Before they start their journey around the different activities, show the children the 5 pictures of important symbols of Jewish culture and architecture: the menorah, matzevot, the Star of David, the Torah and challah. Tell them briefly about their symbolism and meaning as outlined below. In the second part of the exercise, the children will have to recreate these symbols using the available materials.
- pictures of matzevot, menorahs, the Star of David, Challos and the Torah
- Jenga-like wooden building blocks
- sheets of paper
- crayons, markers
Divide the kindergarten group into 5 smaller teams, 1 for each station. Give a checklist card to each of the teams – you will confirm their completion of each of the 5 activities by marking their card with a stamp. Each group will choose one of the 5 workstations placed all around the room. Each station will have a Jewish symbol printed out to allow the children to familiarise themselves with a different symbol or building characteristic of Jewish culture (the menorah, matzevot, the Star of David, the Torah and challah), and the art supplies necessary to recreate it. The aim of each team is to recreate the given symbol using different artistic techniques and materials.
5 work stations:
- The Menorah – available: wooden blocks (Jenga-like or other)
- Matzevot – available: cardboard, crayons, markers
- The Star of David – available: sheets of paper
- The Torah – available: cardboard, sheets of paper, sticks
- Challah – available: yarn
You may wish to add a timed element to the game – in this case, set a time limit on how long the children can spend on one station. After hearing ‘START’, they must get to their workstations to complete their task. After the set time ends, go to the station and mark the task as completed on the group’s card with a stamp. Then ask them to move to the next station.
– The Menorah is a seven-branched candelabrum which symbolises God’s light watching over the Jews. It is one of the oldest Jewish symbols.
– Matzevot are gravestones with symbols engraved upon them that present information about the deceased – e.g. their name or profession.
– Star of David is a six-armed star and the most recognizable Jewish symbol. The Shabbat supper symbolises harmony, but it also stands for the shield of King David, which was supposed to protect him from enemies.
– The Torah is a traditional religious law, the Old Testament. Torah excerpts are read aloud during prayer, making it the most important symbol of Judaism.
– Challos – (singular, challah) are an inseparable part of Jewish culture. They are an important part of the Shabbat (the Jewish day of rest). The Shabbat supper starts with two challos being blessed. They are then shared between the diners.