Keeping Connected May 2023
I had the joy and pleasure of attending the Kindergarten – 2nd grade Shabbat service last month. Though I find great joy and comfort in all Shabbat services, I was so moved by this particular service. From the very beginning, there was a feeling of happiness and pride in the sanctuary. The youngest students sat in the front row seats without their parents. From my view, I could see their legs dangling off the chairs, not quite reaching the floor yet. They were supported by some of the madrichim from their class and a congregation filled with family members, other students, congregants and guests. These young students were poised, engaged and filled with Shabbat spirit. They helped Rabbi Perry to lead the service, taking turns to read (with confidence and precision) various passages from the prayer book. As Rabbi Perry talked and asked questions, I continually saw their hands shooting up in the air, waiting for a turn to share their own ideas.
At one point during the service, all young people were invited up on the bima to help with a song and its hand movements. From my seat, I beamed ear to ear as I saw our youngest students up there, along with the great role models of a few fourth graders, a young person on the verge of becoming a B-Mitzvah and a 12th grader who will be graduating this year. I was moved to tears by the community of students on the bima, supporting each other, engaged in the song with great spirit and joy, all joined together in our school and temple community. There was such enthusiasm, respect and contagious joy! After the service, and for days following, I shared my own stories of this wonderful Shabbat and the pride I felt for our school. After a long day, a long week, a long month and a long year, it was exactly what was needed to help remind me of all the hard work from so many people that always goes on in our school.
As some of you may know, we are embarking on a bit of school restructuring for next year, due to lower enrollment numbers and budgetary constraints. More information about the school restructuring will be shared over the next few months, but one of the changes will be the implementing of mixed age groups for our Religious School. Students will get the opportunity to attend class with students either older or younger than themselves, creating a stronger community and allowing for many benefits of multi-age environments. The Family Shabbat from April was a clear sign of all good things that can come from a group of students across the age spectrum working together to create something special for our Congregation Shalom community. I will take this as a positive sign for the changes that will be implemented in the coming school year.
FAMILY SHABBAT DINNERS
– This year we tried something new and we offered a free Shabbat Dinner once a month for all students and families from our school community. I hope you got a chance to join us for a dinner or two. Our last dinner for this year will be on Friday, May 5 at 6pm. Please RSVP and plan to join us. We want to try to get as many people as we can to enjoy the Shabbat meal together before the monthly Family Service! I would also love to hear your thoughts and ideas about the monthly Shabbat dinners as we begin to make plans for next year. Please reach out to me with any thoughts or opinions you might have around the Shabbat dinner idea.
REGISTRATION FOR NEXT YEAR
– It is time! Registration packets are being mailed out in the beginning of May. Please fill out and return your forms before June 1. Again, please reach out to me with any questions, comments or concerns.
Here’s to a great end to a wonderful school year.
Wednesday, May 3
Friday, May 5
Shabbat Dinner and Shabbat Services
6:00pm – Last Shabbat dinner of the year. All are invited. (It’s free!)
7:00pm – Family Services (3rd grade service and Siyyum HaSefer). All are welcome to attend.
Sunday, May 7
6th grade – All day Kallah
Wednesday, May 10
Chai School – last one
Post Confirmation meets at temple with Rabbi Perry
Saturday, May 13
Tot Shabbat at 10:00am
Sunday, May 14
Wednesday, May 17
Sunday, May 21
Last Day of Religious School – Whole School Event with students and families from 9am-11am
Wednesday, May 24
Hebrew School – last day
Friday, June 2
7:00pm – TEACHER APPRECIATION SHABBAT – plan to attend to show appreciation for your teachers and madrichim