Please find lesson plans and an explanation of the Sephardi/Mizrachi lesson plan model below:
Lesson Plan 1- Light One Candle? (8th-12th grades)
Lesson Plan 2- Around the World in 8 Days-Exploring the Diversity of our Chanukah Traditions (3rd-7th grades)
The Sephardi/Mizrachi Lesson Plan Model:
What do you know about Sephardi and Mizrachi Culture? What do the Jews from Arab Lands and Spain contribute to the fabric of world Jewry? For years in Israel and sometimes elsewhere, Mizrachi and Sephardi Jews were known for their food and their music. While this is true to some extent (I hope we all get the chance to taste an amazing Kurdish Kubbeh or a delicious Moroccan Couscous for Shabbat and to hear amazing piyutim during the month of Elul as we walk the allies of Nachlaot in Jerusalem), the depth and insight inherent in this culture is largely unknown, especially here in the American Jewish community. These lesson plans will give you an opportunity to enhance and inspire students with the wealth and beauty of Sephardi and Mizrachi tradition, which emphasizes the importance of communal responsibility, inviting in the stranger and preserving the Judaism passed on to us from our parents.
At the seder table we say “Ha Lachma Anya-May all who are hungry, come and eat” and we teach our children to open our doors to offer those who are hungry to come in and feel at home around our table. This part of our liturgy connects sustenance with meaning, the corporeal with the depth and significance of the commandment between People (Ben Adam L'Havero).
Using this food metaphor, I present this lesson plan model*:
The Skewer question:
This question is a guide for facilitators and students. All texts and learning throughout this session are based on and lead back to this question. Like a skewer of meat (or veggies) the question pierces through every section of the session providing a clear, framework for open, engaging discussion, personal development and learning.
To enhance the appetite of the learning community, this introduction draws participants in using a central tool: personal story telling. Most sessions begin with an activity or personal question that allows students to look inward and find a personal way to connect to the subject of the session.
This main course section allows us to delve deeper into the subject and the main question raised in the Apéritif. Here we will introduce texts and activities that help us gain a thoughtful understanding of the topic. In this part there will be more time for open discussion of the texts while the facilitator continues to guide students using the skewer question.
Tea with Nana:
Many meals in Arab lands end with sweet black tea with nana, or mint leaves. This section will summarize the session, connecting all the parts of this intellectual and personal journey and always leaving participants with an open question when they leave. The hope is that the learning will stay with participants and they will continue to ponder the questions raised, connecting them to relevant things in their lives.
* This lesson plan model is used at Memizrach Shemesh, the Center for Jewish Social Leadership/KIAH, Jerusalem