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

While the basic laws for celebrating sukkot are universal, every community and family celebrate using different traditions. How did German Jewry celebrate Succot in the 1800s? How was it similar to how we celebrate today, and how was it different? Learners will study the people, clothing, decorations and more in a portrait by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim from 1867.  Students are taken back in time to discover some aspects of Jewish life in Germany in the 19th century, and utilizing the app Marquee, will compare and contrast the Oppenheim depiction of Sukkot with contemporary celebrations of the festival.

The learner will:

  1. understand how a portrait enriches the connection to one’s cultural legacy
  2. know the similarities and differences in celebrating Sukkot in their own countries and time period versus Germany in the 1800s

be able to locate identifying marks in a picture that tell the person looking more about the people, time period, and situation

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:
    Inside and Outside the Sukkah

Student handouts, computer, projector, crafts materials

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