Sukkot: The “Time of our Joy” (even in 2020!)

October 12, 2020

“Go with the flow” is one of the class intentions posted on the fourth grade wall. “Adaptability” is one of the principles of our reopening plans that has made in-person learning possible. “Looking for opportunities” amidst transformational change has become our outlook on life during this pandemic.

It is Sukkot, a holiday that commands us to adapt to a change of space and place as we build and sit in Sukkot. Although our beloved Sukkot picnic, the second grade Sukkah hop, and taking turns eating lunches in our Mirowitz sukkah were not possible, our joy was not diminished.

Middle school students were quick to remind me, another name for this holiday is Zman Simchatenu — “Time of Our Joy.”

Our creative teachers found the opportunities and created for your children what will surely become life long memories. Just ask Mrs. Burack’s art students who made Sukkot art installations in the woods. Ask the dozens of families who participated in our Sukkot celebrations each night, painting watercolors, listening to stories, and making apple turnovers together over zoom.

Ask the first graders who built and decorated a class sukkah, and the second graders who worked in pairs to construct a personal sukkah. Ask the middle school students how they connected various texts to joy and created a stunning art installation for our school sukkah.

It is no surprise that our teachers so aptly adapted their lessons. Each activity and class project was intentionally designed to give our students experiences they might not have at any other place at any other time. They integrated art, STEAM, Jewish texts and discussions about values to ensure that this is indeed a zman simchatenu.

Meaningful learning has always been our promise to you. Your children, after all, only have one chance at childhood. We are the guardians of their days, and pandemic or not, we hope to fill them with learning that evokes a lifetime of memories and simcha, joy.

Chag Sukkot Sameach,