All for One! The Wonder of Communal Art… Reply

Laurie Bellet

Laurie BelletCollaborative, community art experiences are time consuming, complicated, pressure laden and exhausting. So, why do I love to undertake them?



Loving the Other Israel Reply

Idie Benjamin and Dale Cooperman

Dale Sides Cooperman and Idie BenjaminSoon, we will gather with family and friends, at a Pesah seder, where we will celebrate the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery. Many of us will reflect that Jews throughout the world from Alaska to Katmandu, are participating in a seder. We will marvel at being a part of Klah Yisrael, the people of Israel. Our children are a part of this family as well.

What (and who) is Israel? What probably first comes to mind is “Israel” the country, the historic homeland of the Jewish People. But “Israel” is more. There is Israel “the place,” and Israel, “the people.” The mitzvah of Ahavat Yisrael, loving Israel, calls us to love both the land of Israel and Klal Yisrael, the people of Israel. Loving Israel links us to both the land and the people.


Beyond Distancing: Lessons About Our Success at Teaching Israel 1

In honor of Israel’s 60th birthday (and the upcoming publication of Artzeinu: An Israel Encounter) we’re going to be taking some space in the TAPBB to talk about some real Israel issues. This is the fifth in a series of essays about how Israel fits into the school curriculum.

by Joel Lurie Grishaver
(cross posted to The Gris Mill)

Beyond Distancing: Young Adult American Jews and their Alienation from Israel is a new study by Steven M. Cohen and Ari Y. Kelman (you can find it by clicking here). The study looks at the connection 21-35 year olds have to Israel.

I read the study a few weeks ago, and have since spoken to both authors. I’m now convinced more than ever that their findings have important implications for Jewish education. We need to rethink the way we teach about Israel.


Introducing a New Partnership and (drumroll, please…) jbop!

Looking for computer-based Jewish educational materials that actually… educate?

Are your students itching for educational software that’s not hokey and corney, but… cool and fun?

Does your school require technology that’s… easy to use?

jbopsmaller.pngTorah Aura Productions is teaming up with JeMM Productions, developers of fine technological Judaica, to bring you jbop 3.0, the next generation of computer-based curricular materials.

jbop is an innovative enrichment tool (“interactive activity center”) for use on computers in Jewish schools and homes. It’s a set of modules — each with six full interactive activity areas — on subjects from Pesah and Purim to Israel and Torah.

Best of all, jbop

…represents the latest in technology-based education. It was developed by a team of top-notch Jewish educators in Israel and the United States, underwent research and development funded by the Covenant Foundation, and has already been successfully integrated into schools nationwide.

…is highly interactive, cool and fun. The jbop activity center features activities that let students animate their own Bible scenes, sing along with jewish music karaoke (and email sound clips to friends!), and play a variety of state-of-the-art games.

…is highly intuitive, simple to use, and easy to install. Using jbop doesn’t require you to distribute CDs or mess with the access settings of your personal firewall (you don’t even need to know what a personal firewall is!). No configuring. No technological gobbledygook. Just software that works. Just download, install, type in your access code, and you’re ready to rock-and-roll.

jbophead.pngjbop 3.0 will be beta testing in May, and will be ready for full school and home deployment soon thereafter.

But you don’t have to wait. For a limited time, Torah Aura and JeMM are offering the jbop Yom Ha’Atzmaut Activity Pack free of charge. This special Israel@60 offer includes all of jbop‘s Israel lessons, and as an added bonus, you’ll also receive the Welcoming Shabbat Activity Pack.

To try out jbop today, get the free download at

Questions about jbop? Check the TAPBB jbop FAQ.

Introducing Artzeinu: An Israel Encounter Reply

artzeinu.jpgReady for a completely new way of teaching Israel artzeinu?

Welcome to Artzeinu: An Israel Encounter.

Not just a travel book, Artzeinu is an insider’s guide to the people, history, and culture of Israel.

Designed for 5th and 6th grade, it’s a book that teaches more than geography, an encounter that goes into the heart and nature of Israeli life. This is not just a tour book, but an exploration of the essence of Israel.

Here’s how it works.

Artzeinu: An Israel Encounter is organized geographically, but it goes several steps further by using places in Israel to tell stories, meet Israelis, and grapple with the challenges of Medinat Yisrael: