Building community

This week has been all about community in Beit Nitzanim v’Anafim (“Buds” for 1st and 2nd grades and “Branches” for 3rd grade)! As we welcomed the holiday of Sukkot, children reflected on what it means to be a community. On Sukkot, a Jewish community might build a sukkah, so we gave that a try!

The children worked in teams to each build their own sukkah. Some of the children had never worked together before, but that didn’t stop them from using kind and friendly language with their teammates! Some things that could be overheard in Beit Nitzanim v’Anafim as they built their sukkot:

  • “What do you think of this for the walls?”
  • “Do you have an idea for the roof?”
  • “Ooh! I like what you did for the table.”

After the building, we reflected as a group: What did it feel like to work with a partner? What had we just been doing with our partners that was being a community? The children’s responses are proof that even at the beginning of the year when we are still learning how to be in a community together, they already know a lot about how to take care of each other:

  • Fun and cool
  • Nice
  • Sometimes hard
  • Curious
  • Working together
  • Sharing (materials and ideas)
  • Making something together

Many of the children agreed that while they probably could’ve built a sukkah alone, sharing ideas with a partner helped them create the beautiful and unique sukkot that they did. Being a community is awesome!

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