October has been a busy month learning about holidays, since the hebrew month of Tishei has aligned with most of October this year. Students learned that Tishei is one of the busiest months in the Hebrew calendar with the High Holidays, Sukkot, and Simchat Torah all occurring within a few weeks of each other. To further understand Yom Kippur, we studied the Book of Jonah and reflected on what this story is teaching us and why it is connected with Yom Kippur. For Sukkot, we learned how the Jewish value of living with anavah (humility) is strongly reflected in simple Sukkot (booths) built to celebrate this holiday. Students made their own mini-Sukkot using repurposed items. When we visited the real Sukkah, students each shook the lulav and smelled the delicious etrog. For studying Simchat Torah, students learned how the Jewish value of simchah (happiness) can be expressed in many ways, such as singing and cheering. Students worked in groups to add meaning to this holiday’s traditions by sharing new dances, teaching a song, and sharing one of their favorite Torah passages with the class. After learning about the parts of the Torah, we joined the rest of the Religious School to unroll the Torah and searched for the letters we have learned so far.
In the coming month, we will spend time on Sundays learning key stories in the last 3 books of the Torah, then move to studying passages in Nevi’im (The Prophets). Wednesdays we will study Shabbat and continue learning Jewish values. On both days, we will learn the weekly Hebrew letters and key phrases.
One last note . . . students voted to donate their Tzedakah to the Special Olympics! We will keep track of how much money we bring from now through December so we can share share our donations with this great organization.