Prior to class, read the Temple Ohev Shalom scenario and board member scenarios. Choose the documents that you want your students to use as background for the debate. As you're choosing the documents keep in mind the size of your class, your students' experience working with primary sources, and the amount of time you can devote to this lesson. [Note that the series of letters from and to the Hebrew Union Congregation in Greenville, Mississippi revolve around decisions made by a temple board. The letters touch on many issues relevant to the debate and may be particularly useful for your students. However, if you are concerned that your students may place too much emphasis on these letters, and that the letters may dictate the outcome of the debate, consider distributing them at the end of the lesson.]
Each board member and document included in the lesson plan offers a different perspective. If you find that there are other perspectives you would like to include in this lesson, consider adding additional characters and/or bringing in additional sources (including documents from people from your community who may have been involved in the Civil Rights Movement). For a large class you also may need to create additional characters (pick names and biographical backstories) or ask students to choose their own names and characters. Alternately, you can have students work in small groups of 2 or 3 students to represent each board member found in the lesson plan (this would allow them to discuss their role and views as they prepare for the Temple Board Meeting) or assign some of your students the role of general board members who don't present their own arguments but can ask questions and vote on what the board should do at the end of the meeting. You may choose to take the role of the Temple Board President yourself or delegate that role to a student, depending on the size of your class and the abilities of your students.
Print 1-2 copies of each document and put them around the room for students to read in pairs, looking for ones relevant to their characters. Alternately, you can combine these documents in one packet, and make enough copies for each of your students. Be sure to make a copy of the Document Discussion Guide for each student.If you are doing this lesson in a setting which has a board room or conference room, you may want to arrange to hold your Temple Board Meeting in that room. Make (or have your students make) name cards that they can set out in front of them on the Board table. Feel free to provide other props/costumes that you think would add to the realism of the meeting or help your students get into their roles.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Advance Preparation." (Viewed on November 28, 2023) <https://jwa.org/node/11760>.