Week of May 15, 2019 / 10 Iyyar 5779 Not If But When
During faculty orientation my second year as Director of PASECC, Rabbi Zuckerman turned to the educators and shared a wish: He wished that our children would no longer ask if they would travel to Israel, but rather would wonder when they would travel to Israel.
After five years of focusing on connecting young children to the land of Israel, I believe Rabbi Zuckerman’s wish has come true. How do I know? I kept my ears open during these past couple weeks as the classrooms prepared for our celebration of Yom HaAtzma’ut, and this year was different. Sure, it was as exciting as in past years, and it felt like the culmination of yearlong conversations related to life and culture in Israel. But this year, I heard more and more organic moments that sounded as though learning about Israel and traveling to Israel lives in our children’s minds, hearts, and souls.
A parent told me that she and her child were waiting standing on a subway platform when her child suddenly asked, “Mom, do you know whose birthday it is next week?” The mother guessed every possible family member and friend to no avail. The child gave a hint: “It is 71 years old!” When the mother gave up, the child enthusiastically revealed, “Israel!”
In a classroom on Thursday, I sat with the children for snack. Our children typically burst into song at various moments. On this day, as the educators passed out food to nosh on, one child began to sing Yom Huledet Sameah…” while another child was singing “Happy Birthday to Israel” in English.
At Rainbow Time last week, we sang songs and waved flags to show our love of Israel. With Josh’s help, we learned a dance that our partner school, Gan Aluma taught us on video. Clearly, every student in the ECC knew that Thursday was a time to wish Israel a happy birthday and to reflect on the land and the people, that are part of our Jewish identity.
I am increasingly confident that our children wonder when they will travel to Israel – for the first time, if they have not yet had the opportunity, and for a return visit if they have already been. To answer their question, consider traveling to Israel with the next PAS Young Family Trip in June 2020. There will be information sessions about the trip later this week, and registration will be next month. Think about it: Not if, but when!
Young Family Israel Trip – Mid-June 2020
Fri | May 17 | 9:15 am | Information Session
Mon | May 20 | 6:30 pm | Information Session
Thu | Jun 13 | 9:00 am | Registration opens
Join Rabbi Witkovsky for a fun, meaningful, and inspiring week creating a connection to the Land of Israel for yourself and your children from June 14 to 23, 2020. Because previous trips have filled so quickly, we are introducing a new registration process in which everyone who registers during an initial registration period has an equal chance of going on the trip. For more information about the trip and the new registration process, visit pasyn.org/travel. For more information, contact Rabbi Savenor at email@example.com or x136, or Jamie Diamond at firstname.lastname@example.org or x140.