Jewish Education at JCoSS: An explosion of Jewish Art, Rosh Chodesh and much more..
I’m delighted to announce that, following in the footsteps of Bezalel, over the next few months you will see an explosion of Jewish Art at JCoSS.
‘See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to devise skilful works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, to work in all manner of workmanship’. Shemot 31:1-5
The Heartspace will become alive with the work of sofer Josh Baum and the beautiful textiles of Carol Smollan. We thank them for the loan of some of their inspiring works of Art, and hope you all enjoy admiring them.
Next year we will be hosting a number of art exhibitions by local Jewish artists as part of our appreciation of our Jewish heritage and culture. One project that we will also be launching shortly is the school wide mosaic project that will include all JCoSS students and release their creativity. This will be the principle piece of art that will welcome you on arrival to the school. It will be a mosaic (literally and metaphorically) of Jewish identity and will reflect the ethos and identity of the entire JCoSS community.
One of the highlights of Year 7 Jewish Education curriculum is the students’ research into their family histories. Each student has completed a Family History Project, which at times brought tears to the eyes of the Jewish Education team marking the work. These wonderful pieces of history will be displayed in the Heartspace for all to appreciate. I thank you all for helping your children to unearth the details of where they came from, and to share with us your history – they are very moving, and extremely inspiring.
Year 8 have been creating their perfect Jewish community based on the Jewish traditions of the 2nd Century CE, and Year 9 have been continuing their analysis of Leadership through the prism of Megillat Esther: looking specifically at a comparison of the characters of Esther and Vashti. Once more it has been an exciting Half Term in JCoSS and we are going from strength to strength.
Since returning to JCoSS from my maternity leave, I have been very moved by the Ethos in Action I see each day.
At JCoSS we celebrate Rosh Chodesh in a unique way: This is one of the activities that makes JCoSS utterly special. There is no other Jewish school in the UK where an Orthodox Service takes place in the room next door to a Reform Service in the room next door to a Liberal Service. There are no other Jewish schools that encourage their students to reflect on the New Month by meditating, participating in creative writing workshops, singing or drawing. No one else is giving time to yoga, philosophy or Current Affairs.
There are a lot of wonderful, spiritual, thoughtful and reflective activities going on around the school and students are focused, engaged, and appear to be enjoying themselves.
We are breaking new ground at JCoSS and this is one of those moments when I feel so completely proud and blessed to be working in such a school. I look around and think how fortunate I am to be working in such a wonderful and respectful environment, and what fantastic opportunities our students are given on a daily basis to explore and express their Jewish Identities.
Mrs E Robinson
Assistant Head, Director Jewish Education