Hi TNS families and friends -
Todah rabah for a great Sunday school session yesterday. Now that we are post High Holidays, we were able to resume our "regular" schedule of Torah Talk, class time, kiddush snack, and kids service (with Hebrew tutoring abound). We did have a special version of Torah talk, though, with Kristin facilitating time with the animals on our property.
This week we discussed "Bereishit" - or in the beginning. We reviewed the Torah's description of the first days of life and the concept of "b'tzelem elohim," that G-d is made in the image of humans and we must treat ourselves, our neighbors, and our planet with respect. We talked about how we don't necessarily have all the answers as to how life actually started, but we do know that thousands of years ago people observed and wrote down the details of light, darkness, sun, moon, stars, big sea creatures, creepy crawly things, vegetation, and so much more. We ended the discussion with the holiness and importance of Shabbat, a day of rest, and of no work. Our teacher, Michal, taught us that the word "strike" (like a labor strike) is "shvat," which is akin to Shabbat and the concept of not working to fight for a better life. Very fitting :)
In our classes, our teachers went into more detail with projects and discussions, while many of the students were pulled for Hebrew reading and writing practice. Michal sent her class home with Hebrew words for all the body parts, and Amber made beautiful drawings with the Gan class that depict Bereishit. Joel led a lively discussion on B'tzelem Elohim. Thank you to the Frimmers for providing snack - please check the Parent Sign Up sheet for available Sundays to help out! Also a shout out to our TAs - Naama, Zoe, and Rubi - who are doing a great job supporting our students!
Looking at the calendar....
As always, please be in touch with any questions, concerns, etc. We are a very "dyi" group - I see us like a co-op of sorts. So, any piece you are able to focus on and help out with is what makes all this work! Also simply entrusting our TNS team with your children is an honor and privilege - we really do learn lots each week, and I love my connection with each and every one of our kids at TNS!
All my best
What a weekend! Thank you so much for so many of you coming to participate with Rabbi Sammy - Shabbat on Friday night, Havdalah and sukkah potluck on Saturday night, and an intricate Sukkot service at Sunday school yesterday. I have SO many pictures - a few below and more on this shared album link - https://photos.app.goo.gl/WMsnEpTz8YNo5jMv5
And the Jewish holidays still continue! Today is Shemini Atzeret (final day of Sukkot) with Simchat Torah tonight!!! Saeed Niku is leading a service at the synagogue at 6:15pm. So, if you can come out - you get to dance with the Torah and celebrate!
Also please be aware that we had a passing in our local Jewish community, and many of us will be attending services, the funeral, and shiva for Jules Hock. Julie and his life partner, Brenda, are TNS and CBD members; Brenda is the current co-president of the JCC, and Julie's daughter Adrienne was the JCC board president for many years. Julie left a beautiful legacy within the Jewish, entertainment, and sports communities. Please reach out to Brenda or Adrienne, or be in touch if you would like details for any of the services or shiva.
Otherwise, I look forward to seeing you next week - we should be back to our normal Sunday session schedule, and I'll be in touch with details later in the week!
Thank you for coming up to Congregation Ohr Tzafon yesterday and participating in our Community Sukkot Session! Thank you and your children for being excellent guests, and of course, thank you to Ohr Tzafon for hosting a beautiful day. It was an expression of true community, and I loved shaking the lulav and etrog with so many of our students. And we certainly left the COT sukkah much more colorful than when we arrived with many beautiful paper chain decorations and birds! Below are some pictures, and you can find more on our shared album here. Plus, I've attached the sheets I used for the sukkah and lulav blessings, and the symbolic meaning of the parts of the lulav if you would like for your own homes. Though, we'll have the chance to do this again Saturday night and Sunday at TNS -
And Sukkot isn't even nearly over! We have a whole TNS weekend ahead of us with Rabbi Sammy Rosenbaum returning for Family Service, a Sukkot Potluck and Havdalah, and a Sukkot Sunday service. So please plan to come for the following:
Chag Sukkot Sameach
Thank you for the great Sunday session yesterday - focused on Shabbat Shuvah, our TNS "Sorry" board, and practicing how to say the holiday blessings - from "Shanah Tovah U'metukah" to "Gmar Chatima Tovah."
