Below is a collection of Halakha, Jewish law and practice, lesson plans, videos, and articles created by The Lookstein Center staff or contributed to the site by Jewish educators.
This is a growing collection. Check back soon or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you didn’t find what you’re looking for.
EDUCATIONAL APPROACHES TO HALAKHA
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Teaching Jewish Texts: Authority and Relevance – This article by Zvi Grumet for The Lookstein Center explores how to use Jewish texts to draw students closer to Jewish subjects.
Active Learning in the Halakha Class – This article from The Lookstein Center’s journal, Jewish Educational Leadership, explores how to teach Halakha in an engaging way.
🔒Halakhic Education: For the Present or the Future? – This article from The Lookstein Center’s journal, Jewish Educational Leadership, discusses the results of a study of Halakha programs in Modern Orthodox high schools.
🔒What Should I Have Learned as a Jew After 12 Years in a Jewish School? – This article from The Lookstein Center’s journal, Jewish Educational Leadership, reviews what main goals schools should have for providing a well-rounded Jewish education.
The Human and Social Factor in Halakha – This article by Aharon Lichtenstein for Tradition looks at the practice of teaching Halakha through different lenses.
The Halakha and Its Relationship to Social Reality – This article by Yitzchak D. Gilat for Tradition analyzes the connections between ancient Halakha and society today.
Halakha as a Ground for Creating a Shared Spiritual Language – This article by David Hartman for Tradition discusses the role of Halakha in connecting Jews to Judaism.
Elu Va-Elu Divrei Elokim Hayyim: Pluralism and Theories of Controversy – This article by Michael Rosensweig for Tradition looks at the study of Halakha from a variety of perspectives.
On Teaching Halakha – This article by Jay Goldmintz for Tradition addresses some key problems that arise when teaching Halakha.
The Halakhic Issue of Dismissing and Rejecting Students – This article by Rabbi Simcha Krauss for Tradition discusses the halakhic ramifications of accepting or rejecting students.
TEACHING THE HALAKHOT OF SHABBAT
Shabbat and Electrical Appliances – This study unit for middle school and high school students explores the halakhic issues of electricity and Shabbat in the modern age. From The Lookstein Center.
Teaching Resources: Shabbat – This collection of educational resources includes lesson plans, videos, and more. From The Rabbi Sacks Legacy Trust.
Shabbat and Havdalah: A Three-Part Lesson – This lesson plan for early elementary school introduces students to the basic halakhot of Shabbat and Havdalah. From Chidush.
Shabbat Interactive – This educational program for elementary school students includes online modules, games, lesson plans, and more. From Jewish Interactive.
Primary Sources: Shabbat – This collection of educational materials explores different aspects of teaching the halakhot of Shabbat to students of all ages. From The National Library of Israel.
TEACHING THE HALAKHOT OF HASHAVAT AVEIDA
Returning Lost Objects – This lesson plan for middle school students includes textual analysis, and activities such as drama, art, music, and more. From The Lookstein Center.
The Jewish Value of Returning Lost Items – This lesson plan for young students includes a video, discussion guide, coloring pages, and more. From Bimbam.
How Far Do I Need to Go to Return a Lost Object? – This article reviews practical guidelines for observing the mitzvah of hashavat aveida. From Chabad.org.
TEACHING THE HALAKHOT OF TESHUVAH
Teshuvah: A Discussion Guide – This lesson explores the Jewish approach to repentance, drawing on Rambam’s Hilchot Teshuvah. Included are hands-on activities for younger and older students that deal with guilt and apology. From The Lookstein Center.
Teshuvah Lesson Plan – This lesson plan for elementary school students explores what it means to “return” to God. From ShalomLearning.
What Do Jews Mean by Repentance? – This article reviews the meanings of Teshuvah during the High Holidays period and beyond. From Brandeis University.
TEACHING THE HALAKHOT OF BAL TASHCHIT
Social Action and Responsibility – This lesson plan analyzes the connection between Tikkun Olam and our obligation to care for our planet and its creatures. From The Lookstein Center.
Bal Tashchit: The Torah Prohibits Wasteful Destruction – This article explores the various mitzvot that connect to the prohibition against waste. From My Jewish Learning.
Judaism and Environmentalism: Bal Tashchit – This article reviews the origins and modern implications of Bal Tashchit. From Chabad.org.
Bal Tashchit – This blog analyzes the Talmudic sources and contemporary applications of the prohibition against waste. From Reform Judaism.
TEACHING THE HALAKHOT OF BIKKUR CHOLIM
Bikkur Cholim Lesson – This sample lesson plan for early elementary school introduces students to the mitzvah of Bikkur Cholim. From ShalomLearning.
Teaching Children the Mitzvah of Bikkur Cholim – These resources for elementary school students include activities, videos, books, and more. From PJ Library.
Values: Visiting the Sick – This resource includes an explanation of the mitzvah of Bikkur Cholim, discussion questions for students about how to practice this mitzvah, and more. From Jewish Learning Matters.
