Today I continue my guide to the best resources on the Internet for Jewish educators. Even though it's summer and religious schools are on vacation, students should enjoy the games and quizzes below.
I was really impressed by "the world's largest database of materials created by Torah educators," at www.echinuch.org This remarkable resource gives downloads of lesson plans, worksheets, illustrations and maps that can be copied and distributed to classrooms. The site also allows you to download a Hebrew font and Jewish screensavers — all for free! Anyone can browse the site but you will have to register in order to download material. The site strongly encourages members to contribute copyright-free materials to the database.
DataJEM, the database of Jewish educational materials, allows you to search for resources by topic, educational level and language. For example, I did a search for Holocaust-related material appropriate for 16- to 18- year-olds in English. The site returned 170 resources including information about relevant books, plays, films, television documentaries and museums. You can find similarly abundant results at www.jewishagency-ed.org/DataJEMASP One of the incredible opportunities presented by the Internet is the ability to join a community of Jewish educators from around the world. For example, members of the Jewish Teaching Forum believe "that our Jewish children can study Kodesh and secular subjects — such as English, math, arithmetic, social studies, biology… and even gym — according to Jewish principles and concepts." You can join in the discussion at www.geocities.com/athens/stage/4942/1JTeaching.html You can also participate in the Jewish teaching group at www.topica.com/ lists/JewishTeaching/ ?cid=2231 Another great online community for Jewish teachers called Mifgashim — http://listserv.biu. ac.il/archives/mifgashim.html — will connect you to many fellow educators, while a group geared toward the joys and challenges of Jewish home schooling can be found at www.geocities.com/Athens/Agora/7633/JewishHomeSchoolers.html
Rosh Hashanah is just around the corner and that means that teachers will soon be hunting for pictures of shofarim or apples with honey to decorate their classrooms. There are many good sites that provide free clip art that you can print and color. Try Uncle Debi's Jewish Clipart — http:// home.wnm. net/~debi/jart.htm — for lots of great general use Jewish imagery.
Music teachers will have a field day with the Lashir Ivrit Web page. There are links to more than 30 sites including Israeli Music Online and Hebrew Children Songs for Holidays. The Song Archive provides Hebrew lyrics (along with English transliteration) for popular songs like Al Kol Eilah, Yerushalayim Shel Zahav and even Adon Olam. Get a feast foir the ears at www.jajz-ed.org.il/festivls/ ZKATZ/ATZ/music.html Plenty of sites attempt to make learning fun, like Jewish Funland, created by Nurit Reshef of Edmonton's Talmud Torah School. Students can soak up Jewish knowledge while playing more than a dozen games and quizzes. And who couldn't resist the free multilingual word match game — www.ualberta.ca/~yreshef/ nurit.htm — which guarantees that you will "become a polyglot in minutes or your money back."
Enjoy the sites — and the rest of your summer!