Monday, October 20, 2014

Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Simchat Torah ... Fall Holidays From Temple Israel

We are about to begin the Hebrew month of Chesvan.  There is a little joke in the Jewish world, that Chesvan is jealous of all the other months because they have holidays and Chesvan does not.  The past two (2) months have been filled with prayer, reflection, fun, learning, and a multitude of other fun and exciting things at the Temple Israel Religious School. 

September was filled with each new student receiving their own authentic shofar from Israel.  They were given an opportunity to learn how to blow the shofar with our resident shofar player Marty List. 
1st and 2nd grade learning to blow the shofar.

The children were then invited onto the bima to accompany Marty in blowing the shofar during Rosh Hashanah services. 

Traditional Service at Temple Israel with the shofar orchestra.

Waiting to blow the shofar again.

Innovative Service shofar orchestra.
Temple Israel seeks to involve our children in all aspects of community life.  We provide programming that is specific to the needs of our community.  For the past 3 years, we have provided a High Holy Day Service, for both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur for the smallest and youngest members of our community.  The Family High Holy Day Experience is tailored to the needs of this growing community.  Below are some pictures for our program this year. 
Family Rosh Hashanah Expereince

Family Rosh Hashanah Expereince.
Video of our Family Rosh Hashanah service singing "Shofar Blast" 

During Sukkot we celebrated in the Sukkah for our Annual Pizza in the Hut.  This was a fun celebration for the entire family, from baby to Bubbe.  Don't worry if you missed it because we will certainly have it again next year.  

It was a gorgeous night out on the Waterview Courtyard.
Rabbi Olshein hanging up some fall foliage in our Sukkah.

Karen and Lori helping to create the paper chains and Ushpizin (guests) for our Sukkah.

All of the ushpizin (guests) who were invited to our Sukkah.  Among them were Robin Williams, Joan Rivers, as well as family members of those who attended Pizza in the Hut.

The final holiday that Temple Israel celebrated as a community was this past week.  We celebrated the holiday of Simchat TorahSimchat Torah is perhaps one of my favorite holidays, if not my favorite.  During this time, it is customary to unroll the ENTIRE Torah, then re-roll the Torah, so that we can begin to read again from the beginning.  Below is some clips of the evening.  It was capped off with a bonfire and s'mores making, while singing around the fire.  This was a fun evening.  Don't worry, if you were not able to come, we will be planning another sing-a-long and s'more making for the winter.

Dancing with the Torah!!

More Dancing with the Torah!!

Follwoing Services was had s'mores and singing in the courtyard.  Below are the pictures of the evening, and some of the s'more creations that those in attendance made.

Our 2 months of fun and holiday celebration ended this past Sunday at Religious School.  We had a fantastic time, filled with singing, learning, and laughing.  We began the morning in the Sanctuary singing some of the songs that we learning in music class the past few Sundays.  These songs included Am Yisrael Chai, the Sh'ma, and Children of the Lord (a song about Noah and the Flood).  Not only did the children have the opportunity to sing together and learn music with the Rabbi in the Sanctuary, but then the Rabbi went to each class and spent between 20 and 30 minutes signing and teaching the classes prayers that are recited each week during Shabbat services.  It is our goal that these children be able to follow along during services as well as participate each time they attend.

The prayers that we are teaching our children are Barchu, Sh'ma, and V'shamru.  We are inviting ALL of our students and families to attend and participate in The Night of 100 Menorahs during Chanukah.  During this service we call all of our new and old students up to the bimah to help lead the congregation in prayer.  We are building their prayer basis so that in December, they will be able to lead the congregation in quite a few prayers.  Night of 100 Menorahs is on December 19.  It is a fabulous time to come together as a Temple Family and celebrate the holidays together.  More information will be provided as the date gets closer.

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