Know what Shabbat is and why we celebrate it
By the end of the lesson, the children will have understood the meaning and importance of Shabbat
- Brainstorm about Shabbat – Recap prior knowledge about Shabbat. Encourage children to name any customs or traditions we have and do on Shabbat. Can children name some of the objects associated with Shabbat, do they know why we celebrate Shabbat and have a day of rest?
- Shabbat Objects– If possible, show children the candlesticks, Kiddush cup, challah and challah cloth. If not, show pictures of the Shabbat objects and explain their meaning.
- Sharing Shabbat Stories – Ask children to share their own stories of Shabbat. Do they celebrate Shabbat at home or at a relative’s house? What do they eat? What do they do and who does what around the Shabbat table? If they do not celebrate Shabbat at home, perhaps they have attended a Shabbat service and can share something they have learnt or done at the synagogue.
- Option 1: Shabbat Objects 3D! – Children to decorate one or more of the three Shabbat objects (candlesticks, Kiddush cup and challah) in a creative style. If available, use tissue paper or felt or something to make it stand out and look good for display. You may wish to make them 3D by squashing newspaper in between a double-sided object.
- Option 2: Shabbat Book/Poster – The Shabbat book/poster can be designed in any way the teacher and children want but should include as much knowledge as the children can write/draw onto the paper through pictures and writing. If able to, encourage the children to write the blessings over the wine, candles and the challah in English and in Hebrew (you may wish to have the blessings written/typed out in Hebrew to stick down onto the book. Think about pictures for them to draw or stick and perhaps create a booklet example in advance.
- Option 3: Design a Challah Cloth – Children to design their own challah cloth on plain paper using colours. Tell children that they will be painting their challah cloths and that they have to have a good design. Children can be given a piece of cloth and use fabric pens or paint to make an actual challah cloth (although paper is fine for a simpler activity. Show designs of Challah Cloths to give children an idea, but encourage as much creativity as possible here.
- Option 4: Shabbat v The Normal Week – Children to create labelled drawings showing the difference between Shabbat and the rest of the week (Normal Day Comparison Sheet). Divide page into 2 (or two separate pages) and depict the fact that Shabbat is for resting or doing things that you would not do during the week. Suggestions could be attending synagogue, learning about Judaism (Cheder!), family time, sport, relaxing. Make sure the children write their feelings about Shabbat and why it is important to them.
- Option 5: Make a Clay Shabbat Set – Using air dry clay, children to make a small Shabbat set including two candlesticks, a Kiddush cup, a challah and a challah cloth. When dry, children can paint the set and take it home.
- Option 6: Learn the Shabbat Blessings – This may be used as part of a lesson or as part of the Hebrew session. Children to listen to and read the blessings over the candles, the wine and the challah.
- V’Shamru – Children to read/listen to/sing V’shamru together and discuss the meaning and why we think it is important to have a Sabbath.
- Sing a selection of Shabbat Songs
- Blessing over the Children – Children to read/listen to the blessing over the children together and discuss its meaning and why we think it is important to do on Shabbat.