Kindergarteners Inspired by Light-related Themes of Hanukkah

Through the darkening days before winter break, Judaic studies teacher Jonathan Ferris says, “Kindergarteners brought what they knew about Hanukkah to light.” (Pun definitely intended.)
“Whenever introducing a new unit,” Mr. Ferris says, “I always first awaken student enthusiasm about the topic. I find the themes of light to be super-inspirational to kindergarteners. So we began it all by bringing in their light to our classroom—by creating hanging dreidels and handprint hanukkiot (hanukkiahs). Then we dove deeper into the ideas of miracles in our own world, learned the blessings for lighting the Hanukkah candles, learned the sounds and how to write the Hebrew letters nun, gimmel, hay, shin, and of course played games of dreidel with each other.”
The introduction to holiday rituals and the exposure to Jewish values through hands-on activities are key components of the kindergarten Judaic studies program.