Second Graders Demonstrate "Menschy-ness" at Tefillah and Community Celebration
On Thursday morning, February 7, the second graders led a community celebration and tefillah for their families and the first graders. The program elaborated a social and emotional learning theme that integrates many aspects of the curriculum in the exploration of what it means to be a mensch—a Yiddish word whose connotation means “a person of integrity and honor.” For the past several months, in both general and Judaic studies, the second graders have identified the qualities requisite to becoming heroes, sheroes, and mensches. “People like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks in general studies and Miriam from our Torah studies are examples of people who are both heroes, sheroes, and mensches, and we all do our best to be kind...as they were,” said resident teacher Jeremy Fox.
From the bimah (platform), students shared reflections about what it means to be a mensch. “A mensch is a person who helps others, someone who does the right thing,” explained Eva B. and Anna F. “We have been inspired to notice and appreciate the mensches in our lives,” said Miles L. Added Ofri B., “So to show our gratitude, we wrote thank you letters to people who have acted like a mensch to us.”
Orit Solomon, Judaic studies and Hebrew teacher, commented after the celebration, “It’s so fascinating to be able to integrate the Jewish world and the meaning of prayers into the students’ day-to-day life and see them not only lead a beautiful tefillah, but also practice daily acts of kindness and ‘menschy-ness.’” MORE PHOTOS