We’ve had a wonderful first term in the Jewish Studies Program.  We began by learning about the High Holy Days and establishing classroom routines.  This was followed by many exciting events.  I am pleased to share some of the highlights with you.

For the first time, we were able to arrange a school field trip to the DJC sukkah.  We enjoyed examining a real sukkah and being there together.  We decorated the sukkah, thought about the concept of ushpizin (guests), learned about its structural features and their meaning, and sang songs together.

The following week, Rabbi Miriam helped us learn about the holiday of Simchat Torah.  In addition to activities for the students and conversation for the adults, the the entire Torah was unrolled.  Everyone was called up together for an aliya and got to see the Torah up close.  It was a meaningful and informative way to celebrate this joyous holiday.

We also had the pleasure of working with Rabbi Miriam and Cantor Lisa on the All-Ages Shabbat Service and pot luck dinner.  Families and individual DJC members came together to welcome Shabbat in a warm, inviting atmosphere.  Teachers from the school led a children’s program after dinner that included stories, crafts, and singing while adults had the chance to engage in conversation with Rabbi Miriam.   Join us for the next one on February 19th!

Since these special events, the children have been hard at work.  Our younger students have learned all about Shabbat, created some beautiful Shabbat items, and learned the blessings.  Our older students have been learning about Jewish heroes, historical figures, and stories from the Torah.  Grade 6 is currently learning about the Holocaust by looking at poems, stories, and drawings of children who lived during that time.

In addition, students from JK to Grade 5 have been working in the arts chuggim (special activity) groups they have chosen in order to create projects around the theme of LIGHT for Chanukah.  We are eager to share these creations from groups as diverse as Band, Performance, Origami, and Art.

We’re looking forward to seeing the DJC community at the Chanukah celebration and to the start of a wonderful 2016!

Alysse Rich, Principal, DJC Children’s Jewish Studies Program

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