Home Synagogues Or Atid Celebrating Israel at Or Atid

Celebrating Israel at Or Atid


By Alexandra Mendez-Zfass

On Sunday, April 30, Congregation Or Atid hosted Or Ami’s religious school to celebrate Yom Ha Atzmaut, Israel’s 75th independence day.

The Jewish National Fund co-sponsored and collaborated to help create and execute the important event. Russell Finer, from the JNF, Rabbi Sherry Grinsteiner from Or Atid, and Rabbi Ahuva Zaches from Or Ami, greeted a sanctuary-filled room of students and parents. Three stations were created for student groups, split by age, to rotate through.

Rabbi Sherry led the Israel map group using a 25-foot floor map as a guide. Rabbi Sherry took the students through the major geographical aspects of Israel, prompting them to discuss how certain aspects may affect each region. The Dead Sea (Yam HamMelah) was one of particular interest to the younger students who were amazed by the lack of fish in the water and how anyone can only stay in the Dead Sea for 10-15 minutes before it starts to sting due to the salinity.

Russell Finer let some of the older students in a write-and-share activity. Students were given famous quotes about one’s character, bravery, strength of conviction, and equality. The students read the quotes, and were prompted to relate them to their lives, and how they might inspire them for the future.

A robust discussion about personal, local, national, and global topics occurred. The students displayed a great sense of hope and knowledge throughout the session.

Rabbi Ahuva led a craft group for the younger students. The students wrote their Hebrew names in glue, glittered them, and strung a piece of string to create Hebrew name hangers. Then students created Star of David mobiles out of popsicles, sticks, string, and pipe cleaners.

At the end of the station, Russell Finer brought in Kosher mac n cheese and pizza from Pop’s Bar and Grill and an Israel 75 cake from BJs. The entire session was so much fun. Each student left happy, filled with new information, and new friendships. The collaboration between Or Atid, Or Ami, and JNF was a huge success and a great celebration for Israel.


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