We began our wonderful week, just as we do each week, with our Explorer’s community Havdalah service. As we said goodbye to our very busy, very full last week (with Yom HaAtzmaut and Mother and Grandmother’s Week), we happily welcomed in the calm this week had to offer. We sang our blessings and wished each other a big, warm Shavuah Tov (a good week). As we returned to our class, we had the joy of celebrating Chen's birthday with her! The children were delighted to give her their Superhero Handprints, entitled "With all the Superheroes in the World, You are our Favorite," and then we enjoyed delicious cupcakes together.
On Tuesday, during Yoga, we had an amazing time traveling to England with our Adventure Guide, Princess Kate. We met a number of British animals, including the royal dog, and learned their individual poses. After Yoga, we had the pleasure of hearing a few great stories read to us by Jacob and his mom.
With all of our amazing Superhero discussions in mind, we asked the children a question, “What is a symbol?” Josiah quickly raised his hand and said, “A symbol is a pic or drawing of something in people’s life.” Preston then added, “I have one on my shirt. It’s Captain America’s symbol because he is a captain.” As many children then began looking at what they were wearing that day, we noticed that many of them had different types of symbols on their clothes, like the Nike check mark. We then drew our focus specifically to our Superhero symbols. As we observed the pictures, we discussed why each Superhero had the symbol they had; what did it represent for each of them? Hardy noticed that Superman had an S for his name and Josiah told us that Green Lantern’s symbol was his special ring that gives him his powers. Kayla pointed out that Wonder Woman also used her letters in her symbol and Evan mentioned that the Flash has a lightning bolt for his symbol because lightning is so fast just like flash. When looking at Captain America, the children remember he had a star that was different from the Magen David, but they were not sure about the rest of his symbol. As soon as we showed them a picture of the American Flag, they all immediately started calling out why (the colors and star and stripes). As they had just mentioned the Magen David, we then drew their attention to other types of symbols. We looked at pictures of the Magen David, a tallit and a hamsa and a picture of the 10 commandments, explaining that these can Jewish symbols; items that make us think about different Jewish people/experiences/objects. We looked a dreidel and immediately they all remembered that we see that on Hanukkah. As our conversation on symbols continues over our last few weeks, we will continue to delve into what symbols represent and what makes them important. We will also begin to think about what our own symbols might look like and why.
With the holiday of Lag B’Omer quickly approaching, we began discussing the stories and activities that often come with this holiday. We learned that Lag B’Omer can be a tricky holiday because it has so many interesting stories that come with the holiday. We discussed the counting of the Omer (the days between the 2nd night of Passover and Shavuot) and how Lag B’Omer is the 33rd day of the Omer, a day of celebrations where people can get married, cut their hair and/or celebrate together. We learned about a very important Rabbi named Rabbi Akiva and his famous student Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. We discussed that for them, studying Torah together was so incredibly important that to some the holiday is seen as a tribute to scholars. We also mentioned about Bar Kochba, who lead a group of Jews in rebellion against the Romans (yet another time in our history where we are teaching our children about the importance of standing up for their beliefs). We looked at pictures of Israeli children celebrating Lag B’Omer with giant bonfires (which our class keeps insisting our volcanoes), learning that the bonfire can remind us of the light of Torah and the strength within us to stand up for ourselves and others.
To bring our different discussions together, we asked the children what they thought could be a symbol for Lag B’Omer. Right away a number of children mentioned with great enthusiasm the bonfire. We asked if they could think of any numbers or letters that might be added to the symbol and again, right away, a friend called out 33! We then created a beautiful Lag B’Omer symbol of a bonfire with the number 33 inside of it.
We ended our week with a beautiful Room 13 community Shabbat celebration, followed by an All School Shabbat. Both of these made for a wonderful ending to a great week.
Hannah and Chen
*Please remember to sign your child in and out, with a legible signature, EVERY day. If you have a high-lighted section, it means we need your signature or time in that space, as well as your normal spot for the day.
*Monday, May 27 – No School – Memorial Day
*Saturday, June 1 – Tot Shabbat – 10:00