Thursday, November 04, 2010

Oct 15-16
Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple - 5th Grade Shabbaton at Camp Wise, Chardon Ohio
Parshat Lech Lecha- Go Forth and Be a Blessing

Abraham has a big challenge on his hands. His new assignment to be the leader of a nation is stressing him- that along with a major pack-up as he prepares for his journey to a new place that God will show him. He turns to a group of 5th graders who are exploring what it means to be a Kehila Kedosha (holy community), for advice about being a leader.

This was the focus of a recent mini-maven for a Fairmount Temple 5th grade retreat. I wrote the script and directed the Maven, in the character of Abraham (played by a staff member who loves Storahtelling). He opened with his monologue about feeling a bit overwhelmed, followed by an abbreviated “Welcome to this Storahtelling-style service” intro; translation of 3 verses of one aliyah, and then an interactive piece. Audience interaction was done as a small group activity in which the participants sorted out words on cards relating to qualities of leadership ( e.g.-integrity, dedication, values others, humility, openness, etc.) and a set of cards related to Jewish values. Their task was to get consensus on the top 3 leadership qualities and top 2 values for Abraham to focus on, as he goes forth. They then reported back to Abraham.

The results were great. This process was in sync with their Kehila theme. The kids were all involved and had a chance to share their thoughts. It was a more productive way to handle a “stretch” that the popcorn-style audience response. This structure worked well for this age group, and still retained the magic of the maven experience.

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