Our Shule has long ago recognised the value of investing in our youth. While we cherish the strong relationships we have developed over decades with our older members, we acknowledge that we are building a Shule community into the future.
Many of our activities are youth-centric, none more so than those celebrated around the Chagim.
Every activity we run must conform to our child safety policy that can be found as the “Protection of Vulnerable Person’s Policy” on our Policies page.
Shabbat mornings: Every Shabbat morning during school term, we run a children’s programme from 10:30am-11:30am during Shule service. Our experienced madrichot take the children through some of the prayers, teach them about the weekly portion and run activities for them in a fun and stimulating environment.
Purim: This is a fun time and we encourage our youth and their families to come along to Shule and our Purim activities dressed up in fancy costume. Where halachah allows, we try to run an early megilah reading on the night of Purim with a youth-based function immediately prior. We will often also run a Purim activity on the afternoon of Purim. You can stay informed by signing up to our newsletter.
Pesach: This festival starts early for us. Typically on the Sunday (or two) prior to Pesach, we run our annual matzah baking factory during which the children get hands-on experience in preparing and baking matzot. We run a children’s service on the first day of Pesach from 10:30am-11:30am. You can stay informed by signing up to our newsletter.
Shavuot: We make a big deal about having the children hear the reading of “the Ten Commandments” from the Torah on the first day of Shavuot. Therefore, we start a children’s programme beforehand in which the children prepare bikkurim baskets as well as engaging in other activities. The children then proudly march as a group into the Shule accompanied by the music from our renowned choir and remain in Shule for the reading of this important section of the Torah. Following that reading, the children enjoy an ice-cream party to celebrate the importance of dairy foods on Shavuot.
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur: It is not only important that parents can attend High Holyday services without worrying about their children, but it is important for us that children learn to feel comfortable in our shule, particularly on this sacred period of the calendar. So much so, that while we ask that adults not make noise in Shule during services, we accept the noise from our children to a great degree. The madrichot run children’s services on the first day Rosh Hashanah and on Yom Kippur.
Sukkot: Preparations can start before Sukkot with a photography or decorations competition prior to the festival. Children take part, together with adults, to decorate the Shule sukkah. On first day Sukkot, our madrichot run a children’s programme, which includes making the blessing on the lulav and etrog and eating their delicious kiddush food in the sukkah.
Simchat Torah: The year would not be complete without a children’s event for Simchat Torah. In a typical year, a programme would start on the afternoon of Shemini Atzeret, at a children-friendly time and would include a light meal and children’s dancing with the Torah. See a sample flier from our 2016 event. You can stay informed by signing up to our newsletter.
Chanukah: The calendar year concludes with a children’s event for Chanukah and may be a pre-Chanukah event. See a sample flier from our 2015 event.
It is hard to define where our youth age-group ends.