Video Pick-a-Pack


Subject: Creating Packpacks That Include a Video/DVD

Target: Preschool through Teens and their Parents

Time Frame: Ongoing

Congregation: United Hebrew

Contributor: Cheryl Whatley


Backpacks are created that include a videotape/DVD, a parent-child discussion guide and activities to do together as a family.  These backpacks can be checked out of the Temple library.


To demonstrate that Jewish values can be found in all aspects of life, not only during religious school, Hebrew school and Jewish holidays;

To help parents to have conversations with their children about issues and values raised by media.


1) To provide parents with a video/DVD and discussion guide to serve as an opening to talk about issues they may want to discuss

2) To give parents and children an activity to do together to demonstrate these values

3) To have parents and children watch together and talk about what they see

4) To write their responses to the experience to share with others who check out the backpack after them

Target Population

Preschool through teens and their parents


The videos can be checked from the library and watched and discussed at home.

Staff and Specialists

People are needed to develop the discussion sheets and to put the backpacks together.  


1) Backpacks

2) In each backpack:

photocopies of text study information
activities supplies
collective journals  
evaluation sheets


  1. Select videos/DVDs to use that are of general interest to children of different ages, such as Passover Rugrats, Shrek, Harry Potter, Finding Nemo, The Devil’s Arithmetic
  2. Purchase backpacks and attach library pockets with title and recommended age to outside of backpacks.
  3. Determine 1-3 issues or values from the movie on which to concentrate and find text study or other Jewish values information to include.
  4. Prepare discussion sheet for each.
  5. Purchase and include thin notebook for each to serve as journal for families to write entries.
  6. Decide on and include activities for each.  For example, based on the Beethoven 2 movie, families decide what they can do for animals.
  7. Provide  an evaluation sheet.

Program Activities

In addition to the movie and discussion sheet, activities are determined by the designer to be relevant to the DVD/video chosen.


In the budget you need to take into account the cost of the backpacks, plus any pay needed for the designer of the backpack discussion pages and activities.


Parents and their children write their responses in the collective journal included in each backpack; families return an evaluation sheet that is in the backpack.  The evaluation sheet  must be replaced after each use.

References and Resources


Telushkin, Rabbi Joseph, Jewish Literacy, William Morrow and Company, 1991
Telushkin, Rabbi Joseph, The Book of Jewish Values, Bell Tower, New York, 2000

Most Popular Videos:

Secret Garden, Shrek, ET, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,  Searching for Bobby Fischer, Lean on Me, Beethoven’s 2nd, Rainbow Fish, Life and Times of Hank Greenberg, An American Tail: Feival Goes West

Letter to parents, an example of the suggested discussion of Shrek and an evaluation form is included.