In 5th grade, we studied rabbinic interpretations of Sukkot. We focused on Rashbam’s interpretation. The Rashbam suggests that Sukkot is a warning against security and affluence. We discussed how most people do not get to choose to sleep outside. We also thought about what it means that it’s a choice for us to sleep outside in temporary housing.
Our conversation about Sukkot in light of homelessness and refugees led to a call for empathy. We discussed how the freedom to choose to sleep outside made us responsible for acting on the empathy that we gain from the experience. As a class, we researched organizations that respond to this responsibility — organizations that serve homeless and refugee populations. After the research, students selected which organization to invite as their guest.