On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Moriah held its annual Moriah Reads Day- a special day of activities that revolves around the ideas presented in the selected book read by the entire middle school. This year’s book, Homeless Bird, by Gloria Whelan, about a young Indian girl who faces many struggles but never becomes deterred by them, demonstrates the theme of חזקו ואמצו אל תיראו ואל תערצו מפניהם—“Be strong and courageous! Neither fear, nor be dismayed of them…” (Devarim 31:6). The story’s protagonist is an excellent example of someone with true grit and perseverance, which was a major theme in the day’s activities.
The day started with the reading of the folktale “One Grain of Rice” by Demi which showed the power of one’s actions and the impact of kindness on others. Then, students were privileged to hear a presentation by Elizabeth Zimmer discussing the history of Jews in India, sharing her personal family history with the students. Afterwards, the students followed two of Mrs. Zimmer’s family recipes to cook authentic Tikka Chicken Curry and Yellow Cumin Rice, which the middle school then tasted together at the end of the day. Other activities included discussions and lectures about perseverance, an escape the room group challenge and specially designed workshops by the Moriah faculty including an embroidery workshop, one about the role of women around the world, another about personalities in Tanach who showed perseverance, and others discussing Halacha and the plight of widows, a comparison between the novel and Megillat Ruth, the power of water in Judaism and many more. Thank you again to Mrs. Rachel Schwartz for her hard work in organizing the day and all those who helped prepare for it as well.