Curriculum Documents


The order of Passover Seder

(adopted for Russian Shabbat Club 3-4 year old group)

3 matzohs

4 cups of grape juice per child

1 seder plate

1 shank bone, the egg, horseradish, parsley, some lettuce, charoset(mixture of nuts, apples and vine/honey)

Big Cup (for Elijah)

  • Light Candles

The vegetable symbolizes the lowly origins of the Jewish people; the salt water symbolizes the tears shed as a result of our slavery. Parsley is a good vegetable to use for this purpose, because when you shake off the salt water, it looks like tears.


One of the three matzahs on the table is broken. Part is returned to the pile, the other part is set aside for the afikomen


The 4 questions:

1. Why is this night different from all other nights?

For on all other nights we eat Chametz and Matzah;

And tonight we may eat only Matzah!

2. Why is this night different from all other nights?

For on all other nights, we may eat any vegetable that we want;

And tonight we must eat specifically Marror!

3. Why is this night different from all other nights?

For on all other nights we don’t have to dip any vegetable into a liquid;

But tonight we must dip two vegetables into a liquid -

Karpas into Salt Water and Marror into Charoset!

4. Why is this night different from all other nights?

For on all other nights, we eat either sitting straight or leaning;

But tonight we are required to lean!




Ba-ruch a-tah A-do-nai, E-lo-hey-nu Me-lech ha-o-lam, A-sher ki-d’-sha-nu b’-mitz-vo-tav, v’-tzi-va-nu Al a-chilat ma-ror.

A blessing is recited over a bitter vegetable (usually raw horseradish; sometimes romaine lettuce), and it is eaten. This symbolizes the bitterness of slavery. The maror is dipped in charoset, a mixture of apples, nuts, cinnamon and wine, which symbolizes the mortar used by the Jews in building during their slavery.

we eat some maror on a piece of matzah, with some charoset


The piece of matzah set aside earlier is eaten as “dessert,” the last food of the meal. Some have the children hide it, while the parents have to either find it or ransom it back. Others have the parents hide it.

At the end, a blessing is said over the third cup and it is drunk. The fourth cup is poured, including a cup set aside for the prophet Elijah, who is supposed to herald the Messiah, and is supposed to come on Pesach to do this. The door is opened for a while at this point .

studio 1.5

studio 1.5

John Coplans

(American, b. 1944)


When John Coplans began photographing his aging body after he turned 60, he embarked on a documentation of age that is alternately humorous, reflective, and disquieting in the closeness of its observation. Seeing himself as an actor, Coplans examines various body parts closely, often quoting art historical postures with his sagging figure. Self-Portrait, Three Times is exemplary of his scrutinization of idealized expectations of the body and the self.

Born in London in 1920, John Coplans was educated in South Africa and England. After immigrating to the United States in 1960, he began teaching at the University of California at Berkeley. Coplans was the founding editor of Artforum magazine. Coplans worked as the senior curator of the Pasadena Art Museum from 1967 to 1970 and as the director of the Akron Art Museum in 1978. He has published numerous articles of art criticism, and his books include Weegee: Tater und Opfer (1978), Ellsworth Kelly (1973), Roy Lichtenstein (1972), Andy Warhol (1970), Serial Imagery (1968), and Cezanne Watercolors (1967). Coplan’s extremely close-up nude self-portraits have been exhibited at numerous institutions worldwide. He received the Frank Jewitt Mather Award of the College Art Association for services to art criticism in 1974; John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowships in 1969 and 1985; and National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in 1975, 1980, 1986, and 1992.

Exploration in Collage and 3D Construction

Exploration in Collage and 3D Construction

Explorations in Collage and 3-D Construction is a sequence of 5 lessons in sculpture and construction and is a part of a larger Family Program Initiative titled Art Explorations.

This unit introduces young learners to concepts of 3 dimensionality. The whole sequence is developed based on the artistic uses of 3-dimensional forms, experimentation, and encourages students to come up with innovative uses in constructing their own structures. Each lesson is self contained and reinforces prior knowledge as well as points out new directions for exploration. Students learn by making, observing and listening to each other as well as reflecting on the art made by famous artists. The goal of the sequence is not just to teach about art but to help students develop important habits of mind such as :

  • Persisting
  • Thinking and Communicating with Clarity and Precision
  • Managing Impulsivity
  • Gathering Data Through all Senses
  • Listening with Understanding and Empathy
  • Creating, imagining and Innovation
  • Thinking Flexibly
  • Responding with Wonderment and Awe
  • Thinking about Thinking (Metacognition)
  • Taking Responsible Risks
  • Striving for Accuracy
  • Finding Humor
  • Questioning and Posing Problems
  • Thinking Interdependently
  • Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations
  • Remaining Open to Continuous Learning

We find that kids love to build and this particular class develops fine motor skills as well as spacial thinking.
I personally had not had many opportunities when I was little to explore sculpture, construction because in FSU these were not the most popular mediums that had been taught to kids. Even when I had gone to art school I still did not have appropriate sculpture experiences. In my adult life, while in Pratt Institute I had problems understanding important and original concepts in Sculpture.

