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And the Beat Goes On

02/21/2021 10:23:02 AM


Tara Saltzman

And the beat goes on.  Just like my love everlasting.  And the beat goes on.  Still moving strong on and on…

From preschool to highschool, we persevere in love and commitment to Jewish values and each other despite the challenges of COVID-19 related precautions.  Our GAN program invites the youngest members of our community to meet with the incredibly creative Mindy Nitkin (currently via zoom) for song, story and activity.  In December, students received “Tot Tevat” (tot boxes) with coloring sheets, a Chanukah booklet and materials to make a chanukiya along with dreidels and an assortment of goodies to enjoy.  In November they made their own Torah scrolls and helped decorate the CBE Sukkah.

Mindy also teaches the 1st and 2nd grade religious school class on Wednesdays where they’ve spent the Fall learning about Jewish holidays and values that tie into each. Rosh HaShana’s focus was on HaCarat HaTov (recognizing the good around us), and for Yom kippur students explored s’licha (forgiveness).  On Sukkot and Simchat Torah students learned about Hachnasat Orchim (welcoming guests), and for Chanukah it was todah (thankfulness) and tzedakah (being a light to the world through giving).  In addition to all that, students are learning the Hebrew alphabet including letter names, sounds and how to write them.  Students can write their own names in Hebrew already.

From cantor to classroom, Francesca Rubin begins her first year as one of CBE’s educators, embracing the enthusiastic 3rd/4th grade class.  Students in Franny’s class explore Jewish values including what it means to be created in the image of God and how to truly be kind to others despite differences, helping those in need and responding to the needs of your community.  They’ve studied aspects of jewish culture,  what holidays mean (ie Chanukah) and how that applies to Jewish life. Other topics include Jewish foods from around the world, and how Sephardic, Mizrachi, Israeli, and Ashkenazi Jews celebrate and embrace their Jewish identities uniquely and what we all share.

5th grade has been very busy over the past few months, doing in-depth dives into the High Holidays, Sukkot, and the history of Chanukah led by Rebecca Perl who also works with the HaMakom Baderech satellite school and with Rodef Shalom’s religious school and youth group program. In addition to exploring new ways to experience meaningful connection through zoom (and meeting all the furry friends from each family), they’ve also spent a large chunk of time understanding the weekly Parsha or Torah portion.  And, they don't just read the Parsha, they have conversation about what it's trying to teach us about how to live our lives as Jews today and how it relates to the value or midah of the month. Direct from Morah Rebecca: “Kitah Hay is a group of curious, smart, attentive, and wonderful students, and it's a pleasure to spend an hour on Zoom once a week with them. See you in 2021!”

Alan Rubin mentors the 6th grade combining the Shalom Learning with highlights of the Moving Traditions Curriculums to bring a diverse and enriching experience.  They’ve studied and explored the relevance of the Jewish values of Teshuvah, B’tzelem elohim and Gevurah along with the mythology and moral lessons each offer and relevance to their own lives today.  Families completed the pre-teen Moving Traditions session, entitled "Growing Up" discussing the notion of adult responsibility in Jewish life recognized with b’nei mitzvah service and students began to unpack their own experience in the space between being a small child and the responsibilities of being an older teen.  They’ve also started a project creating individual websites that provide the student a platform for displaying their thoughts on Gevurah (strength).  Keep your eyes open for the website links with completion of the project in late January 2021.

David Ginley and Rabbi Jamie share the joy of learning with the 7th grade class studying the  concept of responsibility, especially as it applies to self, family, community and the world.  This connects well with the idea of doing their Mitzvah projects and connects to the larger and historic connections of Judaism worldwide.  We discussed the role of Jew's in everything from the Martin Luther King marches to the partisans of World War II.  The most recent study was on the Jewish philosophy with respect to the treatment of animals and our responsibilities to them.   This group of students has also begun to recognize specific needs of our local and Colorado community through mitzvah projects aimed at connecting with community members feeling  isolated and alone, feeding hungry families through the Action Center, ECho and the Mountain Resource Center, and assisting individuals hit hard by recent fires in Grand Lake County.

While so many of our post b’nei mitzvah students are struggling with zoom fatigue, we are inspired by the boys (BroHO) Shevet and girls (RoHo) Rosh Hodesh groups who continue to experiment with ways to stay connected and engaged.  Rebekah Romberg, Julia Verheij, Tal and Jonah Arnold each bring unique gifts to these precious spaces.  We hope to see them meeting in person soon.  

And the beat goes on, Just like my love everlasting, And the beat goes on,  you'd better believe it (by The Whispers)

Mon, April 12 2021 30 Nisan 5781