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This week’s parsha, Parshat Bamidbar, is the opening to a new book of the Torah called Bamidbar or Numbers. This parsha introduces us to the 12 tribes of Israel and their encampment in the desert. Each tribe had a flag in a distinctive color with their tribal symbol (for example, Judah’s symbol is a Lion; Dan’s is a scale, Benjamin’s is a wolf). This parsha provides a good opportunity to talk about how the Jewish community is made up of many different groups that each contribute in different ways.


Colored Toothpicks
Crayons, Markers
Printout of tribal flags (pdf)
Optional: 12 muffins or cupcakes or marshmallows


1. Color each flag on the printout in different colors.
2. Cut out the 12 different flags from the printout.
3. Tape the flags onto toothpicks
4. Arrange your 12 muffins (or marshmallows) like the tents in the desert – 3 in the north, 3 in the south, 3 in the east, and 3 in the west.
5. Insert your flags into each muffin! Admire your encampment and then eat it!

Shabbat Shalom!

Emily Shapiro Katz has been a community Jewish educator for over ten years in Jerusalem, Atlanta, and San Francisco. She lives in Beer Sheva with her husband, Andy, and their four children. Her contributions to this website reflect her interest in teaching Tanach, doing craft projects, and entertaining her kids. Emily blogs about her Parsha Projects at