The Return of the Jewish Temple


Wealth disparity, assimilation, intermarriage, Jewish apathy…turns out that theJewish community in Israel during the early Second Temple era were grappling with many of the same identity and socio-economic issues that plague us today. How did Ezra and Nechemia, newly returned from exile in Babylonia,  tackle these issues?  Are any of their solutions relevant to our lives today? In this lesson, students explore some of the methods that Ezra and Nechemia used to build a successful community and learn about their approach to leadership. The resource features a variety of creative learning experiences, such as comparing the similarities and differences between Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Ezra’s attributes, as well as a comparison of the return to Zion with other periods of Jewish immigration (e.g. the BILU in 1881)..

The learners will:

  1. understand the relevance of the early Second Temple period for contemporary Jewry

  2. know the historical background of the Babylonian exile, the difficulties the Jews faced upon return and how Ezra and Nehemia addressed these challenges

  3. be able to choose something from the list of Ezra’s innovations to Jewish practice that is still impacting the Jewish community today and explain how and why it is significant to them as Jews

Unpacked for Educators materials include:

  1. An educator’s guide that  contains many rich components. These are organized under the following titles: 

  • review (questions that relate to the video)

  • discussion

  • activities

  • reflection

  • further learning

  1. A video designed to spark interest in the topic.

A lesson plan (link in the attachment above) that incorporates additional building blocks for the construction of an engaging and interactive lesson

Computer, Projector, Colored Pens and Pencils, Poster paper

The website link includes a “further learning” section in the educator’s guide.

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