Matan Siddur and Matan Torah Programs by Shani Abed
During the past two weeks we had two major milestone events for our 2nd and 1st graders.
Our 2nd graders had a special Matan Torah Ceremony. The first part of the program was dedicated for Yom Yerushalyim. This year we marked 51 years for the reunification of Jerusalem. Yom Yerushalayim, or Jerusalem Day, commemorates Jerusalem’s reunification in 1967. Jerusalem has held special significance for the Jewish people for around three thousand years. When King David conquered the city of Jerusalem and declared it as the capital of the newly reunited Jewish people, Jerusalem came to symbolize not only Jewish might, but also Jewish unity.
In the second part of our program we celebrated the holiday of Shavuot. Shavuot marks the day that the Torah was given to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai. That day was a very unusual one, with lightning, thunder and the earth shaking. Moses came down from the Mountain, his face all red and glowing, and read the Ten Commandments to the Children of Israel. As in every Jewish celebration, music and songs are always woven into the festivity. An important part of the celebration of Shavuot in those times was the ceremony of bringing the “first fruits”, or bikkurim, of the harvest to the Temple as an offering of thanks to G-d. The bikkurim were carried in beautifully decorated baskets. Families would gather together to walk to Jerusalem and they would sing, dance and have music playing while they walked. Our 2nd graders donated their Bikkurim food items to Jewish Family Service. At the end of the ceremony, our 2nd graders receive their Torah Books.
Our 1st graders had their Matan Siddur ceremony. The 1st graders presented an accumulation of their Hebrew and Judaic learning through the year. Each child represented a letter in the Hebrew AlephBeth. The students sang Hebrew songs, and gave a beautiful overview of all the Jewish holidays they have learned about this year. Further, the students recited some of the prayers they learned this year. Music, dance, Hebrew speaking and so much more were woven into this program. At the end of the program, each child received his/her own Siddur.