In December, I had a lovely experience when a father and young daughter volunteered to set up and clear at a Saturday Shabbat.
Aya arrived with her father Nir and I could see right away that she wanted to help. Carefully, she poured the grape juice into the silver cup for Rabbi Miriam and Cantor Lisa and placed the Challah on the silver tray. Aya came with the other volunteers to help move the Ark and Torah, where she carried the curtain, asking her father to lift her so she could put it back in place. I then asked her to be part of the welcoming “team” at the door to the Sanctuary, handing out the prayer books with Nir and Nancy.
I noticed how she was completely absorbed with everything she did–so attentive. Towards the end of the service, she came and helped prepare the Kiddush, doing some quality control to make sure everything was okay. When we went back in to the service she came and sat with me while we waited for the blessing of the Challah. When the time came, she moved forward to place two little fingers on the Challah that she had so carefully laid out.
I was so touched by this child and her parent being able to be such an important part of that Shabbat. I felt that in doing so she had a special experience.
If you are interested in bring your child or children so that you can have this opportunity, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DJC Volunteer Coordinator