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Beth-El School Happenings


By Ramona L. Brand, Director of Youth Learning

Be the Shamash

Hannukah, the holiday of Re-dedication, arrives as days are shorter, the dark is deepening and the air chills.

What better time for a Festival of Lights, to bring both illumination and warmth into our homes and hearts?

Hannukah is a perennial favorite of most children; evenings filled with fried foods, family, songs and blessings, chocolate gelt, and presents. There is excitement as we add candle after candle for eight nights to our Hannukiyot, brightening the darkness just a little bit more each Hanukah evening.

The Shamash, the helper candle plays a special role in lighting, for it is this candle that lights all the others. We do not extinguish the Shamash, and after completing the job, the Shamash is placed above or below the other candles to recognize its significance.

Hannukah is also a celebration of rededication and purpose. To notice what is broken, then to fix and make it holy again. The candle standing in solidarity on the Hannukiyah would not shine without the Shamash. Goodness in this world would not shine without helpers. This year

Hanukkah falls, with perfect symmetry four days before and four days after the Winter Solstice. This year, we begin to light the Hannukiyah even as our days are getting darker, reminding us that we must work to bring light to dark places.

By the fourth night, we see that world begins to get brighter our candles increase in brightness. We too can be the Shamash. No kind act, no work of Tikkun Olam, no piece of rededication is too small to light another flame.

Hanukah Samaech!

Hannukah Family Party! Dec. 11

Ready to travel? It’s Chanukah Around the World as this year’s Family Hannukah party takes us to places near and far. Stories, music, games, Gelt, Dreidels and more will light the way to a delicious and exciting Chanukah celebration.

For all students and their families!

When: Sunday, December 11th

Time: 10 a.m. – noon

Parents attend with students

Open to the Community: Non Beth-El members RSVP to r.brand@bethelrichmond.org

December Religious School Calendar:

Sundays: Dec. 4 &11

Wednesdays: Dec. 7 & 14

Virtual Hebrew:

Mondays: Dec. 5 & 12

Thursdays: Dec. 1 & 8

Temple Beth-El Tot Shabbat Services:     Saturday, Dec. 3

For families with children age Birth -5 / Open to the entire community

Families can enjoy a Shabbat service geared for young children and filled with music, stories, movement and more. A musical, meaningful service designed for wiggles.

Meet at 10 a.m. on the back lawn of the VMFA (Grove Ave. side). Bring a blanket or chairs and dress for the weather.  An indoor space will be provided in the event of rain.

Temple Beth-El Religious School employs the best practices in Jewish Education! to raise the curiosity and literacy of our students, teachers, and families!

Contact Ramona L. Brand, Director of Youth Learning at 804-355-3564 ext. 111 or r.brand@bethelrichmond.org  to learn more about our vibrant Jewish education and our remarkable congregation or visit http://www.bethelrichmond.org/education/brown-religious-school/  to find a registration form.

In these photos below and above, Beth-El students in November focused on Torah Stories, Shabbat, Life Cycle Events, American Jewish History, Hebrew and more!