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Ray Frank on the Importance of Belief - Lesson Plan for Family or Congregational Education

This lesson plan is part of a larger Go & Learn guide entitled “Ray Frank’s Yom Kippur Sermon, 1890.”

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Ray Frank

Read Ray Frank’s biography or describe her life and achievements.

Read Ray Frank’s sermon or the following quotation from the sermon:

“Form yourselves into a permanent congregation as soon as possible, and organize a Sabbath school. Unless one is established soon your children will grow up without any creed at all. One must believe in something, and one must have faith in something or become a menace to society.”

Discussion

Separate parents and youth and discuss in separate groups.

Guiding Questions for Parents/Adults

  • Why do you think Frank felt it dangerous to society for people to grow up without any creed? Do you agree?
  • Why do/did/would you send your children to religious school? What do you want your children to learn/believe about God/Judaism? Is there a difference between what you personally believe and what you want your children to believe?

Write a letter to your child/ren, describing what you believe in and what you hope they will believe in. Feel free to tell them, too, about the questions in your mind, or about any events in your life that changed your beliefs.

Guiding Questions for Youth

  • Why do you think Frank felt it dangerous to society for people to grow up without any creed? Do you agree?
  • Why do you think your parents support you going to religious school?
  • What do you think your parents want you to believe about God/Judaism? Is there a difference between what you think your parents want you to believe, and what you actually believe?

Write a letter to your parents, describing what you believe in and what you think they believe in. Feel free to include questions in this letter about your own belief or about theirs, or about any incidents in your life that changed how you feel about these matters.

Group Activity

Bring youth and adults back together, and do one of the following activities.

  1. Share some of the answers to the first questions as a large group.
  2. Let families share their letters together or just discuss some of the issues of belief that they had discussed separately.
  3. Have a large group discussion on the general issues, and then have families decide on a time in the near or farther future to share their letters with each other privately.

Alternate Activity

Instead of, or in addition to, the letter-writing activity, invite your rabbi(s) and/or education director to respond to Frank’s quote, using the following guiding questions:

  • What do you believe is important about forming/joining a congregation and religious school?
  • What are the parts of Jewish creed/belief that they believe are most important for today’s children/families?

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Ray Frank on the Importance of Belief - Lesson Plan for Family or Congregational Education." (Viewed on July 24, 2014) <http://jwa.org/teach/golearn/sep05/family>.

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