Bringing Comfort to the Sick: A PBL Lesson – This project-based learning lesson plan allows students to research the halakhot of Bikkur Cholim and present their findings in a creative way. From Berhman House.
TEACHING THE HALAKHOT OF HACHNASAT ORCHIM
My House is Your House – This article explores different Jewish sources for the mitzvah of hachnasat orchim. From Yeshiva University.
Welcoming Guests – This source sheet includes a variety of Jewish texts on the topic of hachnasat orchim. From Sefaria.
How to Make People Feel Welcome – This video for young children explains the principles of hachnasat orchim. From Shaboom.
Helping Kids Welcome Guests – These resources for elementary school students include books, crafts, lesson plans, and more. From PJ Library.
TEACHING THE HALAKHOT OF CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY AND VOLUNTEERISM
The Way of Responsibility: The Jewish Future – This video and lesson explore the Jewish responsibility to improve the world. From The Rabbi Sacks Legacy Trust.
Bullying, Harassment, and Social Exclusion in Jewish Schools – This article reviews opportunities for positive peer culture in Jewish classrooms. From Yeshiva University.
Five Ways We Can Stop Bullying – This article includes different approaches to preventing and stopping bullying in classroom environments. From Aish.
Social Responsibility – This Hebrew language source sheet includes Jewish texts from a variety of sources on the topic of responsibility to one another. From Sefaria.
Achrayut Lesson Plan – This sample lesson plan from ShalomLearning for upper elementary school students demonstrates how Biblical sources dictate our need for civic responsibility.
Volunteering and Values – This blog post explores the connection between Jewish values and volunteerism. From the Wexner Foundation.
TEACHING THE HALAKHOT OF DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP
Infusing Jewish Values into a Digital Citizenship Curriculum – This curriculum overview describes how to integrate Jewish values and internet safety. From Jewish Libraries.
Confronting Sinat Chinam – These resources explore the connection between baseless hatred and digital citizenship. From The Jewish Education Project.
Unplugging the Digital Generation – This article analyzes how technology is affecting our students and how to handle it in the best way. From Jewish Action.
Creating a Technology Policy Based in Jewish Values – This template includes a source sheet and a guide for implementation in the classroom. From JTeach.
TEACHING THE HALAKHOT OF STEALING
Geneiva and Gezeila: Much More Than Theft – This article explores the various halakhot of stealing and their wide-reaching ramifications. From Torat Har Etzion VBM.
Judaism and Stealing: What if it is Only a Tiny Theft? – This article analyzes the extent to which the halakhot of stealing may apply. From My Jewish Learning.
Stealing to Save Someone’s Life – This article delves into the cross-section between the obligation to save someone’s life and the prohibition against stealing. From JLaw.
Theft and Robbery – This article reviews some of the key aspects of the halakhot of stealing. From Jewish Virtual Library.
Stealing Somebody Else’s Mitzvah – This article explores the halakhot of stealing as they pertain to the performance of mitzvot. From the Orthodox Union.
Being Careful with Other People’s Money – This article discusses the importance of handling the money of others with care to avoid stealing. From Halachapedia.
TEACHING THE HALAKHOT OF LASHON HARA
Gossip, Rumors, and Lashon Hara – This article reviews the halakhot of proper speech for both the speaker and the listener. From My Jewish Learning.
When Lashon Hara is a Mitzvah – This article analyzes when it is correct to speak Lashon Hara. From the Orthodox Union.
Mean Girls Text Study – This lesson plan for middle school and high school students includes a variety of Jewish texts on the topic of Lashon Hara. From the Jewish Ed Project.
Lashon Hara Song – This song and video explain the concept of Lashon Hara to young students through simple lyrics. From Jewish Learning Matters.
TEACHING THE HALAKHOT OF HONORING PARENTS
Honoring One’s Parents: How Far Should We Go? – This text study explores the extent to which one has to go in order to show respect to one’s parents. From the Rabbinical Assembly.
ABCS of Honoring Parents – This article reviews the basic principles of the halakhot of honoring one’s parents. From Aish.
Respecting Our Parents = Respecting God? – This article analyzes the connection between showing respect for our parents and respecting God. From the Orthodox Union.
What is Jewish About Respect? – This video for parents and educators explains the Jewish connection to teaching respect to students. From Bimbam.
Caring for Our Parents – This article explores the halakhot of providing proper care for parents later in life. From JTS.
TEACHING THE HALAKHOT OF MOURNING
Shiva Unit – This lesson plan for elementary school students reviews Jewish traditions connected to death and mourning and more. From Boulder JCC.
Mourner’s Kaddish: Honoring the Dead and Comforting Mourners – This lesson plan for middle school and high school students reviews the text and meaning of the Mourner’s Kaddish. From Jewish Learning Matters.
Jewish Death and Mourning 101 – This article reviews the basic principles of Jewish death and mourning practices. From My Jewish Learning.
Shmirah Lesson Plan – This lesson plan for high school students introduces students to the halakhot of kadisha and shmirah. From Jewish Funerals.