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Rosh Hashanah Reflections: Nurturing Jewish Values through meaningful classroom discussions.

Download the ready-to-go discussion guide at the bottom.

As Jewish educators, we strive to encourage our students to become compassionate, responsible, and engaged members of their communities. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, presents teachers with a valuable opportunity to delve into the rich tapestry of Jewish values, or middot. Through meaningful classroom discussions, we can instill a solid moral foundation in our students, nurturing qualities such as empathy, kindness, and community building.

Integrating Jewish values into your lesson plans can help students develop a deeper understanding of the positive impact they can make in their own lives and the world around them. We can do this by encouraging them to share their thoughts, experiences, and examples related to each value.

Begin by establishing rules for open discussion to create a safe and inclusive environment for open discussion. Motivate your students to reflect on the discussions and think about how they can apply these values in their lives. Remind them that they have the power to make a difference through their actions, no matter how big or small. Set small, realistic goals to provide a more tangible approach.

Try adding these Jewish values-based questions to your High-Holiday classroom discussions.

Chesed (Kindness)

  1. Why is kindness important in our daily lives?

  2. Can you think of a time when someone showed you kindness? How did it make you feel?

  3. How can small acts of kindness make a big difference in our communities?

  4. Can you share an example of an act of kindness you have taken recently? How did it impact others?

Slecha (Saying Sorry)

  1. Why is it important to apologize when we make mistakes?

  2. How does apologizing help to strengthen our relationships with others?

  3. Can you think of a time when you needed to apologize to someone? Compare how you felt before to how it made you feel after you apologized.

  4. How can we make sure our apologies are genuine and sincere?

Hakarat Tova (Gratitude)

  1. What does it mean to have gratitude?

  2. Why is it important to appreciate the blessings in our lives?

  3. Can you think of three things you are grateful for today? Why are they meaningful to you?

  4. How can we show gratitude to others?

Kehillah (Community)

  1. What is a community? Why is it important to have a strong community?

  2. How does being part of a community bring joy and support into our lives?

  3. Can you think of a way you have contributed to your community? How did it make you feel?

  4. How can we support and connect with others in our community?

Tzadik (Righteousness)

  1. What does it mean to be righteous?

  2. Why is it important to make choices that align with our values?

  3. Can you share an example of a time when you had to make a difficult decision? How did you choose what was right?

  4. How can we demonstrate integrity and honesty in our everyday actions?

Tikkun Olam (Repair the World)

  1. What does it mean to repair the world?

  2. Why is it important to take care of our planet and help those in need?

  3. Can you think of a way you can make a positive impact in your community or the environment?

  4. How can small actions contribute to making the world a better place?

This High-Holidays Jewish Values-Based Activity combines learning with creativity and reflection.

Jewish Values Reflection

1. Chesed (Kindness): I am kind when...

2. Hakarat Tova (Gratitude): I am grateful for...

3. Slecha (Sorry): I apologize for...

4. Tzadik (Righteous): I can be a better person by...

5. Kehillah (Community): I can help my community by...

6. Tikkun Olam (Repair the World): I can repair the world by...

Download the discussion guide.

High Holidays Discussion Guide
Download • 6.55MB

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