By DAVE ROSSMAN
Fourth-grade students from the Donna Klein Jewish Academy recently had hands-on involvement in preparing for the Jewish New Year.
The children spent the day in a makeshift “Shofar Factory” at school, learning how to make a shofar (a ram’s horn).
Rabbi Shmuly G. (Gutnick) of Chabad Youth of Florida also was on hand for a lively question-and-answer session about the holiday.
He asked the students, “What are the three rules for the shofar?” Their answers varied a bit, but most were on the right track.
“Correct, the horn must be hollow, curved and come from a kosher animal,” Shmuly said.
Aaron Fils, 9, said the class had been learning about the history of the shofar for some time. “It needs to be a certain kind of animal and it’s used to bring in the New Year,” Aaron said.
Sydney Battan, also 9, said she couldn’t wait to get her gloves on because she believes the concept is an important one.
“They told is it is all about starting the New Year better, and we are supposed to look at our lives,” Sydney said.
Donna Klein Academy Principal Yafa Levit, who has been with the school for 18 years, said there is nothing like the hands-on experience.
“We talk to them about history and the importance of the shofar in the classroom, but this is where it really all comes together,” Levit said. The students got a first-hand look at the entire process of taking the ram’s horn in its raw state through cleaning and polishing procedures.
Teacher Anat Jatwes said it is important for children to grasp the true significance of the shofar. Rabbi Shmuly’s presentation was perfectly crafted to keep the children engaged, she said.
“We want them to know it’s all about reflection and looking back to learn how to become a better person,” Jatwes said. “Rabbi Shmuly is fantastic and they are really grasping the true meaning, but having a lot of fun while doing so.”
-South Florida Sun-Sentinel