Ohr Chadash Religious School, located in Queens, New York, is an example of a new model of supplementary Jewish education. Comprised of a consortium of three Conservative synagogues in eastern Queens, Ohr Chadash combines classroom learning with experiential programming including ongoing opportunities throughout the year for parent, grandparent and guardian education as well as outstanding Shabbat experiences for young people.
Ohr Chadash is back in full swing for an upcoming year of exciting programs and Torah study.
We began this past week at Ohr Chadash with our traditional Havdalah service followed by Morah Marina who taught the children some basic Hebrew phrases including the days of week. It is amazing to see how much the children remember from last time. Our Shinshin, Nadav also spoke to the children about his family customs in Israel on Yom Kippur.
As this past Sunday was a few days before Yom Kippur, all of the children learned about the famous book of Yonah which is read on as part of the holiday service. The children learned the story about the story of Yonah and the whale (some say it was actually a big fish). The children proudly made a fun art project depicting this episode in the story. The children also performed Kaparot with coins and learned of the significance of giving charity to the poor especially during this time of the year.
Our guest rabbi this past week was Rabbi Kogan. He shared with the children a book entitled, The Hardest Word: A Yom Kippur Story by Jacqueline Jules. According to the book, the hardest word in the English language to say is “Sorry”. Rabbi Kogan explained to the children that it is appropriate to say you are sorry and to make amends with each other before the onset of the Yom Kippur holiday.
Next week we will continue with special arts and crafts projects based on the holiday of Succot.
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Samayach!
September 29, 2019: We had a special visit from Rabbi Moshe Saks, Rabbi of Israel Center of Conservative Judaism (ICCJ). He joyfully taught the children about the book of Breishit and the six days of creation. He did so in a fun, engaging way through song and choreography. The children thoroughly enjoyed the rabbis visit. We are truly blessed having Rabbi Saks as part of our Ohr Chadash community and we look forward to his next visit to our school!
As a new feature to Ohr Chadash, we have incorporated Hebrew language as part of our curriculum. Morah Marina came up and taught the children some basic Hebrew phrases upon greeting someone and introducing yourself for the first time. She will reinforce all of her previous lessons and build on their previous knowledge with new topics to improve their conversational Hebrew.
All of the children were treated to a delicious snack in honor of the occasion. Morah Judy began by explaining to the children about the significance of having round challot during this time for year. Each child was then given a delicious piece of challah dipped in honey. Afterwards, each child enjoyed dipping their apples in honey for a sweet new year!
We wish you and your family a happy and healthy year ahead.
On September 22, after the Havdalah service and Shofer blowing, we had our Shinshin speak to the children, followed by inspirational words from Rabbi Wise. Rabbi Wise also went to the different classes to speak to the children and share with them words of Torah. The students also learned a lot of new Rosh Hashanah songs from Morah Chava during her sessions which included the various sounds of the Shofer.
We had an amazing session on September 15th! After our Havdalah service we heard from our guest speaker, Nancy Churnin, who passionately shared her book, Irving Berlin with the students. The children were engaged and immensely enjoyed her power point presentation of the fascinating story of Irving Berlin and his many great accomplishments he made during his lifetime. Afterwards, she showed the children a book written in braille and each of the students had the opportunity to feel the braille letters for themselves. We gratefully thank Nancy Churnin for coming to Ohr Chadash and sharing her wonderful presentation of her books with our students.
As we are in Hillcrest Jewish Center, the children all had the opportunity to visit the synagogue’s library. There the children learned about the various sections of the library from Carol Kantro. She proceeded to explain to the children that they can choose from a wide array of Judaic library books. Many of the children indeed took out a Jewish themed book. Our goal is for the children to carry over the lessons from Ohr Chadash and their Jewish culture by reading these books throughout the week in the convenience of their own homes. When they finish reading these books, they can simply return them to the library so that they may choose a new book for the following week.
Our special guest rabbi was Rabbi Kogan. He came to the different classes with his Shofer, and taught the children about the upcoming holiday of Rosh Hashanah. Some of the students tried their best to blow the Shofer and we were amazed to hear how some of them did! Speaking of Rosh Hashanah, the children were involved in making some beautiful arts and crafts projects connected to the holiday. We look forward to having weekly art and music classes for the children throughout the year.
We are excited to have as part of our school, Nadav Klein who is part of the Shinshinim program. He will bring his experiences of living in Israel to your children and share his love of Israel and its rich culture to our students. We welcome all of our knowledgeable teachers who look forward to teaching your children throughout the school year.
The students have been introduced to Jennifer Gold, youth director for H2I, which represents the three synagogues of Hillcrest Jewish Center, Hollis Hills Bayside Jewish Center and ICCJ. She spoke to each of the classes about many of the exciting programs and activities that will occur throughout the year. We will periodically include any such activities led by Jennifer Gold throughout the year in future emails.
As a reminder, please have your child bring a Kosher, healthy snack to school each week. In addition, children are encouraged to bring Tzadakah each week. At the end of the year, the children will decide which organization to give their Tzadakah to. Last year we gave significant donations to Masbia and Chai Lifeline. Both organizations wrote a heartfelt letter of appreciation to our children at Ohr Chadash which is prominently displayed on our Ohr Chadash bulletin board at Hillcrest Jewish Center.