The Jewish value of tz’dakah comes from the Hebrew root tzedek meaning justice. All children understand the concept of justice. “That’s not fair!” is a declaration we hear regularly from young ones. We can help our children to understand that the best way to have more justice in our world, or to make our world more fair, is to share what we have with those who don’t have. Jewish values for children
We can share food, water, clothing, shelter, education and more. Remember, actions speak louder than words. According to a study by Dr. Noa Heyman, clinical psychologist, modeling charitable giving is the most effective way for parents to communicate this value to children. So if we want to model this value, then it’s important for us to have a regular practice of giving. Jewish values for children
It is also important for us to talk with our children about what they are giving and why. Teaching how to share is one of the first values that we as parents and teachers encourage in our children. Even young children can make a difference in the world! We can encourage them to give in ways that they can relate to, for example, donating personal items like toys and clothes for children in need, or food for people who are hungry. Jewish values for children Children can be involved in going to the grocery store to buy extra food for a local food pantry. They can bring food to their school, synagogue or a shelter. When our children get money for a gift, we can encourage them to give some of it for tz’dakah. Jewish values for children
Judaism uses time and ritual to sanctify everyday routines. At school children may have a time and ritual involving tz’dakah. We can also create a time and ritual for tz’dakah in our home by creating a tz’dakah box or even a collection of boxes intended for specific giving. Jewish values for children
Some possible ideas may include: Jewish values for children
We care for Israel. Jewish values for children
All these activities can begin to set the foundation for their growth as giving human beings! Jewish values for children
The Mussar For Children Curriculum integrates Jewish values into the classroom and connects those values with activities completed at school and at home. Children learn through puppets, songs, activities, and practice. Teachers receive lesson plans, activities, book lists, and articles for school newsletters. Parents receive communication that explains the middah that their children are learning about, along with relevant book lists and activities that can be done at home to further reinforce the value. Jewish values for children
Mussar for Children was created by Michelle Princenthal in partnership with The Mussar Institute. It is the only Jewish values for children curriculum of its kind geared specifically for young children. Jewish values for children
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©2013 Michelle Princenthal
©2015 The Mussar Institute
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