“Bringing Judaism to Life” on Campus During the High Holidays

Last week we celebrated Simchat Torah, and we read the final parsha of the Torah, V’zot HaBracha, and we then began reading the first parsha of the Torah, B’raisheet. We concluded our period of school wide celebrations with a meaningful, educational and enjoyable two part program.

Our 8th graders, who will soon be graduating from Pardes (yes, it’s right around the corner) received an aliyah and those 44 students came up to the bima. We then called up our Kindergarten students who are first beginning their study of Torah, and we blessed them under our big Tallit. What a sight…our 8th graders and their Kabbalat Shabbat buddies, one group finishing their Torah study with us, and the other beginning, all up on the bima in front of the entire school. Yes, I shed a tear or two.

Afterwards, the entire school, together with numerous Community Rabbis and Cantors, marched outside with our Torah scrolls and did 7 hakafot around the sports court. Then we broke into dance forming circles and passing the Torah to all members of the circle. How joyous and fun!

This is what I call bringing Judaism “to life.” We can simply learn about the holidays in class or we can “live them.” Here at Pardes we choose to live the holidays. We hope you all have the opportunity to be a part of our wonderful school wide celebrations.