18 Pomegranates held their 9th annual Chidush Awards reception at the Chautauqua Community House Thursday night, and 13 Boulder Jewish educators received awards for their innovative projects in Jewish education. The 13 Chidush Award winners for 2010 are: Amy Kopkin Atkins, Nuria Bahabad*, Rachel Cole*, Froma Fallik, Joshua Fallik, Morah Yehudis Fishman, Rabbi Gavriel Goldfeder, Sharon James, Rabbi Jamie Korngold*, Sarah Pew, Charna Rosenholtz, Wren Siegel and Chava Vidal. (*Indicates educators who submitted a lesson plan that the review committee identified as especially innovative.)
In addition, the Boulder Jewish Educator’s Council presented their Hesaig Award for Educational Achievement to Judi Moroshok for her many years of leadership in Jewish Early Childhood Education.
The program for the evening featured a session with The Bible Raps Project, Matt Bar and Ori Salzberg. The Bible Raps Project is an innovative educational tool that uses rap and hip hop to enliven the core Jewish texts. It is designed to make the tradition more appealing and more accessible through the use of technology, rhythm and rhyme. Matt explained that the purpose of The Bible Raps Project is to engage youth in Jewish learning using a vernacular that is familiar to them — an approach to Jewish learning that is actually thousands of years old, and can be compared to the modern-day Storahtelling movement that is related to the ancient mavens who translated the weekly parshas into stories in the local language in the diaspora. Matt and Ori performed several raps, with Matt explaining that most of the lyrics come directly from Torah, other biblical sources, the Talmud or midrash.
Matt walked the audience through an example of using Bible Raps within a lesson curriculum, and then presented the “Earth Day Rap” created by and starring fourteen local teachers. (See the video below).
The Chidush Awards were created by 18 Pomegranates to recognize local educators who creatively design and execute innovative Jewish educational experiences and share them with the community.
Their mission is to reward the efforts of Boulder’s Jewish educators to innovate and share outstanding teaching ideas, while building the Chidush virtual lesson plan library and teacher resource section at HaSifria, Boulder’s Jewish library at the BJCC. Past, present and future Jewish educators and creative thinkers are encouraged to submit ideas that inspire a commitment to Jewish values and love of Jewish learning. The Chidush Awards and the virtual lesson plan library are initiatives of 18 Pomegranates in cooperation with HaSifria and the Colorado Agency for Jewish Education (CAJE).
Picture Slide Show:
Video of the “Earth Day Rap”: