29/30 March 2019, 22/23 Adar II 5779

As we come to the end of the Ivriah, Shabbatots and Kabbalat Torah term I want to share our highlights. It’s been such a good year – we have added another 10 children to our Ivriah, we have 4 new families at Shabbatots, we have more teachers than ever, our Kabbalat Torah and B’nei Mitzvah groups are our biggest yet, and our Challah Baking project has reached so many members of the community.

I recently saw a Torah commentary called “Learning from a Sandwich”. As a good Jew (i.e. someone who perks up and the sight of food) this title caught my eye – and seemed especially relevant this week as our Torah Portion tells us the Kosher laws.

Our year 5 and 6s (aged 10-11) explored the Kashrut in all its forms, from the laws in the Torah and traditional adherence, to progressive interpretations of Kashrut, through to Eco-Kashrut and how it influences our ideas on all purchasing.

Perhaps a highlight for both adults and children was when they came into Café Ivriah to lead a discussion on FPS members’ experiences, adherences and encounters with Kashrut. The children wanted to know how adults in their community chose to respond to the laws of food as they begin to look at the decisions they will make as adults.

This is so important. Adults in our community are the role models for our children. Children are intrigued by our truths, our lives and our decisions. The more I do this job the more I expose young people to the inner workings of the adult mind – not so they can be weighed down by mortgage payments and blocked sinks – but so that they can see we sometimes stumble and struggle, that conversation is essential, and crucially that children can learn from listening to adults but also that the adults continue their thought journeys by listening to children.

Our incredible teachers make our ever-growing Ivriah a fun and interesting place to learn – and our children respond with (lots of!) exuberance and joy. However, we know we’re tucked away in the Education Corridor. So please do join us when we come out into the light – our Kabbalat Torah teenagers will be taking the Shavuot morning service, our teachers take most B’yachad services (special shout-out to our Musical B’yachad on 12th May), our Duke of Edinburgh volunteers challah bake every Thursday, our B’nei Mitzvah students will be taking part in the Yom Ha’Shoah conversation on 2nd May, and you can always, always catch them near the Kiddush table every Shabbat morning – because you really can learn a lot from a sandwich!

Shabbat Shalom

Zoe Jacobs