G’mar chatimah tovah – we hope the children’s gift of honey cake added some sweetness to the hag and your New Year.  They certainly enjoyed the process of measuring, pouring, and mixing the ingredients.  They also learned about two new ingredients – baking soda (to add softness) and baking powder (to add height).  We stressed the need for cleanliness when cooking and baking so as not to spread germs.  Everyone carefully washed hands prior to baking and some had to repeat the washing if they touched their face or hair; an important lesson.

An important value and life lesson of the holidays is to care for others – both our family and friends and the world around us.  To bring this to an understandable and accessible level for the children we discussed what it means to be a friend – how to get along with friends and how to show we care about them.  The children contributed the concepts that they need to share their toys, take turns, and accept different ideas.  They can give a hug when a friend is hurt. We also read the book, Making Friends by Fred Rogers, which discussed similar thoughts and gave advice on dealing with differing opinions.  Another value the children are familiar with is the giving of tzedakah.  We defined tzedakah as following Hashem’s “rules” and helping others is part of that.  The children enjoy singing the tzedakah song each morning as they put their pennies in the box.  Further discussion involved what the tzedakah money might help do.  The children understood that the money that is contributed could help people who don’t have enough money buy clothing and food or toys […]