Makom (Grades 4-6)
Makom (Grades 4 - 6)
Makom provides an opportunity for Jewish Journey Project (JJP) participants to come together as a community to share their JJP journeys, reinforce Hebrew and liturgical skills, explore spirituality, engage in experiential reflection, and strengthen social relationships within their home synagogue. Makom is modeled on a youth-group approach to Jewish education which empowers learners, fosters leadership, and is driven by the learners’ authentic questions. Makom truly supplements the JJP experience. In their JJP courses, students learn the tachlis (basics) of Judaism through out of the box, experiential methodologies. Makom provides a home base, a community, spirituality, and a place for the exploration and study of Jewish identity.
How it Works
Makom begins with Tefillah. Tefillah presents prayer in a warm, song-filled setting that invites participation and encourages questions. Tefillah is not just a forum for praying; it is a setting for learning, where Hebrew and synagogue skills will be introduced and reinforced. Tefillah includes interactive learning such as debate, Israeli dance, chevrutah (partnered) study of particular prayers, and group discussions.
After Tefillah, participants will transition into their experiential activity. The activity will be led by the JJP educator who works with your child(ren)’s specific grade. Each grade will have a curricular theme that shapes their Makom activities over the course of the year. In each year of Makom, students will explore fundamental Jewish texts (Torah, Bible, Mishnah, Talmud, Medieval texts, modern texts, and contemporary texts) and Jewish prayer in order to deepen their understanding of the values and underlying themes that drive our lives. The themes for each grade’s curriculum are:
- 4th grade: This year is about relationship to self, which is Jewish identity.
- 5th grade : This year is about relationship to self and others, which is Tzedek (social justice) work.
- 6th grade: This year is about relationship to others, which is leadership.
Makom ends with a closing ritual. On Tuesday, students experience the ritual of Havdallah once each month. Havdallah marks the end of Shabbat and the beginning of the work week. Traditionally Havdallah is practiced on Saturday night, but our tradition also teaches that it may be practiced all the way until Tuesday evening. Additionally, students will celebrate Rosh Chodesh once each month. Rosh Chodesh is the beginning of the new Hebrew month. Through joining in the festivities of Rosh Chodesh, students will experience the rhythm of the Jewish calendar in their own lives. On Shabbat (Saturday) students end Makom with the Shabbat morning Kiddush (including challah and grape juice). Following this, all families are invited and warmly encouraged to partake of a communal Shabbat lunch.
JJP and Advising
JJP is a revolutionary educational initiative. JJP provides participants with rich opportunities to engage in extensive educational opportunities outside of the classroom, making use of the vast Jewish resources of our great city of New York.
Each JJP participant plans and builds a personalized journey, choosing courses and workshops that match her or his passions and curiosities as well as preferred mode of learning. The JJP model is based on flexibility and creativity, with participants working collaboratively with excellent educators from a variety of backgrounds.
JJP offers courses weekly every Monday—Thursday afternoon and Sundays. JJP also offers Intensives, longer monthly classes that take place on weekends, as well as day camp-style courses that take place during school vacations. In addition, JJP offers Independent courses tailored to individual participants, Family Journeys that can be explored at home, and classes that take place through digital learning.
Every JJP participant works with a JJP Advisor who helps them craft the ideal combination of courses each semester for them and their family. Advising takes place twice each year – once in November and once in May. Students and one or more parents meet with the Advisor for approximately 30 minutes. This is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the semester that is ending and look forward to the semester to come.
The JJP course catalog includes details about JJP’s amazing courses including creating Torah animation, exploring Hebrew in high tech, learning about social justice (and taking action!), and studying Jewish history and identity at The Jewish Museum.
Students are required to take at least three JJP courses each year. This can be accomplished through taking weekly courses, Intensives, Family Journeys, day camp-style school vacation classes, or any combination of these options. In addition, students are required either to sign up for Hebrew Homepage, a half hour weekly course in which students study Hebrew one-on-one with a teacher over the Internet (using a program that is similar to Skype) or to choose a Hebrew class as one of the courses that semester.
Through the combination of JJP and Makom, our students receive a high caliber, interesting, creative, fun Jewish education!