Schechter Shavua: April 28, 2023 :: Solomon Schechter Day School

Schechter Shavua: April 28, 2023

Understanding the Moroccan Traditions of Mimouna

mimouna - smaller.jpg As part of our focus on the variety of global Jewish holiday celebrations, our amazing Hebrew teaching team introduced the celebration of Mimouna to the students. Mimouna is a holiday celebrated by Jews from northwest Africa (primarily Morocco) which became a national holiday celebrated in Israel; it marks the end of Passover and the return to eating hametz and sharing meals with neighbors. If you’d like to learn more about Mimouna, click HERE. 

To see photos from our fun Mimouna festivities, as well as from Yom HaShoah and Yom HaZikaron, click HERE.

Tekes Yom HaShoah: Remembering Victims of the Holocaust

yom hashoah - smaller.jpgMiddle School students led the Yom HaShoah memorial ceremony, reciting meaningful prayers, songs, and words specifically aimed at remembering those who perished in the Holocaust. Following the Tekes, the entire K-8 student body contributed to the worldwide tradition of walking 6 million steps together to commemorate those who were lost. Later, a second generation survivor, Jeff Israel, came to speak to the middle school students about his family and their story as survivors. In mid-May, Ruth Weiner (Schechter’s first Head of School) will speak to grades 3-8 about her experiences as a Holocaust survivor.

Yom HaZikaron: Memorial Day

yom hazikaron 7th- smaller.pngDuring the days leading up to Yom HaZikaron, classes discussed the holiday in age-appropriate ways. Middle School students participated in a Zoom called Cross-borders Connections, in which a widow shared her personal story about her husband who was killed during the 6 days war. On Tuesday, students dressed in white as a sign of grief to honor the memorial day for Israeli soldiers and those who lost their lives in terrorist attacks. Seventh graders led the service for grades 3-7 and parents.

Happy 75th Birthday to Israel!

yom ha'atzmaut collage- smaller.pngSchechter’s schoolwide Yom Ha’atzmaut celebration on Wednesday was filled with high-spirited, fun activities about Israel and Israeli culture. Dressed in Schechter shirts and blue/white, students visited stations throughout the school that provided a glimpse into Israeli culture. They “boarded” an El Al flight, narrated by an actual flight attendant; created stamps to commemorate Israel’s 75th birthday; played Israeli games; got festive face-paints and tattoos during an Israeli dance party, and decorated - and ate - cookies that looked like Israel’s flag. Especially impressive was that Ily (grade 7) hula-hooped for over 12 minutes straight, until they had to move to the next station! The activities were supervised by our energetic team of Hebrew teachers (Anat, Limor, Ruth, and Renana) and led by our middle school students. Many thanks, also, to Danielle Weiss, who provided a fantastic falafel lunch for the entire school!

To see photos from the Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations, please click HERE.

8th grade Israel Experience: Student Perspectives

8th on hike- smaller.jpg Wish you were packed into the luggage of our 8th graders? Thanks to Noam and Shira, you can feel like you’re right there with them! We appreciate that the students took time out of their packed schedules to write these fantastic descriptions of their trip. Todah rabah!

And, for photos of their adventures, click HERE.


Thursday through Friday afternoon (April 20-21)
By Noam B.

Last night we slept in Bedouin tents at Han Hashayarot.  It was very hard getting to sleep all together in the same tent.  We had a tasty (S’mores) bonfire as well.  Something we learned about Bedouin culture was that they place a lot of significance in how they drink coffee.  We got up early so we could get to Masada before it got too hot.  It meant a lot to pray there because I read Torah in a place of important Jewish history.  We arrived in Jerusalem (after floating in the Dead Sea) Thursday night.  It felt overwhelming to be in Jerusalem.  Some of us met with family.  Early Friday morning after Tefillot we went to Yad Vashem.  It was very moving because there were so many personal stories described there.  We then went shopping in Machaneh Yehudah (where I met my Aunt Shira and cousins Caleb and Rafi).  Right now we’re getting ready for Shabbat.  I’m looking forward to it because we’re going to the Kotel soon.

Shabbat throughTuesday (April 22-25)
By Shira T.

On Shabbat we tried to create a special Shabbat environment by not using our phones in public places. We walked to Robinson’s Arch (the egalitarian section near the Kotel) for Kabbalat Shabbat. It felt special that we were all able to pray together considering that usually at the Kotel it is split up by gender. At the Kotel all the girls did the Amida while the boys joined a dancing circle. After we came back together there was a dancing circle with boys and girls which some people joined and others didn’t. We had Shabbat dinner and did a pe’ulah/activity with the madrichim. Shabbat morning most of us went to the Conservative synagogue. The service felt very much like Shabbat services at Camp Ramah which was nice and comforting.  Sunday we went to the Kotel and put our school’s notes in it. We visited Ir David and Hezekiah’s water tunnel. The water tunnel was so fun!  While marching through, we sang songs and laughed. We also turned off all the flashlights which made it much more fun. We had more time on Ben Yehuda Street after dinner and then we did an escape box activity with the madrichim.  Monday we hiked in the Bar Kokhba caves. After lunch we had an ice cream treat in Beit Shemesh. As soon as we got back we had dinner and got ready for the Yom HaZikaron ceremony at Ammunition Hill/Givat Hatachmoshet. The ceremony was so interesting. Hearing people tell the stories of their loved ones including Elan Ganeles, added a whole separate factor and emotional feeling. On our way out, Rabbi Chatinover and I ran into some people we know from West Hartford. 

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