By Rachel Marcus
This week across the Davis and Lane schools, children sampled gelt, spun dreidels, and built Lego menorahs as part of a Hanukkah celebration initiative. The initiative brought hands-on experiences to roughly 10 classrooms at the elementary school level, reaching approximately 200 students.
The coordinated celebrations were spearheaded by a group of BPS parents, in conjunction with the Bedford High School Jewish Student Union. One student from BHS joined each parent team at the classroom celebrations.
“We really wanted to use the opportunity to share about our traditions,” said Rachel Marcus, one of the parents involved. “Once we reached out, we found the community to be incredibly supportive.”
Superintendent Cliff Chuang attended one of the classroom celebrations, playing dreidel alongside a group of students. Staff at the Bedford Free Public Library helped put together a stack of read-aloud books on Hanukkah. And both teachers and administrators at Davis and Lane graciously welcomed BPS parents into their classrooms. And thanks to the BHS teachers who excused high school students from class so that they could help facilitate the Davis and Lane activities (and earn community service hours in doing so).
Many of those involved found the experience rewarding and impactful.
Emma Mandell, president of the Jewish Student Union at BHS, said, “Being able to share my family tradition helps me connect with the community around me.”
BPS parent Merissa Bresler agreed. “Seeing the joy, excitement, and engagement of the students was such a delight.”