Tribes: Another Way We Celebrate Kehillah

Bud Lichtenstein
At Rashi, we build community each day.
At Rashi, we build community each day – in each classroom, across the grade, with buddies, and in school divisions (lower and upper). We build kehillah at lunch, at recess, and during Kabbalat Shabbat.
For 45 minutes this past Wednesday, the whole school participated in Tribes, another way we create a sense of community. Divided into 12 multiage groups (the 12 tribes of Israel), teachers led students in a variety of playful, engaging activities that promoted several goals:
  • Creating a sense of family across the school
  • Introducing children to each other across the grade levels
  • Encouraging older students to be role models and “older siblings” for our younger students
  • Nurturing a sense of playfulness
  • Ensuring that every child is known – not just by his/her teachers but by teachers across the school
I watched all these and more in action this past week. I was most touched by the older students who leaned into building relationship with the younger kids.
This represents the best of what a K-8 school does. When children are known well, are loved, feel safe, and have fun at school they feel more comfortable at school and thereby are more available for academic, physical, emotional, and social learning. This is the real payoff. Children grow when they are in a loving, nurturing and caring community – one of Rashi’s core principles.