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                              GATES QUEST: The Golub Family Education Center

Congregation Gates of Heaven keeps Jewish learning relevant to our student’s lives. The Gates Quest curriculum provides students with a strong foundation in Judaism and the tools to live their lives as ones who set the example for others in repairing the world—making our communities a better place. 

Our goal is to plant the seeds of life-long learning through meaningful exploration, critical thinking skills, and hands-on learning with both classes and families.

HEBREW

In Gates Quest, our goal is for children and families to be challenged, inspired, and energized by the power of Jewish ideas and traditions. We seek to provide our students with a living experience of the Jewish tradition and to enable all members of our community to be part of contemporary Jewish life. Our goals for Hebrew and prayer learning, therefore, fit into that framework. Our educational program aims to enable our children to cherish and use Hebrew, the language of the Jewish people, and to value and engage in Tefillah (prayer) as two significant ways to connect to contemporary Jewish life. Our multi-faceted approach to learning Hebrew and prayer is designed to touch the whole person: body, heart, mind, and soul.

Hebrew through Movement (Grades 3 & 4)

For 30 minutes each Sunday, 3rd and 4th graders will be part of “Hebrew through Movement” (עִבְרִית בִּתְנוּעָה), a program in which students learn Hebrew by hearing and responding to Hebrew commands. Hebrew through Movement starts by laying a foundation of modern, spoken Hebrew, and it builds toward the goal of learning vocabulary related to the prayers in our siddur, as well as synagogue, holiday, and other Jewish vocabularies.  Hebrew through Movement introduces language in a playful and meaningful way, creating a positive link between children and the Hebrew language. Hebrew through Movement is supported by the latest brain research on learning, providing an aural foundation for Hebrew that opens the door to more facile Hebrew decoding and reading.  Hebrew through Movement helps all children in our program develop a strong foundation of the Hebrew language and knowledge of a core vocabulary of Hebrew words.

Hebrew @ Home (Grades 5-7)

Building on years of Hebrew learning in Gates Quest students participate in Hebrew@Home as a pre-cursor to their B’nai Mitzvah tutoring.  In the Hebrew@Home, students work one-on-one virtually with a teacher. This program will help students successfully to become Hebrew readers, and it makes for a smooth, easy transition into B’nai Mitzvah preparation. Your child’s Hebrew teacher will contact you in September to begin setting up times to meet.

DARE TO DO A MITZVAH!

Dare to do a Mitzvah is our new social media initiative with the goal of getting community members to do good deeds. We will dare someone each week during our Tefillah on Sunday morning at Gates Quest School, ask them to film it, and then show everyone the video during the next Tefillah. And we ask all members of our community to Dare to do a Mitzvah and film it or take a picture, send it to Arnie, and we will post it on our social media pages. Let’s set the example—Dare to do a Mitzvah!

HANUKKAH- THE LIGHT THAT CAN SPARK CHANGE

We always talk about Hanukkah as the holiday of rededication. The possibilities are endless as we choose to rededicate to something new, different, or revive a path. As parents and teachers, we continue to monitor the ongoing science of the pandemic, vaccines, masks, and more. Within all those subjects are our children whose school year is once again not ‘normal.’  And yet we may be missing the one area that has captured the attention of homes and schools for the past 20 months more than ever—the digital world.

As an educator, I have paid careful attention to how students were inventing new tools and achieving far beyond what adults thought was possible. Never underestimate the creativity of how young people imagine and invent. There are many examples of how a young mind can apply technology in an enlightened fashion that leads to a breakthrough in thinking.  What we do know is that students of all ages need to be shown how to be a member of the digital world just like we were once taught to look both ways when crossing the street. We did not learn that at school; our families taught us.

Jewish education is focused on values handed down from generation to generation. These values are easily translated into digital citizenship—be kind to others, no bullying online, watch what you say/post on social media.  A Sunday morning class can only do so much given our limited time but with our continued partnership families are able to help demonstrate digital citizenship. To help facilitate that partnership, here are a few ideas to engage your children to learn about the digital world.

Be Internet Awesome: A free online digital citizenship game that walks students (grades 3 and up) through making safe, smart online decisions.

Factitious!: an interactive online game to test the ability to spot fake/unreliable news sources. Good for grades 6-8.

Pause & Think Online: Introduces 5–8-year-old children to digital citizens. Children sing along with these friendly characters to help think about being safe, responsible, and respectful online.

Rings of Responsibility: Get 8-10-year-old learners thinking about how to take responsibility for their actions online in relation to themselves, their communities, and the world at large.

Digital Passport: Engaging games that teach important concepts related to multi-tasking, privacy, searching, cyberbullying, and creative credit. 

PBS Learning Media: Digital Citizenship, Things Explained: Discusses what it means to be a good digital citizen and important ways to engage in our technology-driven world.

Responsibility of the Ripple: This slide deck can help lead the discussion of the “Ripple Effect” on decisions that someone makes and how they affect that person, their community, and the world.

Footprints and Tattoos: This resource looks at the characteristics of a digital footprint versus a digital tattoo. Talk about what digital behaviors are footprints and which are tattoos.

Crash Course: YouTube: Learn hands-on skills to evaluate the information you read online. Tons of additional lessons & resources on multiple subjects.

Chicken Clicking:  Amazon's online description of the book: One night Chick hops onto the farmer's house and has a browse on his computer—CLICK—soon she's shopping online for the whole farm! But when she arranges to meet up with a friend she's made online, she discovers all is not as it seems. . . Little Red Riding Hood for the iPad generation, this is the perfect book for teaching children how to stay safe online.

The Technology Tail:  A picture book for mid-elementary-aged students to help teach about digital footprint.

But I Read It on The Internet!: A picture book to teach media literacy and website evaluation - great for grades 2-6.

Above the Noise:  A YouTube series for teens that cuts through the hype and dives deep into the research behind the issues affecting their daily lives.

Heart’s Online Relationships: In Heart’s Online Friendships, 9-11-year-old learners explore the benefits and risks of making friends online.

If you would like the links to the above, and you are not reading the online copy of our bulletin, send me an email, arotenberg@cgoh.org, and I will send you the links. Happy Hanukkah—Be the Spark

 

Sun, May 22 2022 21 Iyyar 5782