Build Your Own Jewish Experience

In the December issue of the e-newsletter EdJewTopia, Jewish Holidays in a Box was asked to offer “8 pieces of good advice for complementary Jewish education.” One of our suggestions was to “use artistic creations as a way to bring Jewish symbols and ideas to life.”

The example we gave was to have a class develop its own Haggadah, with activities and illustrations that reinforce the key elements. Imagine how much more engaged those students would be in celebrating Passover – and sharing their Haggadot with their families?

In the spirit of having students build their own Jewish experiences, I was excited to see an article in Hadassah Magazine (February/March 2012, “Cut&Post”) about Michigan artist Gail Rosenbloom Kaplan’s vision to provide the materials and guidance for bar and bat mitzvah students to design their own pointers (yads) from materials that she sells.  You can see samples at   [Photo credit:]

According to the article, “Rosenbloom Kaplan encourages kids to choose beads that reflect who they are and what they like.”  They then use their yad (which means “hand”) when they read Torah.

Let us know if you have other ideas of how to build your own Jewish experiences.

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