Lovely to see the rain come down today - and maybe lots of you are like me, enjoying a quieter night with all our cancelled extracurricular activities.
Speaking of quieter, yesterday definitely was as many of you happen to be out of town (and as a reminder, I really appreciate you texting or emailing me if you know you will be absent). But, we still had rich discussions during Torah Talk and class time, and continued to practice our Ma Nishtanah and regular songs/blessings during kids service.
TODAH RABAH to Jon-Erik Storm for leading Torah talk. Jon did a great job of making Parsha Shmini accessible to our large age span - he had the kids act out the fire where Aaron's sons perished, and linked our decisions to the laws of kashrut that are detailed in this torah portion. There was a lively discussion of foods to eat or not, and lots of student volunteers who engaged in the talk.
Class time focused on Passover, which is just around the corner. The kids have had fun playing "lost and found," akin to hunting for chametz before Pesach, and the afikomen at our Seders. But this game is also tied into teaching a Jewish value - Hashavat aveidah הֲשָׁבַת אֲבֵדָה is the value of returning a lost object when found. That is, we don't play finder's keepers, and consider the physical and emotional needs of whoever lost an object.
Thank you to Emma for leading our Nitzotzot class in this game and teaching yesterday.
In the older class, Shalhavot, continued the lessons on Koach Hadibbur כֹּחַ הַדִיבּוּר (the power of speech). In these lessons, we learn that asking questions and speaking up can be challenging but can have great impact on ourselves and others.
Our Gan class focused on the letter "Lamed" and teacher Amber talked about the Passover story with the kids, explaining how we were slaves in Egypt and trying to think about how hard it must have been.
Thank you to all the kids who continue to be so enthusiastic to lead kids service with me. Though the M&Ms are still most popular, they are all getting stronger and stronger at the prayers, including L'cha Dodi, Sim Shalom, Aleinu, Shma, and Adon Olam. Here is a link if you want to practice Ma Nishtanah at home, but we have been doing it on Sundays as well.
Next week details and beyond!
Friday, April 1 - Family Shabbat and Game Night
You should have all received the Evite for this Friday night! We will start off with a 6pm Tot Shabbat and Kid-dish, and continue into the Family Service with our older kids helping to lead on the bimah. Then stay for pizza, libations, snacks and games. It will be a really fun way to share Shabbat.
Sunday, April 3 - Mock Seder for all school families at 11:30am
We'll start Sunday school off at our normal time - you can let your kids know we get to watch a short film to start off next week! Then we invite all parents to come by 11:30 (or earlier to help set up) and share in a Mock Seder led by Rabbi Micah. This will be a fun way to help prepare ourselves and our kids for sharing in the Seder while learning about it too. If you haven't already, please sign up to bring a seder item - this will be a meal! I know we still need charoset makers, as well as matzah brei, kugel, or lasagna makers! Also great if anyone is willing to make a veggie matzoh ball soup!
April 3 - Women's Rosh Chodesh
Later that afternoon and after the mock seder, we will soak at Sycamore Springs and celebrate the new month at 4:30pm.
April 15/16 and April 22/23 - Pesach Services
TNS will have both Friday night and Saturday morning Shabbat/Pesach services. Yizkor led by Rabbi Micah will be on April 23.
Please note -
NO TNS school on April 10 and 17
Save the Dates -
Sunday, May 15 - Community School Session at CBD
Saturday, May 21 - 9:30am Shabbat Service (with Baby Naming)
Saturday, May 21-Sunday, May 22- Lag BaOmer Family Camp Out at JCC Property
Lastly, I realized last week I skipped over a mention of our Purim Spiel, which was fun and full of good energy. Yasher Koach to Kristin and our cast, and a big thank you for your efforts. Now, on to Pesach!!!
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.