Printed from ChabadVI.org

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Sweet Memories

Seven years ago, when we built the community Sukkah for the first time, we wanted to be good neighbours.

As you know, the Jewish Education Centre is in the annex building of Quadra Elementary School;  we thought that it would be appropriate to invite the school children to our Sukkah. I met the principal and invited the kindergarten children to come to our Sukkah and learn about the festival, Jewish culture and religion.

Chani didn't only invite the kids she made sure that they had a blast! They tasted apples and honey, pomegranates and honey cake. They made colourful decorations for the Sukkah and they even came for a tour of the Shul, where they were fascinated by the Torah Scroll and the rest...

You can imagine that it became the school tradition  - for the next six years all the children of kindergarten had a day of hands-on learning about Jewish faith.

Last year, when walking one day through the playground of the school I looked around and realized that over the last seven years every child of this school has been with us for a visit that we hope left them with sweet memories of what Judaism stands for...

Shofar at a local Preschool

A mother of a three-year-old child contacted me on Tuesday with a request that I have received for the first time since we have been in Victoria. 

During Chanukah season I get many requests from parents and teachers to provide  them with Chanukah items so they can be presented in preschools or schools so classmates of Jewish children may learn about this Jewish Holiday.

But  this lovely mother asked if I would come to blow the Shofar at her child's preschool class so the children could learn about the Jewish New Year.  Since I was unavailable to personally attend at the time she needed, I told her -  "I'm more than happy to lend you the Shofar and I will teach you how to blow it".  Shortly after I gave a quick sixty- second Shofar blowing lesson and she got it...

That night she came to return the Shofar:  "It went great. The kids enjoyed it and it was fantastic.  For me it was a very special experience since I have never gotten close to a Shofar, let alone blow it"...

 As she was about to leave the house, she added: "Oh and I had some very surprising reactions.  After I blew the Shofar, a teacher helper walked up to me with her eyes glistening.  'I'm Jewish', she said.  'Last time I heard the Shofar was as a little girl, at synagogue with my grandmother; thank you for bringing back these special memories'"...

There is nothing that describes the Shofar better than this story, the sound that goes to the depth of our soul and reminds us who we are...

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