Chanukah on S. Juniper St.

This week has been full of light and joy. We feel so blessed to have this beautiful space on S. Juniper St. to joyfully learn in, while we grow. 

As we gathered outside for snacktime learning this week, the excited energy was palpable. We noshed on graham crackers and apples while kiddos shared what they know about Chanukah.

  • We use a menorah! 
  • We celebrate for eight nights but there are nine candles because of the shammash. (The candle used to kindle the other eight lights!) 
  • We sing songs and do dreidels. 
  • We light candles and eat latkes! 
  • We get presents. 
  • We listen to the prayers. 
  • The Maccabees fought for the Jews. 
  • The oil lasted for eight nights which was a miracle. 
  • We eat sufganiyot! (Jelly doughnuts)
  • Some people have a Chanukah party.

We reflected on what it means to have the choice to practice Judaism how we want to. One kiddo said: “We are all different people so we can’t do everything the same! That’s what makes us special!” 

As we continued to learn about Chanukah which means rededication, we thought about what dedication means to us. I asked the students what we might do to dedicate our new space. Students shared wonderful ideas: 

  • Make food to share. 
  • Make a menorah that has enough candles for everyone at Makom to light one. 
  • Have a cat party. 
  • Eat icecream. 
  • Name each room and make a sign. 
  • Make a mural. 
  • Make a dedicated arts and crafts space. 

One thing we have already done to dedicate our space is to start making a mural of our Brit (two way promise) with our finalized language about how we would like to treat each other at Makom. 

After a whole unit of discussing what we would like to incorporate, kiddos voted and decided on the most important sentiments. Seeing students’ excitement bubbling as they began to write their brit lines on the walls was a wonderful experience. “I can actually write it on the wall?” One student inquired with wide eyes. Students took pride in their jobs as they each wrote out the ideas they came up with. I heard words of encouragement and saw students patiently waiting for their turn. 

Being in our own space really feels like a miracle. As we walked through the various rooms, we unpacked our dreams for the space together. Students already are adjusting to the new layout and understanding the expectations. 

I can’t wait to watch us settle in throughout the rest of the year. Next week we will officially kick off Unit Two: Holy Me! 



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