Every year, the fourth graders at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (CESJDS) celebrate the Sara and Samuel J. Lessans Fourth Grade Havdalah Service as a milestone event. This year’s service recently took place at B’nai Israel Congregation, with each student’s active participation.
In conjunction with Havdalah, the students selected tikkun olam projects to support as a grade community. After learning about a variety of ethical positive mitzvot from the Jewish tradition, our fourth graders chose kibbud z’keinim (honoring the elderly) and someikh noflim (supporting the needy). CESJDS partnered with two organizations this year to support the students’ fulfillment of their mitzvot choices: Ring House and Manna Food Center.
The fourth grade ran a school-wide healthy food drive in the days leading up to the Havdalah event, and collected over 500 pounds of food — both canned and boxed. The students also visited the Ring House independent living facility where they presented song and dance to the residents, as well as their reflections on the meaning of the mitzvot that they chose.