Students at Yeshivat Frisch are tackling Tanach texts with a new tool this September, courtesy of Frisch’s Director of Visual Arts, Mrs. Ahuva Winslow. On the first day of her “Biblical Portraits: Artist Beit Midrash” class, Mrs. Winslow introduced students to a technique called ‘Sketchnoting,’ which they will utilize in their textual analysis of the Book of Jonah in preparation for the High Holidays. Sketchnoting is a way to “aid understanding, memory, text analysis, and making inferences and connections between themes,” said Mrs. Winslow, who suggested that the technique may be a useful tool in other subject areas, like history, literature, Chumash, Gemara, and science. “It just gets rid of lines on the paper and trades it for blank paper, giving students the freedom to create timelines for sequencing events, flowcharts for thematic ideas, areas to draw to help remember ideas, infographics for emphasis, color to help make correlations and connect symbolism, etc.”
“Biblical Portraits: Artist Beit Midrash” is a senior elective within Frisch’s Arts Track. The course includes textual learning of Jewish and biblical sources, philosophical discussions, and inquiry-based study, followed by the transposition of those thoughts and ideas into visual works of art.