JWA Institute for Educators - Day 4

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Today was a little slower on the workshop front, but I got to do some serious thinking about implementing the Living the Legacy curriculum. I'm planning to use a three-pronged approach to share the lessons with the different organizations for which I work.

As soon as I return to Camp Tawonga this Sunday, I'll start running the lessons as single-block programs. I've picked a few (focusing on participation in the civil rights movement, and general race/oppression philosophy), and adjusted them to fit the tone and time constraints of summer camp.

After camp, I'll use the lessons in my 7th grade classroom in Walnut Creek. The curriculum is a split between the mitzvot and family history, so a number of the lessons will fit nicely with our mid-century Jewish life unit. I'll also use a series of lessons to lead into our experiential service learning activities.

Concurrently, I'm teaching a Jewish American music class at Oakland Midrasha. The lessons that I've chosen will illustrate the importance of music as a tool for social change, and also provide cultural context for a number of mid-century American musical innovations.

I'm also excited about sharing the curriculum with my colleagues around the Bay Area. As soon as the web site goes live, I'll suggest individual lessons for certain classes and schools, and I'll also familiarize teachers with the resources on the JWA web site. It has so many useful (and interactive) learning tools, like amazing numbers of primary source documents, and it highlights in a unique way the contributions of women to history.

Also today: The JWA is in the early stages of developing a resource to engage girls before their bat mitzvahs. The idea is to help them find the ceremony's meaning (and the meaning of Judaism) beforehand, so that it's more than just a party with some memorizing tacked on. The project will likely include ideas for innovative bat mitzvah projects, contemporary female Jewish role models, and activities to help girls connect with their heritage and family history. Can't wait for this to come around!

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