Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Reason #12,902 for making aliyah…

…Three words: destination siddur parties.

Hopefully, by now, we’ve all managed to deal with our siddur cover traumas. (But if you still have some outstanding issues to work through, please head on over to the original post for some comment therapy.)

And so, it’s time to move on to the thing which separates Israeli siddur parties from their Diaspora counterparts – namely: amazing venues.

Israeli first graders are often privileged to receive their siddurim at incredibly meaningful and unique locations – such as the Kotel:

IMG_3977No siddur party at the Kotel would be complete without a crowd of random passersby – including Asian tourists who tend to video the entire proceedings… :-)

And Heichal Shlomo, the former seat of Israel’s Chief Rabbinate and the current home of the Museum of Jewish Art:

IMG_3264 The Aron Kodesh and the Bimah in Beit Knesset Renanim - Heichal Shlomo’s on-site shul - were built in Padua, Italy, in 1728.

IMG_3277IMG_3284 IMG_3278 IMG_3282 IMG_3302 Written in Spain in the 13th century, this Sefer Torah was hidden from the Nazis in an attic of a Jewish hospital in Germany.

Where did your kids have their siddur parties?


  1. Um, the beit midrash of their school? :-)

    I've actually been wondering how to do something for my homeschooled dd next year. Probably do a party at home on a Sunday so even non-homeschool kids can make it.

    The kosel would be wonderful, too, though!

  2. after the tragedy of the expulsion of gush katif we were priveledged to recieve a former melamed from netzrim in our (yishuv's) school. while teaching the first graders about maarat hamachpela, he asked how many students had been there. about 4 out of 25 raised their hands. he was in shock and declared that the mesibat chumash would be in maarat hamachpela. (that was when i had a son in second grade) (and this yr they are postponing the mesibat chumash til second grade)
    all my kids mesibut siddur were in their school, we had one mesibat chumash yrs ago in neot kdumim, one in the school, 3 in y-m, 2 with a trip to the kotel and one at the rabanut so that Rav Lau, who was rav rashi at the time, could present them with the chumash.

  3. Jennifer - Notwithstanding this post's title, siddur parties at the Kotel are, IMNSHO, one of the top ten reasons for making aliyah...

    faith/emuna - Each one of those Mesibot Chumash sounds amazing! Why did they decide to postpone it this year?

  4. My kids are too little, but my sister just sent me a video of my neice's siddur party, which began with an elaborate presentation at the school, was followed by a mother daughter luncheon, and was concluded with a visit to the Kotel.

    Really moving to watch.

  5. "Reason #12,902 for making aliya..."
    I love that heading I too keep a (mental) long & growing list of reasons:)

    Thanks for the photos from the Museum of Jewish Art at Heichal Shlomo, I have been telling myself for months now that I gotta go visit that museum thanks for the extra push.

  6. Laura - Mazal tov on your niece's siddur party! It sounds like it was a beautiful event!

    Ariella - Thanks!

    Daniela - I definitely recommend a visit to the museum. It's not huge, but it's packed with all sorts of fascinating objects.

  7. I personally don't like all these things where they bother the parents to go to all sorts of places.
    Last year in our neighborhood the parents had to go to Jerusalem (not me the other parents), it was from the afternoon, so it meant taking time of work. If you had younger children, it meant that you were not allowed to bring them and had to find babysitters, We live in a Yishuv, and everyone was looking for babysitters at the same time and so this was very difficult.
    You had to get there at around 14:00 and back home at 22:00. I think it was too much.

    I like things that don't bother the parents too much. It is enough that we have to go to the school to see them.

  8. No siddur party at the Kotel would be complete without a crowd of random passersby – including Asian tourists who tend to video the entire proceedings…
    I wonder what they make of all this.

  9. I not a parent yet but i had mine where else? in my school. I guess new york is differnt than isael

  10. RE ilanadavita's comment, they're tourists, so they expect things to look odd. They probably loved getting a genuine Jewish ritual celebration on video. Maybe they even posted it on Youtube with a "you'll never guess what I saw on my vacation" note on it. That reminds me, someone tallied up vacation costs for different countries and assigned Israel $30 a day, vs. over $150 a day for Japan. So the Japanese must be having a real bargain holiday there.

  11. Tel Shiloh is also a great location for the parties. The kids love it.

  12. Check out this weeks Olam Katan for 100 reasons for making aliya!

    I thought of your blog

  13. Keren(1) - 2:00-10:00?! That's crazy!

    Ilana-Davita - They always seem to enjoy it and even go so far as to clap along with the kids. Needless to say, they (unwittingly) add some comic relief to the proceedings... :-)

    YW - Very true! :-)

    Ariella - Maybe they even posted it on Youtube...
    I wouldn't be surprised! :-)

    Batya - The kids love it.
    It sounds wonderful!

    Keren(2) - Yes, we saw that too! :-) (And on a related note, the guest post offer still stands...)

  14. My son had his in the Babylonian Cultural Museum (i.e. center for the Iraqi Jewish culture) - it was ridiculously expensive for what it was and the parental outcry was so huge that they subsequently banned all out of city siddur parties, all the rest must be in the school or local synagogue, walking distance only!

    (Psst... I've got a giveaway going for a $50 gift certificate - if you've got a US/Canadian address you can use swing by my blog for a chance to win.)

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  15. ive gotta say that i am torn about the location chumash parties too. on one hand its amazing that we have the oppurtunity to go to these holy sites and have moving ceremonies with our children, on the other hand a 4 hr round trip bus ride (to maarat hamachpela) with a bus load of 1st graders... (thats why i didnt ask too many questions when they pushed it off to next yr. they plan on doing it (a big party, im not sure where) when they finish sefer breishit, and a smaller in school party when they get their chumash) i actualy missed 2 of the chumash parties (sent my husband) bc it was basicaly an all day trip (8-4) in the heat (they always seem to pick the hottest day in sivan) and i was nursing a young baby.
    ps my soldier came home for shabbat and LOVED your marble blondie squares, i made another double batch motzash. (mine come out marbled on top, how do you make yours that they dont? btw i use less sugar and it still comes out great)

  16. Robin - all the rest must be in the school or local synagogue, walking distance only!
    And I'm sure that the kids enjoy the celebration just as much!

    faith/emuna - they always seem to pick the hottest day in sivan
    Yes, I've noticed that too! :-)
    Glad to hear that the squares are such a hit. (I don't know why ours aren't marbled on top. Maybe I should ask you how you get yours to stay that way? :-) )


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