Skip to main content

Three New Helps for Limudei Kodesh

It seems that the best I can say about Limudei Kodesh (Jewish studies) resources is that they’re not completely appalling.  With that in mind, I browsed the shelves in a couple of local bookstores today and came away with the following:

image image image

imageThe first two are written by Seymour Rossel, the author who wrote Introduction to Jewish History, the book I’ve tentatively bought for Jewish history.  Well, I really did buy it, but I’m tentative because it’s not an extraordinary book.  It’s only, as I said, not completely appalling

The pictures are very dated, but on the other hand, they’re not badly done, and the text is written – not by a committee – but by a single author who seems passionate about his subject. 

I’m hoping, really hoping, that counts for more than up-to-dateness (up-to-date-itude?), especially in books about the Tanach.  I bought the Torah and Tanach books used online because they were much cheaper than getting them locally. Now I’m worried, though, because there are quite a few write-in games and exercises (crossword puzzles and things) and I fear the books will be all scribbly when they arrive.  :-(

imageI’m kind of excited about the Llama one, though!  The stories in our Migdalor book, Kriyah v’Od, Part 2, are getting kind of tedious.  There are only so many knapsacks (tikim) and new children (yeladim) one can have in a classroom (kitah) before one begins to crave a bit more by way of vocabulary and storytelling.

image(and a bit less by way of glitz and cheerfully, colourfully AWFUL illustrations)

Yesh Lanu Lama, which I bought in the actual store today, because it wasn’t very much money, features black-and-white illustrations which are – what can I say? – not completely appalling.

The stories use a repetitive vocabulary in the same way that English controlled-phonics primers start with a very basic vocabulary, but build from one story to the next.  New words are given on the page in Hebrew only, which I like, called out in a neat little box in the corner.  (though the vocabulary includes such helpful Hebrew phrases as “ooh-la-la” – ugh)

The books themselves – there’s a second reader in the series - follow the adventures of Shiri, a little classroom llama who makes life just slightly more exciting than in the knapsack-and-pencil world of Kriyah v’Od.  Here are sample pages from book one (left) and book two (right).  You can see that the stories do become more complex, and the font size smaller, as kids’ reading progresses.



What these books are completely – and refreshingly! – missing are the cloying questions at the end of every story in the Kriyah v’Od and other Hebrew reading books, designed to test comprehension but which really just involve looking back and regurgitating lines or words from the story.  I’m not loving that part of it, and it’s nice to see a book that is confident enough that kids can read and understand without being grilled afterwards.

imageWe’re certainly not going to STOP using Kriyah v’Od, but I think when we reach the end of Book 2, we’ll probably be MORE than okay with a combination of:

  • a good reading primer (maybe the Llama books, maybe something else; whatever works)
  • a handwriting text (I already have Handwriting Without Tears – Hebrew, K’tav b’Kalut)
  • a “chagim” book (I have Migdalor already)
  • the grammar we’re covering for Chumash in L’shon HaTorah (which is mostly the same, at this stage, as modern Hebrew grammar)
  • Bright Beginnings, our Chumash workbook

The only thing this eliminates is those cloying written quizzes and exercises, but because she’ll still be doing weekly parsha & other copywork, along with practice exercises in K’tav b’Kalut, I think she won’t suffer overly much from a lack of answering questions about the stories she’s reading.


  1. I like Yesh Lanu Lamah. There are questions btw, in a separate workbook.

  2. @Rochel - perfect! Then I don't need to see them... :-)


Post a Comment

I love your comments!

Popular posts from this blog

לימודי קודש/Limudei Kodesh Copywork & Activity Printables

Welcome to my Limudei Kodesh / Jewish Studies copywork and activity printables page.  As of June 2013, I am slowly but surely moving all my printables over to 4shared because Google Docs / Drive is just too flaky for me. What you’ll find here: Weekly Parsha Copywork More Parsha Activities More Chumash / Tanach Activities Yom Tov Copywork & Activities Tefillah Copywork Pirkei Avos / Pirkei Avot Jewish Preschool Resources Other printables! For General Studies printables and activities, including Hebrew-English science resources and more, click here . For Miscellaneous homeschool helps and printables, click here . If you use any of my worksheets, activities or printables, please leave a comment or email me at Jay3fer “at” gmail “dot” com, to link to your blog, to tell me what you’re doing with it, or just to say hi!  If you want to use them in a school, camp or co-op setting, please email me (remove the X’s) for rates. If you just want to say Thank You, here’s a

Hebrew/ עברית & English General Studies Printables

For Jewish Studies, including weekly parsha resources and copywork, click here . If you use any of my worksheets, activities or printables, please leave a comment or email me at Jay3fer “at” gmail “dot” com, to link to your blog, to tell me what you’re doing with it, or just to say hi!  If you want to use them in a school, camp or co-op setting, please email me (remove the X’s) for rates. If you enjoy these resources, please consider buying my weekly parsha book, The Family Torah :  the story of the Torah, written to be read aloud – or any of my other wonderful Jewish books for kids and families . English Worksheets & Printables: (For Hebrew, click here ) Science :  Plants, Animals, Human Body Math   Ambleside :  Composers, Artists History Geography Language & Literature     Science General Poems for Elemental Science .  Original Poems written by ME, because the ones that came with Elemental Science were so awful.  Three pages are included:  one page with two po

It's Heart Month: 3 days left to save lives!

Dear Friends & Family: Hi, everybody! Sorry I can’t stop by in person... you're a bit out of my area.  :-) We’re out walking up and down on our street on this beautiful afternoon to raise money for Heart & Stroke.  This cause is important to me (I won't say it's close to my heart , because that would be tacky!).  I hope you'll join me by donating online. Growing up, I watched as every single one of my grandparents' lives were shortened by heart disease and strokes, and my father had a defibrillator that saved his life on more than one occasion.  Heart disease and stroke kill 1 in 3 Canadians and are the #1 killer of women. Please click this link to be redirected to my main page at the Heart & Stroke website: Thus ends my personal appeal.  Official information follows.  :-))) ----- Heart disease and stroke is the #1 killer of women - taking more women's lives than all forms of cancer combined. But no one is immune. Th