Appreciation, Understanding and Inclusion
On Monday April 16, the Grades 6 and 7 students of Holy Blossom Temple gathered in the Philip Smith Social Hall, the purpose being for Grade 7 students to share with their younger friends ideas and experiences acquired during the past year, and to generate curiosity, interest and excitement among those who will be in the Grade 7 program during 2018-2019.
Students focused on the appreciation of mitzvot, a word frequently translated from the Hebrew as ‘good deeds’ but literally meaning ‘commandments.’ And as Jews we are commanded to care for the world, for one another, and for ourselves.
In the second half of our evening, Grades 6 through 10 students welcomed Pam Schuller of New York, a stand-up comedienne and inclusion specialist who skillfully employs humour, improvisation, conversation, small-group activities and her experience with Tourette’s Syndrome to facilitate the creation of more learned, understanding and compassionate communities. Our HBT students responded to Pam with both enthusiasm and gratitude. How fortunate we were to have Pam with us in our efforts to establish kinder and more inclusive communities.
And how fortunate we are to have an educational setting such as Holy Blossom Temple, through which the inclusive communities for which we aim will – in the best of possible worlds – come to pass.
Rabbi Bill S. Tepper