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Kindness, Maccabiah, and Snow – Oh My!

What a week! Kindness Week. Maccabiah. Snow Day in May. We look forward to this week all year – and for different reasons. We celebrate Kindness Week to honor and celebrate core Jewish values and BYDS life skills. Maccabiah offers an opportunity for fun, teamwork, comradery and good old-fashioned competition. Snow Day in May was a fun addition to this week as we celebrated a record-breaking FOUR grades reaching 100% family participation in our Annual Fund campaign.

On a daily basis we focus on Respect, Cooperation, Gratitude, Integrity, and Responsibility. The common thread is KINDNESS. Kindness can be in the intentional form – tzedakah (giving to charity), hachnasat orchim (welcoming visitors), or the unintentional (picking up trash when you see it on the floor, helping a friend who is feeling sad). Either way, we keep these life skills on the top of our minds. We are excited to announce the Rockin’ Red Rabbis won the #KindnessChallenge, which involved the Marble Jar Challenge, exhibiting good sportsmanship during Maccabiah, and demonstrating the BYDS Life Skills throughout the week.

Each day this week we focused on a different Life Skill:
Monday: Gratitude – Students sat with their Maccabiah teams instead of with their grades at a Mix-it-up Lunch.
Tuesday: Respect – Professor Newton presented a fun and interactive science presentation.
Wednesday: Integrity – Students learned about doing the right thing from the 2nd grade play, “Character Matters”.
Thursday: Cooperation – Teams earned points for more than just athletic ability; it’s also about teamwork and good sportsmanship.
Friday: Responsibility – Each grade was assigned an area of school to help clean.

Maccabiah – oh what can I say about Maccabiah?! The students had a blast! They cheered and chanted, climbed rock walls, competed in relay races, and our 5th graders played volleyball against the teachers! Congratulations to the PURPLE team for winning Maccabiah!

After Maccabiah, we celebrated four classes reaching 100% parent participation in our 2018-2019 Annual Giving campaign. The students and teachers enjoyed snowballs and snow angels. We are looking forward to MORE snow next year for all our classes to play in the snow. Thanks to all the families who gave generously for this fundraising drive and for the others we did throughout the year.

These three events circled around Lag B’Omer which was celebrated this year on May 23rd.  Lag B’Omer is the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer*. We start counting immediately after the Pesach seders and continue for 49 days until Shavuot. There are three different meanings to our celebrating of this minor Jewish holiday. 1) Bikkurim, the harvest season and bringing in the first foods of the spring season; 2) anticipation of receiving Torah on Mount Sinai (Har Sinai) on Shavuot, and; 3) celebration of the day a plague subsided during the time of Rabbi Akiva. So the Jews went from a period of mourning the many deaths from the plague to happiness because the plague stopped on that day. Lag B’Omer is often celebrated in Jewish communities around the world with Maccabiah games and in Israel with bonfires!

I want to offer my own words of thanks to the entire BYDS community for welcoming me into the fold of the BYDS family. I have truly enjoyed meeting you, working with many of you and laughing with your children during Kabbalat Shabbat or checking in with them during lunch. Your acts of kindness: Respect, Cooperation, Gratitude, Integrity and Responsibility are wonderful examples to our children! May you all continue to go from strength to strength. I will be at the school all summer gearing up for August – please feel free to connect with me!

*An “Omer” is a Biblical measure of barley.

by: Vivian Blum, Director of Advancement

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