All aspects of Jewish life have an educational component. Our rituals transmit all kinds of messages that help to teach about what we are doing and why. For example, when we parade with the Torah in the synagogue, the ideals of Torah are being proclaimed. By marching through the congregation, we are meant to understand that the Torah is for all the Jews; it is not a document only for a select few.
Preschool learning is a all about the individual experiences. In our classrooms we concentrate on providing opportunities for the children to see, touch, taste, hear and smell so that they learn. We want all of our children (and their families) to learn through their experiences, or rather, we strive to create authentic experiences that teach everyone what it means to lead a fulfilling Jewish life. Nothing that we can do in the classroom can match the awe inspiring power and splendor of sitting in the sanctuary amongst generations of friends and family, the congregation, or hearing the blasts of the shofar. These are the childhood memories that we hope our students take with them for many, many years.
On Monday Evening, October 8, at our community Simchat Torah celebration, Cantor Schloss will read the last section of Divarim (Deuteronomy) and quickly run to the other side of the room to begin reading from the very first section of Bereshit (Genesis). This annual ritual reminds us that our Jewish education must never stop. Although we have just finished at the very end of the Torah, we must start again at the beginning, striving to find new meaning and understanding in a new year.
Each year I look forward to this festive evening full of music and fun, appropriate for every member of our entire community. I have always enjoyed this special evening at our synagogue, it is really cool to see an entire Torah scroll opened, enwrapping our community. I love watching the children dance and sing with their paper flags and the torah scrolls. And I believe that there is an important community message that we send to all as we dance with the Torah on Beacon Street each year. It is such a fitting evening for us to celebrate the beginning of another school year. All TCEE students will receive a gift in celebration of the beginning of this special school year. Please join us as we celebrate our newest members of the ARS community at Concecration (during Simchat Torah services) and the exciting school year ahead. I hope to see you there!