Between blasting shofars, snacking on sweet treats, family and community gatherings and a break from the usual routine of the school day, the High Holidays are a special time for children.
But it seems of all the delights on offer, kids are particularly drawn to the shofar, with its spiraling shape, shiny veneer and, of course, boisterous voice and personality. They laugh at the staccato bursts or marvel at how long the cantor can hold a single blast.
This special relationship between youth and the shofar is one of the reasons Chabad of Arizona holds its annual Shofar Factory event.
“It’s a hands-on workshop,” said Mussie Levertov, director of the Aleph Bet Preschool and Kindergarten at Chabad of Arizona. “The beginning part is a presentation where we go over where a kosher shofar comes from, what are the requirements for a kosher shofar and how it’s made. Then the participants get to actually make their own shofar. We have the horn for them. They get to saw it and drill it and then sand and shellac it.”
This year’s Shofar Factory takes place at 12:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 17 at Chabad of Arizona, 2110 E. Lincoln Drive, Phoenix. The cost is $10 and is open to all children. For more information, call 602-944-2753.
Aleph Bet isn’t the only school getting into the holiday spirit.
The Phoenix Hebrew Academy (PHA) plans to bake its way into the New Year.
“Some of the activities our classes will be involved in include making honey cakes, making honey dishes, an apple and honey party, and a Rosh Hashanah themed play,” said Rabbi Yisroel Weiner, principal of PHA.
Pardes Jewish Day School will have two main units for Rosh Hashanah. One will be on Rosh Hashanah greeting cards and the other will be about the shofar, said Eran Vaisben, director of Jewish Life and Learning for Pardes.
The students will make their own greeting cards, which will then be hand delivered by a teacher acting as a mail carrier.
The second main unit will be lessons on the shofar, including not just how to use it, but also an exploration of the spiritual and symbolic gesture.
Whether it is making a shofar or a greeting card, with Jewish schools hosting so many activities, this Rosh Hashanah is sure to be one that is both educational and entertaining for students of all ages. JN