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A Focus on Identity and Community

February is Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month and Black History Month, presenting meaningful opportunities for learning together. Scheck Hillel students have been discussing various topics and have dug deep into a range of activities extending from our core values. 
In our Lower School, Joanna Slochowski ‘02 spoke to our kindergarten classes about overcoming challenges and asking for help when you need it. They also heard from Morah Jennifer about growing up with deaf and hard of hearing parents, and from Morah Caroline about Cochlear Implants.
The Israel Guide Center zoomed in with our students to teach them about the challenges people with impaired sight face. They touched on the various spectrums of blindness and how one can overcome them to live a normal life. Daily activities like going to the grocery store are not as simple but, with the support of advanced technology, guide dogs and acts of chessed, make it possible.
In Middle School, The Friendship circle hosted a sensitivity training workshop for Grade 8. They shared tools on how to embrace and be an ally to friends with differences, while showing kavod (respect).

Throughout the month, Lower School classes researched Black History in America through a biographical lens. Grade 3 read titles such as ‘Jackie Robinson’, ‘Coretta Scott King ', ‘Harriet Tubman’, ‘Sojourner Truth 'and ‘Rosa Parks', all influential to events in Black History. Grade 1 listened to stories read aloud from Epic and Brain Pop, telling the narratives of Ruby Bridges and Rosa Parks. Grade 5 dug deep into the topic of segregation, listened to the 'I Have a Dream' speech and researched The Underground Railroad. To grasp these topics, they read ‘Henry’s Freedom Box’, the true story of a young boy in the slavery system. These lessons all center around our core values, teaching that all human beings deserve to be treated equally with respect and kindness.
We teach about JDAIM and Black History Month at Scheck Hillel so that this rising generation has the power and tools to create a more inclusive, sensitive and accepting community. Through training and workshops, we embed core values into the daily lives of our students.