ALL ACTIONS

Children

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

‘Respect Your Elders’: The Elderly Hostages

As we will learn, there is a Torah obligation to care for the elderly. There are still elderly hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza. The majority of these hostages are male. At least 10 of the hostages are 75 or older. We know nothing of their fate. Do they have the medicines they need? Are they being treated with kindness? Do they have blankets to keep warm and enough food to eat? Are they suffering from long term illnesses that require treatment? Who is looking out for them?

ChildrenMiddle School

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

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

Bringing the Hostages to Your Seder: Seder Supplement

Pesah celebrates the quintessential moment of Jewish redemption, the Exodus from Egypt, which has informed Jewish responses to moments of collective suffering throughout Jewish history. As such, there is no more appropriate moment to acknowledge and respond to the suffering of our brethren in captivity in Gaza than during our retelling of the Exodus narrative. The mitzvah of pidyon shvuyim—redeeming captives—is a Jewish obligation… in the same category as the Jewish obligations that we fulfill each year at our Seders: eating matzah and maror, recounting the Exodus from Egypt, and singing God’s praises. This resource offers a practical, adaptable activity to help Seder participants of all ages to make connections between the obligations of Pesah and our collective obligation to redeem our captives. In this activity, not only the afikoman, but several ritual items needed to fulfill our obligations at the Seder, are in turn hidden, discovered, and redeemed. The jarring image of the empty Seder plate at the center of our holiday table serves to highlight the plight of the captives who are jarringly absent from their families’ Seder tables this year. The return of each set of ritual items is accompanied by intentions and prompts for thoughtful reflection that connect Pesah’s story and rituals to the plight of the hostages, and the gradual replenishing of the Seder plate embodies our deep longing for their redemption.

AdultsChildrenMiddle SchoolTeensYoung adults
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