Our February JCS session was cancelled due to a heavy snowfall, timed just right to interfere with travel to Talmud of Saint Paul, where we meet. We made up for it with a full morning of events in March.

Students in our Littles, Middles and Juniors Group had just over an hour in class, while out B’Mitvah group joined adults to hear the month’s adult program – read more below.

Following classes we had a scaled down Purim Carnival, with games, craft activities, and prizes, and then a performance by the Judith Eisner Klezmorim of their Purim Spiel, an hour-long joyful production with singing, live music, dancing, costumes and noisemakers, with the name Haman loudly and frequently booed.

The morning was topped off with delicious home made hamantashen.





The Littles Group, Preschool – Kindergarten, Teacher Josh Kaplan

This month at JCS we focused on Purim. We had a short class because of our Purim carnival and special presentation. We did, however, learn a new song, read a Purim story, and make noisemakers. Three cheers for the kids that wore cool costumes!

The Middles Group, Grades 1 – 3, Teacher Colline Roland

While this Sunday’s session was short due to the Purim Carnival and play, the middles still managed to read a couple of books and fit in a craft.

To get ready for the holiday we read a short book,’Purim’, about the history behind why we celebrate Purim.

After this we cut strips of paper so that we could create a woven Purim basket! As the kids were busy cutting they listened to the story ‘The Purim Superhero’ where the theme was be yourself.


The Juniors Group, Grades 4-5, Teacher Renee Dorman

n March, the Juniors discussed the story of Purim through the lens of Esther as a social justice activist. Each student learned about another woman who changed the world through activism and created four illustrations to show the person, the setting, the problem, and the solution/type of activism. If you are interested in learning more, the women we studied were: Clara Lemlich (who was Jewish!), Dolores Huerta, Fannie Sellins, Malala Yousafzai, Georgia Gilmore, and Clara Luper. We then enjoyed music, games, and hamentaschen at the Purim celebration.

Clara Lemlich Shavelson (above) was a leader of the Uprising of 20,000, a massive strike by workers in New York’s garment industry in 1909.  She spoke in Yiddish and called for action.


B’ Mitzvah Group, Grades 6 – 7, Teacher Eva Cohen

Eva was home this month enjoying the new arrival in her family, Freyja Devorah Cohen, born February 26.   Eva’s substitute teacher, Sam Wegner.  Sam is an alumni of Or Emet’s Jewish Cultural School, son of Tom Wegner and Barbara Weisman, who celebrated his B’Mitzvah about ten years ago.  Sam is a graduate of Middlebury College who has been working in youth-related services for non-profit organizations.   We are elated to have Sam return as a part of the Or Emet community.

The B’Mitzvah group were invited to take part in this month’s adult program, “Issues and Advocacy for Jewish GLBTQ+ Identity”, presented by Noam Sienna, Jewish educator, artist, doctoral candidate and author of A Rainbow Thread: An Anthology of Queer Jewish Texts from the First Century to 1969 and Jayce Koester, J-Pride program coordinator at Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis.  Following the adult program, the two speakers met with just the students, guiding them in processing what they had heard and how it related to their experiences as they move toward adulthood.

Noam Sienna


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