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Symbols of Freedom: Tie a Yellow Ribbon

Freedom is the ability to make choices and is a basic human right. What is the importance of freedom in everyday life? What is my obligation to fight for other people’s freedom? How can I make a difference in such a big story?  Each person on this planet deserves to determine their own fate, to make their own decisions. 

Fighting for freedom requires staying power, patience, dedication and faith in our own abilities to effect change. Justice requires that we be creative to do everything we can to make people aware, and accelerate the return of all hostages to their families.

How can we send a powerful message to the families of the hostages in Gaza that they are not forgotten? How can we keep this issue alive for our leaders in government so they will work for their release?

AdultsAll agesChildrenMiddle SchoolTeensYoung adults

Seeds of Compassion

Trees, plants, and the seeds they start from, are a metaphor for life, growth and renewal. Just as seeds need proper light, water, food and caring to grow, so do humans. We need to dig deep, find the compassion to care about each person and ensure that they have the freedom and conditions to survive and to thrive. Compassion, justice and love are core Jewish and human values. We must act in order to tend our “compassion muscles.” Compassion is not finite, it energizes and enables others to pay it forward.
AdultsAll agesChildrenMiddle SchoolTeensYoung adults

Mishloach Manot: Gift Giving as a Form of Advocacy

Purim is the only Jewish Holiday where the story fully occurred outside of Israel. Where can we, as Jews who live in and outside of Israel, get inspiration from the story of Purim to motivate us to advocate for the Jewish people? What is the connection between giving and receiving gifts and celebration? How does the act of Mishloach Manot build community?

 

To make the beloved recipes of some of the hostages and include them in your Mishloach Manot, click here

AdultsAll agesChildrenMiddle SchoolTeensYoung adults

The Fast of Esther: A Time for Communal Gathering & Solidarity

Ta’anit Esther, the Fast of Esther, is a day of fasting before the holiday of Purim. In the Megillah, the scroll of Esther, Esther requests of Mordecai and all her fellow Jews to join her and her handmaids, in a fast for three days as a symbol of communal solidarity and pain, before she approaches King Ahasuerus to plead on behalf of her people. Later, the 13th of Adar, the day before Purim, was set as a day of fasting, called Taanit Esther: The Fast of Esther. Some years, such as this year, it is observed on the 11th of Adar, which this year is on Thursday, March 21st. The traditional practice is to refrain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset. We fast to pray for life, to ask for forgiveness and to plead to be saved from danger. This year, as we face the painful reality of war and 134 of our people held hostage in Gaza, there’s an initiative to mobilize all the Jewish people to join and observe this day of fasting (whether that is their usual practice or not), as an act of solidarity with their plight, to pray and call for their safe return.

AdultsAll agesMiddle SchoolTeensYoung adults

When the Four Children Aren’t There to Ask Questions at the Seder

Questions are the order of the seder night, and it is the children present who are envisioned asking them. This year, many families will be missing their children, or their parents, or their siblings, or their cousins. Some of those individuals were murdered, some fell in battle, and some are still being held hostage, after more than six months, in Gaza. So this year, at your seder, consider asking questions on their behalf, since they can’t do it themselves. This unit includes question-related activities that you could consider including in your Seder. These could also be adapted as a Pre-Pesach unit in a classroom setting which students could engage with in preparation for Pesach and bring home to their family Seders.

AdultsAll agesChildrenMiddle SchoolTeensYoung adults
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