We welcomed Grade 1 families into the Kol-lab to share what Shabbat means to them. Family education programs are held for each grade at Rashi and are an integral part of the curriculum. During family education, parents get a first-hand glimpse into what their children are learning and how it relates to themselves, their family, and community. For Grade 1, this means looking at the weekly commandment of Shabbat.
The students began by reflecting on their time with their Shabbat Sh’bag, a newly treasured weekly tradition for the class, where students bring home ritual items to celebrate Shabbat. First graders and their families used cards with pictures of different activities to decide, “What is Shabbat and what is not?” Students recognized that while some families light candles and say the blessings over challah and grape juice on Shabbat, others play soccer and eat pizza. Exploring the differences among themselves and practicing perspective-taking helped the first graders recognize that ANYTHING can be Shabbat.
With these perspectives in mind, Dean of Jewish Learning Rabbi Sharon Clevenger led families through an initial teaching of Keva (acting according to the rules) versus Kavanah (acting with intention), and how both approaches are helpful in observing Shabbat. Grade 1 families then worked together to create beautiful illustrations of what Shabbat looks like for them. The final artwork was displayed for a gallery walk, allowing students and parents to see similarities and differences in their own Shabbat traditions.