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Tali Puterman, 2017 Twersky Award Winner

Originating from Cape Town, South Africa, Tali Puterman now lives in Boston and works as the Social Justice Educator and Community Organizer at Temple Israel of Boston. Tali received her MA in Educational Studies from Tufts University and her BA from Brandeis University. Reacting to her own experiences of miseducation growing up White in post-Apartheid South Africa attending an Orthodox Jewish day school, Tali challenges students to question and confront injustices and see themselves as Jewish leaders of change.

Henrietta Szold: Learning from the Past to Shape Our Future

Using Jewish herstory as a driving theme for the lesson, specifically the story of Henrietta Szold, students connect their Jewish identities and history with the understanding that they can be valuable activists and changemakers in society.

Overview

Enduring Understandings

  • We have the power to make change in society
  • Our Jewish history and our ancestors’ stories are relevant to our lives today

Essential Questions

  • What does it mean to be a leader?
  • How can you use your voice for change? What can we learn from past Jewish heroes?
  • Why is Henrietta Szold’s story important?

Materials Required

  • iPads (optional)
  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Projector
  • Links to Youtube videos of social justice advertisement campaigns
  • 3 Lego advertisement print-outs

Notes to Teacher

Before the scavenger hunt, the teacher should place Clues 1a, 2a, 3a, and 4a around the building; these are the clues that students will locate on their own. The teacher should hand out a copy of Clue 1 to each group, which will help them locate Clue 1a on their own. Once they find Clue 1a, they should return to the teacher for Clue 2 which will help them find Clue 2a; so on and so forth.

  • Part 1 of this lesson will focus on Szold’s story and Part 2 will allow students to raise their voices and create social justice advertisement campaigns focusing on causes close to students’ hearts.
  • When setting up the scavenger hunt in Part 1, teacher should keep in mind:
    • Clues should be in Temple public spaces and in plain view
    • Students should not disturb other classes on Temple property in order to find clues
    • There should be enough clues for each group and students should understand they should not tamper with or sabotage clues belonging to other teams
  • Students can use iPads during the scavenger hunt to google answers to clues; however, there are many alternatives if iPads are not available:
    • Students can use their smartphones
    • Teachers can create an info sheet with the relevant information for students to reference during the scavenger hunt
    • Teachers can print JWA’s bio of Henrietta Szold and amend the clues so that all answers can be found in the bio
    • Schools with access to a computer lab can have students use computers during the scavenger hunt

Lesson Plan

Part 1

  • Teacher places three contemporary advertisements on the board and has copies on desks for students to look at more closely. Each advertisement is for Lego, and advertisements depict stereotypical gendered messaging.
    • Discuss. What is going on in this advertisement? What do you see that makes you say that? What more can you find?
  • Teacher facilitates conversation about gendered advertisements and asks the class questions to guide their discussion.
    • Discuss. What is your understanding of the word “feminism”?
    • Do you think that feminism is still needed in today’s society?
  • Explain to students that they are about to go on a scavenger hunt through the experiences of one of Judaism’s most inspiring feminists and change makers using photographs from her life.
  • Teacher divides class into groups of 3-4 students and gives each group an iPad, a piece of paper, and a pencil.
    • Students embark on scavenger hunt around the Temple to learn more about Henrietta Szold in an engaging way that keeps students active, working together, and learning.
    • Assignment. Students should complete the post-scavenger hunt worksheet about Henrietta Szold’s life

Part 2

  • Before the lesson, instructor should place photographs from previous class around the room.
  • Ask students to stand by a photo that resonates most with them or a photo that inspires them.
    • Students who feel comfortable can share with the class why they chose to stand by a specific photo.
  • Discuss. Ask students to name some injustices that they wish to raise awareness about in order to inspire change in our communities.
  • Show the students two to four social justice advertisement campaigns. (see examples in the “Teacher Resources” section)
    • Discuss. What is the purpose of the advertisement campaign (what is the issue or cause)? What techniques are used to make the audience care about the issue?What are people doing about the issue? Does the video display next steps or follow-up for viewers?
  • Separate the students into groups of 3-4 and give them iPads
    • Students should work to create an advertisement campaign for a cause they care about.
    • In order to brainstorm ideas for their video, students can ask themselves:
      • What is the cause or issue on which our video focuses?
      • Why is this a problem in society?
      • Are people already working on this issue?
      • What are some ways people can act on this issue?

Document Studies

Lego Ads

Lego Ads

Lego Creator

Lego Creator
Full image
Picture of the "Lego Creator" Box

Lego Disney Princess

Lego Disney Princess
Full image
Picture of the "Lego Disney Princess" box

Lego Friends

Lego Friends
Full image
Picture of the "Lego Friends" box

Handouts

Henrietta Szold Scavenger Hunt Clues

Henrietta Szold Scavenger Hunt Answer Guide

Teacher Resources

Learn about Henrietta Szold’s life by reading her jwa.org profile.

For more information, please visit our “Women of Valor” exhibit on Henrietta Szold.

Examples of Social Justice Campaigns:

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Tali Puterman, 2017 Twersky Award Winner
Full image
Tali Puterman, 2017 Twersky Award Winner

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Tali Puterman, 2017 Twersky Award Winner." (Viewed on December 10, 2017) <https://jwa.org/twersky/puterman-tali>.

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