Our students were attentive as we reviewed some basics during Torah Talk - the difference between the siddur, Chumash, and Machzor. We spoke about how we took in this past Shabbat Shuvah in between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur thinking about forgiveness and return. Then almost everyone came up to write down what they are sorry for in this world - whether an action they did (ie, screaming), or sorry for some of the world's problems (ie, pollution). That's what we're doing on the bimah in the pictures above. The other bimah picture was from Kids Service - our students are participating, davening, and singing more and more!
Class time, Hebrew review, and Hebrew assessments followed. For Hebrew Plus families, stay tuned from Andy, Malca, and Michal for resuming weekday Zoom sessions. And a thank you to Binah has been doing an amazing job working with our Sunday students to practice their Hebrew reading. Naama and Rubi will be starting with small group Hebrew letter/vowel review.
Thank you to the families that helped with snacks this week - here's the Parent Sign Up form for future dates. Please know that next Sunday we will be at Congregation Ohr Tzafon in Atascadero for our Sukkot Community Session, 10am-12pm. There will be singing, class time, a parent talk, lulav and etrog shaking, and treats/decorating in the Sukkah. This is a great opportunity to meet other area Jewish families and congregants. Please let me know if you cannot attend, and please know we will host COT for Tu B'shvat in January.
Lastly, I'm looking forward to seeing many of you over this Yom Kippur - we have Kol Nidre starting at 6pm tomorrow evening, services starting at 830 on Wednesday with the kids service at 11am, and Neilah with Break-Fast starting at 5pm in the night. The break-fast is a potluck, so please bring a veggie dish to share together!
As we practiced at school yesterday, "Gmar Chatimah Tovah - may you be inscribed in the book of life!"
Thank you for making Rosh Hashanah so special at Temple Ner Shalom! We brought in the Jewish New Year 5783 in beautiful SLO fashion with a guest sheep and the guest rabbi! It was so heartening to see so many of you and your children there to bring in the new year together, and stay for so long! Many of you even lasted til Tashlich at Laguna Lake! We've got some great pictures here thanks to Jaime, Phylissa, Jake, Adrienne, Cece and others - some below and the entire album here - https://photos.app.goo.gl/Z6AtJrNw71YL2DXo7
So, just a reminder, that we DO have TNS school this Sunday. Our Hebrew teacher, Malca will be back! And we will have a more regular session starting with Torah Talk, Hebrew review, class time, and kids service. We will start our Hebrew reading assessments and assign the kids with various Hebrew practice tutors. Weekday sessions will start after the High Holidays (so mid-October).
Thank you in advance to the Hartless family who signed up for snacks. Please be sure to find a time to help out soon by signing up here - Parent Sign Up form.
Also, Cece Pringle and I will be going through membership and tuition payments starting this Sunday, Thank you if you have already followed through on your payments. If you'd like to do so online, please do so online here - www.templenershalom.org/giving.
Please note as well that next week continues to be busy at TNS with Kol Nidre next Tuesday night, Yom Kippur on Wednesday (11am kids service), and Neilah/break-fast in the evening. The following Sunday, October 9, we will have a community Sukkot session at Congregation Ohr Tzafon in Atascadero. And the Shabbat following that we welcome back Rabbi Sammy Rosenbaum for a family Friday night service, Sukkot services, and Sunday school time!
Thank you all for being a part of the TNS community. You make the start of this new year as sweet as it can be. I'm excited for all that it will bring.
G'mar chatima tova - may you be sealed in the book of life - and a sweet one!
All my best,
Religious School Director, Lauren Bandari
Mom, educator, Jewish community advocate, Lauren Bandari, has the privilege of running the TNS religious school. She is passionate about teaching and connecting our kids, solidifying a strong sense of Jewish identity, and finding joy in our beautiful traditions.