June 12, 2024
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SAR Academy First Graders Celebrate Siddur Play

On Thursday, March 11, SAR Academy’s first grade celebrated their siddur play. Like everything else this year, it was a bit different. Of course, both teachers and students anticipated new things: recording, filming and special packages that went home with students containing surprises they could only imagine. The first grade rehearsed on Zoom and rethought a format that would focus on each child’s experience of receiving his or her own siddur. Parents and extended families joined their first graders to watch the presentation together at home on Thursday evening.

In preparation of the Siddur Play, students were taught about shevach (praise), hodaya (thanks) and bakashah (requests), and how our tefillot fall into each of these categories. The Siddur Play rested on these three pillars. Classes had meaningful conversations about how to categorize these tefillot. When they recently learned the first bracha of Birchot Hashachar, a debate arose as to whether this was shevach or hodaya.

As the first grade continued its preparation, they learned about the concept of ואני תפילה (I am prayer) and each child wrote a word that they daven for. Each child created individual artwork based on their tefillah word and built a wall of tefillot, ואני תפילה.

Last year, SAR Academy’s first grade siddur play was among the last events held in person at school. While everything this year is surely different than before, the meaning and anticipation of receiving their first siddur at SAR—a pivotal moment in the first graders’ growth as Jews, as daveners and as SAR students—was felt throughout the first grade community.

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