“Daddy, are we at the Shabbat house?”
“Yes, buddy…Oh man, he’s been talking about coming back all week long, and no it’s not just a Shabbat Party, to him it’s a home.”
Every Friday morning children between the ages of 0 to 4 come together with their caregivers or family members to celebrate Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest. They are taught the differences between the rest of the week- the hustle the bustle- and this special day. On Shabbat we wear our nicest clothes, we prepare and eat the best foods (like delicious challah that we pretend to bake in class) and sing songs that exemplify our unity as we sing and play instruments loudly together. The class begins with preparing the children for Shabbat with the song, ‘I’ve got a Shabbat Feeling’, where one verse will tell the children to feel Shabbat in their bellies for all the delicious food they will eat, feel Shabbat in their heads for all the nice thoughts we think, and in our fingers and toes because we’re thankful for our day of rest. Everyone gets really excited to dance and sing to this revamped version of ‘head and shoulders; knees and toes’.
The class usually ends with a peaceful song such as ‘heenay ma tov’ or ‘mah yafeh hayom’, where loved ones cuddle together and sway to this peaceful tune. They are also asked to think of joyful events that occurred throughout week to be reminded of the greatness in life. Shabbat is time for relaxing, rejoicing and recounting and that’s exactly the type of experience you’ll get at the MNjcc Shabbat Party!
Parent comment: I attended the Got Shabbat? program with my infant son and I was blown away by the energy of the instructors. Every child and parent was engaged by the interactive programming and energetic singing. The songs and activities were perfect! I can’t say enough about this program’s warmth, vibrancy, and the engagement of the children as well as the adults.
Kol hakavod – Good Work!
Concluding Shabbat Party Song:
Heebay ma tov uma nayim, shevat achim gam yacha x2
Heenay ma tov shevet achim gam yahad x2
Happy are we to be friends when we live in peace together x2
Let’s all live in peace and learn to be friends together x2