• Story #3

    Elijah the Prophet. We open the door for him at Passover. We sing for his return at the end of Shabbat. Who is he, though?

    Children met Eliyahu in I Kings, when he seeks God in the wind, in the earthquake, in the fire, and finally, hears a soft, small voice. Children met Eliyahu in rabbinic literature, reminding us of our responsibility to make the world as it should be. Children met Eliyahu in folk tales, where he appears and provides for those in need. Finally, children considered why we might include this enigmatic character in our Passover seder.

    Second and third grade children considered what tools they would carry to help them hear the “soft, small voice” and make the world better. On Friday, March 13, 2020, their shrinky dink tools sat ready, the room filled with projects from children ages 3 – 15, for a family celebration that never took place.

  • Story #2

    The kindergarten children needed more. They were taking part in the nursery tunic-making project, but they were nearly bursting with wanting to grapple with the whole, complex Yosef story. We invited kindergarten children to design their own project.

    The knowledge, creativity, and sensitive social attunement of the four kindergarten children expanded to fill every aspect of this project. From collaboratively retelling the entire text, complete with their own literary flair (from “There was once a boy…” to “And that was that!”) to making props, navigating disagreements, matching character costumes to the mood of the scene, and acting with movement, posture, and expression, children’s interpretation of the text emerged through hundreds of small details and collaborative decisions. This was their version.

    When the kindergarten children saw the book they had created together, they knew they had accomplished something Big. “I feel like a twelfth grader!” one boy said. And indeed, these young children showed as much dedication, collaboration, enthusiasm, and deep thought about Torah and human relationships as Jewish people of any age. Kol hakavod – way to go – amazing kindergarteners.

  • Story #1

    In the winter of our second year, we created a symbol of personal yearning and communal responsibility. Inspired by two traditional Jewish morning prayers, our Mah Tovu tent knits together the personal intentions of children, parents, and grandparents.

    Today, we gather under our beautiful tent at the end of every session, adults and children together. It graces our singing space, a visible reminder of our commitment to each other.

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