Religious School News - How Much Fun Can You Stand?
On February 14, our Religious School families began a weekend Shabbaton that relaxed everybody to the point of exhaustion. We chose the annual Scout Shabbat for our event so that our scouting students could have maximum participation opportunities. Star Scout Sasha Cohen led the family service with confidence, involving the whole congregation and distributing patches to all Scouts present. On Saturday morning, Marilyn Katz and Cindy Michelassi presented us with the beautiful experience of Shabbat Chaverim. Families who hadn’t been able to attend Friday’s service—and some who had—helped to make our worship more vivid. After a delicious Kiddush lunch prepared by Sisterhood, we split up by age and took time for study. We reassembled for a lively game of ‘Jewpardy’ where family teams tested their knowledge of Jewish history and culture. We played a lot of games, including a Gaga tournament with a ball that made ice cream as kids rolled it around. Soon it was time for Havdalah. We had had a real Shabbat together without schlepping or electronic interruptions. We could learn without worrying about an evaluation at the end. Families had time to enjoy each other. We sang ‘Shavua Tov’ and parted ways. Some families went home, but at least ten young people stayed for the night. It was a party for kids ages four to fourteen with X-Box and Wii games, board games and dancing, pizza and movies, Finally, everyone collapsed into sleeping bags for what was left of the night. After cleaning up classrooms and devouring a pancake breakfast, everyone went home. Did they have fun? I know I did.
The Shabbaton may be over, but the fun never stops. Purim is coming, and that means all-out celebration. On March 9 we will have our first ever Hamantashen Bake-In! Come in on that Sunday and for $5.00 you can take home as many hamantashen as you can roll out. We’ll supply dough, fillings, and a well-calibrated oven. You bring an apron a desire to make the Temple smell irresistibly wonderful. We’ll be baking for the Purim Carnival, as well, so even if hamantashen are not your favorite sweets, you can still have the fun of baking and schmoozing while the kids are in class.
On March 16, the actual day of Purim, we are going to party ‘til we plotz. A megillah reading, a Purim spiel and a costume parade will precede a Carnival with fun for all. Join us for games of chance and skill, crafts, music, hot dogs, hamantashen, and prizes galore.
By this time the reader is probably wondering, does any actual education happen at TBI on Sunday mornings? The answer is an unequivocal yes! Torah and trope, ethics and Israel,, holidays and Hebrew are part of every Sunday for every student. Our confirmation class, far from the rudderless ship it could have become without our Rabbi, is embarked on a rigorous voyage of discovery. Gary Raymond, Esther and Haran Javetz and I are working together to draw together the knowledge and experience a young adult needs to go into the world with a Jewish Identity that supports a life of mitzvot. The many expressions of Jewish observance, nature of G-d, the scope of responsibility, our connection to Israel and the power of service are all part of a year of culmination when our students begin to articulate the meaning of a Jewish life. Meanwhile, the Hebrew high school is studying the implications of Jewish-Islamic dialogue. The fifth and sixth graders are preparing a Purim spiel. The third and fourth grades are marching through the siddur, learning the meanings of each prayer as they recite it. The youngest students are learning about Hebrew letters, Jewish values, Torah stories, and how great it is to have other Jewish kids among your friends.
Kitty Hall, Principal
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