Jewish Surnames

The goal of these lesson plans, which should take about 16 hours of class time + home work, is for each student to produce a short biographical film on the subject of his/her family names. The themes of this unit are Jews Names, Historical Timeline, and the development of names and identities in the Jewish Diaspora.
The teaching unit deals with the history of Jewish family names from biblical times, through the Diaspora in different Jewish ethnic groups and around the world, and to the Hebraization of family names at the establishment of the state of Israel. Thus, the students will:

1. Gain an understanding of the manner in which Jewish surnames evolved.

2. Understand the main eras in Jewish history through these family names (Jews between communal seclusion and integration following the emancipation and the establishment of the modern state in Europe).

3. Understand the meanings of Jewish surnames and their evolvement while maintaining a connection to Judaism and Israeliness.

4. Develop a connection to the Jewish people in Israel and the Diaspora.