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Living Legacy - Bringing Jewish Rituals to Life

Friday, 22 August, 2014 - 12:40 pm

One of the greatest challenges that Jewish educators face is making the lessons and practices of Judaism interesting and relevant. Children, and for that matter adults, are no longer satisfied with the “tell me what to do and I will do it” approach to teaching. It needs to be fun, interactive and fascinating. The Living Legacy Series was created to meet this challenge. Born years ago as a cluster of independent craft workshops such as the Model Matzah Bakery and Shofar Factory, they have since been organized into a comprehensive series that brings the holidays and rituals of Judaism to life. The Living Legacy Series is an opportunity for children to have fun doing a craft project while learning the most “boring” details about the mitzvah or holiday.  A child (or adult) who bakes his or her own Matzah, for example, and goes through the steps of the process, will view the Matzah and the Seder in a new light. The holiday comes alive for them and is much more meaningful. 

One of the first projects I got involved with at Chabad of Louisiana was bringing the Shofar Factory to our community. The look on the children’s faces as they experience the Shofar Factory, is the best proof of the worthiness of the program. The exclamations of “cool,” “awesome” and “wow this is neat” make it worth the work that goes into the project. We have since added four additional workshops, the Olive Press, Torah Factory, Model Matzah Bakery and Mezuzah Factory. We have also offered these workshops to adult groups and they have been as enthusiastic as the children. The latter two workshops were made possible through the Jewish Federation’s Strategic Grant Initiative. Three years ago the Goldring Family Foundation began to underwrite Chabad of Louisiana’s Living Legacy Series. We are grateful to Mr. Alan Franco for his efforts on our behalf. This generous support allows us to offer the workshops to schools, and youth and adults groups at a very reasonable rate.

Through the Living Legacy Series we have been able to reach out to schools and groups all across the region from Lafayette to Biloxi and everywhere in between. We have visited every single Jewish school and Synagogue in the area. We look forward to a busy Shofar Factory season beginning next weekend, including a workshop for Young Jewish Professionals on September 11.

Project Talmud Summer 2014 was held last Monday night. Over 40 participants enjoyed the lecture and the classes. See photos below or at www.chabadneworleans.com/2457415.

Chabad of Louisiana has recently signed up for the Amazon Smile program. You can now shop on Amazon and a percentage of your purchase will be donated to Chabad Lubavitch of Louisiana. Go to www.smile.amazon.com/ch/72-0791958 and select Chabad Lubavitch of Louisiana as your charity. For your purchase to be eligible, you must begin at www.smile.amazon.com.

This coming Sunday we will gather Anshe Sfard Synagogue to remember a good friend, Dr. Stuart Haas. Service begins at 4:30. Following the memorial, refreshments will be served. Please let us know if you will be in attendance.

Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom
Rabbi Mendel Rivkin

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