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The Passover Experience

The Jewish calendar follows the moon, or the lunar cycle. According the Jewish calendar, a month is the length of time it takes for the moon to revolve around the earth—about 29½ days. Some of the Hebrew months therefore have 29 days, while others have 30. To resolve the shortfall of days between the lunar year and the solar year, the Jewish calendar system adds a whole month to certain years. This month is added on at the end of the twelfth month of the lunar cycle, or at the end of winter. A Jewish leap year adds another Adar, so that those years have an Adar I and an Adar II.

Year   

First Day of Passover

 

Last Day of Passover

2019 April 19 April 27
2020 April 8 April 16
2021 March 27 April 4
2022 April 15 April 23
2023 April 5 April 13
2024 April 22 April 30
2025 April 12 April 20

This year, Passover fell in late April and BYDS observed the holiday in session. Parents got a “lunch-making” break and the school provided Kosher for Passover lunches and snacks to everyone on campus.

In preparation for being in school during Chol HaMoed (the intermediary days of Passover), each class searched for chametz, cleaned their classrooms, lockers and backpacks.  We concluded this search for chametz with a “bread burn” officiated by Rabbi Morgen. Last week, prior to celebrating the holiday with our families at Seders, we reviewed every bit of the Passover story through experiences.

The learning experience started with Early Childhood class projects like designing their own Seder plates, Passover placemats, and Elijah’s cups. The 3s classes joined with their 2nd grade buddies to make Matzah covers together. Last week Early Childhood parents were invited to partake in interactive stations with their children. In preparation for the Passover Seder, they sang Passover songs with Ms. Christine, had a taste of the Seder plate foods, and participated in sensory activities surrounding the 10 plagues, parting of the Red Sea, and the story of the burning bush.

The Elementary School students participated in a series of four stations: The Passover Story, A Taste of Passover, Room of 4’s, and Seder of the Seder. Students sang Passover songs, wrote their own 4 questions, reflected on the meaning of freedom, ate traditional Seder plate foods, and participated in a Passover trivia game. Each station focused on specific and important parts of the Passover Haggadah and on Passover traditions and symbols. 2nd Grade held their own model seder in a classroom. Here is an impressive rendition of the Four Questions. Our 5th graders were asked to take this learning a step further with a cross-curricular activity of writing their own script of the Passover story adapted to a modern song and filming their presentation of it. Once these recordings were complete, students, under the guidance of Mrs. Finkelman, were taught how to edit their videos with video editing software. The complete videos were presented during morning exercises and will soon be available for our families to see on our YouTube Channel.

As a Jewish Day school, we strive to create tangible connections between our students and our culture. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to teach our children how to observe and celebrate our Jewish holidays together as a community.

Ariel Rozen
Director of Judaic Studies

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