Religious School News

May 2018

Spring is here, at last! Religious School teachers and students are enjoying an extra “spring” in our steps as we remain busy with many seasonal experiences.

Passover was joyously explored and celebrated by students of all grades, from kindergarten through our Kadimah teens. In age-appropriate styles, all learners immersed in this important age-old holiday and peeled back its many layers of meaning for our own time today.

Several of our grades enjoyed fun and educational Shabbat morning family programs. If you see any of our lively third-grade friends, have them show you their personalized siddur (prayer book) covers, which so beautifully adorns their very own first siddurim. If you see any of our awesome fourth graders, ask them to tell you about the Jewish lifecycle and their own “Jewish journeys” thus far. They could also teach others quite a bit about the Torah scroll – its physical makeup and its holy contents. If you see any of our dedicated sixth graders, ask them about their gorgeous, personalized Yad (Torah pointer) and their ongoing process of becoming bar/bat mitzvah.

We are proud of our seventh graders, some of whom participated in Yom HaShoah remembrance program held by and for the broader Jewish community. These young adults appreciate the importance of knowing about the Shoah, learning from this darkest period of history, and of our commitment to remembrance.

In celebration of the State of Israel’s 70th birthday, all of our students have happily been immersed in many activities. Our students have delved into the concept that Israel is both old and new all at once, as it is our ancient biblical Homeland, and our majestic, miraculous modern State. I hope that many of you enjoyed our festive Hagiggah Shabbat service in which we celebrated Israel’s 70th! (Hagiggah means “party” or “celebration.”) This special Hagiggah Shabbat involved students of all ages, who worked so beautifully–sang, performed Israeli dance, decorated the Sanctuary with art, did a dramatic skit and even a rap song, all in celebration of our beloved State of Israel. Huge thanks to every single one of our dedicated teachers, including Rabbi Widzer and Student Cantor Julie Staple, for contributing toward this wonderful Shabbat program.

As we are in the final stretch of the school year, we are reminding students in grades 3-6, along with their parents, to continue to meet their responsibilities of completing their exciting Peirot activities. Kol hakavod to those students who have already completed all of the requisite projects and experiences, and have even moved onto “bonus” activities! All of our students have engaged in a variety of excellent and multifaceted projects and activities as part of their first year in the Peirot program. I am so proud of each student who put forth effort in the Peirot program, and thus came away with rich benefit from the flexible, credit-based experiences. Special gratitude goes to Barbara Stambler, our “Ganan” (Student Mentor) who continues to enthusiastically and thoughtfully meet with each student on an individual basis, helping to guide and encourage them along their Peirot journey. Without our most talented and dedicated Barbara, this new pilot program would not have been what it has been this year.

Stay tuned for upcoming happenings, including our year-end schedule, registration, and exciting plans for next year!

With blessings,

Rabbi Beth Kramer-Mazer