Go & Learn
Go & Learn features versatile lesson plans for three different audiences—youth, families, and adults—that include background information, primary source documents, discussion questions, and program extensions. Challenge and inspire students to explore identity and action through the stories and experiences of American Jewish women.
Sing a New Song: Jews, Music, and the Civil Rights Movement
Using the letter of a Jewish civil rights activist and several freedom songs, explore how music is able to cross racial and religious boundaries and build community.
Taking Risks, Making Change: Bat Mitzvah and Other Evolving Traditions
The letters from one girl's campaign to have the first Saturday morning Bat Mitzvah in her congregation in 1974 serve as a case study for exploring how we confront controversial issues and make change in our communities.
"We Have Found You Wanting:" Labor Activism and Communal Responsibility
After the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911, labor rights activist Rose Schneiderman made a famous speech which provided the basis for investigating our communal and individual responsibilities for the well being of others in our midst.
Tefillin Barbie: Considering Gender and Ritual Garb
Using the provocative image of "Tefillin Barbie"—created in 2006 by soferet (ritual scribe) Jen Taylor Friedman—examine the relationship between gender, body image, and ritual garb.
Lilith Evolved: Writing Midrash
Interrogate the notion of midrash using "The Coming of Lilith" by theologian Judith Plaskow as an example of how contemporary Jewish feminists have created their own midrashim—retellings of biblical stories—to incorporate women's viewpoints into the traditional texts of Judaism.
Immigration and Generations: Anzia Yezierska's Children of Loneliness
Children of Loneliness, a short story by immigrant writer Anzia Yezierska, illustrates how one young woman's struggle to find her own place in American society tears her from her parents and their way of life.
Queen Esther and Bella Abzug: Costumes, Leadership, and Identity
Hurricane Katrina: Community Responsibility and Tikkun Olam
Explore Hurricane Katrina as an example of how Jews respond to catastrophe. Gail Chalew, a Jewish reporter from New Orleans, tells the story of Haley Fields, a thirteen year old girl from Los Angeles, who came up with her own unique way of helping those in need.
The American Jewess on Liberation and Freedom
Investigate what it means for American Jews to celebrate Passover and the Fourth of July in the context of religious and national freedom, by reading an editorial from the April 1897 issue of The American Jewess.
Henrietta Szold on Saying Kaddish
In a 1916 letter, Henrietta Szold (the founder of Hadassah) defied Jewish tradition and challenged rituals that exclude women by asserting her right to say Kaddish (the Jewish prayer for mourners).
Wrestling with God and Jewish Tradition
Drawing on the biblical story in which Jacob "wrestles with God," engage with the artwork of Jewish feminist artist Helène Aylon to explore how we—as individuals and as a community—grapple with ideas about God and Jewish tradition.
Writing Home: A Letter from an Early American Jew
Learn about Jewish immigration and the development of the Jewish community in America through a 1790s letter, originally written in Yiddish by Rebecca Samuel to her parents in Hamburg, Germany, describing her life in Petersburg, Virginia.
Benevolent Societies and Tzedakah
Examine different ways that American Jewish women historically—and we today—fulfill the obligation of tzedakah (charity) and gemilut chesed (acts of loving kindness).
Ray Frank's Yom Kippur Sermon, 1890
Read the 1890 Yom Kippur sermon by Ray Frank, the first Jewish woman to preach formally from a pulpit, and consider what unites and divides the Jewish people both historically and today.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Go & Learn." (Viewed on August 28, 2016) <http://jwa.org/teach/golearn>.