Unit III. Exploring Peoplehood and Community - Lesson 13: What is Community?


50 minutes


Laptop and LCD projector
Photograph Waiting for Seven Jews by Zion Ozeri
Peoplehood Worksheet 1A: Objective and Subjective
Peoplehood Worksheet 1B: What Is Community – Jewish Texts
Blackboard or chart paper 


Set up projector to display the photograph Waiting for Seven Jews at the front of the room. If laptop and projector are not available, make high-resolution photocopies of the photograph to distribute to students. Also make enough copies of Worksheets 1A and 1B for the class.


In this lesson, students practice their close-looking and visual literacy skills by making objective and subjective observations of a photograph. They also begin to consider the meaning of community through examination of text and image.

Big Idea:

By exploring both images and texts, we can gain insight into the meaning and importance of Jewish community.

Waiting for Seven Jews, Djerba, Tunisia

Waiting for Seven Jews, Djerba, Tunisia

Introduction (12 minutes)

  1. Have students work individually or in small groups to think about the terms “community”, “group” “nation” and “team” (or other related words)-students can discuss how these words are different, but also what they have in common. This can get them thinking about the meaning of “community” in relation to other concepts.
  2. Have the students share their responses in the class.


Photographic Exercise (12 minutes)

Students do subjective/objective reading of “Waiting for Seven Jews.” worksheet 1A: Objective and Subjective (or do a different activity to read the photo). 

  1. Review with students the terms objective and subjective from Lesson 1.
  2. As a group, have students view and compare the photograph Summer Camp, or any other photograph you choose by Zion Ozeri


Text Study (20 minutes):

  1. Share with students the title of the photograph and a little about the setting. (See photo caption for more information.) Discuss:

    – Why do you think the photographer gave the picture that title?

    – What do you think it means?

    – How does this information help you understand the photograph?
  2. Distribute Peoplehood Worksheet 1B to students. Have students work in pairs to read the texts and discuss the questions on the worksheet.
  3. Regroup to share responses with the whole class.


Wrap-Up (5 minutes):

  1. Revisit the image Waiting for Seven Jews. Discuss:

    -How do the texts relate to the photograph? Do the texts help you understand the photograph? Does the photograph help you make sense of the texts?
- In general, what kinds of things can you learn from a photograph? What can’t you learn?

    – How is reading a photograph like reading a text? How is it different?
  2. Explain to students that the photograph was taken by an Israeli-born photographer named Zion Ozeri who lives in New York. Ozeri travels around the world photographing different Jewish communities. Students will be looking at his photographs in more depth throughout this unit and also taking photographs of their own. If you have time, share a few additional photos by Ozeri with students.



For homework, have students consider the concept of “community.” Each student will write a short reflection paper on the topic: “What is community?”