Elementary Level Workshops

The OJA is collaborating with Toronto’s Jewish day schools to introduce students to the various local Jewish histories that are held in its collection, providing them with an opportunity to consider their own presence in this continuing story. Students will come out of the experience with a better understanding of the local Jewish past as well as an understanding of their contribution to contemporary Jewish life in Toronto and the province. This collaboration encourages students to appreciate the idea that “being Jewish” today allows for various interpretations and manifestations, all valued and equally important in today’s multicultural and diverse society.

The OJA works with teachers to identify themes and curriculum topics that have connections with material in its collection. Two different models for presenting the material are being developed. For Paul Penna, the OJA is developing a lesson plan to do classroom visits with the students. For Bialik, the OJA is working with teachers to forward material related to their topics. In both models, the material presented infuses the social sciences with local Jewish content, making connections between the historical content and the students own lives.

Possible themes for each grade:

1)      Immigration
2)      Community service
3)      Urban vs. rural
4)      Tikkun olam
5)      How to build a community
6)      Celebrations/Jewish milestones

Students will be asked to think about:

  • how these themes fit within their current lives
  • how they and their families participate in these various parts of Jewish life
  • how these stories from the past relate to their lives

Questions will be used to guide discussion, such as: Where did your parent or grandparents live and grow up? What kind of Tikkun Olam projects do you do? How do you celebrate Shabbat, Passover, etc.?

NOTE: This project was piloted with both Paul Penna Downtown Jewish Day School and Bialik Hebrew Day School for the 2012-2013 school year to much success. References are available upon request.

Please click here to learn more about the Jewish Mosaic Museum project at Paul Penna.

Please contact us to arrange a partnership with your school.