Posted on September 23, 2012
Every year I look forward to seeing parents Oded and Cheryl walking onto the campus, bearing a bag of special treats for the students in their children's classrooms (they have two sons who began in the preschool) to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the celebration of the Jewish New Year. Beginning sunset on September 16 until nightfall September 18 this year, Jewish families commemorate the first day of the new year with special traditions. I slipped into Ms. Revard's classroom, just as the Shapiras were explaining the significance of Rosh Hashanah to the children. Perfect timing! Just in time for the blowing of the shofar, a ram's horn blown somewhat like a trumpet. While the blowing of the horn has religious significance in the synagogue, its sound is resonant, a triumphant call to celebrate. Under Oded's tutelage, each student blew the shofar and wonderful sounds filled the classroom, much to the delight of all. It was definitely heartwarming to see the students cheer each other on. Even Ms. Revard and I took to sounding the shofar, with a lot of coaxing from the students. I was beside myself with surprise when I took the shofar to my lips and blew a few quick blasts and then a sustained note!
The children took to their seats as Cheryl explained the symbolism of dipping the sliced apples and fresh dates into honey -- a symbol of wishing for a new year filled with sweetness. Students savored the sweetness, while Cheryl also explained the tradition of eating fresh pomegranates filled with seeds, symbolic of the abundance of good wishes, blessings, and happiness for the new year.
IMG_1824.MOV We learned how to say "for a good year" -- L'shanah tovah! Experiences like these teach our students about the rich cultural landscape in which they live, and how the traditions enable us to strengthen our relationships as a community.
I'm sharing this photo of our recent all-school photo. Imagine 266 children being guided to their places and all 266 plus 32 faculty and staff held captive by photographers Tracy and Mike and Elmo the puppet for the annual all-school photo. When you receive the photo in the packets, we're all smiling because we're saying "cookieeeeeee!"
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey