And welcome back from Ski Week! As we enter March we are once again on the cusp of a major holiday. In a few weeks we will be celebrating the exciting holiday of Purim. On March 13, I am please to announce, we will be able to restart the annual Temple Beth Hillel Purim Carnival, which will run from 12:00-1:30 p.m. It will be a lot of fun! We will also be having Religious School straight through March so all Sundays in March will have Religious School. Our next session will be this Sunday, March 6, at 9:30 a.m.
And now for the recap. Rabbi Dean led our Tefillah Service before all the kids went to their classes. The lower and middle grades have been working on the theme of Tzedakhah. All the kids made their own Tzedakah boxes and discussed the key ideas and actions behind Tzedakah.
For the Bnai Mitzvah class, our focus was on the current crisis in Ukraine and how it relates to the Jewish community here and in that suffering country. Our first hour was spent learning the Before Haftorah prayer while reviewing the Torah blessings. For the second hour, the class researched the history of the Jewish community in Ukraine stretching all the way back over 1000 years ago. We learned that Jews were welcomed into Ukraine during the Polish Empire, forced to live in the Pale of Settlement in the Russian Empire, and suffered heavily in the Holocaust yet still survived through the 20th century. Among the most fascinating facts we learned:
- Ukraine today has one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe
- The current President of Ukraine, President Zelinsky, who has done so much to rally the people of Ukraine, is Jewish
- Back in 2019, Ukraine was the only country other than Israel to have both a Jewish president and a Jewish Prime Minister.
Next week we will be learning more about this amazing community.
And that about covers it for now. I look forward to seeing everyone on Sunday!