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Learn about the Mitzvot and brave actions of Jewish Heroes in history through an enriching curriculum based on Kar-Ben books. Click the pictures to access the lesson guides.

Learn about the reward of giving in secret. Gain an understanding of Natan Sharansky and his fight for the Soviet Jewry. Be given a unique aspect of the famous mime Marcel Marceau and his role during World War II. Finally, be inspired by a friendship cultivated through similar and shared experiences. These lessons are suitable for Grades Kindergarten through 5.

Even at the age of nine, little Golda Meir was known for being a leader. As the American Young Sisters Society president, she organizes her friends to raise money to buy textbooks for immigrant classmates. A glimpse at the early life of Israel s first female Prime Minister, who was born in Russia and grew up in Milwaukee, this story is based on a true episode in the early life of Golda Meir.

Goldie Takes a Stand: Golda Meir's First Crusade

In WWI and WWII, young Henryk Goldszmidt dreamed of creating a better world for children. As an adult, using the pen name Janusz Korczak, he became a writer, doctor, and an enlightened leader in the field of education, unaware to what use his skills were destined to be put. Dr. Korczak established a Jewish orphanage in Warsaw, where he introduced the world to his progressive ideas in child development and children s rights. When the Nazis occupied Warsaw, the orphanage is moved to the ghetto, and when the 200 children in his care are deported, Dr. Korczak famously refuses to be saved, marching with his charges to the train that will take them to their deaths. This biography of Janusz Korczak is a chapter book for elementary school readers and has full-color illustrations.

Janusz Korczak's Children

Jewish philanthropist Judah Touro sets out from Boston to New Orleans in 1801, dreaming of becoming a successful shopkeeper. With his skill in business, he earns a great fortune. But, after an injury on the battlefield in the War of 1812, Judah begins to see the world through new eyes. He recognizes that his true calling may be to help others. Grateful and humble, Judah begins to perform philanthropic deeds, large and small—all in secret.

Judah Touro Didn't Want to be Famous.

It's 1937, and Marian Anderson is one of the most famous singers in America. But after she performs for an all-white audience, she learns that the nearby hotel is closed to African Americans. She doesn't know where she'll stay for the night.

Until the famous scientist Albert Einstein invites her to stay at his house, Marian, who endures constant discrimination as a Black performer, learns that Albert faced prejudice as a Jew in Germany. She discovers their shared passion for music—and their shared hopes for a more just world.

The Singer and the Scientist eSource

This graphic novel biography is the story of Soviet Jewry "refusenik" and human rights activist Anatoly "Natan" Sharansky. Born in 1948 to a Jewish family in Ukraine, at that time part of the Soviet Union, he was arrested as a young man and later imprisoned for leaving the Soviet Union and going to Israel. His struggle became the struggle of all Soviet Jews who wished to leave. With the help of his wife, many Jewish activists, and world leaders, he eventually succeeded in immigrating to Israel, paving the way for the release of other Soviet Jews who wished to live in freedom.

Natan Sharansky: Freedom Fighter for Soviet Jews

A dynamic pirate adventure on the high seas, with hand-to-hand combat and ship-to-ship action, and the powerful story of a dark time in history when people took different paths to survive.José Alfaro is a cocky, rambunctious teen in the 16th-century colony of Santo Domingo, pulling pranks and dodging the authorities. One day, José’s mischief lands him in serious trouble. Hoping for a fresh start, he stows away on the Laqish, not knowing that it’s a pirate ship. From his hiding place, he watches the pirates divide their loot and plan their attacks on long days at sea. He also takes note of the respect they have for their captain, the intimidating Toledano. But the captain has a secret—like José, he is a Jew. For him, piracy is not about the gold; it has a different purpose. Under the tutelage of the ship’s quartermaster, José learns the intricacies of pirate life. But when he can, the captain finds ways to pull José away from the crew, to teach him about his ancestors. José finds his community. His place. His voice. His purpose. This is a pirate story, but also a story of survival—a story of a young man’s deep need to know who he is, where he comes from, and where he’s going.

One building looks like it's been wrapped in tinfoil. Another looks like it's buried under a pile of paint chips. Frank Gehry has been called “the most important architect of our age”. As a child, his parents thought of him as but nothing but a dreamer who wouldn’t amount to anything. Even so, Frank kept dreaming and playing, eventually following his passions and becoming an architect who created astounding buildings that to this day attract millions of visitors worldwide.

Shoham wears a golden bangle on her wrist, just like her Nana Aziza. Their bangles jingle when they cook, and glitter in the sun. When Shoham and her family must leave Iraq, they are allowed to take only one suitcase each. They may take no jewelry. Shoham has the important job of carrying Nana's homemade pita bread, which Nana says they will eat when they get to Israel. But when they finally arrive and it is time to eat, Shoham bites into something hard inside the pita bread. 

Luis de Torres is a secret Jew, a Catholic convert, who, in his heart, remains Jewish. When it is decreed, during the Inquisition, that Jews must leave Spain, Luis decides to join the crew of a ship headed for the Far East, where he will start a new life and live freely as a Jew. His nephew gives him a small, silver hamsa to protect him on his journey. The day they are set to sail falls on Tisha B’Av. It would be bad luck to set sail on this day, but the ship’s commander refuses to wait. A storm changes their plans, but could it be that it was Jewish tradition helped protect the ship?