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July 23, 2004     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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July 23, 2004
 

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PAGE 4B HERITAGE The leadership and staff at Congregation Ohev Sha- lom have chosen the motto "Do Jewish With Us" for the coming program year. The department of Youth and Family Education, in keeping with the theme, has plan ned an array ofevent and programs to insure that not only will participants want to "do Jewish," they will want to "do more Jewish." Congregation Ohev Shalom prides itself on its excellent religious school for students in grades K - 7. The core cur- riculum is based upon Hebrew language, prayer, Torah, and holidays, subjects that every grade studies beginning in kindergarten. Each grade has a special program, project or milestone each year that in- volves the students and their families and goes beyond the walls of the classroom. There is the kindergarten Pajama Havdallah, first grade Con- secration and wimpel mak- ing, second grade Siyum featuring the "Luach with Ruach," learning about the Jewish calendar, third grade Siddur Dedication, fourth and fifth grade day-long Shabba- ton, sixth and seventh grade weekend Shabbatonim. The Shabbatonim are cel- ebrations of Shabbat. Fourth and fifth graders spend an entire Shabbat day at the syn- agogue beginning at 10 a.m. Shabbat morning and ending after Havdalah. Together they pray, study in an informal at- mosphere, play, share meals and celebrate Havdalah. The themes of the Shabbatonim rotate between Jewish Life Cycle and Kashrut. The sixth and seventh grades each have their own weekend away at the Woodlands Camp where they celebrate Shabbat in a camp setting. In addition to services, participants share meals followed by Birkat and lots of "ruach," study about contemporary Jewish issues and Israel, swim, canoe, play sports, have a campfire and hayride. The staff and leader- ship have seen an increase in the participation of this age group in youth group experi- ences and a stronger desire to attend Hebrew school to see the friends they have bonded with at the Shabbaton. Teens who are involved in United Synagogue Youth (USY)are used as counselors at the Shabbaton and are able to serve as role models to this age group. Congregation Ohev Shalom prides itself on being able to meet the needs of children who learn differently, through one-on-one tutoring as well as group pull-out classes. COS has a Sunday program for its members whose children are in sixth and seventh grade and attend the Patricia Selznick Middle School of the Hebrew Day School of Central Florida. These students are mixed in with the entire class. The staff and leadership of COS believe that children and youth need to be taught to par- ticipate in Tikkun Olam and to give of themselves.Therefore, students and families regu- larly do seders, holiday and Shabbat visits and deliver Purim Mishloach Manot and challah to area senior living facilities. They also do park clean-ups, cook at Ronald McDonald House and help at "A Gift For Teaching." The staff of the religious school is comprised of trained teachers, many of whom are certified in special education, those with master's degrees in psychology and human re- sources, people who love Juda- ism and children and people who live what they teach. Most of the teaching staff has been part of the staff at COS for nine years or more. Amy Geboff, director of Youth and Family Education, is in her ninth year on staff. This past year, the youth groups of COS experienced major growth. USY, which is for ninth-twelfth graders, has received several awards both on the regional and subre- gional level. It is not unusual to see a regular group of teens coming to Shabbat services. Kadima, for sixth-eighth graders, had a membership of 83 last year and expects to go beyond that this year. Olim, for fourth and fifth graders, continues to be a supplement to the religious school experience. All of the youth groups have programs and events each month. The opening event for USY is Sunday, August 15, featuring a day at New Smyrna Beach. Kadima and Olim will have their opening events on August 29. In addition to youth groups, COS offers youth in grades 9-12 the MACHAR program, which encourages teens to "do Jewish" by going to youth group events, services, Beit Hamidrash, and to do volun- teer