By Rabbi Sharon Litwin
Over the past two weeks, the Kitah Hey (5th grade class) at BBRS has created some wonderful masks for Purim. Their parents came for a workshop and together they learned about the story and customs of the holiday, what we do to celebrate, what the themes are and why it all matters in the scheme of our lives. Then we got down and dirty, with parents making plaster of Paris masks on the kids faces.
Why did parents “come to school” for this? Why couldn’t the students have made the masks and studied the holiday in class? The answers are many:
1. When children and parents learn together, more opportunities open up for meaningful conversations in families.
2. When parents come into the synagogue to learn with their children, they are teaching their children that Jewish learning is important to them, and that the values that we teach at BBRS are not just for synagogue time but for all the time.
3. When parents and children can be creative together, it helps everyone let down their guard a little…there was no rushing, no chores or homework, no work or errands…it was just a time to be together and do something that they wouldn’t normally do.
4. When parents come together with other parents, it helps them to get to know the parents of their kid’s friends and to feel that we are all part of the same community, to support each other in the task of raising Jewish children in 2016 in NJ.
For all these reasons and more, I hope that our parents and kids enjoyed making the masks and will come join us at our Purim Carnival on March 20 and for Megillah Reading on March 23….in costumes or masks!!!