Ohr Chadash Overview by Morah Shari Zuber

Incredulously, another school year is drawing to a close. It seems but a brief moment ago it was September and we were welcoming our students at ICCJ, and now we are bidding them farewell at Hillcrest Jewish Center. We look forward to the closing ceremony on Sunday, June 7th. A wonderful musical program by our students is planned, thanks to the volunteerism of HJC President Janet Hammelbacher, who serves as our morah of music.

On Sunday, April 26th, Gavin Bruenell, Nate Como, Bruce Field, Ethan Rivera, Jordan Sandler, Brian Vogel, and Aidan Zitron of Kitah Aleph were each presented with their first siddur. The boys showed their teacher, Morah Zehavah, how much knowledge they had absorbed this year, as well as in the past. Their wonderful blending of Hebrew and English shows that these young men are on the right track.  Each student gave his personal reflection of what it means to him to have his own siddur. Perhaps one of the most poignant readings came from Ethan, who said he looked forward to practicing prayers in his siddur with his grandmother. L’dor v’dor, from generation to generation, the spark of Judaism is passed. Indeed, parents, siblings, and grandparents kvelled with pride over the accomplishments of these young men, as did their morot and their schoolmates.

Our Second Annual Lag B’Omer celebration at Alley Pond Park’s Adventure Trail on Sunday morning, May 3rd, was a sheer delight. Mother Nature was in full cooperation. The sun shone brightly, the temperature was seasonally accommodating, and a gentle cooling breeze wafted through the trees. The overwhelming attendance by families and Men’s Club members from the three synagogues, who were responsible for coordinating the activities, made the day one of perfection. Education Director Ruth Merrill welcomed everyone and provided a brief historical background as to the significance of Lag B’Omer and the activities associated with the day.

Len Kaplan, Ohr Chadash parent and Hollis Hills Jewish Center member, chaired the program, assuring that the athletic events were sufficiently equipped and that the children participated in age coordinated groupings. Football tosses, hula hoop twirling, and soccer play were among the planned activities. Spontaneous games of catch by baseball mitt wielding children dotted the park landscape and some of our Olympic hopefuls delighted onlookers with their acrobatic performances on the park’s gymnastic facilities.

PA President Jennifer Reich organized the sale of Ohr Chadash merchandise and held a 50/50 Raffle, which raised $144.00. The Laufer Family, the winner of the raffle, graciously donated the money back to the school coffers so that it could be used for future projects. Todah Rabah!

Our children built up a voracious appetite over the course of the morning, and the timely arrival of Benny’s pizza, hot and aromatically tantalizing, quelled the rumblings of many a tummy.  Mouth-watering watermelon provided the perfect quenching sensation for the taste buds. Much appreciation is extended to the Men’s Clubs of Hillcrest Jewish Center, Hollis Hills Jewish Center, and Israel Center of Conservative Judaism for underwriting the cost of the refreshments for the Lag B’Omer event.

We hope this day of perfection proves to be a much desired harbinger of the long awaited summer.

On behalf of Education Director Ruth Merrill and the staff of Ohr Chadash, all our families are wished a safe and joyful summer vacation. May you all come back in September, well-rested and ready for another year of learning. Watch for notices of our open house at the end of August at Hollis Hills Jewish Center, our Fall 2015 home.