The aim of this activity is to integrate the material that the students have learned about their own community, and push them to make practical decisions regarding the needs of the community.

  • Read out a prepared letter to the group, explaining that a large and specified sum has just been anonymously donated to the community, after the death of a rich person. This donor apparently left the community many years ago and is totally unknown to anyone in the community today. Their will stipulates that the sum be spent within the Jewish community and the people who will decide how the money will be apportioned are the members of whichever school class in the community is the next class to be studying the community: this is your group of students.

    There are five conditions for the division of the money:

    1. The money cannot be used by any one denomination within the community, but must be used for the benefit of all.
    2. Money cannot be given to the young (under eighteen) without the same sum being given to the old.
    3. The verses in Vayikra 25: 35-38 and Devarim 24: 17-22 should serve as guidelines and should be followed as closely as possible in the allocation of at least fifty per cent of the total sum.
    4. At least one-fifth of the money should be given to an aspect of community life that, in the opinion of the students, is generally completely or almost totally neglected by the community.
    5. No more than twenty-five per cent of the money should be used for any one cause; however, in order to maximize its effectiveness, no less than ten per cent can be given to a single cause.
    6. The group will now be divided up into sub-groups, the first task of which is to think of the criteria according to which the money should be divided.
  • When the small groups have finished, the class should come back together to explain and pool the various criteria that they have established. After some discussion, the students should choose four or five criteria from the list.
  • Back in the small groups, the students should decide upon recommendations according to the criteria chosen by the entire group.
  • Following this, they should offer suggestions to the entire group and discuss them. They should try to find a common group position. In order to resolve any disagreement on this issue, they must carefully explain and analyze their opinions. If it is not possible to reach an agreement, we suggest reading an extra clause of the donor’s will to the group. This should explain that in the case of failure to reach any agreement, the entire sum will be taken back and will wait for the next class to study the community and its needs. See what the extra pressure achieves.




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10 Dec 2006 / 19 Kislev 5767 0