Thankfully we got through our March JCS session without having to work around a snowstorm.  We had lively classroom sessions, and an even livelier time at our annual Purim Carnival.  Thanks so much to everyone who helped set up the carnival and run the games and activities, and a special thank you to Anne Handley who prepared the dough in advance and worked with all of our students to bake delicious hamanetschen.

Here are summaries of each class’s activities, and some photos from the carnival.  See you next month, when (among other things) our students will prepare for the Passover Seder that will come shortly after.

The Littles Group (pre-school & kindergarten), teacher Josh Kaplan

This week at Jewish Cultural School we learned all about Purim. The Purim story is a hard one to tell to very small children, simply because of the threats of violence, so I tend to keep it light and general. We sang the song “My Hat Has Three Corners,” which is super fun because, each time the verse repeats, you leave out words! We also colored, read two Purim books, and made hamentashen. At the end of the day, we all participated it the school’s Purim carnival which was a ton of fun!

Note: My baby is due April 28th. My expectation is that I am present for the final two sessions but, as you parents are aware, babies don’t always arrive on schedule.


The Middles Group (1st – 3rd grade) – teacher Colline Roland

Today our class revolved around the holiday of Purim! As we anxiously awaited the clock to strike 11:45am we did a couple things in class. Firstly we had a conversation about what the kids remembered about Purim. Then we set the record straight about their thoughts and Ian read Sammy Spiders First Purim. After, Ari thought up a game similar to Simon Says where when you hear Hamans name you clap and stop your feet. From there we played a version of Marco Polo. One of the kids was blindfolded and had to figure out where and who was saying Hamans name. Lastly, we created Stars of David using name specific-enstachens rather than Hamantaschens!

The Juniors Group (4th – 5th grades) – teacher Renee Dorman

In March, the Juniors group reviewed our knowledge of Purim and watched a short film version of Queen Esther’s story. We also had a great time celebrating by making our own Purim costumes!

The B’Mitzvah Prep Group (6th and 7th grades) – teacher Eva Cohen

This month at JCS, B’ Mitzvah students learned about the history of Jewish immigration to the United States. The class did an Ellis Island immigration simulation, and then discussed biases and issues in the US immigration system (both historically and contemporarily). We talked a little about Eastern European Jewish immigration to New York City specifically and Jewish contributions to Broadway/American musical theater, and then students acted out a short purimshpiel based on the musical West Side Story. Students finished the morning by helping to run games for the Purim carnival!

Purim Carnival photos taken by Scott Chazdon (thank you, Scott)




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