The Brother's Promise Explores Family, Tzedakah and Acting with Loving Kindness
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The Brother's Promise Explores Family, Tzedakah and Acting with Loving Kindness

Book Title: The Brother's Promise

Author: Frances Harber

Illustrator: Thor Wickstrom

Book Summary:

A retelling of the old Talmudic story about brothers caring for each other. Yankel and Josef, brothers and equal heirs to Chayim's prosperous farm, encounter their first harsh season in which the farm doesn't produce any food. Remembering their father's final words to help one another, the brothers secretly bring food to each other.

Topic(s) Addressed:

This resource was created by the PJ Library at the PJ Library Educator's Center. Created for Family programs, this resource and its activities can be utilized, possibly with modifications, in a variety of children's learning environments.

The goals of this program include:
"Give families a greater insight into the meaning of Tzedakah

  • Emphasize the importance of family support and love 
  • Introduce families to the Talmudic story telling tradition"

Be Inspired:The ideas included are offered as starting points as you and your students explore, discover and live the lessons. Be sure to elicit and encourage student and parent participation, consistently reinforcing the value being addressed. Allow lessons to authentically develop and change based on engagement and interests.

Lesson Plan Components

For the educatorJewish Thought, Text, and Traditionsmore

Jewish every dayIncorporate Jewish Valuesmore

Materials and resourcesmore

Sharing The Storymore

Explore, Discover, and More Extension and Reinforcement Activitiesmore

Music Connectionsmore

List of All Songs

Act with Loving Kindness songs:


literature connectionsmore

TitleAuthorIllustratorBook Summary
The Two Brothers: A Legend Of Jerusalem Neil Waldman King Solomon observes the love, kindness, and concern between two brothers. Each feels the other has a greater need and secretly gives his meager supplies to the other. As King Solomon watches the deeds of the two brothers, he announces that he will build a temple to immortalize their unselfishness.
How Dalia Put a Big Yellow Comforter Inside a Tiny Blue Box: And Other Wonders of Tzedakah Linda HellerStacey Dressen McQueenIs Dalia’s little blue box magic—or is the real magic the generosity that helps her fill it?
When Dalia learns about tzedakah, the Jewish tradition of charity and caring, she creates a tzedakah box where she can keep the money she’s saved to help those in need.  Her little brother Yossi is curious about the Hebrew letters painted on the box. "Are those letters magic?" he asks. They must be because Dalia tells him she's putting a big yellow comforter, a butterfly bush, and a banana cream pie inside of it! How ever will she do it?
Though there may be joy in receiving, Dalia’s story serves as a powerful reminder that the greatest joy of all comes from giving generously to others.
* PJ library Books
Lesson Contributors