The Maccabee Emblem
For Jewish Tiger Cubs and Cub Scouts, grades 1-3
The National Jewish Committee on Scouting developed the Maccabee emblem to help you, a Tiger Cub or Cub Scout who is Jewish, learn more about Judaism. It also will help you earn the Aleph emblem as a Cub Scout or Webelos Scout, the Ner Tamid emblem as a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or Venturer, and the Etz Chaim award as a Boy Scout or Venturer.
The Maccabee emblem takes its name from Judah Maccabee and his brothers, who led the military and religious struggle against the Syrian King, Antiochus, who attempted to suppress the practice of Judaism. Their revolt ended in victory with the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in the year 167 B.C.E. The holiday of Hanukkah (Feast of Lights) celebrates this victory.
When May I Start Working on It?
Immediately. All requirements must be completed prior to completing the third grade.
How Do I Start Working on It?
Follow these simple steps:
- Along with your parent or adult partner, ask your rabbi or religious school teacher to serve as your counselor.
- Start working on the activities/requirements (they are listed on the other side of this page) and keep a neat record of your work in a notebook.
- As each activity/requirement is completed, discuss what you have done with your adult partner.
- When you have finished all the activities/requirements, have your adult partner and counselor sign the section titled "Certification" and send away for the emblem. The notebook is for you to keep and use.
- It is recommended that the emblem presentation be made at a service at the synagogue, pack meeting, or another appropriate and timely event.
How Do I Meet the Requirements?
The requirements that follow are subdivided into six categories: Jewish names, holidays, terms, symbols and objects, community helpers, and heroes.
These categories were selected with several considerations in mind. A broad-based curriculum of Jewish life should include these elements. In addition, they should be sufficiently simple for first graders to manage and should appeal to youngsters of diverse interests.
Needed resource materials should be readily available either in the library of a local synagogue, Jewish school, or community worker. Where none of these resources exists locally, it is recommended that one or two standard books on Jewish crafts, songs, holidays, etc., be purchased.
Virtually all of the requirements should lend themselves to fulfillment at home with the active assistance of a parent.
The total assignment should be completed within a 9-month time frame or sooner.
Activities for Earning the Maccabee Emblem
In your notebook, provide the following Jewish names:
- Your own
- Your mother's
- Your father's
- One grandfather's
- One grandmother's
- A synagogue in your area
In your notebook, provide the Hebrew names of four of the following Jewish holidays. In addition, tell three facts about each of the four and carry out at least one suggested activity connected with each of the four holidays.
- New Year
- Day of Atonement
- New Year of the Trees
- Feast of Booths
- Feast of Weeks
- Israel Independence Day
- Feast of Lots
- Festival of Lights
In your notebook, tell what each of these terms means.
- Mazal tov
- Yom tov
IV. Symbols, Objects and Articles
In your notebook, identify five of the following objects. Indicate how they are used. Draw three of the five articles or construct them out of wood, oaktag, cardboard, styrofoam, metal, or other materials as suggested.
- Siddur (prayer book)
- Dreidel (called "svivon" in Hebrew)
- Tallit (some pronounceit "tallis")
With the approval of your counselor, you may substitute two of the following symbols for two of the above symbols: Magen David (Star of David), afikoman, gragger, kippah (yarmulkah), Aron Ha-Kodesh (Holy Ark).
V. Community Helpers
In your notebook, briefly tell what two of the following persons do. In both cases, give the name of one such person in your community or in a nearby one. Interview one of them.
- Jewish educator (principal, teacher)
- Jewish Community Center worker (JCC or YMHA)
If you wish, you may substitute a sofer (scribe) or a Jewish Federation worker for one of the above.
In your notebook tell briefly about five of the following important Jews.
- King David
- Judah Maccabee
- Rabbi Akiba
- Haym Salomon
- Theodor Herzl
- Anatoly (Natan) Shcharansky
With the approval of your counselor, you may substitute three of the following for three of the above names: Deborah, Queen Esther, Maimonides, Chaim Weizmann, David Ben Gurion, Golda Meir.