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Values Brainstorm

Depending on the setting/classroom/congregation, students will have varied experience with both the terminology and concept of “Jewish values.” In order to make sure your students are on the same page, begin with this short brainstorm contest to generate a list of values related to Judaism. The goal of the brainstorm is to come up with unique ideas about what values can be considered “Jewish.” During the discussion afterward, students can defend their ideas and you can narrow the list to use in the second part of the activity. The recap and discourse after the brainstorm will help you emphasize the values that are important to the families in your community.

To prepare for this activity:

  1. Come up with a list of Jewish values that you want to make sure are included in your lesson. Think about which values are most important for your students to focus on. Be open to ideas that students generate, but make sure that you have some idea of what you want to emphasize in the wrap-up. You may also want to bring Jewish texts that represent these values, so that you can use these to prompt some of the values that you want to make sure are included in the conversation.
  2. Set up the room so that there are separate places for each group to brainstorm without being tempted to eavesdrop or overhear others.
  3. Set up the board or a large piece of paper for the brainstorming activity.

Activity Plan

  1. Divide students into at least two groups. Give each group a pen and paper.
  2. Allow 1 minute for students to brainstorm as many ideas of Jewish values as possible (it may help to give an example, like tzedakah or welcoming strangers).
  3. After one minute, compile the ideas of the whole group on the board or a large piece of paper. For each idea a group thought of that WAS NOT REPEATED by another group, the team will get one point. The object of the activity is to come up with ideas other groups haven’t thought of.
  4. Look at the compiled list. Discuss:
    1. Is there anything missing?
    2. Is there anything that you feel doesn’t belong? Why or why not?

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Values Brainstorm." (Viewed on June 27, 2019) <https://jwa.org/node/22150>.

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