Our Stories

First Graders Celebrate Chagigat HaSiddur with their Families

June 2, 2017 by Silvia Edenburg (Faculty and Staff) Vered Goldstein (Faculty and Staff)

On May 19, First Graders and their families celebrated Chagigat HaSiddur (Celebration of the Prayerbook), a special tradition that has been a part of JPDS-NC for many years. The students sang and recited all the tefilot (prayers) that they learned over the past year. At this milestone celebration, each student was also honored by receiving their very first siddur (prayerbook), which they will use throughout second grade.

The students enter first grade knowing only some of the tefilot, and learn many more over the course of the year. Every morning, the students gather in the Ulam (gathering space) on South Campus to participate in Tefilah. Their beautiful voices permeate the entire building. They sing the prayers with feeling, emotion, and enthusiasm. What better way to start our day? As the year advances, the students begin to read with more fluency, beaming with pride as they follow the text. This year, among many other prayers, the children learned the whole Ashrei (not a small task to accomplish), and for the first time the first graders learned the Halelu prayer as well, which they proudly sang in front of their parents and guests at Chagigat HaSiddur.

The celebration began as the students proudly sang an array of tefilot that they learned throughout the year. After they recited all of the tefillot, the three classes rotated between different activities. In one station the students read their original Hebrew stories to their guests. In another station, they participated in a text study together with their family. At the third station, students received their very own siddur from G’veret Reem. They were so excited to open their new prayerbooks and see the first page – each new prayerbook has a dedication written by their parents that will forever remind them of their bond to their family and the Jewish people.