By Rabbi Sharon Litwin
I am delighted to share with you the incredible Shabbat morning opportunities for families with children of all ages at CBI which will be starting on Shabbat morning September 10 at 10:30 a.m!
Morah Vivian Gibilisco, who teaches music for our students in BBRS on Sundays and Tuesdays, will be leading MINYAN KATAN, our weekly Shabbat morning service for our “tots” between the ages of birth to 4 years old. Moms, dads, grandparents, caregivers are welcome! Morah Vivian will be singing, praying, story-telling, marching the children around with stuffed Torahs and, of course, reciting Kiddush and Hamotzi at the end of the service while the children drink their juice, eat challah and cookies and have a chance to play. Morah Vivian comes to us with many years of experience leading music and children’s services in many area synagogues. She is beloved by our BBRS students and I think she will bring consistency, creativity, and joy to our Minyan Katan.
Morah Karen Lilienfeld, (who happens to be Morah Vivian’s sister!) will be leading MINYAN SHALOM, our service for children in Pre-K-1st grade. Morah Karen will engage the students with the prayers they may remember from Minyan Katan and add to their repertoire. She will bring age appropriate stories and games related to the weekly Torah parasha and will have time for the children to reflect on the meaning of the stories and how to relate the stories to their lives. Morah Karen also has many years of teaching experience with a focus in children’s literature and art. Parents and caregivers are invited to drop their children off at 10:30 and come back at 11:10 for Kiddush and Hamotzi together with the children from Minyan Katan. Minyan Shalom will meet every week except when it is a Millburn school vacation weekend.
Our beloved Morah Laura Slifer, who grew up at CBI, will alternate Shabbat mornings with me, Rabbi Sharon Litwin, to lead MINYAN GESHER, our Junior Congregation service for children in grades 2-6. We will use the Siddur Sim Shalom, mirroring the service that takes place in our main sanctuary, but using familiar and upbeat melodies, lots of explanations, Torah skits, and many opportunities for our students to lead the prayers and participate with their friends in the service. Parents are welcome to attend with their children. Minyan Gesher meets in the chapel from 10:30-12:00.
These three distinct children’s services help children and families foster a sense of community, enrich our understanding of Shabbat, develop a spiritual practice and are a fun way to reinforce the Jewish values and Hebrew that we teach at Blanche Bayar Religious School and that our children experience at home. For children who are BBRS students, our Shabbat morning services are a great way to complete their Shabbat service attendance requirement.
More information about Saturday morning — and Friday evening — services for families and children can be found in the Worship section of the CBI website.
Please feel free to reach out me if you have any questions.