Edible Mishkan: Build (and Eat) Me a Tabernacle

Edible Mishkan - Tabernacle

copper altar . . .

Last week’s Parsha was Vayakel, the one where the Israelites build the Mishkan, the Tabernacle in the wilderness. So, for a Shabbat activity at synagogue, I created an Edible Mishkan. Each kid 2nd grade and up made a personal, edible Mishkan.

Many liberties have been taken with materials, but it was a sweet little project.

Everything is kosher. My store was out of Jelly Belly gummy bears, or they would be sitting on the ark as chubby cherubim.

The  cute labels are from a lesson plan called “Cut and Paste Mishkan,” submitted by J. MacLeod at the Hebrew day school education site Chinuch.org. I used the labels only. The edible idea is mine.

The  footprint of the Mishkan was a big piece of red construction paper with smaller blue origami box as the Holy of Holies. Kids were given labels and supplies and had to create the ark, the golden basin, the copper altar, the golden altar and the shulcan (the table for the 12 loaves of show bread)

My favorite part was handing them the tube of red food gel after they assembled their copper altar with the unfortunate cow (animal cracker) poised at the top for sacrifice.

A mini Reese cup in golden foil would have been a perfect basin, but to avoid nut products I used a Rolo.

The menorah was just a double-sided cardstock picture, because making one out of candy or snacks to this scale proved to be beyond me. I’ve used shoelace licorice and pretzel sticks to make menorahs plenty of times, but not this small. If anyone can think of a way to make an edible  menorah about an inch or two tall, holler.

Oh, and the incense atop the golden altar (two caramel cubes, stacked) was a chocolate chip, chocolate being one of the best smells in the world.

Making edible Jewish crafts is a fun and tasty way to enrich a lesson.

More to come. . .

The Ark, with jellybean cherubim

Shulchan with Show Bread (puffed rice)

Edible Mishkan: one version

5 responses to “Edible Mishkan: Build (and Eat) Me a Tabernacle

  1. How funny! I am leading a program on Shabbat and planned on doing this:

    Yours are cuter, though!

  2. Great minds… Thanks for the comment and the neat link. I didn’t know about the ParshaProjects blog (and I love it).

    I chose to concentrate on the “furniture” and skip the perimeter and fabrics, but I’d do all of it in a heartbeat if I was just making an individual craft for display. Including a Kohen Gadol (a Teddy Graham?) standing outside the Holy of Holies!

    For my project, my students had already survived a whole Shabbaton about the parsha. By the time I got them at 4pm, they were probably pretty sick of it, so I wanted my Edible Mishkan to be a fun way to review what they’d learned. I showed a glorious, big (out-of-print) book of color pictures, too: The Tabernacle: its Structure and Utensils, by Moshe Levine (miniature re-creation of everything out of real materials).
    By the way, I found some super cheap (O-U) cookies in the generic section of my normal grocery store. And if you make mini-menorot, please tell me!

  3. Superb creations. A great mitzvah you are doing. This project should really put some different kinds of flavor in the teaching of Judaism. Carry on so well.

  4. I just used this for our Sunday program for 2-4 year olds and their parents. Big hit! I left out the red food coloring but it was suggested by a couple of the parents as I told them what everything was for.
    Thanks for the suggestions!

    • Neat! If you have any pics to share, I’d sure love to see them on the Bible Belt Balabusta facebook page. With kids that young, I’d have wondered about the appropriateness of the food gel, too, mostly because of I never know how parents will react. By the way, the thick, red food gel I used comes in a tube and isn’t nearly as dye-y as food coloring. Thank you so much for letting me know you made the Mishkan!