HOW TO USE
1. Consider each lesson individually. Where might it fit into your ongoing units?
Examples: a unit on heroes and heroines could include a lesson (Book II, lesson 6) on Doña Gracia Nasi, the conversa woman who saved thousands of victims of the Inquisition.
A lesson on Jewish food and Jewish cooking could include Mediterranean dishes favored by the Jews (Book III, lesson 4).
A mock Seder could look at a Crypto Jewish seder (Book III, lesson 6).
2. Many schools offer their students a year when they study Jews in other lands. The history of Jewish involvement in the Caribbean is rarely included. Yet the Caribbean is somewhere many of our students visit. They are familiar with the islands.
Try Book II, lesson 7 with its stories and activities about Caribbean traders and its board game.
3. Schools frequently encourage students to explore their own family histories. Many students may have one parent, or a grandparent of Sephardic origin. How did that happen? Where did the parent come from?
Look at lessons 1-4 in Book II to discover how many of the Jews first came to these places and what they found when they got there.
Try also Book III, lesson 2, to help them understand the similarities and differences. And Book III, lesson 1, for a discussion on family legends and how they develop.
4. Not all of the liturgy and prayers found in our daily and high holyday services emanate from Eastern Europe. Some of them came from the days when a majority of Jews lived on the Iberian Peninsula.
For some examples try Book I, lesson 3-4.
5. We teach a lot about the Holocaust but very little about the Inquisition, though the Inquisition lasted for 350 years and operated in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Mexico, Peru and other parts of South and Central America.
Try Book II, lesson 5, for some material about the Inquisition.
6. There has been a lot of talk in recent years about the Crypto Jews of New Mexico and Portugal and how they returned to Judaism after hundreds of years as Catholics.
For insights into their compelling story of faith and pride in their ancestral religion try Book II, lesson 5 and Book III, lesson 6. The activities teach about the Crypto Jews.
7. Looking for a new way to celebrate the festivals? Consider Book III, lessons 5,6,7 for some new ideas to try out with your students for Passover and Hanukkah.
8. Want to do a brief history course on the Jews of pre-expulsion Spain. Who were they? How did they get there? What did it feel like to live in Spain during the first Millennium? At the end of their stay, how did these Jews make the choice between conversion or expulsion?
A five-lesson mini course in Book I, lessons 1-5 takes you on that journey.
9. Just time for one lesson? Try our story of the Great Expulsion as told through a mock broadcast of a CNN newscast, created and narrated by the students themselves.
"Out of Spain" (Ed.) educational program for schools