As winter fades into spring, it’s time for a superbly planned Yom Iyun focusing on the Torah and the Environment.
Rabbi Bennett created 6 different tracks for the girls to follow, bringing insights, inspiration and illumination with authentic Torah learning to brighten up the end of this half term. He gave a superb shiur about looking after the world Hashem gave us, integrating words of Torah with clips from Greta Thunberg’s speeches. This was followed by chabura based learning about the Jewish view of ecology and the environment, using sources from Midrash Tanchuma, Rav Shimsom Raphael Hirsch and Talmud Bavli Shabbat 77b.
Around the classrooms, students used a source sheet to investigate the Torah sources on friendship, such as the saying in Kohelet that ‘two are better than one’. There was a wonderful atmosphere of collaborative learning as the girls discovered that wellbeing began in the Torah. The sessions concluded with a short cartoon about ways to create friendships which nurture and support.
Up in the library, GIFT ran sessions about the GIFT of giving back with humour, magic and a lot of fun. Magician Martin Rees demonstrated his skills and explained how he uses those skills to break the ice when he visits families. The message for the students was to take your talents out into the world to do good!
Rabbi Silverman ran the sem track of more intensive learning, weaving Shackleton’s tale of endurance with sources about perseverance and effort. This text based approach proved very stimulating and very popular!
Year 7 also enjoyed a session about Jewish History. Lively discussion showed that this is a topic which really engages the girls, as they all contributed ideas to the class. They were given a timeline task to test their knowledge of Jewish History and to guide them to further study.
All of these sessions took place in a three lesson window, minimising disruption to the regular timetable and certainly maximising authentic Torah learning.