Megillat Rut (The Book of Ruth) – Being a Jew


Megillat Rut, read on the holiday of Shavuot, naturally connects to the Israelites’ choice to enter into a covenant with God at Mt. Sinai. But why did Rut decide to join the Jewish people? Was it about belief, belonging, or both? In this lesson learners will discuss the ways in which one’s Jewish identity is formed, and the extent to which it is determined by choice. A learning activity, in which the students describe various components of their identities (see template in attachment below) segues naturally to a class discussion as to what role their Jewish identity plays in their self assessments.  Additional features of this resource include studying the relevant excerpt from the book of Ruth, as well as a thought provoking piece about what it means to be a Jew, by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks.

Lesson Attachments​

The learner will:

  1. Understand how choosing to identify with the Jewish People, whether been born into Judaism or not, can create a meaningful life 

  2. know more about Rut’s choice to join the Jewish people and how Rabbi Sacks explains what it is to be a Jew

  3. be able to compose a response to the excerpt from Rabbi Sacks that incorporates the roles that belief, belonging and choice play in their emerging Jewish identities.

When you click on the Jewish Education by Design resource link featured above, you will find the following educational building blocks for the creation of a lesson plan:

  1. Essential questions that get to the “heart” of the learning

  2. A hook/s to open the lesson in an engaging fashion and spark the learners’ curiosity

  3. In depth discussion questions that are designed to elicit conceptual thinking and personal reflections about the featured source/s

  4. Suggested activities that enable the students to both process and apply what was learned in a thought provoking and creative fashion

A further study option/s to related materials on the JEBD site or to external links

Student handout

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