Posted November 25, 2013
The sixth grade is spearheading the collection of funds for American Jewish World Services to be sent on to the Philippines. Each classroom and advisory has received an envelope for tzedakah collection. There is also an envelope next to the coffee in the lobby for parents to directly contribute. Money will be collected until winter break.
Posted November 18, 2013
Rabbi Gershom Sizomu, chief rabbi of Uganda, returned last week as a guest speaker. A Be'chol Lashon Rabbinic Fellow, Rabbi Sizomu makes frequent visits to the United States as an ambassador for the Abayudaya ("People of Judah") Jewish community. As part of the Tzedek Project's guest speaker series, he met with the seventh grade students to advocate for efforts to build a childcare center in his community. He spent time with kindergarten classes and in each of the village tefillot (prayer services), educating the students about the unique history and culture of the Abayudaya Jews. MORE PHOTOS
Posted November 8, 2013
As part of a study unit in their Jewish Studies class on the Hasmonean dynasty and the events leading to the Maccabean Revolt (167–160 BCE), sixth graders "minted" their own Hasmonean coins in the science lab. Students learned that the Maccabees—who for a time attempted various adaptations to the dominant Hellenistic culture surrounding them—incorporated Jewish symbols and Hebrew along with Greek symbols on their coins. The students made molds using Sugru (self-setting silicone rubber), then used Field's metal (a non-toxic alloy with a low melting point) to fill the molds. MORE PHOTOS
Posted November 7, 2013
This fall, our 7th graders have had the opportunity to embark on a key learning journey: the Tzedek Project. At BHDS, 7th grade families pool together resources that would otherwise go toward purchasing b’nai mitzvah gifts for each student and instead create a class fund to be used for philanthropic purposes. Over the course of the fall semester, Jewish studies teacher Jody Bloom has arranged (with recommendations from the students) for guest speakers from the following organizations... MORE PHOTOS
Posted October 16, 2013
In Chevrutah Minyan (partner-based learning groups) this month, middle school students are focusing on the prayers of Modeh Ani and Ma Tovu (prayers of giving thanks). The students explored the prayers further in mixed-grade groupings, parsing the language and its metaphorical meaning. "We all agreed," commented one student, "that to show appreciation you do not have to say Modeh Ani: you just need to take a second when you wake up to think about how lucky you are to be able to go downstairs and have something to eat, to have clothes on your body, to have a school to go to, and to have a family who loves you."
Posted May 8, 2013
In anticipation of the holiday of Shavuot—the Jewish festival that celebrates the receiving of the Ten Commandments and the Torah at Sinai—our students learned from a sofer (a scribe) about some of the many rules and procedures regarding the writing of sacred texts. Zerach Greenfield, a sofer STaM from New York, demonstrated the tools a scribe uses. The acronym STaM stands for Sefer Torah, teffilin, and mezuzot.
Posted April 10, 2013
In seventh grade, BHDS students devote a major part of their Jewish studies time to researching charitable organizations and donating b'nai mitzvah gift money to meaningful causes, both local and global.The totals are now in, and the news is unprecedented. Not only was the amount raised impressive—$17,646—but a new voting system resulted in funds going to each one of the 17 charitable organizations researched by our students. Organizations ranged from the San Francisco Food Bank to Shalom Bayit. "Through this project, our 7th grade class makes a powerful statement about priorities and learns first-hand how to champion and make a difference for organizations and causes they care about," said Samantha Zadikoff, Jewish studies teacher and Tzedek Project manager....
Posted April 8, 2013
Our students observed Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) in various ways. For lower school, an age-appropriate introduction during assembly was followed by the lighting of seven yahrzeit (memorial) candles. Kindergarteners then led the assembly in a song for peace. Middle school students observed Yom HaShoah at their weekly assembly last week.
Posted March 21, 2013
Our eighth graders from the BHDS Marin and SF campuses came together with their teacher chaperones for a morning of planning and bonding before their upcoming two-week trip to Israel. To familiarize themselves with Israel's numerous political parties, the students divided into teams to play...read on for photos...
Posted March 14, 2013
Our seventh grade students led our community-wide tefillah (service) with a mix of traditional and modern melodies and prayers. Several students chanted from the Torah while others led the congregation in prayer and song. The service concluded with an update on the seventh grade Tzedek ("justice") Project, a class fund created for philantrophic purposes where students research organizations they're passionate about and then decide how to donate the substantial amount raised. In this way, our seventh grade class makes a powerful statement about priorities and engagement with the world around them. SEE PHOTOS