Last week, thousands of members of the Boston Jewish community gathered together for the Celebrate Israel Festival of Boston to highlight Israel and Judaism.
The Celebrate Israel: Boston festival is a one day celebration of Israeli arts, culture, music, dance, fun and food. The event is the result of an extraordinary year-long community collaboration that united an unprecedented number of local Jewish and Israeli organizations, synagogues and schools. The festival was organized through the partnership of Combined Jewish Philanthropies and the Boston Israeli American Council. On hand to provide the hands-on mitzvah workshops was a team of Tzivos Hashem Crafts Workshops staff as well as the local Chabad shluchim.
Working together with the local CJP staff and volunteers, the Tzivos Hashem Crafts Workshops staff and Rabbi and Mrs. Mendy Uminer and Rabbi and Mrs. Dovid Bush conducted a half dozen workshops in a special tent nicknamed ‘Virtual Jerusalem.” The tent housed a life sized backdrop of the Kotel that could be seen from everywhere.
Despite the intermittent rain, hundreds of visitors, were treated to a half dozen hands-on mitzvah workshops in the tent. Rivka Albukerk assisted women and girls to design their own Shabbat candle stick to take home complete with candles and Mivtzah Neshek calendar. Young children and the young at heart had a blast braiding and twisting their own original beeswax candle for a complete Havdallah kit together with besamim spices, and instruction guide.
At the other end of the tent, Boruch Negin and Shabsi Zakheim showed hundreds of children and adults how a Torah is made from schratch. Everyone learned how to use a kosher feather quill and ink to inscribe their names on Torah parchment and obtain a letter in a Sefer Torah. Those who wanted perfectly formed letters written by a sofer visited Avraham Levy who patiently inscribed hundreds of names on real kosher parchment.
Meanwhile at the virtual Kotel, boys and men lined up to put on tefillin with thirteen year old Mendy Uminer, who just became Bar Mitzvah himself. While standing next to the virtual Western Wall many children and adults were inspired to solemnly write a ‘Letter to G-d,’ as is customary at the Kotel.
For more information about the Tzivos Hashem Crafts Workshops visit JewishChildren.com