by Hadar Dohn, Head of School
“How are you going to handle the Chaggigat Siddur and Chaggigat Torah if you combine first and second grade?” was the most common question when we shared that in the 2014-15 school year we will have multiage classrooms. This question occupied Morah Milka as well.  The result was a beautiful celebration of ages, stages, and milestones.  The multiage classroom of first and second graders came together in a program that naturally blended the range of skills and experience.  The program constituted a Thursday morning service, which included the Torah reading.  The first graders led the prayers, the second graders read from the Torah. 
“The celebration combined the personal with the communal”, said Morah Milkah, “Saying a t’fillah from your siddur is an individual act.  While the t’fillah may be said together, it is the individual who says his or her own t’fillah. No one can say your t’fillah for you.Reading from the Torah, on the other hand, can be done only when there are at least ten people, a minyan, only in a community. Although the Torah reader may be saying the words, it’s the presence of the audience, that community, that makes it valid.”

Morah Milka continued, “Our celebration had both- individual students who are also significant members of the class community.”

The final surprise wove in another element- the home. While the parents shared the beautiful siddur covers that they personalized for their children, the children presented their parents with a gift of a mezuzah.  This completed the circle of the individual, the community, and the home.