Youth Literature and Teaching

Oy Vey and Excelsior! Jewish Representation and Moral Lessons in Graphic Novels and Comics

Description: 

This presentation will focus on graphic novels and comic books with characters who are identifiably Jewish. Mr. Lieberman will discuss how Haredi and other such groups utilize comic books and graphic novels to impart religious and moral lessons, as well as providing an alternative to secular comic books and culture. With the recent passing of Stan Lee, co-creator of many of the most well-known superheroes and superhero teams for Marvel Comics, there has been an increased focus on the history and use of graphic novels and comics in the general culture. Examples of Jewish characters in these materials include Shaloman by Al Weisner, as well as characters from the Marvel Comics universe who have markedly Jewish identities, such as Ben Grimm aka The Thing, Kitty Pryde aka Shadowcat, Magneto, and others. The benefits of collecting this genre, especially for adolescents, in Jewish school libraries will also be discussed.

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Teaching the Holocaust through the Arts

Description: 

The purpose of the David Labkovski Project is to educate through the art of David Labkovski. By engaging viewers with his paintings and sketches, students learn lessons of life, survival, tolerance, acceptance, and the importance of bearing witness to history. Ms. Raikin will provide examples of how Holocaust materials, either those of David Labkovski, or items already in Judaica libraries, can be used to inspire middle and high school students to produce their own works of art or creative writing to then share with their local community or online.

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Tikkun Olam: Repairing the World through Children’s Books

Description: 

We live in an often disturbing and frightening world - one where natural disasters, bullying, violence, and intolerance seem to be all around us. Ms. Tanenbaum will use the traditional Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam to highlight recent releases, particularly picture books, which focus on social justice issues, encouraging kindness and creating a better world. She will describe how she put these ideas into practice through a social justice book club for families. In addition, she will highlight web resources for keeping up to date on new titles, as well as free curriculum resources helpful for the classroom. A book list and resource list will be provided to all participants.

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