The Religious School jumped into January this year with the 3rd and 4th grade class dinner and service. After chowing down on a student favorite, Bagel Bites, the 3rd and 4th grade classes helped Rabbi Lehrer lead prayers such as V’Ahavta, Veshamru and Barchu. Their teacher, Fran Conway, prepared a wonderful presentation where the students acted out the difference between the Jewish Calendar, which follows the moon cycle, and the Civil Calendar. It was so fun to watch the moon rotate around the earth as the earth rotated around the sun, and nobody fell off the Bimah!
This year, I got some help from the 7th grade class while designing the Tu B’Shevat program. In the weeks leading up to the program, I worked closely with the 7th grade to create 8 puzzles that would make up an escape room. We had three different escape rooms going at the same time, all with the same puzzles but with a varying number of hints (dependent upon the age group in each room). The students had to find the numbers for a combination lock in the Kiddush, discover the connection between pomegranates and mitzvot, use a barley recipe to unlock the next puzzle, study a calendar to find how tall date trees grow, and more! In the end, they had to use the 7 species to find the 7 missing digits in my phone number so that they could call me and I could let them out. I don’t know who had more fun, the students who were figuring out the puzzles, or me as I was peeking into windows to watch their progress!