Monday, June 9, 2014

Religious School 101: The Importance of Chutzpah

Learning about chutzpah isn't traditionally part of Hebrew school curriculum, but Israel's new place as a major player in the global technological expansion is causing everyone to sit up and take notice of how the famous Israeli "chutzpah" may be behind Israel's new reputation as the world's Start Up Nation.

What is chutzpah? In her class with the 4th graders at Vancouver's Beth Israel Hebrew School, JETS director Smadar Goldstein opened up the question: How do you define chutzpah? What is there in the Israeli character that has propelled Israel into first place as the world's most innovative country?
From an overview of the amazing inventions and advances that come out of Israel on an almost-daily basis, Smadar created an online lesson that encouraged the students to look at the phenomena in a different light.
·         Who were the start up personalities of the Tanach?
·         What does it mean to "leave your comfort zone" and explore the possibilities that await?
As the lesson progressed, Smadar linked the 21st Century Start-Up nation with the Tanach. She pointed out that the Torah is not a storybook but is, rather, a list of incidents and people who break the mold to become great. This teaches us that we have the ability to change, to break out of our mold - To not only answer a call, but create one to answer.

The students took parts in a skit which illustrated Judaism's first start-up personality – Abraham. They read the skit aloud. Some of the highlights:

The kids were enthralled with the subject. After watching the short clip of the role that chutzpah plays in Israel's rise as a leading force of innovative technology they expressed pleasure in the realization that chutzpah was a valued commodity in Israel.

 "omg, Israel invented the playstation."

"chutzpah: I've got chutzpah!"

No comments:

Post a Comment