Celebrating Hanukkah and kindness

Brandeis School students create ‘Pillowcases for Pediatrics’ for hospital patients

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Finding togetherness and recognizing miracles were the themes of the Brandeis School’s Hanukkah celebration as students, faculty, parents and other family membersgathered to light the Lawrence school’s menorah, complete work on a chesed (kindness) project called “Pillowcases for Pediatrics” and enjoy dinner and a show featuring the New York City-based Yeladudes Theater group on Dec. 9.

As the candles were lit on the menorah, Brandeis School Rabbi Eli Kahn spoke about the miracle of the holiday and how important it is for the children to carry on its message.

“The unique part of Hanukkah is publicizing the miracle,” he said. “The oil in Hanukkah was the miracle because it lasted eight days. Everyone knows that, but how many people saw the miracle? Very few. Because very few saw it, it is up to us — we have to let people know.”

About 10 students at the school also participated in the project for Winthrop-University Hospital, where they designed and decorated pillowcases for children who are patients at the Mineola hospital.

Dvir Gamliel, a fifth-grader at Brandeis, created a pillowcase that showed his pride for Israel. “I go to Israel every summer,” he said. “Everyone who believes in Israel should go there if they can. The symbol I drew in the center represents Israel and my love for the country.”

Before the Yeladudes Theater started their performance, a dinner of latkes, cheese pizza, and donuts was served. The theater group showed a short “Kef Date,” which focused on learning about Jewish values, the Hebrew language and Israel.

Then the troupe performed “The Hanukkah Miracle.” A play featuring a character named Yehuda Hamacabbi and friends, about the eight-day holiday as well as teaching a lesson on bullying. In the play, the Hanukkah miracle is that two friends learn to help each other win a dreidel-spinning contest by believing and trusting each other.

Events such as are great to bring everyone together, said Roxanne Schebovitz, a Brandeis Parents Association Board member. “Brandeis is a family and we stress the importance of all of our families enjoying every holiday at the Brandeis together, for a fun filled night of entertainment and food,” she said. “We want families to enjoy special moments together and reflect on how priceless it is and fortunate we are to be part of such an amazing school.”

The next event Brandeis is hosting is a monthly and free-of-charge “Mom and Me” sessions, on Jan. 29 at the school on Frost Lane at 9:30 a.m. Children ages two through four are eligible to attend with their mothers. There are only 10 spots open. “This is open to the community to see what an amazing program we hold,” Schebovitz said.

To RSVP for the “Mom and Me” sessions, as space is limited, call (516) 371-4747 or visit www.thebrandeisschool.org.