First and foremost, a huge TODAH RABAH to Phylissa and all of you for leading the charge, helping out, and hosting last Sunday's Tu B'shvat Community Session! What a beautiful way and a beautiful property on which to hold such a special holiday. Below you'll see the pictures of endearing messages the kids wrote on their TNS leaves, and I love that the recycling art was such a hit. Hopefully too we'll enjoy some of the planted parsley at our Passover Community Session seder. (I also included some photos from the previous week's Tu B'shvat activity that Michal's class enjoyed)
Also, relevant for tonight - if you can still make it and didn't last night, know that "Fiddler on the Roof" is playing at the PAC! Kids can get the student price, which is 50% off (just call the box office) and adults can use the JCCSLO discount code for 10% off. Us Bandaris will be there tonight, so just letting you all know!
Now for this Sunday, and even today. Many of you may know, today is recognized as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. There are a number of online and virtual options to recognize and discuss this, including many films to view on the SLO Jewish Film Festival site. In fact, our school will view one of the shorts this Sunday, "The Tattooed Torah." This is an animated piece geared toward elementary-school aged children to introduce the subject of the Shoah. Amazingly, the Canadian school system actually implemented this film into its curriculum for young elementary aged kids. We are honored to play it for the SLO Jewish Film Festival and at TNS Hebrew school. That said, if you are at all uncomfortable with your child watching the film and discussing this topic, please be in touch with me directly.
Further, our Shalhavot class has been asked to read "Diary of Anne Frank." Part of our Torah Talk time, which will be with Rabbi Micah, will include a handful of the kids presenting on what they learned from the book. We have extra copies and I hope this inspires more of the kids to read it, whenever they are ready.
Also, this Sunday, please note that our past TNS president and property guru, John Belsher, will be leading the kids and TNS staff in an evacuation drill at 10am. In certain ways this is regular procedure, but certainly the Colleyville incident makes it ever more so pertinent.
Lastly, I really, really encourage all of you adults to read this book on the tragedy of what happened in Pittsburgh a few years ago. Not only because it is beautifully written and honors the souls of the 11 who passed, but also because it is so about the community who rallied around the synagogue and showed the power of what it means to have such support. Plus, the JCC, Hillel, and AEPi are bringing the author to SLO, to Cal Poly, next month! (Feb 24) The author will be part of our 2nd Festival for Jewish Learning, which will include a whole lineup of talks on antisemitism, anti-Zionism, and a celebration of Judaism. The festival is also a collaborative response to the swastika that was sprayed on the AEPi house last year - and educating the community on the history of antisemitism and gravity of such an incident.
And, I'm almost done! First, please note I will be leading services this Shabbat at 6:15pm (here is the zoom link if you want to join virtually). But, also, mark your calendar for our next Family Shabbat Service with Rabbi Micah! That will be for next Friday, February 4 at 6pm. Again, the first 15 minutes will be for our youngest ones, and then our older kids will be called up to the bimah to help with the regular Shabbat service.
Also, I have the tub reserved - our next Rosh Chodesh gathering is Sunday, Feb 6 from 430-6 at Sycamore Springs. Please RSVP to me and let me know if you can join, learn, and talk.
Thanks so much for all and I trust to see you all soon.
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.