Two of my kids dislike matza. One is neutral. If we are going to take ownership of it, we should be thrilled with matza and revel in eating it.
So we did!
I got the recipe for Matza Crack here.
 Debate if matza tastes like slavery or freedom.
 mix margarine and brown sugar.
 bring to a low boil
 spread toffee on matza (stop licking fingers!)
 spread more
 bake until bubbly
 add chocolate
spread more.

Refrigerate until firm.

Try not to eat it all! Matza taste like freedom and heaven and heath bars...

Plagued by Vaera

Last week I did lots of Perasha but did not have time to write about it. I will leave the photos here and hopefully have time to write about it later. In the meantime, a picture is worth a thousand words!