Grade: 2nd and 3rd

Driving question: How do we care for people who are made Betzelem Elohim, in God’s Image?

The project:
Students explored what it means to be created Betzelem Elohim, in God’s Image. In collaboration with Worthy of Love, they planned and helped facilitate a birthday party for unhoused children and their families. For their exhibition, they designed a city in which all people are treated Betzelem Elohim.

Student reflections:

“I am making a city and it helps people have shelter because there are houses for people to live in and find joy.”
— Xyla, 3rd grade

“One thing I learned about homelessness in LA is that there are too many people that don’t have homes. Now that I know that all people are created in God’s image, I need to help people more.”
— Mollie, 3rd grade

“Everyone is made in God’s image. Not everyone is going to be treated like God, but it doesn’t mean you’re not special.”
— Gwenyth, 3rd grade

Grade: 4th and 5th

Driving Question: How much should Judaism change?

The project:
Students explored how Judaism changed from the time of the Bible (Biblical Judaism) to after the destruction of the Beit HaMikdash, the Temple in Jerusalem (Rabbinic Judaism) and how Judaism continues to change today. They debated the benefits and challenges of Judaism changing over time, and created original board games to express their beliefs about tradition versus change.

Student reflections:

“I think Judaism should change a little bit because it’s a little boring. I also think we should have to keep Shabbat.”
– Sidney, 4th grade

“I made a game called The Justice of Judaism. I think Judaism should change over time. We don’t do most laws like sacrifices so we should change that.”
– Eden, 4th grade

Grade: 7th

Driving Question: How can we pursue justice?

The project:
Seventh-graders worked in teams to choose a justice issue they cared about, research their topic, explore Judaism’s view on their issue, decide on a method for enacting change (direct service, advocacy, and/or education), and design a presentation for the community to share their learning and take-aways.

Student reflections:

“Climate change is a very real, very troubling reality our generation is being faced with. Living in a car city like LA, it’s easy to get our parents to drive us places. But it’s not great for the environment, so we taught our fellow Limudim students and parents about utilizing the free Tap cards for students so that we can minimize our carbon footprint and use cars less. We included maps of bus stops and bus routes so people know how to get from school or home to IKAR. This project helped us better understand the public transit system here in LA and how easy it is to make small adjustments in our lifestyles.”
Alexander, 7th grade

“Visiting PATH was very informative, shedding a light onto the very real and harsh truth of homelessness here in Los Angeles. Homelessness affects so many people and there are deeper things that are involved with homelessness than what it appears from the outside, whether it be mental health problems, financial issues, job insecurity or any number of things. It’s important to care for others as a Jewish value; everyone deserves a comfortable place to sleep.”
Leo, 7th grade

Grade: 7th

Driving Question: How can we bear witness?

The project:
In collaboration with the Righteous Conversations Project and Founder, Sam Hutman, students learned about historical and modern anti-semitism. Students then met with a Holocaust survivor, Eva Nathanson, who shared her story with them. As perhaps the last generation of Jews to hear from survivors, they considered their roles as witnesses. Students then created original art and poetry inspired by Eva’s story.

Student reflections:

“We learned about the Shoah through the stories of the survivors like Eva. To share the memory of the Holocaust and hear survivors’ stories is so important, especially as we have fewer and fewer survivors every year. We must try to share memories of the Shoah with our peers and families so that we can continue to fight injustice in our world.”
Eli, 7th grade

“Speaking with Eva was an experience that made me feel rewarded because it expanded my knowledge. I felt lucky to be able to talk to her – she could have chosen to go anywhere but she chose to come to us. Hearing her speak allowed me to realize that we are all so lucky to have the lives we have. I’m so grateful to have been able to hear from her.”
– Sophie, 7th grade