Category Archive: Chagim (Jewish Holidays)

Oct 14

Middle Schoolers Lead Our Sukkot Celebration

For the past month, our sixth and seventh graders have been planning a Sukkot celebration for the entire Jewish Enrichment Center. Finally, our big day arrived! What a scramble to get everything ready! After all of our prep work was done, our language for giving instructions to younger children rehearsed, we took some time to …

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Oct 10

Shorashim Builds a Sukkah!

Over the past two weeks, Shorashim has been learning about the holiday of Sukkot.  Sukkot is a fall harvest holiday that is traditionally celebrated in a hut outside called a סוכה (sukkah – a hut/tent).  In order to better understand how a sukkah is made (and how much fun it can be inside one), we …

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Oct 10

Recipe for an Anafim sukkah

One quick review of what the Early Rabbis thought a סוכה (sukkah) needed to include, drawing on several years of research and experience, Lots of long, straight sticks for the structure (expertly scavenged and stripped), and leafy branches to go on top,      A ball of twine, good lashing skills, and a few extra pairs of hands …

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Oct 09

Determined

I believe that our children can do anything. They are creative and capable, and they amaze me everyday. But sometimes I ask them to do something that’s a little tricky, and it feels hard or frustrating. Last week, after children figured out the ancient early rabbis’ “rules” for building a סכה (sukkah—booth), they got to …

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Oct 04

Flowers for the Sukkah

  This week Shteelim (“saplings” for Kindergarten) made tissue paper flowers to decorate our סוּכָּה (sukkah)   We learned new techniques from each other “She used two colors! That’s cool!” “What? How did he make 3 layers?” We made so many in all different צְבָעִים (tzvaim– colors) “Which one should I- Oh! Red! Red! Red! I …

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Oct 02

Solving the Sukkah Puzzle

Can you see it, too? That focused determination? The team work? The excitement to solve the puzzle? Today we tried to figure out the “rules” of building a סכה (Sukkah—booth) according to the ancient, early rabbis of the Talmud (4th-6th centuries). We looked at pictures of lots of different סכות (sukkot—booths). They varied in size, shape, and material. Then we …

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Sep 28

Exploring the idea of “the cry” during the high holidays

This week, alonim and middle school really wrestled with two ideas about a cry in relationship to the high holidays. First, there is the cry of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah. Second, and where they really had asked questions, is about the text they are reading. In Genesis 18:20-21, “ Adonai said, “The cry of Sedom and Amorah …

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Sep 26

Shorashim Celebrates Rosh Hashanah!

Rosh Hashanah is when many Jewish people celebrate the new year. There are many traditional symbols associated with the holiday, such as apples and honey (eaten for a sweet new year), round challah (to represent the cyclical nature of time) and shofars (a horn that is blown to signify the coming of the new year). …

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Sep 25

“Wedding Pretty”

Today we took a little trip… … to see the Torah dressed in white for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. We practiced careful looking and quietly sketched the Torahs. Children noticed, “crowns,” “that it [the Torah] has legs,” and “writing.” And then, we were ready to imagine. With hushed voices children offered the following explanations …

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Sep 14

Our own sounds

  “Imagine the sound of a great שופר (shofar),” I said, “calling out with a message for the whole world. What do you think it would say?” “It’s saying, why are we here on earth?” said a third grader. “Warmth and love” said a fourth grader. “If ten people blow a שופר (shofar),” said another third grader, …

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