• A four-year-old solemnly lights a Chanukah candle as nursery and older children look intently on.

    At the IJE, we have a tradition of asking our youngest children to light our chanukiyah. While an adult watches, our Shorashim u'Shteelim kids ("roots" and "saplings" for our nursery and kindergarteners) hold the shamash (the "helper" candle that lights the others on the chanukiyah), participate in reciting the Chanukah blessings, and independently light each of the other candles. Many, including some of our older children, ask, "Is that really responsible? Can a four-year-old be in charge of fire?" The  [ MORE ]

  • SO beautiful! What a special item made by our nursery and kindergarten children. Listening to the children, we heard their fascination with the items that show how special the Torah is: silver and gold, bells, crowns, lace. Every part of the Torah curtain's design was guided by children's voices and children's choices. "We should make a tree!" Children headed outside to look at trees and determine the shape they wanted. "It should have roots, because we're shorashim (roots)." "We need  [ MORE ]

  • By Nursery and Kindergarten Children Once Upon a Time... the princesses were getting their fancy dresses for Shabbat.  They decided to go camping for Shabbat.  They drove to their campsite in a fancy carriage called a Ferrari. They started unpacking their campsite and realized that they didn't have challah.  They had challah dough at their campsite, so they decided to make challah and let it rise over the campfire. They ate dinner.  Then they went to the aquarium and fed  [ MORE ]

  • In שׁוֹרָשִׁים (Shorashim– ‘roots’ for nursery) and שְׁתִּילִים (Shteelim– ‘saplings’ for kindergarten) we are putting together our design for the curtain for our community's אָרוֹן (aron- ark)! The children looked at composite drawings of  עצים (etzim- trees), so we could finalize the design and start laying out the fabrics in the spot that they will be glued. Here are some of the things that children said as they were telling us about what they wanted to create on the curtain: I like  [ MORE ]

  • In שׁוֹרָשִׁים (Shorashim– ‘roots’ for nursery) and שְׁתִּילִים (Shteelim– ‘saplings’ for kindergarten) we have started to work on our design for the curtain for our community's אָרוֹן (aron- ark)! In preparation for starting our work, we went outside to do color and texture matching in nature. We brought fabric swatches with us and when we found a match we took photos, this way we could keep track of the natural materials that matched the swatches. Starting to look for matches. I found  [ MORE ]

  • In שׁוֹרָשִׁים (Shorashim– ‘roots’ for nursery) and שְׁתִּילִים (Shteelim– ‘saplings’ for kindergarten) we have continued our research and careful noticing related to the תּוֹרָה (Torah) for our שָׁבוּעוֹת (Shavuot-Weeks) theme. Throughout the time we have spent researching the תּוֹרָה (Torah), the children have continue to be interested in the fancy and beautiful ways the torah is decorated. We thought that they would be interested in creating something for the תּוֹרָה (Torah) that could be used for years to come. We currently have a cabinet for  [ MORE ]

  • In שׁוֹרָשִׁים (Shorashim– ‘roots’ for nursery) and שְׁתִּילִים (Shteelim– ‘saplings’ for kindergarten) we just completed our second week of תּוֹרָה (Torah) exploration for our שָׁבוּעוֹת (Shavuot-Weeks) theme. This week, we conducted more research, this time our torah was our subject. We split into groups so we could spend time examining all of the parts of the תּוֹרָה (Torah). This is just a small selection of what children said about the torah, while closely examining different parts: What shapes do we notice in the Torah  [ MORE ]

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