Rosh Hodesh Iyar at the synagogueRecently, Rimon class attended their second Rosh Hodesh service this year at Beth David. As part of the preparation for that experience, the students had the opportunity to adorn themselves in tefillin. During this past year, part of our focus in the Judaic Studies curriculum has been to familiarize the students with both the unique, occasional experiences in the Jewish calendar cycle, as well as some of the daily routine in Jewish liturgy. Although donning the tefillin was a personally unfamiliar and even a bit uncomfortable for some, the students did appreciate the chance for such a tangible encounter! The students even participated in the service, opening the ark when the Sefer Torah was taken out and wrapping the Sefer Torah in preparation for its return.
As it was Rosh Hodesh Iyar, a month with opportunity to consider and explore our relationship with Medinat Yisrael, the students joined the members of the congregation for breakfast following the service. Yom Ha’atzma’ut was to occur later in the week, so the students were asked to speak with their breakfast companions (many of whom were old enough to remember the creation of the State on May 14, 1948) about their connection with Israel. The questions asked were:
Where were you when Ben Gurion read out the Declaration in May, 1948 and what do you recall of the event?
How do you celebrate Yom Ha’atzma’ut today?
The congregation members were more than willing to share their experiences and thoughts with the students who demonstrated a genuine interest in the stories shared with them. It was a wonderful meeting of generations! Kein yirbu!!

written by Michael Rubin