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A great multimedia way to learn the parsha, at Torah4Kids


October 2009, Elul 5769 [email protected]

Written by Nechama Retting, Director of Education for Shlock Rock

Welcome to Shlock Rock Educator’s Newsletter Volume 11. Our goal is to give you some new ideas for teaching about Mitzvot & Middot, Torah, Israel and the Holidays. Visit our website at

Adult Learning: This month we will explore ways to celebrate the beautiful holiday of Sukkot which begins on the 15th of Tishrei (or the eve of October 11 – it is also a full moon!). There is so much to learn from this holiday! It is one of the 3 Pilgrimage (Harvest) Holidays (with Pesach and Shavuot) when Jews from all over Israel would gather at the Holy Temple to give gift offerings to the Kohanim (High Priests) to say thank you to Hashem for all their blessings. There are 3 Mitzvot related to the holiday: Dwelling in a Sukkah, Rejoicing with family and friends and the Four Species. It is also traditional to invite guests (Hachnast Orchim) to our Sukkot (plural of Sukkah). The guests can be family, friends or Biblical heroes traditionally called Ushpizin. One of the rules for a kosher Sukkah is that you should be able to see the sun/stars through the S’chach (roof made of branches). If you have never built a Sukkah, maybe this is the year to try! It is so much fun to camp out in the Sukkah with your family!! Who’s afraid of a few mosquitoes or maybe a little rain?? Did you know that the concept of Thanksgiving came from our holiday, Sukkot?! How cool is that? Did you also know that Hershey Park has kosher concessions during Chol Ha Mo'ed Sukkot? Cool!! Road trip anyone? We’ve got some great music to listen to on the road, see below!

Recommended SHLOCK ROCK songs: “Lulav” from Shlock Rock for kids Vol. 1, “My Succah” and “Hachnasat Orchim” from Shlock Rock for Kids Sing Together, “Succah Hop” from Shlock Rock for Kids We’re in the Band, “Oh it’s My Succah” from Shlock Rock for Kids Party Time, “Kohain” from Shlock Rock to Unite All Jews, “Succot Nights” From Shlock Rock Almost Broadway, “Baruch HaGever” from Shlock Rock Greatest Hits 2 (GH2), “Streets of Jerusalem” from Shlock Rock Stories from the Holy Land. To hear the songs, click here or here then click on the CD, then the song you want to hear. You can download songs to your computer or IPod and burn a CD for only $.99-$1.25 per song just click here! Awesome!! Cheaper than a Hershey bar! WOW!

Suggested Activities to try with your students or family:

Activity: Sukkot is a multi-sensory experience. Teach your children about the 5 senses using this fun holiday! Smell - Etrog, S’chach, vegetables that are ripe in the fall, the fall leaves. Touch – Every part of the Sukkah and the Arba Ha’minim (4 species), helping to build a Sukkah. Hearing – the wind blow through the S’chach and the sound of the shaking of the Lulav, listening to Shlock Rock songs. Sight – the beautiful Etrogim and Lulavim, the Sukkah and harvest vegetables decorating it, and fall colors. Taste – all those delicious treats we serve when we have guests in our Sukkah! Vegetable Soup would be appropriate! Have each child bring in a different vegetable and create the soup together to serve to your guests! This encompasses all the senses! See other recipe ideas below.

Science/Cooking: Using fresh fruits and veggies that are available locally create some yummy treats. Recipe examples: Zucchini Brownies, Pumpkin muffins , or Apple Crisp. Additionally, there is always the old standby, the Edible Sukkah! Yum!

Project: Create Sukkah decorations for your shul’s or school’s Sukkah or to send home. I like to make things that don’t fall apart in the rain! String beads and foam shapes to make garlands, make foam spirals or use sticks from the yard and attach various foam shapes or other cool items found in nature to make a mobile, use recycled newspapers and Paper Mache some fruits, use your imagination!

Of course you should make a Sukkah in your classroom too! See if you can get a large box (I usually call Sears and see if they are delivering in my neighborhood and then go and pick it up!) and decorate it with S’chach, etc…

Dramatic Play: Act out how all the people of Israel harvested their fruits and veggies and brought them to the Kohain at the Holy Temple in Jerusalem during the 3 Pilgrimage Holidays. What gifts would they bring to say thank you to Hashem? Can you imagine how far they had to walk if they lived in Tel Aviv? How about if they lived in the Negev Desert? How about if they lived all the way in the south in Eilat? (Also see below.) You could say the following slap and clap:

We’re going to Jerusalem (repeat)

And I am going to bring (repeat)

(let children choose what to bring, i.e. dates, apples, pears, figs, grapes, almonds, wheat, barley, pomegranates, olives, corn, etc…)

End with:

We’re going to Jerusalem and we are going to bring, we’re going to bring the Bikkurim to the Kohanim.

Geography: You all have your floor map of Israel I suggested last year, right??

Using your floor map, show the children where Jerusalem is, where the Holy Temple once stood and where the Kotel remains. This is where people from all over Israel came three times a year to bring gift offerings to Hashem. Also show the children the different parts of the country where the Arba Ha’minim (4 Species) grow. The Etrogim grow along the Mediterranean coast near Tel Aviv, the 3 parts of the Lulav are Willow – which grows along the banks of the Jordan River, Palm which comes from the Date Palm trees in the Negev Desert, and the Myrtle which grows in the Judean mountains near Jerusalem. I bought plastic plants from a Craft Store to make up the 4 species to use on the map. They can be reused each year. I also saved my Lulav holder from a past year to keep my plastic set in, and I keep my plastic “Etrog” (really a plastic lemon) in an Etrog box! It makes it look more authentic!

Book: There is a great book called Bringing Israel to the Early Childhood Classroom by Orly Kenneth, written by Laura Tinter, that I recommend. It incorporates the 7 species and the holidays together nicely using Biblical and Talmudic stories (but for the EC classroom – don’t get scared!!) with activities and also comes with a CD of photographs and games to print and use in the classroom. It costs $30.00 and is available through Mara Bier at [email protected] . It is a project of Israel in DC and The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, The Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning, and The Jewish Agency for Israel’s North American Coalition for Israel Engagement (NACIE). An excellent addition to any EC or early Elementary school aged classroom. The above idea is from this book.

Books continued: Tamara’s Sukkah by Ellie Gellman, The Wind and The Sukkah by Aydel Lebovics, The Mysterious Guests by Eric Kimmel (for older kids), The House of the Roof by David Adler, It’s Sukkot Time! by Latifa Barry Kropf, Hillel builds a House by Shoshana Lepon, Bubbe Isabella and the Sukkot Cake by Kelly Terwilliger, The Sukkot Treasure Hunt by Allison Offanansky and Night Lights by Barbara Diamond Goldin (a little scary for younger kids).



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