Have you ever heard the phrase b’tzelem elokim? It means “in God’s image” and it is often described as a statement of responsibility about the way that we treat others. Our fifth grade students focus on this lesson throughout their final year at Perelman.
Students study differences, learning about empathy and respect for one another. Their studies were deepened this year through a new collaboration with Gann Academy, a Jewish high school outside of Boston. Eleventh graders at Gann are currently helping research individuals buried in nameless graves near their school. It’s the final resting place for hundreds of people who lived in homes for people with mental and physical disabilities. The only information available is “C” for Catholic, “P” for Protestant and a number, for the order in which they were buried.
Through Zoom video conferencing, our fifth graders learned about this project, discussing the importance of righting historical wrongs and sharing information with family members of the deceased so their stories will not be forgotten.
During the next few months, our students will explore the concept of respect as it relates to Jewish traditions surrounding death, burial and comforting mourners. Our students are inspired to make our world a better place.