Exciting New Component of Sixth Grade Judaic Studies Brought to Life During Tefillah Today
There is an exciting new component of the sixth grade Judaic Studies curriculum this year, which was on display during tefillah today: the Jewish Court of All Time program (JCAT). JCAT empowers students to delve into history by adopting a historical figure and acting in that role, while interacting with a large cast of their peers and adults playing other characters. Through this mostly online program, students discuss cultural, social, and moral issues surrounding a fictional trial. At today’s tefillah, the characters came to life, with each sixth grader portraying a historical figure, highlighted by the drash (sermon) in which multiple students interpreted the parasha (Torah portion) as their character. Teacher Dorit Israel portrayed the role of Isaac Bashevis Singer.
In addition to the trial, JCAT provides students with an opportunity to practice historical research, deliberation, critical thinking, perspective-taking, genre and voice in writing, and other skills. It was an engaging tefillah service for all in attendance.