Fifth Graders Cross Town to Engage in Interfaith Learning

Oct 20, 2015 | Have Fun, Impact, Middle School News, Multiplier, Share the Well

CQPblj8UEAEsjTRFurthering their understanding of cultural differences, fifth graders recently visited with their counterparts at Davis Academy, a Reform Jewish Day School.
Learning about different faiths is fundamental to appreciating our diverse society and world. Adding a real-life element to their in-class learning, students in Jenny Novoselsky’s World Geography course are exercising empathy, and becoming engaged citizen leaders as they learn about other traditions, cultures and belief systems.
CQPmjwnWEAAR3-PStudents engaged in interfaith learning at Davis Academy by exploring Judaism, including the Jewish harvest festival, Sukkot — the Feast of Tabernacles, celebrated the fifth day after Yom Kippur. As the combined classes shared similarities between Christianity and Judaism, they ate lunch in a Sukkot hut.
“As fifth graders are developing their sense of self, it is important for them to evaluate how their own religious background affects their worldview,” says Novoselsky.
MVPS student Mary Fuentes shares, “I learned that some people walk to Temple and don’t use any electronics on Saturdays just to be closer to God.”
Classmate Hope Holloway discovered that “Jewish people study Hebrew, which has different characters than the English language”.
Natalia Akhlaghi was surprised to learn that “some Jewish people celebrate Christmas with their families who are interfaith”.

Next spring, our fifth graders look to reciprocate by hosting Davis Academy students at Mount Vernon. Their hope is to dive deeper into cross-cultural learning and introduce their new friends to the meaning of Easter.
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