All year we work to build community in our kevutzot (groups). A foundation of trust, respect, and safety allows children at the Jewish Enrichment Center to wrestle deeply with text, ask profound questions, and create a Judaism that is personally meaningful and connects them to the ancient and ongoing Jewish conversation through the centuries.
Even in our second week, I intentionally turn children toward each other so that they ask their peers’ advice, make decisions together, and begin to value the perspective of others.
Today, children worked with a partner on a collage of Genesis 1:13-23. As children approached me to ask my opinion about their creative process, I recommended that they ask their partner or consult a different group. It’s a small step in building our community, but even the small steps matter in these first few weeks.
Take a peek at the beginning partnership in Beit Nitzanim:
“I think we should trim this.”
“Where should I put the bird?”
Child 1: “Do you want God [in our collage], Child 2?”
Child 2: “What if we make him like a ghost?”
It was all smiles as children shared their work with each other, so proud of their collages and their teamwork.