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In 1947, David Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of the State of Israel spoke these words:
“Three hundred years ago a ship called the Mayflower set sail to the New World…This was a great event in the history of England. Yet I wonder if there is one Englishman who knows at what time the ship set sail? Do the English know how many people embarked on the voyage? What quality of bread did they eat?
Yet more than three thousand three hundred years ago, before the Mayflower set sail, the Jews left Egypt. Every Jew in the world…knows what kind of bread the Jews ate-Matzah. Even today the Jews worldwide eat Matzah on the 15th of the Hebrew month of Nisan. They retell the story of Exodus…”
Passover is by far the quintessential Jewish peoplehood holiday. I don’t think there is another Jewish holiday as widely celebrated and revered as Passover. Regardless of one’s degree of observance, we all come together whether it is to retell the story of our exodus, to be reminded of our own exodus or simply to get together with our families, eat symbolic foods and be grateful for what we have.
As educators, we are committed to link our children to the chain of Jewish tradition and help them connect to the story of our people passed from generation to generation-Midor L’Dor. Alon Moradi, our 4th grader said so beautifully during his class practice Seder,” We tell this story every year so we know it and can tell it to our children.” Out of the mouths of babes!
This week, we had the chance to eat the symbolic foods with the Kindergartners while they explained the meaning of each symbol on the Seder plate; to leave Egypt with the 1st Graders in joy and excitement; to recite the blessings with the 2nd Graders who read them all by themselves; to listen to the 3rd Graders personal Dayenu verses of gratitude added to the traditional song; to create beautiful Matzah plates with our 4th Graders as they talked about the pattern of number 4 in the Haggadah; to watch in awe as the 5th Graders took leadership roles during their interactive classroom Seder; and to cross the Red Sea and receive the Torah as our 6th Graders went on a journey from slavery into freedom.
We know you’ll be able to enjoy all the learning that happened at school when you sit at your family’s Seder table and your children share their wealth of knowledge with you.
We extend a special thanks to all the parents who helped us make our Passover learning that much more meaningful by sending food, paper goods, and volunteering time and efforts. Todah Rabbah!
Wishing you Chag Pesah Sameah,
Director of Hebrew/Judaic Studies