WE EAT HSTORY AND
WE DRINK THEOLOGY
Here at the Gordon School we have been immersed in learning about Passover and the Haggadah. Last Friday the telling came alive in fourth grade with the characters in costume as they interpreted the story. Next Wednesday we will celebrate the holiday with a model seder complete with all of the traditional symbols and food.
Many of the grades explored some of the issues and themes more deeply as they participated in learning activities designed specifically by the faculty. Examples included a focus on the four types of children from the Haggadah. It was interesting to hear the question: if it was the "child who doesn't know how to ask" OR is it the "child who doesn't know to ask." (Think about that one.) In another lesson, the students discussed the mitzvah of adding to the story. They spent some time developing a midrash and their own versions of the great events of the exodus. Some children wrote poetry: the Passover haiku! There was the investigation focused on the yeast and the matzah dough. Some spoke about the uniqueness of individual seders and the Passover traditions based on geography and tradition. (Do you eat rice and beans during Passover?) Of course some children created their own seder plates and there was even a Passover activity at P.E. Ask your child what the Coach did with the "matzah" and how to jump like a plague.
The period of instruction has been for me a developmental microcosm of what we do here at the Gordon School. By watching the children from Kindergarten through the 5th grade, I saw our students grow from learning about who we are and what we do, into young adults who begin to ask How does this have meaning for my life? And What does an old tradition have to say to me?
As we begin our vacation next Thursday, we will all be spending those next 10 days in a dramatic variety of rituals, traditions, down time, etc. There is a tremendous amount we can teach our children from this holiday. The Exodus is our master story and the root experience upon which Jewish social ethics are based. We started the teaching here at school and I hope that you continue it at home.
Hag Sameach and Shabbat Shalom
Steve Bogad, Head of Day School & Tikvah Center