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Mike’s Rough Guide to Judaism
The contents of these pages represent the author’s personal views, experience and
understanding. There are bound to be some things here that some Jews would disagree
This site began as a response to discussions in an email conference with other UK
teachers. One frequent topic of conversation was the way that the daily school assembly
is used, from time to time, as a way of teaching children about aspects of "other"
(ie non-Christian) religions. I found a good deal of interest among my colleagues
in the information that I was able to share about Jewish festivals (an assembly about
a religious festival can seem to hit some of the school’s RE targets). It seemed
to me that a more general treatment of the subject written by a teacher, for teachers,
might be useful to others. So here goes...
In writing these pages I have deliberately aimed at a simple, no frills treatment,
giving sufficient information to provide both curriculum knowledge and additional
context and background. I’m afraid that I couldn’t resist going into much more detail
than is necessary.
This is very much a work in progress, and I shall be adding and amending pages as
time, energy and inspiration allow. If you have any comments, queries or disagreements
about what you find in these pages please don't hesitate to contact me (You can find
my contact details on the Author page. If you want information about aspects of Judaism
that I have not yet covered - ask. I shall do my best to answer you.
A couple of notes:
Pronunciation: Neither Hebrew nor Yiddish use the sound that English represents as
ch (as in chair). Both languages do use the sound of ch as in the Scottish “loch”
(which is technically known as a voiceless velar fricative). So, if you see an unfamiliar
word with the letters ch in it in these pages, it is probably pronounced in that
Dates: When talking about secular dates Jews prefer the religiously neutral terms
CE (Common Era) and BCE (Before the Common Era) to the specifically Christian AD
I have spent a lot of time and effort producing this site and it is my intellectual
Please feel free to quote from my text, but, if you do, please credit me by adding
a link to this website. Please DON’T lift pages onto your own website - I can’t update,
change or correct pages if they are on someone else’s site.
Most recent updates and corrections October 2017 (twice)
On each page, clicking on the yellow Menorah will return you to the top of the page.