A Shabbat Moment – Celebrate Shabbat


This is a lesson plan provided by the National Library of Israel.

Ahad Ha’am once said, “More than the Jewish People have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews.” What did Shabbat look like in different time periods and geographical locations?  What features of Shabbat have remained constant and how has Shabbat observance changed?   Utilizing a document analysis worksheet (see attachment below) to examine different artistic representations of Shabbat, learners will “peek” into different European communities celebrating Shabbat in the 19th and 20th centuries and compare the different depictions of Shabbat with one another, and to the learner’s own contemporary experience of Shabbat.  Students will personally connect with one of the featured pictures through a creative writing activity in which they  dramatize the moment captured in the picture.

The learner will:

  1. understand how Shabbat has played such a major role in Jewish communities across time and place.
  2. know the similarities and differences in ways that Shabbat has been celebrated across the centuries and how we observe it today

be able to write a short scene dramatizing a moment captured in one of the pictures presented in this lesson

About the National Library and its educational materials:

The mission of the National Library of Israel is to provide a home for items of national, historic or cultural significance. Each of these primary sources serve as unique entry points into the collective memory of the people of Israel as well as the Jewish people worldwide.

The education department at the library curates the collection of primary sources and uses them as windows into the past; to foster a deeper understanding of Jewish history, and to enable learners to personalize and connect to earlier events.


When you click on the National Library of Israel resource link featured above, you will find the following educational building blocks for the creation of a lesson plan:

  1. A group activity to open the lesson and engage the learners.
  2. Discussion ideas and/or questions that are designed to get the learners thinking more deeply about the content.
  3. A creative activity that gives students the opportunity to go beyond learning and analyzing, to crafting something new, that personalizes how they relate to the  primary sources featured in the resource.
  4. The primary sources in this resource have individual links (listed in Expand your horizons below) that provide expanded information. In addition there are nuanced discussion questions that will enable students in small groups to engage independently and effectively in the process of  observing, interpreting, and connecting to the primary sources.

Link to the lesson plan:
A Shabbat Moment – Celebrate Shabbat

Computer, Student Handouts

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