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  Issue 9                                                                                            April 2012 / Iyar 5772

Learning Through Doing

Talmud Torah has two goals related to assemblies and events: To build community and to make certain that they are learning experiences which seamlessly integrate with our classroom curriculum. In several of our past issues, we have highlighted how we are using our monthly Rosh Chodesh assemblies to augment the study of Jewish values in the classroom. This month, let's take a look at our two most recent assemblies: Pumped Up for Pesach and Yom HaShoah.


Pumped Up For Pesach
Pumped Up For Pesach Video

Our Pumped Up for Pesach assembly was truly a highlight of the year. We held the assemblies by grade level: Alef and Bet together, Gimel and Dalet together, and Hey and Vav together. At each grade level, there were four activities that the students "played". Younger students "became" a plague and had to match the English to the Hebrew and then stand in the right order. The older students did the same thing with the 14 steps of the Seder

All age levels played tic-tac-toe, but couldn't put their X or O on the board until they correctly  answered a question about Pesach.  Younger students played Memory, matching pictures with the correct description which were hidden on the board, while the older students had to build Moshe's family tree, starting with Avraham and Sarah. Finally, all age groups ran in the Seder Table Relay, racing to grab Seder plate and Seder table items and put them on a different table! Everyone had a blast, had a chance to demonstrate their amazing knowledge and learned something new!


For Yom Ha Shoah (Holocaust Memorial Day), we chose to combine its observance with our assemblies for Rosh Chodesh Iyar. Our Jewish value of the month was Chesed, Loving Kindness, and after talking about its importance and giving some examples, we transitioned to talking about the Righteous Gentiles who risked their lives doing acts of Chesed - hiding and/or saving Jews during the Holocaust. We used the recent holiday of Pesach to talk about the long history of anti-semitism, which includes Pharaoh, Haman, and Hitler. We then held a memorial service, where we lit six yahrzeit candles (one for each 1,000,000), read a six stanza poem of grief and hope by a Holocaust survivor, and then recited the Mourners Kaddish.

Gimel (5th Grade) Students Visit the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
On Sunday, March 4, Talmud Torah Gimel students, along with some of their parents, visited the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

This was the kick-off activity for our Living Museum Project, where students will create a museum with their own artifacts. By bringing in artifacts students will learn about their family histories as well as the importance of treasured artifacts.

At the museum we divided into three groups, each with its own docent. We saw a variety of artifacts, especially those with a Jewish connection. Of particular interest was a tapestry depicting the Purim story as well as a painted box depicting the same story.

At the Judaica exhibit, our students viewed a variety of beautiful Jewish artifacts and ritual items which gave them ideas of things they could bring in for their exhibit.

This project is done in coordination with the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York. In May, it will be part of the museum's website.

Thank you to Harold Smith for funding our bus to the museum.

 Watch for more information about our grand Living Museum Project opening on May 14.

Alef (3rd Grade) Visits the Matza Factory & Finishes the Hebrew Letters

On Sunday April 1, 2012 Hamorah Zadaka's and Hamorah Nechamit's Alef classes had the unique opportunity to participate in the Matzah Factory. This amazing program is led by Rabbi Grossbaum as part of the Living Legacy project. Students wore matzah hats and aprons and went right into each step of the process, ending by receiving their very own matzah. In class, students have been hard at work learning the Mah Nishtana, the ten plagues, the items on the seder plate, and the order of the seder night. 

We would like to give a big round of applause to the Alef students for learning ALL of the Hebrew letters! Mazal Tov!!


 11th Grade Kehilla Class Hears About the University of Minnesota and More

Guest speaker, Briana Cohen Lavintman, college freshman and recent Talmud Torah Bet Midrash graduate, spoke about her experiences at the University of Minnesota. She described life on campus and the various Jewish opportunities available to students, such as the Maimonides class. She emphasized the importance of making wise decisions and choosing friends whom you can depend upon and trust. Briana reminded the students to begin the college application process now, especially writing their personal statements and if applying to the UM, competing the supplement because acceptance to the UM is very competitive. She expressed gratitude for her Talmud Torah Hebrew CIS classes as the number of credits she earned enabled her to begin the UM as a sophomore. Our Kehilla students listened attentively and asked her several questions. They were pleased to learn first-hand about college life. Toda raba, Briana!


Adopt A Survivor Class Holds Program with the
Eiger-Zaidenweber Holocaust Center

Susan Weinberg & Dora Zaidenweber

The Eiger-Zaidenweber Holocaust Center at the Minneapolis Talmud Torah was created by the Eiger and Zaidenweber families to provide a multi-purpose space for teaching and studying about the Holocaust. The room originated in 1984 as a classroom at the former Talmud Torah location in St. Louis Park and was headed by Max Weitz.


Susie Chalom, Talmud Torah of Minneapolis Head of School said "We wanted to honor the history of the center and the wishes of the family to make this a vibrant space, and having an exhibit of Susan Weinberg's paintings, which are an artistic response to the Holocaust, is a good place to start, since the viability of Holocaust education will rely on future generations to tell the stories of the survivors and the six million who did not survive."


The Talmud Torah of Minneapolis, the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest, the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota and the Tychman Shapiro Gallery at the Sabes JCC collaborated on exhibiting Weinberg's work. The first of the events was held on Sunday, March 4th, 2012. Participating in an interesting tour of the exhibit were Holocaust survivors, past participants in the Adopt A Survivor program, their teen partners, parents and teachers of Talmud Torah's Adopt A Survivor program, as well as Susan Weinberg, Dora Zaidenweber and members of her family.   All came together for an interesting tour of the exhibit, a  delicious lunch, and the unique story of Dora and Susan's journey.


Save the Date!

benefit 2012

Ma Chadash in the Community?

Herzl Camp 2012

Space Still Available at Herzl Camp for 3rd - 8th graders.

1, 2, 3, and 4 week options between June 18th - July 16th.


Check out our website or call 952.927.4002 ASAP to register or learn more about summer opportunities.  

New campers may be eligible for $1000 first time camper grants!!!


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Editor: Missy (Tamar) Lavintman     Assistant: Kim Steil