We had a fun and lively Shabbat morning here in the JLC last weekend for Parashat Noach! In response to the needs of our community, we made a schedule change and held Hinei Mah Tov services for the first hour of JLC. With near-perfect attendance from our JLC students, plus young families and congregants, we were able to come together in prayer, song, and learning.
During the Torah reading we took a look at the first few words of the parasha and noted that in the list of Noach’s descendants, the first person named is Noach himself. How, we wondered, can Noach be his own firstborn?! Maybe, as Rashi says, the offspring of righteous people are their good deeds. Maybe, rather than thinking about our children as our claim to fame, we should be more concerned with living the way that we would like our children to follow. This sentiment translates beautifully to what we are trying to accomplish as a community at Shomrei and especially through Hinei Mah Tov services. By coming together as a community, we are telling our children that religious school is not just for the kids! We are showing them that we are willing to learn and grow together. What better way to show that we care about their participation in Jewish life than to do it right along with them?
After Hinei Mah Tov, the JLC students enjoyed Shabbat-friendly learning in their classrooms, Charlie Breslin facilitated a discussion for the grown-ups, and our littlest members sang and danced in Tot Shabbat.
On Wednesdays our students have been learning key words from the upcoming Torah readings and creating artwork to go with them. Check out the beautiful keshet (rainbow), yonah (dove), and teva (ark) handmade by our JLC students leading up to Parashat Noach!
Lily is an Assistant Education Director at Shomrei. She served as B'nai Mitzvah Teacher & Coordinator, prayer and song leader, cantorial soloist at synagogue and community events, religious school music teacher, and was often involved with synagogue and holiday programming. She is passionate about teaching Torah and Haftarah trope and Shabbat t'filot to students and their families with the hope that they will carry these skills with them for their future participation in synagogue life.Her husband Keith is the Northeast U.S. Manager for Cambridge International Examinations, a division of University of Cambridge. They have one six-year-old son, Zen.