Learning about 3-d concepts teaches children that the world is not flat and gives them a unique perspective on to things around them which building toys don’t.  Sculpture can be suspended in space, balance on a single point, pile up on the side.  It develops imagination in a special way.

More →

studio 1.4

studio 1.4

February 6

Alter Ego


Leading up to the celebration of Purim we find the following text:


…People are invited to relinquish normal modes of behavior for one day, embracing behavior otherwise viewed with suspicion. Controlled and institutionalized chaos affirms the greater structure of Jewish custom and law by forming an outlet for a healthy questioning and challenge from within. At the same time, consequences of losing control are further balanced by traditions of giving extra tzedakah(charity) and special gifts to friends and neighbors (mishloch manot) on Purim. Even in its antinomianism (breaking the rules), the tradition has one eye focused on communal balance.

It is taught that in messianic times, only the festival of Purim will continue to be celebrated. Despite efforts to untangle its rich weave of paradoxes, no simple analysis suffices to explain this most unusual and dynamic of the Jewish holidays.

Guest artist

Erika Devries

What we will do:

Using props, sets, makeup and clothing create an image of your alter ego or a false identity. It can be someone you imagine yourself being or your anti pod or an opposite. We will created animated GIF image.

click on image to see animation

Important Habits of mind:

  • Creating, imagining and Innovation
  • Thinking Flexibly
  • Thinking about Thinking (Metacognition)
  • Taking Responsible Risks
  • Striving for Accuracy
  • Finding Humor
  • Questioning and Posing Problems
  • Thinking Interdependently
  • Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations


January 23

Activity for next week:

Questions for drawing an identity sketch:

  • What is my gender?
  • What is my position in my family/community?
  • What languages do I speak?
  • How do I spend my free time?
  • What do I do well( don’t do well)?
  • What do people say about me?
  • What inspires me?
  • How do I feel?

Zhenya’s identity sketch:

I am:

  • artist
  • woman
  • mother
  • wife
  • daughter
  • Jewish
  • friend
  • teacher
  • busy
  • student
  • Russian speaking
  • in love
  • tired
  • caregiver
  • energetic
  • good drawer
  • passionate
  • philosopher
  • conceptual
  • performer
  • knitter

Flickr discussion


  1. create your own Multi-Perspective Shooting Machine
  2. Shoot pictures at the chosen location(people on the street, street traffic, stores, subway, rush-hour, e.t.c.)



Susan Sontag

“On Photography”(excerpt PDF)



Eleanor Antin


Watch the full episode. See more ART:21.

Important habits of mind:

  • Thinking Interdependently.
  • Creating, imagining and Innovation
  • Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations

Tu B’Shevat

Tu B’Shevat

Sculpture exploration project

Clay is a natural material that came from the earth. It’s a great way to explore the ideas around Tu B’shvat, the New Year for the trees.

Through using natural materials such as clay, wood, twigs and branches, seeds and paper we learn about nature cycles.

Tu B’shavat Seder is a tradition that incorporates songs, vine and fruit tasting.

Studio 1.1

Studio 1.1

December 19, 2010


Un Chien Andalou (1929)

16 min  -  Short | Fantasy -  6 June 1929 (France)
In a dream-like sequence, a woman’s eye is slit open–juxtaposed with a similarly shaped cloud obsucuring… See full summary »

Director:Luis Buñuel

Writers:Salvador Dalí (scenario), Luis Buñuel (scenario)

Stars:Pierre Batcheff and Simone Mareuil

La Jetée (1962)

28 min  -  Short | Drama | Romance -  16 February 1962 (France)
Time travel, still images, a past, present and future and the aftermath of World War III. The tale of a man… See full summary »

Director:Chris Marker

Writer:Chris Marker (screenplay)

Stars:Étienne Becker, Jean Négroni and Hélène Chatelain

Instructions for posting images to Flickr Group:

1. Get a yahoo mail account(or use one you already have) – Yahoo

2. Go to Flickr –

3. Set up a free Flickr account using your Yahoo ID

4. Join  Ayn Studio Group at Zshuk Art Initiative photostream

5. Post any images you wish our group to see or feel is relevant to what we are discussing.

6. Join Zshuk-teen group on Facebook.

studio 1.2

Hanukkah Project

JCH of Bensonhurst




more images…

KingsBay Y




more images…

Russian Language Shabbat Club
at the JCC of Manhattan
combined group of 3-4 and 5-6 years-old.

exploration in 3D collage

Zshuk Channel

watch life stream

(if channel appears off line that means that we are not currently broadcasting, but you can check previous broadcasts)