The cycle of Jewish holidays allows for celebrations throughout the year, and each celebration has its own special activities for children in our congregation.
During the High Holidays, we offer childcare, including babysitting for younger children and programs and art projects related to the holiday for older children. We hope that these services make a busy time of year easier, and allow children to enjoy age-appropriate activities while allowing adults to participate in services as well.
Before many Festivals and holidays, the congregation holds a Congregational Dinner, both to bring the congregation together and to allow families to sit down together at a meal before the holiday observance with the minimum of hassle, especially since the holidays often occur on busy school nights.
Children participate in a number of special ways throughout the year:
- On Sukkot, the children help decorate the sukkah with special drawings and art projects
- On Simchat Torah, our youngest students are Consecrated, receiving a blessing from the Rabbi and Cantor and their own small Torah on the occasion of beginning their Jewish education. There is also dancing with the Torah during the Hakafot (circles of dancing) and singing, and taffy apples at the oneg following.
- At Chanukah time, there is often a sing-along with the Children's Choir as well as sufganiot (doughnuts) and latkes (potato pancakes)
- At Purim, there is usually a congregational play that children can participate in, as well as dressing up in costumes, shaking the grogger (noise maker) at the name of Haman, and eating Hamantashen (triangle cookies)
- KAMII and Rodfei Zedek, Hyde Park's Conservative Synagogue, jointly host our Shavuot celebrations. The children are asked to dress in blue and white, carry baskets of fruit down the aisle of the chapel, and sing special songs in honor of the first fruits of the harvest.