work. Thanks to a gen- erous grant from the Joseph and Frieda Ross Foundation, participants earn $1/hour for any of the listed events in which they participate. The money they earn is used towards conventions, Jewish summer programs and Beit Hamidrash tuition. The COS MACHAR program is accepted by both Orange and Seminole County schools as a means for students to earn their com- munity service hours for the Bright Futures Scholarship. This past year, COS youth performed "We Are Your Song America," a musical about immigration from Russia to New York. Participants ranged from grades 4-12. The program was under- written by a generous grant from the Joseph and Frieda Ross Foundation. The goal was to connect youth to the synagogue through another vehicle aside from services, school and youth groups. New friendships were formed and a COS youth family was cre= Early Childhood Learning Center Area school leaders agree; JCC pre-schoolers come well prepared academically and socially to begin elementary school Kid Connection After-School Program Award-winning after-school program where friendships last a lifetime. Also offers many fun actitivies plus a supervised homework room Enrichment Academy Extra-Curricular After-School Activities We've got the best teachers right here on campus. Lessons available in music, tennis, karate, dance, theatre and more JCC of Greater Orlando 851 No. Maitland Ave. Maitland, FL 32751 407-645-5933 www.orlandojcc.org Carlos M. Jacinto, M.D. Steven Rosenberg, M.D. Jayanthi Ravi, M.D. *Asthma *Hay Fever *Sinusitis *Hives *Food Allergy *Drug Allergy *Insect Allergy *Eczema ALLEI~'GY & ASTHMA ASSOCIATES OF C:ENTr~AL FLOI~ID/~, 1890 SR 436, STE. 215 Winter Park, FL 32792 407-678-4040 685 Palm Springs Dr Ste. ID Allamonte Springs, FL 32701 407-331-6244 7232 Sand Lake Rd Ste. 100 Orlando, FL 32819 407-370-3705 721 Oak Common Blvd Ste. A Kissimmee, FL 34741 407-931-0990 The cast of the COS Youth Theatre Are Your Song America." Friends celebrate their graduation from Ohev Shalom religious school in May. ated as the older and younger children worked together. COS believes that the family is the primary means bywhich children develop their Jew- ish values. COS has created a separate Family Program committee chaired by Beth Gruber to continue to offer families the opportunity to strengthen their Jewish val- ues. Ela Crespin will serve as the Family Program coordi- nator. This past year, COS offered a successful Family Shabbaton at the Woodlands and there will be another in March 2005. Other family programs include holiday cel- ebrations, monthly "Shabbat Shindigs" on the first Friday evening of each month, and socials "for no reason but to schmooze and nosh!" There is also a plan for a Family Mitzvah day. The first Shab- bat Shindig is Friday, August 6, and the entire community is welcome to attend. COS believes it is success- ful because it has group of mittee committed to its membershipc "do Jewish" Schauder serve! President of is the execut Education Committees. will serve as Risa Attermanr to serve as youth. to come and "Do US." For more about the Family ment, contact, thesynagogue; or by e-mail offofLeeRoad, 2miles west ins College Studies program The Jewish Studies pro- gram at Roll ins College ended its academic year 2003-2004 on a high note with its first dinner on May 7, celebrating the achievements and gradu- ation of 6 seniors in Jewish Studies. Some 50 students, graduates, faculty, Hillel staff, members of the community, families and friends gathered atthe Rinker Room fora Sab- bathwelcome and program. A special recognition was made to the Jewish Student League for receiving the "Organiza- tion of the Year" award by the Rollins Cultural Action Committee. The Jewish Studies pro- gram's course offerings are expanding to meet student interest and demand. This coming fall semester, its in- terdisciplinary program will be offeringavarietyofdayand evening courses such as The Hebrew Bible; Artand Archae- ology of Egypt and the Near East; Biblical Role Models for Character Education; The Bible as Literature; Survey of Jews and Music; Religion in America; The Lost Tribes of Israel; and JeV and Muslims. The prog series in commence on with an evening widely-knoWn best-sellin stature of the program has cil. The goals are to growth of Program. Me! Council leaders, For more garding the Program at contact Dr. berg CreenbeJ and Professor and Religi College, 4( enberg@