Before You Start the Unit:


  • The beginning of Lesson 4 must be taught BEFORE Rosh Hodesh because the second half of the lesson includes a new-moon observation that begins at home and requires follow-up AFTER Rosh Hodesh has passed. Therefore, the sequence of the unit may require some adaptation, depending on how the timing of Lesson 4 falls in relation to Rosh Hodesh:
    • If Lesson 4 falls within 1 week of Rosh Hodesh (ideal): Teach Lesson 4 through moon observation assignment in Step 12 before Rosh Hodesh. Conduct moot Sanhedrin in next subsequent class period following Rosh Hodesh.
    • If Lesson 4 falls 1-2 weeks before Rosh Hodesh: Teach Lesson 4 through moon observation assignment in Step 12. Teach Lesson 5. Conduct moot Sanhedrin in next subsequent class period following Rosh Hodesh.
    • If Lesson 4 falls 2-3 weeks before Rosh Hodesh: Skip Lesson 3. Teach Lesson 4 through moon observation assignment in Step 12. Teach Lessons 3 and 5. Conduct moot Sanhedrin in next subsequent class period following Rosh Hodesh.
    • If Lesson 4 falls 3-4 weeks before Rosh Hodesh: Skip Lesson 3. Teach Lesson 4 through moon observation assignment in Step 12. Teach Lessons 3, 5, and 6. Conduct moot Sanhedrin in next subsequent class period following Rosh Hodesh.
  • Lesson 4 is split between two class periods because the moon observation must take place at home in the middle of the lesson. It is not likely that either half of the lesson will require a full period.
  • Lesson 6 will not likely require a full period.

Kesher Communication:


Send home Kesher JC 1.1 (PDF: Kesher JC 1.1) at least one week before the start of the unit to provide background information to parents as well as to request information to calculate students’ Jewish birthdays. Ideally, ask parents to provide the time and location of birth because that information is required by the online calculator to determine the exact birthday. (This information is needed in addition to the students' civil birthdays to account for the fact that days in the Jewish calendar begin and end at night.)

Treasure Hunt in Lesson 3:


The treasure hunt in Lesson 3 requires significant planning. Before beginning the unit:
  • Reserve public spaces in the synagogue that you will need to use, and identify objects that you will need to borrow from the gift shop, rabbi, etc.
  • Invite adult/high school volunteers to help with the treasure hunt. You will need one volunteer per group of students.