Traumatic historical events, as well as celebratory dates often accompany each other on the Hebrew calendar. Yom Hashoah is on the heels of Pesach, Yom Hazikaron and Yom Ha’atzmaut are in tandem, and Lag B’Omer is a momentary respite in the midst of a seven-week span of reflection and upheaval during the time of Rabbi Akiva. At Ohr Chadash, the sad and the joyful are both acknowledged with proper respect for the former and great jubilation for the latter.
Upon returning from the Passover hiatus, the Giborim and Chaverim students were fortunate to be visited by Yael Rozic, a former docent at Yad Vashem, from whom they learned about the Holocaust at an age-appropriate level and also how Israel’s premier Holocaust Museum helps preserve the memories of the victims and the survivors for future generations.
The following week, April 30th, the children celebrated a modern miracle of our time, the 75th Anniversary of the rebirth of the State of Israel. The students were able to view historical footage of David Ben-Gurion’s actual declaration of the Jewish homeland’s establishment. Afterwards, led by music teacher Morah Lynne, the students sang a number of songs which exulted Israel’s accomplishments and lauded the Jewish people for their devotion to the Almighty and their determination to survive.
What would a celebration of Israel be without falafels, hummus, and other Israeli dietary delights – unthinkable. Before topping off this repast with blue and white cookies, the teachers and the students joined in a circle for some exhilarating Israeli dancing.
The first Sunday in May, the 7th, marked the commemoration of Lag B’Omer and the acknowledgment of Ohr Chadash’s 15th year of teaching and inspiring our community’s youth. Families were invited to join in the day’s events. Some parents and grandparents provided assistance in the food preparation while others oversaw the games and activities of the morning as the grilling of burgers, hot dogs, and chicken legs was underway.
Being indoors for the day did not dampen the spirits of the students as they played Spider-Man and Paw Patrol Golf, Dinosaur Toss, Magic Garden Horseshoes, Trampoline Toss, Heading Home to Outer Space Slingshot Game, Mutant Hershey Kisses Ring Toss, and more. There were Relay Races and a Hula Hoop competition before the barbecue to work up an appetite. Much appreciation is extended to Rabbi Kogan and Rabbi Wise for joining us on this monumental day and even taking spatulas in hand and helping serve.
After the main menu, juicy watermelon proved the perfect dessert to top off the dining experience. However, the physical was not finished as several Tug-o’-War contests tested the mettle of the children and the adults.
Much appreciation is extended to all the phenomenal family members who pitched in to help out. To Grill Master Tony, Site Master Richie, and his able-bodied assistant, Jason, thank you so much for all your wonderful work in making our Lag B’Omer gala such a success.
A special shout out to Nancy, CEHHHB’s office manager, who made sure that the needs of Ohr Chadash were number one on the shul’s calendar. We can’t express enough appreciation to Richie, who made sure throughout our stay that we always had what was needed and that any extraordinary requests were more like commonplace behests. Thank you to Rabbi Greene, who visited our students and imparted his wisdom on the rare occasions when Rabbi Wise was not available. And lastly, but truly first, to our Wise Angel, Rabbi Wise, for accommodating our school’s needs on the spur of the moment, for your generosities to our families, and for the innumerable weekly visits which provoked thought and inspired a smile.
It is inconceivable that the days are dwindling down to a precious few. As of this writing Ohr Chadash’s 15th year is drawing to a close and we are looking forward to 2023-2024. Registration has begun for the upcoming school year and forms are available on the Ohr Chadash website. If you register before August 1st, there are both early bird discounts and multiple-sibling discounts.
This year, we hope to have two school Open House events, one on August 13th and one on August 27th. Both will be held at Israel Center of Conservative Judaism, where school will begin on Sunday, September 10th. As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to me by email or by phone.
I wish all our families and our indispensable teachers a restful and enjoyable summer.