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Feb 23

“Epic” Special Days

No school? No problem! When the children in the School-Day Program have a day or two off from remote learning, we gather for a fun day of Jewish enrichment.

In addition to art, building, cooking, and running around indoors and outdoors, our usual plan includes movie-making based on a book with Jewish content.

First we read the story. Then we make a list of characters, props, and backdrops. After that we determine who will play each character, create each prop, and decorate each backdrop or scene. Then we get to work designing elaborate costumes and backgrounds. Finally we shoot our movie, then we put our space back the way it was (which is often a project in itself!).

If there is conflict over who plays which character, children will take turns. For example, two children alternated being the title character in The Sabbath Lion by Howard Schwartz and Barbara Rush.

However, twice now we had the opposite issue: no one wanted to play a certain character. So we improvised: Dubi the giant teddy bear became a movie actor!

Dubi graciously played the ill princess in The Magic Pomegranate by Peninnah Schram. A child crawled under the bed to provide her voice. Following this critically-acclaimed production, she luminously portrayed Queen Esther in Megillat Esther (The Book of Esther), which we jokingly referred to as Megillat Dubi.

Filming was delayed due to uncontrollable laughter! One child described a Special Day as “epic.”

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