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What do you wish was included in public school classes about Judaism?

I am, as far as we know, the only Jew working at my school (UK, state secondary so roughly equivalent to public middle & high school in the US). I’ve offered to help out with the module on Judaism that some of the younger years will be doing this year – we do have a curriculum with a bunch of points we have to hit, but it’s brief and vague for this subject at this age so we have quite a bit of freedom. We’re talking ages 11-13, it won’t form any part of their GCSEs or anything.

So my question to you all is: what do you wish had been taught, or what are some important things you think I should bring up? I’m not the final arbiter on the module mind you, I’m just volunteering to help out another department; ultimately the RE department will decide what to do, and each teacher will decide how to teach each lesson.

So far the three big things I’ve got are: * The variation in Jewish belief and practice, both the broad groups and that practice varies widely within groups * Differences between Judaism and Christianity, particularly the Torah vs OT * What the Talmud actually is and the importance of learning in Judaism; ie that it’s about more than just the 5 books

I was thinking of suggesting a more interactive / show & tell lesson for each class with some Jewish stuff too, like showing them different kinds of kippot, mezuzot, or tefillin.

I collect Jewish books so I was thinking of bringing in some varied siddurim to discuss the different practices of, eg, UK Orthodox vs UK Reform (since I have siddurim from both)

submitted by /u/quinneth-q
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