The 2nd Challah Bake, put on by the Cohen Religious School Committee, took place on Thursday, March 8. Close to 140 participants, comprised of NSS Beth El School parents, synagogue members and outside guests, came together to mix, knead, and braid the challah dough. Religious School parent, Anya Viner, led the demonstration and shared many interesting facts and tips to making challah. All the participants enjoyed the night of community building and socializing and left with challah to bake at home to help enhance their Shabbat celebration.
On Wednesday, March 7, Michelle Brafman, author of Bertrand Court and Washing the Dead, joined our Writing Workshop to help our writers with prompts and ideas to inspire their writing. She will return on Sunday, March 10 at 12:30 pm to participate in our Sisterhood Torah Fund Book Club where she will talk about Bertrand Court. We hope you will join us!
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On Tuesday, March 6th, our USY group and the Men’s Club, joined together to pack Yom HaShoah candles to send out to the congregation. They boxed and labeled a total of 1,026 candles, to be mailed to the entire Beth El community. Joe Adler, the Men’s Club member who organizes this packing event noted: “Every day of the year, all 365, is a Yahrzeit for close to 18,000 Jews, 4,100 of whom were children, for whom Kaddish is not said and no Yahrzeit candles are lit!” Additional candles are available in the front office, if desired.
We had an amazing time at the Purim Carnival on Sunday, March 4. There were five giant inflatables, games, prizes and most of all fun! A big thank you to the Men’s Club for helping with food, the Youth Commission for running tickets and our prize booth. A big shout out to USYers and Sokol Hebrew High School students for running all the booths. We had record attendance and volunteers this year – all due to our wonderful Beth El community.
Over 300 people turned out last night for an incredible Purim Celebration! Two Megillah readings took place – one in the Sager, and one in the Field Sanctuary. Attendees were able to enjoy either an early Pre-Megillah dinner, or a post-Megillah Seduah -thank you Circle of Life Catering! Costumes that crushed it: dinosaurs, jesters, clowns, Philadelphia Eagle fans, and Rabbi Kurtz look-alikes. Yasher Koach to our multi-generational Megillah readers! The evening concluded in high spirits (yes, the bottled ones too!) and an outstanding performance by the Beth El house band!
The children in the Paul S. & Sylvia Steinberg Preschool enjoyed a morning of Purim fun! The children listened to a Purim Shpiel, enjoyed yummy hamenstashen, and played many games at the preschool Purim Carnival. Many of our students came dressed in costumes that they created in their classrooms as part of learning the Purim Story. Others came dressed in their favorite costumes from home – they all looked fabulous!! It was a joyous morning for all!
Last night, Devorah Heitner, an expert on young people’s relationship with digital media and technology, spoke to a group of parents at Beth El. Dr. Heitner is the author of Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World and founder of Raising Digital Natives.
In preparation for Purim, Cohen Religious School students learned how to bake Hamentashen. In groups of 10 at a time, students came to the Beth El kitchen to get a hands-on baking lesson from Beth El Youth Director, Tovah Goodman. Cookies were baked and packaged for delivery during Purim (March 1st). Don’t worry, the students got to try their creations just to make sure they passed “quality control.” Don’t be surprised if your student wants to try making them at home!
On Tuesday, February 13, the Beth El Pre-School held its annual “Shema Pajama Party” in the Blumberg. Over 120 people enjoyed a pizza dinner, pillow decorating, (finished by inserting a copy of the shema into the pillowcase) and a special story time with Paddy Lynn, who facilitated an interactive version of Stone Soup. Jammies, blankies, and slippers made for an extra fun night! Special thanks to Carol Ring and Leslie Hirschfeld for chairing the event.