Another wonderful bunch of Special Days! Continuing our Special Day theme for the year of exploring Jewish communities around the world, this Monday and Tuesday we took a trip to India and got to know some of the various aspects of Jewish Indian culture.

Children in the 1st-5th grade group took a look at the map and learned about where the three main Jewish communities in India are located.

We learned about how Jews in India borrow a lot of their music, food, artwork and architecture from their non-Jewish neighbors. Many of the projects we did were inspired by Indian artwork that is traditional to Jews and non-Jews alike.

For example, we used various materials to create mandalas, a design common in art all across India.

Children of all ages made rangoli designs. First, we colored the salt using chalk. Children loved experimenting with mixing colors of chalk or working to make the salt as vibrant as possible. Then, we used spoons, paintbrushes, and our fingers to sprinkle the salt into designs.

At the end of the day, we reflected on how much fun we had with the rangoli designs. The salt got everywhere as we figured out how to best control it. But, we decided, the best projects are sometimes also the messiest. What a pleasure to learn together!